BROOKINGS – For the second time in three years, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) named Brookings Health System as a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital in the nation. 

The health system will be recognized at an awards ceremony during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit on May 9 in Atlanta.

“We are honored to again rank in this elite group of hospitals,” CEO Jason Merkley said. “This award reflects our team’s hard work, dedication to quality, commitment to the best possible outcomes, and focus on the patient experience. It reinforces our promise to our patients, residents and their families to provide high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care.”

The NRHA honors the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system hospitals in the country based on an evaluation by The Chartis Center for Rural Health using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX. 

Brookings Health scored in top 2 percent of all rural and community hospitals nationwide in the INDEX. 

Now in its ninth year, the INDEX leverages 50 rural-relevant indicators across eight pillars of hospital strength (i.e. inpatient market share, outpatient market share, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspective and financial stability) to determine an overall score for each hospital. Each of the INDEX’s 50 indicators is culled from publicly-available data sources.

More information about the high-quality of care at Brookings Health System can be found at

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency and extended care services. Brookings Hospital provides local access to doctors in Brookings and offers robotic da Vinci surgery and Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, making it one of the premier rural community hospitals in South Dakota. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, call 696-9000 or visit

About NRHA

The National Rural Health Association is a national nonprofit membership organization with more than 20,000 members. The association’s mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues. NRHA membership consists of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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