Horizon Health Care unveils expanded clinic in Plankinton

April 1, 2024

Plankinton, SD community members celebrated a significant milestone on March 12 with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated and expanded Aurora County Community Health Center and Dental Clinic. The event marked the culmination of years of planning to enhance local services by parent organization Horizon Health Care

It also showcased the power of collaboration and partnerships in rural community development.

The new Aurora County Community Health Center in Plankinton, SD.

Collaboration is key

The ceremony served as a reminder of the dedication and commitment of all involved parties.

Heartland CEO Russell Olson speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

South Dakota Senator Erin Tobin, representing District 21, recognizing the significance of accessible healthcare in rural areas, delivered a keynote address that underscored the vital role of partnerships in fostering community well-being. 

Horizon CEO Wade Erickson emphasized the importance of positive alliances, stating, “This event is the culmination of a multi-year effort to expand our medical and dental practices in Plankinton. It demonstrates the power of collaboration in fulfilling our commitment to the health and wellness of the community.”

Erickson expressed his excitement at witnessing the transformation of a dream into reality and acknowledged support from benefactors who generously contributed to the purchase of new equipment and naming investments. 

Heartland Energy CEO Russell Olson spoke during the ceremony and lauded the successful partnership with Horizon and the city of Plankinton. Heartland’s involvement was pivotal in providing financial support through various programs such as economic development grants and utility rebates.

Olson reaffirmed Heartland’s dedication to supporting local initiatives that foster community development and improve quality of life.

Horizon Health Foundation Executive Director Tracy Pardy, Heartland Energy CEO Russell Olson, Horizon Health Care CEO Wade Erickson, and SD Senator Erin Tobin.

Facility provides comprehensive care

Tracy Pardy, executive director of the Horizon Health Foundation, extended gratitude to the community for their significant involvement in bringing the project to fruition. She highlighted the clinic’s evolution over its 46-year history, from its humble beginnings to its current state-of-the-art facility on Main Street.

Construction on the expansion began in 2022, adding 5,490 square feet of space to the original facility, which included six medical exam rooms, a patient intake room, IV, procedure, and X-ray rooms.

The expansion included six dental exam rooms which allows for expanded hours at the dental clinic. At the ceremony, Horizon staff introduced Patricia Aylward, RDH as the clinic’s new dental hygienist.

The addition of a full-time pharmacy operated by Lewis Drug Pharmacy further enhances healthcare accessibility, making the facility a one-stop shop for medical needs.

Erickson said meticulous planning and a phased approach was taken to ensure uninterrupted service to the community.


Bright future ahead

The ribbon-cutting symbolized more than just the completion of a construction project; it represented a shared vision for the future of healthcare in Plankinton. The team effort between Horizon Health Care, Heartland Energy, the city and others ensured success of the project and highlighted the shared commitment to address the unique needs of rural communities.

As the expanded clinic opens it doors to serve the residents of Plankinton and surrounding areas, it stands as a testament to the power of partnerships in driving positive change.