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Philip Health Services, Inc. new CEO chosen

Kent Olson has been selected as the new CEO/Administrator of Philip Health Services, Inc. (PHSI) in Philip. He will assume his new duties at PHSI on July 17.

“We welcome Kent to Philip Health Services,” said Charles Ekstrum, Chairman of the PHSI board. “With Kent’s skills and knowledge, we’re confident he will contribute greatly to the Philip community.”

Rapid City Regional weighed “quite a few applications, finally presenting the top two for further interviewing by the PHSI directors and department managers,” said Kim Kanable of Philip Health Services. The PHSI Board of Directors consists of President Charles Ekstrum, Vice-President Don Burns, and Directors Larry Gabriel, Rita O’Connell, Rusty Olney and Roger Porch.

Though both candidates were excellent, Kanable reported that everyone was in agreement on choosing Olson.

Don Nelson, the outgoing interim CEO, plans on returning to being “actively retired.” He admitted that he is torn, in that he got to know the PHSI employees and other community people, and has enjoyed them and the great facility. “I need to get back to my initial goal (retirement),” said Nelson. I do plan on working four to six months periodically to help other hospitals.” Kanable spoke for the staff at PHSI when saying they “will hate to see him go.” Purposefully not part of the interviewing process, Nelson has been and will continue to be part of the welcome for Don and Sheila Olson, stating that such a connection makes the transition for the new CEO an easier one.

Nelson stated, “I think the Olsons will be an asset to the Philip community. He and his wife seem to enjoy the things that such a small community offers.”

Olson comes to Philip Health Services, Inc. with more than 20 years experience in the health care field. During the past four years, he has served as the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and Assistant Administrator for Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, MN, a city of just under 2,000 residents.

Olson earned a Bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ. He is in the process of obtaining his South Dakota nursing home administrator’s license.

Sheila has a bachelors degree from Black Hills State University in industrial arts. She is looking forward to the interior designing and decorating of their home in Philip. The two do not have children, but love to go to local events and expect to be very active in the community. Sheila does not yet golf, though Kent does. He is also an avid baseball fan (Twins).

Philip Health Services includes an 18-bed critical access hospital, a 30-bed long-term care facility, a 16-bed assisted living facility, a five-provider rural health clinic and a home health agency. PHSI owns and operates the Kadoka Clinic and also provides management oversight for the nursing home in Kadoka.