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Published on July 29, 2016

Avera Health Announces Board Appointments 

Avera Health announces appointments to its Board of Directors for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1.

Current board member Daniel D. Eisenbraun has been named new board chair, following outgoing chair Ken Karels.

Eisenbraun, of Yankton, S.D., is a well-known professional civil engineer and one of the founders of Eisenbraun and Associates, a regional engineering and surveying firm in Yankton.  He has served on the Avera Health Board since 2011, and will serve as board chair until 2018.

“I feel deeply honored to receive this appointment and hope to emulate the excellent leadership that Ken provided us during his term,” Eisenbraun said. “I hope to continue to provide analytic problem-solving leadership to our team as we face the challenges ahead.”

Eisenbraun served on the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Board for more than eight years, including three as chair, and is former member and chair of the Avera Sacred Heart Foundation Board. He also serves as a board member for First Dakota National Bank and Rush-Co, Inc., and has more than a decade’s experience on the Yankton Area Progressive Growth board, plus numerous other leadership positions in the Yankton region, both in business and in engineering.

Karels, President and CEO of Great Western Bank and Great Western Bankcorp, Inc., will continue to serve as an Avera Health board member.

Sr. Debra Kolecka, OSB, MSN, FNP, will serve as vice chair. Sr. Kolecka joined the Avera Health board in 2009, and is a family nurse practitioner at Sacred Heart Monastery and has numerous years of experience in health care and education. In addition to the Avera Health board, she has served on many health care boards throughout the region, including Avera@Home; Avera Holy Family Hospital in Estherville, Iowa; Avera Sacred Heart Hospital and more.

In other board changes, after eight years of service including two years as chair, Mark Buche of Mitchell will retire from the board. Buche also served for a decade as a member of the Avera Queen of Peace Board of Trustees, including two years as its president. He was a part of the leadership panel when the Presentation and Benedictine Health Systems joined to form Avera Health in 2000. His expansive business and board service covers several decades. He is the former president of Tessier’s, Inc., where he began service as president in 1986.

Buche served continuously for 24 years on the United Methodist Healthcare Association of Greater Mitchell, Inc., created as part of the merger of St. Joseph and Methodist hospitals to form Queen of Peace Hospital in 1991. In addition, he has filled numerous leadership roles at the local and state level.

The Avera Health Board welcomes new member, Dr. Charlie Hart, who recently retired as President/CEO of Regional Health in Rapid City. Dr. Hart, a native of Miller, S.D., has numerous years of experience as a health care administrator, and as a practicing physician in family and emergency medicine.

“We express our extreme gratitude for the dedicated service of Ken Karels and Mark Buche, and we welcome Dan Eisenbraun, Sr. Debra Kolecka and Dr. Charlie Hart into their new roles. Avera truly benefits from experienced leaders such as these, and we appreciate their willingness to share their time and talents to benefit Avera staff, patients and their families,” said John T. Porter, President of Avera Health.




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