Brookings, S.D. – Nov. 18, 2021 – As part of the 2021 National Rural Health Day celebration, Brookings Health System today announced it has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) with a Performance Leadership Award in the outcomes category. The award reflects top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

“We’ve received the Performance Leadership Award for the fifth consecutive year, demonstrating our commitment to quality outcomes for patients,” said President & CEO Jason Merkley. “Even with the challenges brought on by the pandemic these past two years, our team strives to rise to the occasion and fulfill our mission: to provide high quality, compassionate, personalized health care.”

The Performance Leadership Awards uses the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. INDEX data is trusted by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations and state offices of rural health across the country to measure and monitor performance across a variety of areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

“We are proud to mark this year’s National Rural Health Day by recognizing rural hospitals’ steadfast commitment to serving their communities and delivering high quality care,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “In the face of tremendous challenges, these top quartile performers continue to exemplify the power of rural and create a blueprint for excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspectives.”

Earlier this year Brookings Health System was recognized as one of the Top 20 Rural Community Hospital in the nation by the National Rural Health Association. More information about Brookings Health System’s care quality can be found at

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 & Optical, 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

PHOTO: Occupational Therapist Samantha Drealan helps a Brookings Health System patient learn how to put on stockings using a sock aid during the patient’s hospital stay. Brookings Health System ranks in the top quartile among all rural hospitals in the nation and was officially recognized today with a Performance Leadership Award in the outcomes category. This is the fifth consecutive year Brookings Health has received the honor. Earlier this year the health system was also recognized as a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital.