BVU, Cherokee Regional Medical Center Link Via Strategic Partnership

Strategic Partnership with Buena Vista University offers educational benefits to Cherokee Regional Medical Center's employees and their eligible family members.

Buena Vista University (BVU) and Cherokee Regional Medical Center have entered a Strategic Partnership that mutually benefits both organizations as they strive to strengthen the communities they serve.

This partnership allows for employees of Cherokee Regional Medical Center, as well as eligible family members of full-time employees, to receive grant funding to lower the overall cost of education while enrolled in classes at BVU’s Storm Lake campus. Partner grant funding also lowers the cost per credit hour for students enrolled in BVU’s convenient online/hybrid undergraduate programs or the organizational leadership graduate program.

“We’re excited we have this option for a couple of reasons,” says Cherokee Regional Medical Center Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance, Merle Mack. “We have several alumni from BVU, so we already know that our local employees appreciate the value of education they can get from BVU. I also like that we can offer a very different type of educational partnership than we do currently and that this model offers a lot of flexibility with online and hybrid options.”

“As one of the larger employers in Cherokee, we consider it one of our obligations to continue to invest in our community, and one of the best ways for Cherokee Regional to invest in our community is with sustained growth through education.”

Cherokee Regional Medical Center Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance Merle Mack

Cherokee Regional Medical Center, which employs about 320 people, is a 25-bed critical access hospital offering both inpatient and outpatient services to residents of Cherokee County and the surrounding area. Since opening in 1916 as Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital, the health care provider has grown to include family practice clinics in Aurelia, Cherokee, Holstein, and Marcus, and physical therapy clinics in Holstein and Marcus.

“As one of the larger employers in Cherokee, we consider it one of our obligations to continue to invest in our community, and one of the best ways for Cherokee Regional to invest in our community is with sustained growth through education,” says Mack. “Whether they are pursuing a medical education or some other type of education, the option for our employees or their children to stay close to attend university and live at home or work while they go to university, really strengthens the community of Cherokee in the process.”

Cherokee Regional Medical Center recently expanded its services through the purchase of Main Street Pharmacy in Cherokee. The medical center also operates The Beck, an independent living senior housing facility in Cherokee, and the Cherokee Fitness Center.

“Buena Vista University has been an integral part of shaping me into the person I have become,” says Cherokee Regional Medical Center Marketing Manager Stephanie Beck, a 2006 BVU graduate. “From in-class instruction to one-on-one time with professors who knew me by name, and clubs, athletics, extracurricular activities, and lifelong friendships built, my college experience at BVU was exceptional. I was pleased to see the Strategic Partnership between my employer—Cherokee Regional Medical Center—and BVU. Having four children with the opportunity to receive tuition discounts and grants to reduce the overall cost to attend BVU in the future is fun to consider.”

“Buena Vista University is excited to join forces with Cherokee Regional Medical Center through our Strategic Partnership initiative,” says BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships Laura Todd. “We look forward to providing educational benefits to further strengthen Cherokee Regional Medical Center employees and their families as they continue to serve others throughout Northwest Iowa.”

For more information about BVU’s Strategic Partnerships and partner opportunities, please visit the BVU website at bvu.edu/strategic-partnerships or contact Strategic Partnerships at StrategicPartnerships@bvu.edu.

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