September 1, 2005

Internet Search Lands Benson In Memphis as Hospital’s New DON

What started as an innocent Internet search ultimately landed a northern Minnesota R.N. in Memphis as the new director of nursing at Scotland County Memorial Hospital.

“I was doing some research on mental health and came across an article involving the Missouri Hospital Association. That led me to a link for Memphis and then I found the ad for the job at the hospital’s page,” said Erica Benson. “I sent in an application, came down for an interview and was very excited about the community.”

Benson and her husband have called Minnesota home for the past 10 years. He works as a contractor for railroads and his work takes him across Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas and had the family looking to relocate closer to his work.

The Bensons believe they found a perfect fit in Memphis. Erica said the reputation of the school district was a key in the decision making, as the couple has three sons, one in second grade, one in kindergarten and one four year old.

Their new home offers the family plenty of room to keep several of their horses. They had raised quarter horses and had kept nearly 60 on their farm in northern Minnesota. Three horses have already made the move with the family, which expects to keep approximately 10 head at the new home in Scotland County.

The horse hobby has not kept Erica from pursuing her career. She originally earned an accounting degree in Colorado before going back to school to get her nursing degree. She continued her studies and received a degree in forensic science and went on to become a certified sexual assault investigator.

She put both skills to work, operating with law enforcement officers including the FBI on several investigations.

Benson worked at North County Regional Hospital in Bemidjia, MN, where many of the victims from the infamous Red Lake School shootings were treated.

Erica has enjoyed her work with law enforcement so much she currently is completing a bachelor degree in criminal justice.

In 2004 she was appointed to the Minnesota Mental Health Advisory Committee by the governor where she worked on suicide prevention education in Minnesota and the Dakotas. It was research for this project that landed her in Memphis.

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