2024 Philip Area Health Foundation

Tate Guptill and Emily Kroetch have joined the Philip Area Health Foundation as two of its newest members. Pictured are, back row, left to right, Dillon Kjerstad, John Knutson, Roger Porch, Tate Guptill, Marion Matt and Ray Smith; front row, Vonda Hamill, Director, Emily Kroetch, Krista O’Dea, Jennifer Henrie and Jenna Finn. Not pictured, Chuck VanderMay.

What is the Philip Area Health Foundation (PAHF)?

The Philip Area Health Foundation (PAHF) was incorporated in August 2020 as a nonprofit organization in the state of South Dakota for the primary purpose of supporting Philip Healthcare Systems, Inc.(PHSI) its programs, services, staff and facilities.

The Philip Area Health Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and development of accessible quality healthcare to the people of the greater Philip area.  The creation of the PAHF has provided the vehicle for donors to explore long term gifting and estate planning options that will solidify funding for many activities, programs, scholarships, and capital projects.  These programs ensure the longevity of Philip Health Services and its entities.  They also help to maintain the highest quality of health care available and the recruitment and retainment of the finest caregivers in the region.

The PAHF consists of a Director, a nominated board of four officers, and a group of eight additional trustees.  These dedicated local individuals gift their time and talents to the cause of promoting the PAHF, requesting donations, and reviewing the needs and requests for funding that are directed to the foundation.

To inquire about more information about the Philip Area Health Foundation, contact Vonda Hamill POB 324, Philip, SD 57567.  (605) 859-2342.

Vonda Hamill, PAHf Director

Vonda Hamill has been the director of the Philip Area Health Foundation since its inception in 2020.
She was selected to sit on the steering committee for the Philip Health Services capital campaign in 2019 when they successfully endeavored to build their new Scotchman Living Center.
From that position, she moved into managing and closing the 2.8-million-dollar campaign for Philip Health Services and completed the 501(c)3 application to launch the Philip Area Health Foundation, with the support of the board of directors of Philip Health Services.
Her background includes elementary education, small business owner/operator, local school board and public library board positions, as well as grant writing and reporting.
Vonda lives with her husband, Jason, on a farm/ranch near Milesville, SD.  They have raised two sons who join them in the family operation, as well as a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.

Philip Area Health Foundation is Launched

Generosity and philanthropic giving are not new adjectives being used to describe residents of Philip and the surrounding area. There is a long history of gifting, both personal and professional, to support the healthcare facilities and programs available in our local communities.

As evidenced by multiple capital campaigns, millions of dollars have been raised to build and expand facilities in the Philip community, most recently, the Scotchman Living Center, which opened its doors fully in December 2022. The Kadoka Nursing Home often benefits from donors who reach out in appreciation for the care received or to help keep the facility, a large employer for the area, going strong.

While large capital campaigns can achieve a great deal in a short amount of time, they are demanding and require a tremendous amount of strategic planning and commitment for all involved. The smaller, yet vital activities that are undertaken by local healthcare facilities to make ends meet often go unnoticed by most of the public.

We have all helped support prime-rib suppers, walking taco lunches and 5k fun run/walks to further a facility’s ability to buy a needed piece of equipment or to fund activities for nursing home residents. Memorial monies are often funneled to local care facilities by grateful family members. Grant writing and small fundraising programs are the only available source for administration and staff to many of their immediate needs. Directors of departments may spend hours writing applications for grant opportunities to fund a larger ticket item, only to be placed in the running with hundreds of other facilities, in areas of larger population, making the possibility of receiving those funds minute. Large grants require not only successful applications, but normally have several years of follow-up reporting requirements, taking away from a healthcare provider’s time to be doing their actual job.

Philip Health Services, Inc (PHSI) is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of local individuals, the Kadoka Nursing Home (KNH) is similarly led. The members of these boards are caring people who give of their time and serve with compassion. They bring various talents and wisdom to the table of the entities they serve.

Following the capital campaign to fund the Scotchman Living Center, it became clear to the PHSI board that they did not have enough capacity to govern the five health care entities of Philip Health Services while adequately managing fundraising and development activities. In a great act of vision for the future, they voted overwhelmingly to form the Philip Area Health Foundation (PAHF). Vonda Hamill was named as the Foundation’s director.

Vonda was a familiar face in the area and had been managing the capital campaign for the nursing home building fund since 2019. Articles of Incorporation were developed, and board members were named. Current board members for the Foundation include Roger Porch, Dillon Kjerstad, Jennifer Henrie, Ray Smith, Marion Matt, Jenna Finn, John Knutson, Krista O’Dea, Chuck VanderMay, and Bob McDaniel.

The foundation was incorporated in August of 2020 as a nonprofit organization with the primary purpose of supporting health care facilities and activities in the greater Philip area. The primary entities benefiting from the foundation include Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital, Scotchman Living Center, Kadoka Nursing Home, Silverleaf Assisted Living Center, Talty Medical Clinic, and the Kadoka Medical Clinic. This list is not exhaustive, as the foundation’s mission is to support activities that improve quality of health and life for area residents. Any organization or group in the area that has a proposal that falls into this arena may be considered.

Roger Porch, PAHF’s current President remarks, “The board of directors for this Foundation has come to realize the importance of ongoing and long-term financial support. We also understand the vital importance of having quality health care delivery close at hand in times of need. Our commitment to Philip Health Services and the communities in our service area is unwavering, and with continued community support, a full spectrum of health care in this area can continue to be offered and improved upon.”

The Philip Area Foundation is a tax-sheltered entity that can house restricted and unrestricted endowed funds. Endowed funds are in

vested in perpetuity and allow the Foundation to award only the interest accrued on the invested amount each year. An unrestricted fund will allow the board to determine the destination for the gift amount, while a restricted fund is awarded with the donor’s wishes in the forefront of dispersion. A flexible fund is also available for donors to the Foundation. This type of fund accrues interest, but principal amounts can be dispersed if the board determines that there is a need.

Since 2020 the Foundation has received seed money from a handful of donors and has recently been able to award funds to deserving recipients including Haakon Prairie Transit, West River Nurse Honor Guard, and the recruitment offices of Philip Health and Kadoka Nursing Home.

Donations to the foundation not only support the long-term viability of the health care entities in the Philip area, but also relieve the staff from the burden of development activities so they can focus on day-to-day management of the facilities and providing outstanding patient care. Donors can make contributions that are fully tax deductible, including one-time gifts, annual gifts, memorial/tribute gifts, gifts of stocks or bonds, physical property, or gifts that occur through their estate planning mechanisms.

“The legacy of our area will be in its tremendous ability to give to important local causes. We have proven that repeatedly. If a vehicle, such as a foundation, had been established 20 years ago, the campaign to build the Scotchman Living Center would have looked vastly different. Years of small gifts, invested over time, can do amazing things for a small geographic area. Larger, legacy gifts can really make a tremendous impact. Large gifts are how the Philip hospital and clinic were able to begin formal construction years ago. The Philip Area Health Foundation can be the organization that prospective donors can use to house their contributions; and local service providers can approach the Foundation to fill a need. It will funnel the dollars and the requests through one organization and help ensure that any local entity is entitled to the same consideration, if improving healthcare and quality of life is the end goal.”

  Gayle Matz & Arnis Knutson


Craig Hunt

Recently, a gift of $1,000 was given to the Philip Area Health Foundation in memory of Craig Hunt, by his sisters, Gayle Matz and Arnis Knutson.

Craig passed away in 1970 while stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City as a Medic. He worked as a CNA in the old Philip hospital when he was in high school. Gayle and Arnis chose PAHF because of the benefits it will generate to the Philip Hospital and the Philip community.

For more information on how you can benefit from contributing to the foundation or to bring an existing need to the foundation’s attention, please contact Vonda Hamill at POB 324, Philip, SD 57567 or email her at vhamill@monument.health.  To learn more about the Foundation and its inception, board members and activities visit us at: