New CEO from within HealthPartners organization to lead Olivia Hospital & Clinic in west central Minnesota
Nathan Pulscher, most recently with Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Minnesota, is the new CEO of Olivia Hospital & Clinic. Lakeview and Olivia are both part of the HealthPartners organization.
OLIVIA — A new CEO who brings a mix of experience in small, rural health care as well as in large systems is leading the Olivia Hospital & Clinic.
Nathan Pulscher, most recently the vice president of ancillary services at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Minnesota, is succeeding Nathan Blad as CEO for the Renville County health system, it was announced Monday.
Like the Lakeview Hospital, Olivia Hospital & Clinic is part of the HealthPartners organization. HealthPartners is a nonprofit headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota, offering medical and dental care in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It also is a health insurance provider in a handful of states, including Minnesota.
During a news conference announcing his appointment, Pulscher said he takes pride in leveraging big system services that may not otherwise be available in smaller communities.
Pulscher grew up in western South Dakota. He holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Black Hills State University in Spearfish and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from South Dakota State University in Brookings.
A 20-year career with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs included service with a mobile clinic to rural areas in western Nebraska, eastern Wyoming and southwestern South Dakota. Prior to his 6 ½ years with Lakeview, Pulscher held leadership positions at Rapid City Regional Hospital and VA Black Hills Health Care, both located in South Dakota.
The opportunity to serve in a small-town environment, with the support of the HealthPartners system, attracted Pulscher to the Olivia position, he said. He said the local health system benefits by a very engaged community and a quality and welcoming care team.
He said his goals are to leverage the resources of HealthPartners to enhance services and continue to work with the community and “build on the trust they have in the hospital here.”
Blad in July announced his intent to resign at year’s end. A Renville County native, he said he is moving to Arizona to be with his family that has put down roots there, and for the warmer climate.
Blad has served as CEO since 2013. He helped lead the health system as it developed its new $25 million campus in 2015. He also led the system as it joined with HealthPartners in March 2020 and through the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blad said the affiliation with HealthPartners had been beneficial and he is "glad we were able to partner when we were able to partner,” he said.
Overall, it has allowed the system to add more services and staff, he explained. The system currently employees 170 full-, part-time and casual workers.
Pulscher pointed out that there are many challenges ahead for rural health care systems as the population ages and the costs to provide care increase. He said it is increasingly important for health systems to reach outside of the four walls to promote wellness and preventative care in the communities they serve.
He said he feels a sense of optimism here. He pointed to a strong sense of community and the new facilities as important assets for the Olivia Hospital & Clinic. He said its strong employee base is also the most important tool for recruiting providers.
“It’s a great culture here and they’re loyal and they provide great care,” he said, adding: “Something to be proud of.”