Sanford Bemidji CEO Karla Eischens Recognized as One of the Top Rural Healthcare Leaders in the Country

Karla Eischens of Sanford Health named as one of the leading rural hospital CEOs to watch

Karla Eischens, President and CEO of Sanford Health in Bemidji, has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “110 rural hospital and health system CEOs to know” in 2024. The list highlights executives who are dedicated to expanding hospital services, improving facilities, and recruiting skilled team members. These CEOs are commended for their leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and national staffing shortages, as they work towards sustainable success.

Under Eischens’ leadership, Sanford Bemidji has prioritized cultural change by incorporating cultural training courses into employees’ education, emphasizing the intersection of Ojibwe culture and healthcare. The hospital has also established meetings with local tribal governments and community leaders to address health disparities among Native American patients. Eischens expressed her gratitude for being recognized among the top rural hospital CEOs, attributing the achievement to the dedication of the entire team and their commitment to delivering exceptional healthcare to the community.

Eischens has over 25 years of experience in healthcare and has focused on the needs of employees, patients, and the communities served by Sanford Health. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that her team is equipped with the resources they need to provide high-quality care to patients. She has also been committed to addressing health disparities among Native American patients, recognizing that cultural differences can have a significant impact on healthcare outcomes.

In addition to her work at Sanford Bemidji, Eischens is also a respected leader in rural healthcare nationally. She is a member of the Rural Health Information Hub Advisory Committee and serves on several other boards and committees focused on rural healthcare issues. Her expertise in this area has earned her recognition from organizations such as Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “110 rural hospital and health system CEOs to know” in 2024.

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