About Merrick Medical Center
Making Healthy Living Easier to Achieve for Everyone in our Community
Merrick Medical Center and its physician clinic services have embraced a new commitment to health and a vision to deliver an integrated system of health and life services that inspire healthy lives to take root throughout Merrick County and its surrounding communities. Partnering with Bryan Health underscores our commitment to keeping quality health care exactly where it belongs: close to home.
To promote and provide personalized, compassionate, quality health services.
Our vision is to be the leader in patient-centered care, providing exceptional service, quality outcomes and making a measurable improvement in the health and lives of others.
One team, one purpose
Spread a smile, go the extra mile
Live it, own it
Care like crazy
Know the way, show the way
Enjoy the journey
Board of Trustees
Paul Clark, Interim President & CEO
Paul is a partner at the Central City law firm of Clark & Curry, P.C. He has practiced law for more than 16 years and has extensive experience both inside and outside the courtroom. Paul is an Alabama native and graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham. He serves as the City Attorney for Central City and for St. Paul and as Village Attorney for the Village of Palmer. Paul previously served as president of the Litzenberg Health Care Foundation and as a Trustee of Litzenberg Memorial County Hospital.
Raymond Huggett, Board Chairman
Ray served many years in educational leadership with experience in budget development, staff selection and development; grant writing and various other supervisor duties. He is a lifetime member of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and has represented that organization by testifying before the Nebraska State Legislative Education Committee. Additionally, Ray has served on numerous boards at the state level. He has also been active as a school improvement leader, board member of the Nebraska North Central Accreditation Committee and served on more than twenty external school evaluation teams throughout Nebraska.
With this background and a strong attachment to the Central City community and the surrounding area he is honored to serve on the Merrick Medical Center Board to offer assistance in moving forward to providing the highest quality health and wellness care for the area.
Ken Foster, Board Secretary/Treasurer
Ken served as vice president of strategic planning and regional development for Bryan Health and executive director of Heartland Health Alliance for 20 years. After retiring in 2015, he returned to serve as a rural development officer for the Bryan Health rural division in 2016. As rural development officer, Ken’s focus is on helping support rural hospitals by connecting them with resources available from the Heartland Health Alliance and Bryan Health.
Carol Friesen, Trustee
Carol leads the Bryan Health rural division, which includes the Heartland Health Alliance, Bryan Critical Access Hospital (CAH) network, rural consulting services, managed rural hospitals and an owned rural hospital. She is also responsible for physician services including physician recruitment, physician medical education, physician workflow consulting; as well as performance excellence/lean. Carol has an extensive background in health care finance with over 20 years of experience.
In addition to her role at Bryan, Carol is involved in the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). She has served as a board of director for both organizations and is currently the national board chair of HFMA. Carol is the recipient of various high distinction awards including the HFMA Muncie Gold Merit Outstanding Service Award and Founders Medal of Honor Award, among others.
Brian Buhlke, DO, Trustee
Brian K. Buhlke, DO, FAAFP, is the chief of staff at Merrick Medical Center. He has practiced comprehensive rural family medicine for more than 15 years in Central City and the surrounding communities. Dr. Buhlke graduated medical school from Des Moines Medical University (DMU) and was the chief resident in family medicine at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa. Dr. Buhlke serves as medical director of emergency medicine, trauma center and EMS services. Dr. Buhlke has served as the board of directors for the Nebraska Academy of Family Practice and is currently serving as a gubernatorial appointee to the Rural Health Advisory Commission. Dr. Buhlke is excited to be a part of Merrick Medical Center and to impact the health and wellness of our community.