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North Country Health Services names Hanson president, CEO

Paul Hanson

The North Country Health Services Board of Trustees announced Thursday that Paul Hanson will take over as president and chief executive officer of the organization on Oct. 1.

Hanson will replace Jim Hanko, who plans to retire this fall.

Hanson brings more than 22 years of executive health care experience to North Country. He is currently the president and CEO for Prairie Lakes Healthcare System of Watertown, S.D.

"The Board of Trustees is excited to bring Paul on board," said Kari Howe, NCHS board chair. "His expertise and experience in building relationships, health care services and overall organizational growth will be a wonderful fit for North Country Health Services."

Hanson said he is pleased to be relocating to Bemidji. "I am, and have been, so impressed with the community of Bemidji," said Hanson.

"My family and I have traveled to northern Minnesota for many years and have enjoyed the surroundings that northern Minnesota offers. The people are progressive, compassionate and dedicated to make their communities a better place to live and work."

As president and CEO, Hanson will focus on continuing North Country's mission to deliver a lifetime continuum of quality health care services to the region, according to a press release from North Country. Under his leadership, the health care system will work to enhance growth, services, and patient care throughout the organization.

Hanson noted, "I enjoy building strong relationships between the organization and its providers. Continuing to challenge ourselves to meet or exceed industry standards has always been a leadership goal of mine, and most often these are achieved through strong partnerships with medical staff, board of directors and local community leadership."

Hanson holds a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Colorado. He has served on a number of civic and non-profit boards. In addition, he is a fellow with the American College of Health Care Executives. He has three children: Cassie, 21, a student at the University of North Dakota; Kari, 17; and Matthew, 14.