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Published on February 07, 2020

Avera Welcomes Regional Health Services of Howard County


Avera Health, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., announces a new agreement with Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco, Iowa.

The Regional Health Services of Howard County Board of Trustees voted to sign an agreement with Avera at their Jan. 28 meeting. The new relationship begins July 1.

Regional Health Services will continue to be owned by Howard County, and will continue to be governed by the local Board of Trustees.

The agreement includes all aspects of Regional Health Services of Howard County (RHSHC), including hospital services, hospice, the Cresco and Lime Springs medical clinics, Cresco Family Pharmacy and home medical equipment.

All employees will remain employees of Regional Health Services, and patients will continue to experience the same high quality care in Cresco from local caregivers they know and trust.

Twelve months ago, the hospital’s board and senior leadership team began evaluating Avera.

“We found that Avera fulfills our criteria that included a robust and fully integrated electronic medical record, successful track record of supporting physicians and other providers, a wide range of services to improve patient care and operational efficiency, and support while allowing our operation to maintain autonomy,” said Regional Health Services CEO Robin Schluter.

Regional Health Services was formerly affiliated with MercyOne. “Although we will no longer be in a formal arrangement with MercyOne, we look forward to continuing to work with them for outreach specialists and other initiatives to improve the care provided to our patients,” Schluter said. Patients, with assistance from their RHS providers, will continue to make their own decisions on where to obtain health services when needed specialty care is not available in Cresco.

“This agreement with Avera will give us access to the tools and expertise to successfully navigate through today’s complex health care environment,” said George Willis, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Regional Health Services. “We look forward to collaborating with Avera to help us provide enhanced health care to area residents.”

“Regional Health Services has a strong history of providing quality care to the Cresco community. As health care evolves on a nationwide scale, collaborative relationships are more important than ever. We are proud to welcome Cresco to the Avera family, and offer the strength of the Avera system to support local health care,” said Curt Hohman, Senior Vice President of Managed Facilities for Avera. “Avera’s strength is quality care, close to home. Our agreements are designed to help local facilities stay strong and viable.”


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