Philip Area Health Foundation is Launched

Ray Smith (PAHF board member), Vonda Hamill (PAHF Director), Kay Ainslie (Haakon County Prairie Transit), and Dillon Kjerstad (PAHF Treas.) pictured. Philip Area Health Foundation (PAHF) awarded $500 to Haakon County Prairie Transit in November as one of their first official gifts as a budding foundation in the area. We are also offering a set of complimentary scrubs to CNAs in Philip and Kadoka when they complete their training and begin their scheduled shifts.

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 invested 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.”

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 PO Box 324, Philip, SD 57567 or email her at To learn more about the Foundation and its inception, board members and activities visit us at:

Philip Clinic Schedules COVID BOOSTER CLINIC

The Philp Clinic has a Covid 19 Booster clinic scheduled for April 19th, 9:30am – 4pm. By appointment only!


If you meet the requirements listed, please call the Philip Clinic to make an appointment to receive your Covid19 booster vaccine!

(605) 859-2566


Estate Planning Seminar Scheduled for March 29th

Space is limited.  Registration is required.  Don’t wait, call or email today.

(605) 685-3270
(605) 454-0568

Philip Health Services Annual Health Fair Scheduled

Please make plans to attend the annual Philip Health Services Health Fair.  This years fair is scheduled for April 2nd from 7:30am – 10:30am.

Special Pediatric Covid Clinic Scheduled (ages 5-11). **Appointment Required

RN’s & LPN’s… NOW is the time to join the PHS team!

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