Philip Health Services and Keegan Mason & Associates recognized for outstanding Antibiotic Stewardship

The South Dakota Department of Health recognized Philip Health Services and Keegan Mason & Associates for outstanding Antibiotic Stewardship in South Dakota. Philip Health Services showcases excellence in implementing a community-wide program, reducing antibiotic resistance in their facility and community. Keegan Mason & Associates, led by Dr. James Keegan and Randee Mason, have been instrumental in statewide efforts, providing expertise and guidance to rural communities. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!
Pictured above are, left to right, James Keegan, MD, Randee Mason, RN, Lori Koenecke, RN, Maureen Cadwell, Philip Health Services, CEO, Melissa Magstadt, Secretary of the DOH, David Holman, MD, and Beth Dokken, DOH.

PHS is 2023 Exceptional Business Partner

2023 Exceptional Business Partner

Accepting the Exceptional Business Partner award is Megan Doolittle, Director of Nursing at Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital, and Denise Buchholz, Director of Nursing at Scotchman Living Center.

Philip Health Services has been an amazing partner with Western Dakota Technical College. As the college began looking to expand its educational services into our rural communities, Philip Health Services was ready and willing to find ways to bring our services to their town. As a critical access healthcare facility, Philip truly understands the importance of rural healthcare in South Dakota. The staff at Philip Health Services feels acutely the incredible need for health care workers in our state, especially in our rural communities. They are dedicated to not only providing top notch health care to their community but in supporting individuals in pursuing health care careers to create a sustainable workforce for the future. A visit to the community of Philip truly highlights the way a small town can come together to find new and innovative ways to provide a solid future for their citizens and their healthcare workforce.

Through community support, clinical placements, and the promotion of our nursing programs, Philip Health Services has embraced the mission of Western Dakota Technical College and has proved that when there are strong advocates and a clear vision for the future, anything is possible. Western Dakota Tech is proud to work with Philip Health Services and looks forward to continuing to work with them as we achieve our goals of improving workforce development across Western South Dakota.
Congratulations to the 2023 Exceptional Business Partner, Philip Health Services.

Philip Health Services Ranked As A Top 100 Critical Access Hospital By The Chartis Group

Scotchman Living Center Receives Pinnacle Customer Service Award

Michelle Butler, CNA/Activities Aide, honored as Healthcare Hero by the SDAHO!

Michelle Butler, CNA/Activities Aide, with Philip Health Services, has been honored as a Healthcare Hero with the SDAHO.  Thank you, Michelle, for all you do for our patients and community!

Megan Doolittle, RN, nominated as a Healthcare Hero by the SDAHO

For many who work in the healthcare, they will tell you the greatest honor is to live to serve others. Megan Doolittle a registered nurse, resident care manager and social services designee lives by that philosophy. That is why SDAHO has chosen Megan to be this week’s healthcare hero. The SDAHO Healthcare Hero campaign is designed to recognize and celebrate healthcare professionals across South Dakota.

As the Resident Care Manager, Megan knows it is easy to get caught up in paperwork; however, she has made it a priority to connect with her patients daily.  “I know resident care comes first and I enjoy being able to jump on the floor and have hands-on interaction with the residents and staff.”  Those who work alongside Megan say even though her time in the long-term care setting has been short, she has made an astronomical impact on everyone she connects with. “Megan is always upbeat, positive, motivational and sincere. She has amazing nursing skills and has always been on the lookout to help improve the lives of the residents in our nursing home.” Denise Buchholz – Philip Nursing Home

Megan’s family moved to Bison, South Dakota from North Dakota when she was a small child. She has called the Rushmore state home ever since.  As a child, Megan knew she wanted to work in healthcare some day and she credits her older brother Curtis for inspiring her to enter the healthcare field. “My parents called my brother the million-dollar baby. He was born with Down Syndrome and required an extreme amount of intensive care throughout his journey.  My parents had to learn how to take care of a feeding tube, and many other things that I called my brothers accessories.” Megan said she was able to go to many of her brother’s doctor appointments and she learned at a young age how essential it was to have healthcare.  Megan also recognizes that without advancements in modern medicine and a dedicated and skilled healthcare team helping her brother and her parents, her brother would probably not be here today.

Long term care facilities were hit extremely hard during the pandemic. It was a difficult time for many but even so, Megan says there were times during the pandemic that relationships were strengthened.  “COVID-19 affected my position, but it more so improved my position. We were constantly calling family members to update them on the pandemic and how things were going in the nursing home. That strengthened the relationships with the family and the staff.” Megan says the Philip Nursing Home team spent hundreds of hours testing the staff and residents in addition to reporting information to the SD Department of Health.  “When COVID was detected in the nursing home, Megan wasted no time in protecting our residents and staff. She spent many hours calling families, contacting providers, and helping the staff to mitigate COVID in our facility”. – Denise Buchholz – Philip Nursing Home

Her colleagues say due to Megan’s perseverance and dedication to her residents, families, and staff, she became essential to the efforts of controlling, containing, and healing the residents who were sick during that time. As our world moves toward a new normal, Megan knows that some safety precautions will remain for a while, including the wearing of face masks and screening residents and staff. Even so, Megan has recognized how important human touch is for those being cared for at the Philip Nursing Home, and the care team continues to make the residents a top priority.  “Her heart is as big as the sky and her hands are filled with the kindest touch.  Megan strives every day to make this world a better place, and she shows this by helping those most in need…the Resident’s, their Families, and our Staff.” – Denise Buchholz – Philip Nursing Home

When asked how she feels about being called a healthcare hero, Megan is very humble. “I am beyond honored to be chosen to be a healthcare hero. I also feel there a lot of more professions that could share this. It takes many components to make it work just like in the healthcare systems.  I cannot thank my family, my team and South Dakota enough for this honor. It is great.”

Megan Doolittle, thank you for all you do and congratulations on being a SDAHO healthcare hero.

If you know someone that is a healthcare hero and would like to nominate them, visit us online and nominate them today.


Tara Mitchell, RN with Philip Health Services receives Rural Health Certification

Tara Mitchell, RN, Director of Ambulatory Services, has recently completed her Rural Health Clinic Certification. Rural Health Clinics have distinctly different rules when it comes to operation and management. The Rural Health Clinic Certification provides training on ways to improve delivery of quality, cost-effective healthcare in rural under served areas.

Tara is working diligently with our providers to connect patients with timely, quality care. Please join us in congratulating Tara on this certification. Thank you for the effort you make every day to support our providers as we serve our community.

Mindy Smith, Radiology Manager with Philip Health Services to receive Healthcare Hero Award from the SDAHO

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations is recognizing Mindy Smith, PHS Radiology manager as a Healthcare Hero.

During the busiest times of 2020, Mindy demonstrated perseverance and empathy to the many patients we cared for.  Mindy was nominated for the SDAHO Healthcare Hero award by her team because of her perseverance and availability when her team and our community needed her most.

Please join us in thanking Mindy for her dedication and compassion to those we serve.

CONGRATULATIONS, MINDY!! We appreciate ALL you do!

Ashley Scheessele, LPN with Philip Health Services has received the 2021 SDAHO Healthcare Hero Award

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) is celebrating healthcare professionals through 2021 with our Healthcare Hero campaign. The goal is to bring recognition and awareness to the workforce and the many lives healthcare professional’s impact. Congratulations to Ashley Scheessele, a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Philip Health Services clinic and SDAHO’s latest Healthcare Hero. Ashley’s colleagues nominated her saying she meets all the organization’s mission and goals, while providing the two most valuable characteristics:  dedication and compassion. “I have never seen a more dedicated nurse, CNA, administrator or technician throughout my entire healthcare career.” – Tara Mitchell Home Health Director, RN, Philip Health Services

Ashley has called South Dakota home since the age of 13. “I find it fulfilling to serve and be a part of the community that I have lived in for most of my life.”  Serving the community of Philip, Ashley knows firsthand the challenges that can come with rural healthcare, but she also knows the rewards, “The most rewarding part of this career is getting to know the patients and their families, not only when they’re sick but when they’re healthy.”

Ashley’s calling to work in the healthcare industry did not come from any specific person that inspired her to go into nursing – but rather a big push from her mom, to get a job “thank you mom!” – Ashely.   Ashley says what has kept her in healthcare and excel in her career are the nurses she has worked with, who inspired her over the years. “For the last 15 years I have worked at Philip Health services, starting as a CNA and advancing on to my LPN Role.” Over the years, my work in healthcare has become much more than just a job.”

As her supervisor, Tara Mitchell says the biggest reason she nominated Ashley is “her complete dedication to our healthcare team over these past several months of COVID-19.” Ashley says she appreciates how the South Dakota healthcare system has worked relentlessly to help keep citizens and communities safe and protected during the pandemic.”  Ashley also recognizes the sacrifices many have endured. “Like many other healthcare professionals, I’ve sacrificed time with my family due to the increased demands of working in a pandemic.” When others within her facility were unable to work due to illnesses, Ashley’s colleagues say she was one of the first to step up and help. “She has held the clinic together during these times of COVID-19, especially during a recent time when we were down two nurses. She showed up every day with a smile on her face, a wonderful attitude and never skipped a beat in her work ethic.” – Tara Mitchell Home Health Director, RN, Philip Health Services

COVID-19 has pushed many in the healthcare community to tackle tasks, challenges and learn new skills they never thought they would do. Ashley says the virus has affected her position in many ways, not just increased hours. “I am very passionate about doing whatever it takes to ensure the best care of our patients. I’m willing to take on additional responsibilities during this crisis because I enjoy learning how to do new things, particularly when it benefits the patients I serve.”

Healthcare professionals play a special role that not everyone understands Ashley says. The sense of family and connection that is created among healthcare colleagues is just as special, when it comes to her profession. “We spend many hours with our fellow healthcare workers, sometimes more than we do with our family. This position has allowed me the gift of an extended family and a means to give back to a community.”

SDAHO Congratulates Ashley Scheessele of Philip Health Service Clinic for being a healthcare hero. Thank you for all you do.

To read other healthcare hero stories or nominate someone to be featured, go to