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Karla Eischens, the President and CEO of Sanford Health in Bemidji, has been recognized as one of the “110 rural hospital and health system CEOs to know” for 2024 by Becker’s Hospital Review. This list highlights executives from across the country who are committed to improving hospital services, facilities, and hiring skilled team members.

Eischens has over 25 years of experience in healthcare as a pharmacist and leader, with a focus on meeting the needs of employees, patients, and communities served by Sanford Health. Under her leadership, Sanford Bemidji has been taking steps to foster cultural change within the organization. This includes integrating cultural training courses for all employees to educate them on the connection between Ojibwa culture and healthcare. The hospital has also started holding leadership meetings with local tribal governments and community leaders to address health disparities among Native American patients.

Eisenhans expressed her gratitude for being recognized as one of the top rural hospital CEOs, attributing the honor to the dedication of her team and their commitment to providing exceptional healthcare to the community. She emphasized that these leaders have been working tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic and national staffing shortages to create sustainable models for success in rural healthcare.

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