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Another year older and still kickin': Perham Health celebrates 115th anniversary

Perham Health celebrated it's 115th anniversary this last week, holding a picnic during Turtle Fest. Submitted Photo1 / 3
Perham Health's 115th anniversary featured a picnic and was quite kid-friendly.2 / 3
Families gathered for the Perham Health 115th anniversary celebration on Wednesday evening. Submitted Photo3 / 3

Turtle Fest wasn't the only annual celebration this last week. Perham Health also celebrated their 115th anniversary on Thursday with a picnic, part of the kick-off day for Perham's Turtle Fest.

The anniversary saw more than 500 attendees who enjoyed the warm weather, live music and kid-friendly activities.

Hospital history

The hospital holds a historical place in Perham, established in 1902, when Franciscan sisters founded the health care facility.

Perham Health has seen quite a few changes since its opening day, becoming an association, Perham Memorial Hospital, in 1959 and eventually becoming a government entity in the mid-70's, until 1985, when Sanford took over the hospital.

In 2012 the new hospital on Cooney Street was built, dividing the building into two campuses in Perham, one being the hospital, the other one now utilized as an assisted living facility.

Perham Health is a 25-bed critical access hospital with three primary care clinics, a 96-bed nursing home, home care agency, adult day services, memorial care assisted living, and senior housing. The medical staff consists of 24 physicians, 14 advanced practice providers, and three chiropractors.

The hospital also has remote clinics in other locations like New York Mills and Ottertail.

"Since the hospital's founding in 1902, Perham Health has remained committed to three core principles: healing, health, and hospitality," said Perham Health CEO Chuck Hofius. "As has been the case throughout these 115 years and will be for the next 115 years, we're determined to maintain a special relationship with our patients and their families while promoting healthcare that is innovative and effective."

Hofius says, looking forward, the biggest goal the hospital has is to merge into "population health."

"Keeping people healthier and keeping them out of the hospital," explained Hofius, adding that population health really focuses on preventative care and keeping quality-of-life scores up as well as other outside-the-box thinking to develop new care methods.

With the Baby Boomers retiring, many will need to enter assisted living options but, Hofius says, there just won't be the buildings for the growing numbers of patients, so finding ways to care for those people, perhaps in their own homes, is a large part of population health too.

It's finding flexible care options that keep a healthcare facility in the works for over a century and, looking forward will surely be the best way to keep an establishment like Perham Health around for another hundred years.

Hofius also tipped his hat to the 560 staff members, who he says are also a large part of what makes Perham Health so successful.

They've won a number of awards in the last year, but Hofius says it really comes down to staff member's hard work and dedication.

"They're really committed to each patient," he said.