Congratulations to SDAHO’s latest Hometown Healthcare Hero member facility, Freeman Regional Health Services (FRHS) in Freeman, South Dakota.
To help member facilities with workforce needs, SDAHO launched the Hometown Healthcare Heroes campaign. This storytelling campaign is designed to recognize career opportunities at member facilities and celebrate the people that work there and the communities they live in.
Freeman Regional Health Services is in Southeastern South Dakota and provides a full range of healthcare needs for Freeman and the surrounding communities. Services include:
- Hospital: 25-bed critical access hospital, acute care / outpatient services
- Clinics: 4-locations, Freeman, Bridgewater, Marion, Menno, Community Health
- Nursing Home: 45-bed Medicare skilled nursing home
- Memory Unites: Two 10-bed memory care neighborhoods.
- Independent Living: Two, 10-unit congregate living independent apartments
- Assisted Living: 35 assisted living bed.
In addition, FRHS offers adult day services, rehabilitation, an emergency department, and therapy services. Dr. Elizabeth Waltner is a Physical Therapist with FRHS. Dr. Waltner moved to Freeman in 2020 and after working in both larger and smaller healthcare settings, she enjoys her work life balance at FRHS. “I know working at a large healthcare setting I was told they needed me and we would battle for time off between 17 other employees. Coming into a smaller setting like here at Freeman Regional, there is so much flexibility and opportunity to make things work between me and my patients and co-workers. You do not get that type of flexibility in larger healthcare settings.” Dr. Elizabeth Waltner, Physical Therapist, Freeman Regional Health Services.
FRHS is the largest employer in the Freeman community, and many credit the health system for the success this small rural town continues to enjoy. Carol Eisenbeis is the Development and Marketing Coordinator with the City of Freeman. “It’s a vibrant community of young professionals ready to invest in this next chapter in our community.” Carol Eisenbeis, Development & Marketing Coordinator, City of Freeman.
Part of that success is due to the many professional development opportunities provided by FRHS to its staff. Courtney Unruh is the CEO at FRHS. “It is really important for us here at Freeman Regional that we provide a wide variety of professional development opportunities for our employees, for our teams and individuals. We send them to conferences and do all kinds of training. Just to make sure we are helping them develop personally and professionally.” Courtney Unruh, CEO, Freeman Regional Health Services
FRHS is very involved with the nearby colleges and school systems to attract and train future healthcare professionals. “Our providers really want to see the students learn and grow and to see if they might like the healthcare field. We work on getting these students into Freeman Regional. We offer clinicals and they can shadow nurses, any kind of support we can give these students to help them know if they like the healthcare setting or not.” Courtney Unruh, CEO, Freeman Regional Health Services
Courtney grew up in Freeman and left to live in the cities. After ten years away, she decided to move home. “Everything that Freeman has to offer makes you want to live here. I thought I would never move back, but I moved back to raise my family and I didn’t even know how wonderful Freeman was until I moved back. We are invested in our youth here and we want to grow our own. We have a workforce shortage and it’s not going away. We want to help train today’s youth so they can help others in Freeman or any other part of the country.” Courtney Unruh, CEO, Freeman Regional Health Services
The cost of living in Freeman is cheaper compared to many parts of the world according to Carol. “Your money will stretch much farther here in Freeman than in a bigger community. We are just a short drive from larger communities and we are just a few minutes from the two interstates that cross South Dakota. Most people however discover they don’t need to leave the community to find what they need.” Carol Eisenbeis, Development & Marketing Coordinator, City of Freeman.
Freeman not only offers a full range of healthcare services, but there is also a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options for residents. There are a few unique gems in the area, including a 40-acre prairie arboretum. Freeman is also known for hosting the Schmeckfest Festival. Each year this German celebration which started over 60 years offers ethnic foods and high scale musicals. In 2018 Freeman began hosting the Chislic Festival that brings thousands of visitors to the area each year.
FRHS has a variety of career opportunities in the hospital, clinics, long-term care facilities, in addition to non-clinical job offerings:
- Radiology Technician
- Patient Care Technician
- Human Resources Dept.
- Activities Assistant
Employees receive competitive benefits including PTO, health insurance, a flexible spending account, vision insurance, dental insurance, Life Insurance plans, retirement plan and an employee referral program. “We are rewarding our employees for recruiting and promoting at Freeman Regional.” Courtney Unruh, CEO, Freeman Regional Health Services
Freeman recently broke ground on an 18-lot housing development to offer residents new and affordable housing. “Our community is what it is and is due to the role FRHS has played in our community. Living in Freeman offers a special quality of life. We have access to things we need and people who come here will love it, that is what we are hearing.” Carol Eisenbeis, Development & Marketing Coordinator, City of Freeman.
Are you ready to become part of the Freeman Community and grow your healthcare career with Freeman Regional Health Services? Visit them today freemanregional.com/employment
Watch the full SDAHO Hometown Healthcare Hero video featuring Freeman Regional Health Services.