Healthcare / Emergency Services


Palo Alto County Health System

Palo Alto County Health System (PACHS) provides a full continuum of primary health care from health promotion to end of life care for residents of Palo Alto County.  The main entities of PACHS include Palo Alto County Hospital, three medical clinics, long term care services, independent senior living apartments, home care, county ambulance and emergency services.  PACHS is a member of the Mercy Health Network, which offers opportunities for recruitment, training, education and networking.

PACHS is served by five physicians and six mid-level providers.  Over 20 specialists bring their services to PACHS to meet the needs of area residents.  These specialty services include:  Audiology, Cardiology, Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Podiatry, Pulmonology, General Surgery and Urology.


Palo Alto County Hospital and Family Practice Clinics

Palo Alto County Hospital is a modern 25 bed licensed critical access hospital.  The hospital has been located at its present facility since 1965, but has a rich history of caring for the medical needs of residents in various locations dating back to 1921.
The hospital includes a wide range of diagnostic, rehabilitation, and medical care that include inpatient and outpatient surgery, acute and intermediate care (swing bed), therapy services (including Cardiac, Pulmonary, Occupational, and Speech Therapy), Obstetrics, Home Health, Hospice, County Ambulance Services, and Emergency Services.  Family Practice Clinics are located in Emmetsburg, Graettinger and West Bend.


Emergency Medical Services

Working together, Palo Alto County Hospital and the Palo Alto County Ambulance Services provide emergency care for the residents of Palo Alto County. Advanced care ambulance services are located in the towns of Emmetsburg, Graettinger, Ruthven, and West Bend with first-responder units in the towns of Ayrshire and Mallard.  The hospital’s emergency department is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with an on-site physician, nurse and paramedic.


Community Health Services

Community Health Services is conveniently located at Palo Alto County Hospital for coordination of care between hospital, medical clinic, and public health services.  Community Health offers Medicare certified home health services, home care aide/homemaker services, Hospice, and Public Health nursing services.  Whether recovering from an illness or injury, or just needing help with personal care needs to remain independent in their own home, residents of Palo Alto County can find the care they need at Palo Alto County Community Health Services.



PARC Hall is a 22-bed long-term care facility, conveniently attached to Palo Alto County Hospital.  All resident’s rooms are private, with large handicapped accessible bathrooms and extra large closet space.  Each room is large enough to accommodate a bedroom area as well as a comfortable living space for personal items and furniture.  A large bright dining area, activity room, and outdoor patio welcomes residents in the common areas.  An attentive, caring staff knows each patient personally and offers a caring personal touch.


Willow Ridge

Willow Ridge is an independent living apartment complex for seniors.  It has 28 apartments in various one and two bedroom styles.  Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen, although one main meal a day is provided in the spacious common dining area.  Each apartment has handicapped accessible bathrooms, hook-up for washers and dryers, large walk-in closets, and individual heating and cooling.   Cable, utilities, life-line security system and weekly light housekeeping are also included in the monthly rent.  Garage spaces are available for residents on a first come basis along with ample parking available outside.  Common areas include a large activity room, dining room, two fireplace lounges, outdoor patio area, coin operated washers and dryers, and extra storage closets for each resident.  Willow Ridge is attached to PARC Hall, Family Practice Clinic –Emmetsburg, and Palo Alto County Hospital, which offers piece-of-mind knowing that medical care is close by…just down the hall. 



Palo Alto County Health Care Foundation

The Palo Alto County Health Care Foundation was established in 1990 to ensure the future of quality health care in Palo Alto County. The fund, established with the donations of county residents, will be held in perpetuity. Interest earnings will be drawn upon to meet the increasing health care costs essential to keeping quality health care in Palo Alto County.  More information about the Foundation can be found at


Palo Alto County Hospital
3201 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph: 712-852-5500
Family Practice Clinic
Family Practice Clinic - Emmetsburg
3201 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph:  712-852-5555
1-800- 293-2434


Family Practice Clinic - Graettinger
109 W. Robbins
Graettinger, IA 51342
Ph:  712-859-3131


Family Practice Clinic - West Bend
107 West Division
West Bend, IA 50597
Ph: 515-887-7881


Palo Alto County
Community Health Services
3201 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph:  712-852-5519


3201 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph:  712-852-5520


Willow Ridge
3203 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph:  712-852-5480


Palo Alto County
Health Care Foundation
3203 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Ph:  712-852-5418

For more information on Palo Alto Health Clinics at:



Emergency Services
For all Emergencies, dial 9-1-1 and give the operator as much information as possible.
Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Lynn Schultes
2011 11th Street
Emmetsburg, IA  50536
Ph: 712-852-3535
Emergency:  Dial 911
Palo Alto County Emergency Management Agency
Mark Hunefeld, Director
1009 Grand Avenue
Emmetsburg, IA  50536
Ph: 712-852-4997
Palo Alto County Hospital Ambulance Service
Sheryl Darling, Director of Ambulance Services
3201 1st Street
Emmetsburg, IA  50536
Ph:  712-852-5500
Emmetsburg Police Department
Chief Eric Hanson
1009 Grand Avenue
Emmetsburg, IA  50536
Ph:  712-852-2424
Emergency:  Dial 911
Emmetsburg Fire Dept.
Chief Frank Kliegl
1009 Grand Avenue
Emmetsburg, IA  50536
Ph:  712-852-4422
Emergency:  Dial 911

Contact Us

Maureen Elbert,
Executive Director
106 S. Dodge Street
Suite 210
Algona, IA  50511
Ph: 515-295-7979
Fax: 515-295-8873

8:00-5:00 M-Thursday
8:00-2:00 Friday




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