Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Named Top Rural and Community Hospital

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Named Top Rural and Community Hospital

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System (PLHS) was recently named one of the top 20 rural and community hospitals in the country. This is the sixth time PLHS has received this recognition since it was introduced by The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) seven years ago. To celebrate this achievement, PLHS held a "Slice Above the Rest" employee celebration in the main lobby that included pizza and new pizza cutters for all employees, volunteers, and board members. Photos from this event are added below. 

The NRHA has announced the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system hospitals in the country based on an evaluation by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. The hospitals are identified using the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX, the most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural PPS hospital performance. Prairie Lakes Healthcare System will be recognized May 18 during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit in San Diego, CA.

The determining factors for the top 20 rural and community hospitals are based on eight indices: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge, and finance.

“Prairie Lakes Healthcare System is proud of the dedication and exceptional care provided every day by staff, physicians, and volunteers who contribute to our healthcare system achieving this recognition,” says Paul Macek, Interim CEO. “Three of the twenty hospitals in the nation that received this designation are from South Dakota and that speaks volumes to the care and services that our rural population has access to. Our recognition as a top health care provider means our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future.”

About Prairie Lakes Healthcare System

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System serves a ten-county region in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. Prairie Lakes provides care at its hospital in Watertown as well as Prairie Lakes Cancer Center, Prairie Lakes Mallard Pointe Surgical Center, dialysis units in Sisseton, SD, Watertown, SD and Ortonville, MN, rehabilitation services, and specialty services. Specialty services are a focus of PLHS to bring needed care to the region. These specialties include Cardiology, Dermatology, Ear, Nose & Throat, General Surgery, Hospice, Home Care, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, Urology, and Wound Care. For more information, visit

About NRHA
NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. NRHA’s membership consists of diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.

About the Chartis Group
Chartis is a comprehensive health care advisory firm dedicated to helping clients build a healthier world. Work is facilitated across the health care continuum with more than 600 clients annually, including providers, payers, health services organizations, technology and retail companies, and investors. Through times of change, challenge, and opportunity, Chartis advises the industry on how to navigate disruption, pursue growth, achieve financial sustainability, unleash technology, improve care models and operations, enhance clinical quality and safety, and advance health equity. Teams convened bring deep industry expertise and industry leading innovation, enabling clients to achieve transformational results and create positive societal impact.  For more information, visit