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Highly regarded CEO to head hospital in International Falls

Two months after the hospital he led received national recognition, and making a list of “50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know,” Dan Odegaard is taking responsibility for a second Northland hospital.

After 11 years as CEO at Bigfork Valley hospital, Odegaard has assumed the same title at Rainy Lake Medical Center in International Falls.

Odegaard, 50, began his new job on Tuesday, according to a news release from the medical center.

“We’re delighted,” said Susan Congrave, a Rainy Lake Medical Center board member. “Everybody’s very pumped about it. He’ll be a good leader for us.”

Odegaard and Bigfork Valley won notice earlier this year when a federal survey showed the hospital to have the best patient satisfaction rating in Minnesota — as it had every year since the survey began in 2006. It also ranked first in whether patients would recommend the hospital, first in nurse/patient communication and first in cleanliness of rooms and baths.

Soon after, Becker’s Hospital Review named Odegaard to its inaugural rural hospital CEOs list.

“Under his leadership, the critical- access hospital has made national headlines for high-quality, patient-centered care,” the Becker’s article said of Odegaard.

Congrave said she understood Odegaard would continue to serve at Bigfork Valley on a temporary basis. Officials at Bigfork Valley were not available to comment.

At Rainy Lake, Odegaard replaces Bob Haley, who had been interim CEO for nearly two years, said Kelly Millerbernd, foundation and marketing coordinator.

Haley works for Quorum Health Resources, the management firm that provides services for the Rainy Lake Medical Center.