Eric Hammer will soon be a full-time resident of the city he's enjoyed for years as a visiting brother.
Hammer, the new vice president for networking at St. Anthony Regional Hospital, is moving his family from Dell Rapids, S.D., to Carroll. Hammer is the brother of Carroll teacher Diane Hagen - the wife of Dr. Jedd Hagen, a pathologist on the medical staff at SARH.
"St. Anthony definitely was a draw," Hammer, 44, said. "Ten years ago, I said to Dr. Hagen, 'If anything comes up here, you have to let me know.'"
Hammer succeeds Gary Schroeder who retired after serving in the networking position for 16 years.
The position is key to SARH's continued growth as a regional health-care provider, said SARH president and CEO Ed Smith.
"He has that sense of community that is important to Carroll," Smith said of Hammer.
Hammer will oversee the recruitment of physicians and top medical staff as well as the operations of SARH clinics in Carroll, Westside, Coon Rapids, Breda, Wall Lake and Manning.
"Carroll is a regional health-care center, just as we are a retail center, employer, educator," Smith said.
For his part, Hammer is a native of Garretson, S.D., located 20 miles northeast of Sioux Falls.
His father, Allan Hammer, is the owner and retired president of First National Bank in Garrestson. His mother, Ruth, is a former secretary in the air traffic control tower at the Sioux Falls airport.
Eric Hammer and his wife, Kari, a registered nurse and a native of Emery, S.D., have three children: Gabriella, 10, fifth grade; Evan, 7, second grade; and Jacob, 5, kindergarten. The children will attend the Carroll Community Schools.
Hammer earned his bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota and is working toward a master's. Since 2007, he has been director of ancillary and clinical services at Pipestone County Medical Center in Pipestone, Minn. His resume includes medical administration experience at the Mayo Clinic's Scottsdale, Ariz., clinic and with clinics in Mitchell. S.D.
Hammer said St. Anthony has a strong reputation in the region - as evidenced by a variety of industry reports.
"If the patients are happy, and the employees are happy, it's probably a pretty good place to work," Hammer said.
Hammer said he strives to be a intent listener who learns from others - and someone who is clear about his motivations and life.
"I bring people into the details of my life," Hammer said. "I think that's part of my success."
Hammer and Smith plan to work collaboratively to expand St. Anthony's regional reach. The medical center is actively recruiting physicians and reaching out to area hospitals.
"We'd love to be the referring place for some of these hospitals that are around," Hammer said.
Outside of work, Hammer enjoys hunting and fishing. His primary focus is family, Hammer said, adding that Carroll promises to be a wonderful places to raise children.
"There's not one district or corner or side of town that's the nice-home district," Hammer said. "They are all really nice, clean homes. It just feels like a welcoming, safe town."