Merkley & Ruesch Recognized at South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations Convention

  • October 03, 2019
CEO & President Jason Merkley
CEO & President Jason Merkley

Brookings Health System CEO & President Jason Merkley and Quality Director Sandra Ruesch, RN, were recognized at the 2019 South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) Annual Convention, held Sept. 18 - 20 in Sioux Falls.

Merkley received the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award. The award recognizes ACHE members who are experienced in the field and have made significant contributions to the advancement of healthcare management excellence and the achievement of AHCE’s goals.

Merkley has over 23 years of healthcare leadership experience and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He currently serves as SDAHO’s board treasurer and has also has served on the board of directors for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, the American Hospital Association’s Section for Small or Rural Governing Council and numerous other local, regional and national boards.

Quality Director Sandra Ruesch

Ruesch received the South Dakota Association for Healthcare Quality’s (SDAHQ) Quality Professional of the Year award. The award recognizes an active SDAHQ member who provides leadership, promotes professional ethics, communicates knowledge in areas of quality improvement and mentors others in the quality/risk profession.

Ruesch has been a registered nurse for over 12 years and is a board-certified emergency nurse, pediatric emergency nurse and sexual assault nurse examiner. Throughout her career she has taught other health care professionals to implement best practices in areas such as workplace violence, sexual assault medical forensic exams and opioid use disorder. She has also advocated for sexual assault victims, revising the South Dakota Board of Nursing advisory position for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners scope of practice in 2016 and in 2018 bringing forth legislation alongside State Representative Tim Reed to ensure no victim of a sexual offense receives a bill for a forensic exam. Ruesch currently serves as SDAHQ’s media chairperson and has also volunteered for numerous other local, regional and national organizations.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, 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, South Dakota. 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, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at