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Freeman Regional Health Services Announces New Nursing Leadership Team

Apr 12, 2021 02:03PM ● By Med Magazine

Freeman Regional Health Services (FRHS) is announcing changes to their nursing leadership team. This announcement follows a reorganization of the nursing departments after the Chief Nursing Officer position opened after Courtney Unruh began her CEO / Administrator role in January 2021. The new nursing leadership team includes Nikki Mehlhaf continuing her role as Director of Nursing for Oakview Terrace nursing home along with Michelle Neuharth taking on the role of Director of Nursing for Freeman Medical Center hospital and Karissa Podzimek serving as the Clinic Nurse Manager for FRHS clinics. Mehlhaf and Neuharth will report directly to Unruh and Podzimek will report to Digna Miller who is the Clinic Manager for the clinic system.

Nikki Mehlhaf is originally from Colton, SD and earned her bachelor’s degree in public recreation in 1997 from South Dakota State University and later her associate degree in nursing in 2007 from the University of South Dakota. Mehlhaf started at FRHS after completing her nursing degree and has served the organization in many capacities. Over the years, she has worked as a Medical-Surgical Nurse, Cardiac Rehab Nurse, Charge Nurse at Oakview Terrace nursing home, assisted with Community Health, MDS Nurse at Oakview Terrace, Surgical Coordinator, Hospital Care Coordinator, Swingbed Coordinator and Employee Health Nurse. Mehlhaf began her role as the Director of Nursing at Oakview Terrace in January 2020. She resides with her family on a farm outside of Menno, SD.

Michelle Neuharth is originally from Alexandria, SD and earned her associate degree in nursing in 2010 from Dakota Wesleyan University. After completing her nursing degree, she started as a nurse at the Human Services Center in Yankton, SD. She started working as the Community Health Nurse at FRHS in 2013. Over the years, she has assisted as a Clinic RN, Cardiac Rehab RN, MDS Nurse at Oakview Terrace nursing home, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and Interim Cardiac Rehab Director. Neuharth started her role as the Interim Hospital Manager in August 2020 and assumed the role of Director of Nursing at Freeman Medical Center on April 4, 2021. She resides with her family on a farm outside of Freeman, SD.

Karissa Podzimek is originally from Lakefield, MN and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2005 from the University of Sioux Falls and later her associate degree in nursing in 2013 from the University of South Dakota. While working on her nursing degree, she started at FRHS as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Oakview Terrace nursing home in 2010. Over the years, she has worked as a Hospital RN and Marion Clinic RN. Podzimek started her role as the Clinic Lead Nurse in 2018 and assumed the role of Clinic Nurse Manager on April 4, 2021. She resides with her family on a farm outside of Freeman, SD.

FRHS is excited to have these experienced nursing professionals serving as the new nursing leadership team. Their coordinated efforts will allow each leader to focus on their area of health care service while continuing excellent facility-wide care quality.