Carla Eichens, president and CEO of Sanford Health in Bemidji, was recognized as one of the “110 Rural Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know” for 2024 by Becker’s Hospital Review. This list includes executives from across the country who are committed to expanding hospital services, improving facilities and hiring qualified team members. In particular, these CEOs are being praised for their leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and national staff shortages as they work to create sustainable models for success.

Under Eichsen’s leadership, Sanford Bemidji is taking steps to drive cultural change within the organization. This includes integrating cultural training courses for all employees to educate them about the connection between Ojibwe culture and health care. The hospital also began holding leadership meetings with local tribal governments and community leaders to address health disparities among Native American patients. Eichens expressed her gratitude for being recognized as one of the top rural hospital directors, attributing the honor to the dedication of her team and their dedication to providing exceptional health care to the community.

By Samantha Johnson

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