July/August 1999

LakeWood Health Centers, Baudette, Minn.

sharray Photo

Shar Ray Palm
President and Chief Executive Officer

"Catholic Health Initiatives provides us with a wealth of resources that our market-based organization couldn’t offer on its own," said Shar Ray Palm, president and chief executive officer of LakeWood Health Centers, Baudette, Minn. Located in central northern Minnesota just along the Ontario border, LakeWood is the sole community health care provider for a population of about 9,000 people within a 36-mile radius. As a deeply rural area, the nearest tertiary care facility is 240 miles away. LakeWood includes a 15-bed hospital, a 52-bed skilled nursing facility, eight assisted residential suites, home care, hospice, public health, school nursing, therapies and a wellness center. In addition, LakeWood manages Warroad Care Center, a 49-bed skilled nursing facility with 29 independent living apartments, through a service contract.

Palm said that the values of Catholic health care have a powerful impact on the organization. "These values keep us focused on our mission and commitment to caring and guide us in these often challenging times," she noted.

Currently, LakeWood is constructing a combined acute care, outpatient and skilled nursing facility on its main campus that is scheduled to be completed by May 2000. According to Palm, the current facility is aged and not consistent with the efficient delivery of programs or services offered by LakeWood. Retrofitting and renovation was deemed too costly. "This project will bring all health care services together on one site, provide more effective use of staff, equipment and supplies and allow more efficient work processes to occur. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance quality and control costs," she said.

With a background in nursing, Palm has served in a variety of roles during her 23 years with LakeWood. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minn., and credentials of advanced studies in health services administration and long-term care from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis. "Baudette and its surrounding communities are beautiful. This is a great place to live, work and play," said Palm.

"I am proud to be part of an organization that is committed to meeting rural health care needs and maintaining our quality of life in rural America," she said.