Brookings Health System Foundation Achieves Capital Campaign Target

Posted: 2/1/2016

Goal Reached in Only Nine Months

In just nine months, Brookings Health System Foundation reached its $4.6 million capital campaign goal. The campaign was announced this past July during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony. Pictured here is the east hospital expansion, the site where the Foundation announced its capital campaign. Later this year the east hospital expansion will begin serving patients needing surgery, medical imaging, inpatient and obstetrics care.Brookings Health System Foundation announced today it achieved its $4.6 million hospital expansion and renovation capital campaign goal with total cash and pledges of $4,619,616.

“On behalf of Brookings Health System and the Foundation, thank you for investing in our campaign and supporting our future,” said Brookings Health System President and CEO Jason Merkley. “Our vision is becoming a reality and we are very excited about the forthcoming changes. However, something you will not see changing is our approach to delivering the same high quality, compassionate and personalized care and service you have come to expect from Brookings Health System.”

According to Foundation board chair David Kneip and immediate past chair Roberta Olson, the Foundation reached its capital campaign goal in only nine months, thanks in part to a recent anonymous matching gift.

“This was really an incredible effort to think that over 400 generous entities and individuals came together to support this community project in that short amount of time,” said Kneip.

“We want to thank everyone who gave to the campaign, with special thanks to lead donor First Bank & Trust for getting us started,” added Olson.

The capital campaign kicked-off its public phase at the project’s groundbreaking ceremony this past July where First Bank & Trust announced its lead donation of $1 million. Later in the year, Brookings County pledged $750,000 and the City of Brookings earmarked the same amount in its 2017-27 Community Reinvestment Plan. Dale Larson, the Larson Family Foundation and Larson Manufacturing donated a total of $925,000, creating a solid foundation for the campaign to build upon.

“First Bank & Trust is proud to make this financial commitment and delighted to see this broad-based community investment in Brookings Health System,” said President and CEO Kevin Tetzlaff. “Supporting health care initiatives focused on retaining local, high quality, personalized care aligns well with our organization’s values, and has been a long-time priority of the Fishback family.”

In July 1906, the Brookings Hospital Company, incorporated by Horace Fishback Sr., George Sexauer, Dr. F.E. Boyden and Dr. B.T. Green, purchased a site in the Morehouse Addition of Brookings to build a community hospital.

In 1935 the hospital was sold to the City of Brookings and the first hospital board was created. Members included founders’ sons, Horace Fishback Jr. and Elmer Sexauer, who each served on the board for over 20 years.

“As members of a family with longtime ties to the Brookings area, [my brother] Bob and I are pleased with the results of this campaign,” said Van Fishback. “Strong medical care is a critical component to a thriving and healthy community.”

Those contributing $25,000 or more to the capital campaign include: Al and Irene Kurtenbach, Bruce and Ila Lushbough, Jim and Dorothy Morgan, Ardelle Roberts, Duane and Phyllis Sander, Avera Health, BankStar Financial, Banner Associates, Dacotah Bank, Daktronics, Inc., Harms Oil Company and Sanford Health.

Brookings Health System Foundation continues to accept donations to the capital campaign. Donors giving $1,000 or more will be included on the donor wall in the renovated hospital. A community celebration for donors and supporters is planned for later this year. To contribute to the campaign, please contact Foundation Director Barb Anderson at (605) 696-8855 or e-mail

About Brookings Health System Foundation

The mission of Brookings Health System Foundation is “Inspiring people to support Brookings Health System through philanthropy, recognizing the vital role of local healthcare in sustaining quality of life in our community.” Gifts to the Foundation support charity health care for those less fortunate, health and wellness education, facility, equipment, and technology upgrades and other needs as they arise at Brookings Health System. For more information about Brookings Health System Foundation or how you may contribute, please contact Foundation Director Barb Anderson at (605) 696-8855 or

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at