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Phelps Memorial Health Center, Holdrege, was recently named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals (CAHs) in the United States.

The top 20 CAHs, including Phelps Memorial Health Center, have achieved success in overall performance based on a composite rating from eight indices of strength: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge, and finance. This group was selected from the Chartis Center for Rural Health’s 2022 Top 100 CAH list, which was released earlier this year. 

“Phelps Memorial Health Center is proud of the efforts of the medical staff and teammates who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” said Mark Harrel, CEO. “This award affirms our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future.”  

The top 20 CAH best practice recipients have achieved success in one of two key areas of performance: Quality index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across rural-relevant process of care measures. 
Patient perspective index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across all 10 HCAHPS domains.

“The work our team does is not for awards.  The work we do is for the patients and families we serve,” said Harrel.  “These awards are evidence of our vision of being the best rural hospital for patients to receive care, providers to practice, and teammates to work.”

There are approximately 1,300 CAHs in the United States, putting Phelps Memorial in the top 1.5 percent of all critical access hospitals in the entire country.

Michael Pelster, president of the Phelps Memorial Board of Directors said, “Phelps has worked hard to assemble a talented and caring team. The compassionate care they provide daily, truly makes a difference in the lives of so many people. The Board of Directors and I are very proud of Team Phelps for this well-deserved recognition.” 

In the past year, Phelps Memorial Health Center has received: 

  • The Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award for the 4rd consecutive year
  • Performance Leadership Award for excellence by the Chartis Center for Rural Health
  • Designated a 2023 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the 7th consecutive year

Phelps Memorial Health Center recently celebrated 55 years of service.  They employ 330 healthcare professionals and contract with an additional 100.  To learn more, visit