Skip to main content


Brookings Health Named a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital for Fourth Time

Apr 12, 2021 01:46PM ● By Med Magazine

Pictured Above:  Inpatient Care Nurse Kim Gray, RN, listens to an ICU patient’s lungs at Brookings Health System.

Brookings Health System was recently named a 2021 Top 20 Rural Community Hospital in the United States, the only hospital in South Dakota to achieve the honor in 2021. 

“The fact that we remained a Top 20 hospital during such a challenging year speaks volumes about our team’s dedication to providing high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care to our patients,” said President and CEO Jason Merkley. “Our community can feel proud about the caliber of healthcare available locally from our excellent team of medical specialists, healthcare professionals and ancillary staff.”

This is the fourth time in five years the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has named Brookings Health to the elite Top 20 list. The health system will be recognized at an awards ceremony during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit on May 21 in San Diego. 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®. 

In addition, for the sixth consecutive year Brookings Health has been included by The Chartis Center for Rural Health on the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals list. The annual award honors rural hospital performance also as determined by the results of iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. 

Based entirely on publicly available data, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Utilizing 50 independent indicators, the INDEX assesses performance across eight pillars of performance that span market-, value- and finance-based categories. Hospitals recognized as a Top 20 facility had one of the 20 highest overall scores among all Rural & Community Hospitals nationally, automatically qualifying them in the Top 100 category.

The list of this year’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals, as well as the 2021 INDEX methodology, can be found at More information about Brookings Health System’s care quality can be found at