New Faces At MCHC

13 Sep 2023 Events, News

New faces are joining the staff at Mountrail County Health Center, including a new director of nursing and a new nurse practitioner. April Warren started as a new DON on the hospital side last month. A familiar face, Carol Hynek, is now a new nurse practitioner at the facility.

April Warren started on August 21 and brings a wide range of experience to the job. With a doctorate in organizational leadership, she has been an FNP since 2008. She has worked in emergency medicine, mental/behavioral health and psychiatry. She also founded a private practice in Minot, which she operated for seven years before closing the practice in 2020 because of covid.

She was the department chair of the nursing program at MSU and worked as a nurse practitioner with inpatient psychiatry at Trinity Health. She also was an advanced practice provider and behavioral health division lead. She says that she has always had two or three jobs at a time until now.

Coming to MCHC, she says she is passionate about nursing and clinical excellence. She has a love for rural health. A colleague had reached out to her about the open position and asked if she would be willing to consider the job. While she was not looking for a change, she says that she visited with MCHC and made the decision. She said that she loved the people and the facility’s commitment to the community in providing the best healthcare.

Looking at her job, she says that healthcare is a challenge right now, including staffing crises everywhere. That is where she says rural healthcare becomes even more important, sharing the commitment to clinical excellence and providing comprehensive quality care to the residents of Stanley and the surrounding areas.

She and her husband, Chad, live between Minot and Burlington. Chad is a federal contractor on the Minot Air Force Base and retired military. They have two daughters, Emily and Alaina. Both daughters attend UND and the couple have been empty nesters as of August 18.

In her free time, she says she loves to fish and go to the lake. She also loves to visit family in the UP of Michigan, where her husband calls home. Her parents live in Bismarck.

Carol Hynek will be working in the clinic and ER as a nurse practitioner, having started on August 23. She says that she will be working on her schedule as she continues her facility training, but will be seeing patients on a part-time basis in the clinic.

Hynek was an RN for 15 years, having only worked at MCHC as an RN. She has worn many hats over the years, including at the hospital and nursing home. She has been the care coordinator at the nursing home. She has assisted Dr. Williams with podiatry surgeries. She also helped with the cardiac rehab and taught the medication assistance course. When the facility implemented electronic health records, she was the clinical lead.

Hynek decided to go back to school and earned her doctorate degree in nursing practice and family nurse practitioner from the University of Mary, graduating in April of 2023. She says that she always wanted to advance her education to this level and also wanted to come back to Stanley to practice as this is home.

She too looks at the struggle of staffing rural healthcare. She says that her goal is to provide quality care to the rural residents in the community and surrounding area. Advancing her education, she says, is the best way she could do that and serve the people of the community.

Growing up in Kerkhoven, MN, she met her husband, Blair, at NDSU. The couple has lived in Stanley for the past fifteen years. They have five children, Jack, Ben, Jacob, Abe and Ella. Her hobbies include gardening, outdoor activities and traveling, especially to the mountains. They also include chasing after her five children and all of their activities.

Hynek says that she is excited about returning to MCHC. She says it is a great environment with great staff and a positive attitude. She is excited to work with the clinical staff throughout the facility. As a new provider, she is learning from the current providers. She says as she continues to grow and become more confident as a provider, she looks forward to providing high quality, evidence based care to our rural population. “We are always looking to improve the care we give at MCMC”, says Steph Everett. CEO. “I am thrilled to have April and Carol join our team. This allows us to become even stronger in our goal of providing well-rounded, truly amazing Healthcare for Mountrail County and beyond.”

New Therapy Services To Be Offered At MCMC

8 Feb 2023 Events, News

Tara Schaefer-Nygaard is now offering mental health therapy services at the Mountrail County Health Center once a week. Originally from Minot, she has a Master of Social Work and is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her Bachelors in Social Work from Minot State University in 2002 and her masters from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho in 2012.

She says that being a helper is a family thing. She grew up in a large family and her parents always described her as a helper. She began her career in social work working with children and families and says that she knew that she could do more than just casework. She worked in various ways with social work including foster care case management, the home and community based services program, as well as the foster to adoptions programs and infant development.

It was while she was working with infant development that it struck her that she was capable of doing more and needed to do that. Another factor was when they returned to Minot and she had the opportunity to work at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. That, she says, was eye opening.

While there she realized that it was important to be equipped for expanding knowledge, tackling different behavior issues, and fine tuning the skills. As a clinical team member, it sparked her to learn more. She then moved on to working at the Minot Air Force Base.

It was during this time that she became certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. This is an evidence based trauma therapy that helps clients work through not only trauma, but also depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

She describes it as an amazing process to experience with a person. It is transformational for them to come through to the other side of a trauma and those symptoms to not have that power over them any longer. There is, she says, a resonance that will happen when they sense where it is held, blocked or stored, and then see the relief and physical change in the person. It is very powerful, she also says it almost feels selfish to feel rewarded after being a part of this and see them take control over the things that have controlled them.

The decision to go into private practice, she says, came when she decided it was time to be her own boss, choosing to set her own guidelines on how she wanted to work. That transition came in mid-October of last year. She opened New Hope Counseling in November of 2018, seeing a limited number of patients per week, but decided to make the change to full-time.

She says that she recognized the limited number of professionals available and that it was even more challenging and difficult for clients in rural communities. She says that she was able to make the choice to expand to a rural outreach clinic. She reached out to Mountrail County Health Center in Stanley and the process began. Her first day in Stanley was Wednesday, Feb. 1.

She chose Wednesdays as her one day per week because there are fewer holidays in the middle of the week. That means less need to reschedule appointments for clients. The other four days of the week are spent at her office in Minot.

Patients are able to self-refer to her clinic. They can also be referred by their primary care physician, a school, law enforcement or a social worker. Most insurance companies will cover therapy, depending on the patient’s coverage plan.

As therapy becomes more accepted, she says her goal is to help patients focus on their internal resiliency, helping them to build the skills to get through their challenges and difficult times. That includes helping them learn how to help themselves, sit with the discomfort knowing that when it resolves they will be okay so they can move through to the other side.

While she can work with younger children depending on the circumstances, she prefers to work with patients ages ten and up. The majority of her experience is with children ages ten and up, adults and family therapy.

Her love for what she does is apparent, saying that therapists need to love what they do. There can be challenging cases and difficult things to hear, but the best part is seeing patients heal and be part of that journey. She says that it is an honor to walk alongside them and earn that trust. The biggest honor, she says, is to have that trust.

Tara has also just been notified that she has been nominated to be a member of the Western Area Health Education Advisory Board. That board works with area colleges to get North Dakota residents back and into rural areas. She says it is another way she can impact bringing more providers to rural communities.

Tara’s husband, Kurt, is an oil gauger at Kinder-Morgan and a retired Army veteran. Between them, they have five children that all live in North Dakota and they are expecting their first grandchild in July. Kurt is originally from the Watford City area and they met after he retired from the Army and returned to North Dakota.

In their free time, they enjoy camping. They also enjoy spending time with family. Family time is a primary focus for them.

“This has been almost a decade in the making,” says Steph Everett, CEO of the Mountrail County Medical Center. “Janel and I have been working every angle to find mental health providers for our clinic.  It’s a true blessing we can bring Tara in once a week. And there is more to come with this Specialist line in the near future for MCMC!” You can schedule appointments with Tara Schaefer-Nygaard by contacting Mountrail County Health Center at 628-2505.

New Provider Starts at MCMC

27 Jan 2022 Events, News

Another provider has joined the staff at the Mountrail County Medical Center this month in the clinic. Brittany Haugtvedt, FNP started on Monday, Jan. 17. She will be seeing patients Tuesday through Friday at the clinic.

Growing up in Beach, ND, she received her undergraduate degree at the University of Mary and her graduate degree at UND. She worked for five years at the Minot Health Clinic and was a nurse there as well.

She says that she chose to become an FNP because she wanted something better for her family. When she was accepted into the program, she found that it was a way for her to offer a different approach to finding the cause of diseases in her patients and assist them to improve their lives.

She will be working in the clinic seeing family practice patients. She says that her favorite thing is to help patients find the root cause for their illness or disease and help focus on wellness.

She says that her focus will primarily be patients twelve and older, although she looks forward to helping all patients.

She will be bringing different testings and treatments to the table with her practice. That includes advance hormone testing, food sensitivity testing, and gene sight testing which helps find what medicines work best when treating patients with conditions like anxiety and depression. MTHFR testing looks for gene mutations in patients that lead to conditions. She will also be offering advanced stool testing, thyroid management, and male and female bioidentical hormone replacement management as well as 3×4 genetic testing.

In the future, she also hopes to bring PRP, or plasma rich protein, treatments to the practice. PRP is a process of drawing blood from a patient and then spinning it down to pull off the plasma. This has benefits for patients in joint injections to help with cellular regeneration. It is also used for “vampire facials”, a process using micro needling and plasma regeneration. She says that PRP is also beneficial in sports injuries instead of steroids. It helps create regeneration in the body, often allowing it to heal internally and prolong the need for surgery.

She says that she looks forward to offering modern or functional medicine that focusses on the use of supplements, rather than just medication to help patients promote their health and wellness.

In the future, she also hopes to offer sclerotherapy for spider vein treatment for patients. This process helps decrease the appearance or erase those spider veins.

About her move to MCMC, Haugtvedt says that the facility has welcomed her with open arms. The change, she says, will allow her to better her family life by providing her with more family time. While she was not expecting to make the change, she says it all came together and presented her with an opportunity she  was interested in. She wanted more time at home, and even with the time spent on the road, it will even out and be a much better fit for her family.

She also says that she looks forward to meeting new patients and helping them find their inner wellness. She loves what she does. That includes helping patients find the complex answers to change their lives as they deal with illness. Getting to the root problem is important to a positive outcome.

Haugtvedt lives in Burlington with her husband, Chad, who works for BNSF. They have three children ages eleven, ten and nine. Her hobbies include spending time with her family and anything outdoors including hunting, camping and fishing. She enjoys cooking and also repurposing items. She used to have a business called Sweet Repeats that was based on repurposing items, but now she says she does it just for fun.

“We are excited to have Brittany join our family at MCHC. We originally interviewed Brittany for the ER position we had available. We enjoyed her energy and willingness to learn more for that position. So we had to figure out a way to bring her to MCMC! We love the new services she can offer for our clinic,” said Steph Everett, Administrator/CEO/Foundation Director/PR and Marketing Director Mountrail Bethel Home/Mountrail County Medical Center/Mountrail County Health Foundation.

Skittle Skool

Giving Our Youth the Knowledge to Create a Choose for Change towards Their Future Paths

Stanley, ND – The Mountrail County Health Foundation, the Stanley Park District and the Stanley High School teamed up again this year to bring Skittle Skool to all SHS students from
7th to 12th Grade.  The focus this year’s theme was:  Blue Jays Show Up For…Myself, My Family, My Friends, My Future.

 Twenty-one presenters addressed the following thirteen topics through creative and interactive activities and conversation:

✓ Stacy Schaffer from 31:8 Project covering “Sexting – Importance of cell phone use responsibility”
✓ Kris Halvorson from the Stanley Police Department and Hillary Burchett from the Stanley Ambulance Service covering “How and When to call 9-11 for an overdose and the danger of Nar Can usage”
✓ Virginia Dohms from North Central Human Service covering “Healthy Dating Relationships”
✓ Michelle Svangstu from Upper Missouri District Health Unit covering “Long term effects of smoking and chewing and how vapping is not a safe alternative”
✓ Abbey Ruland and Tammie Braaflat from the Mountrail County Medical Center covering “Safe Sex, STD’s, HPV and the importance of the HPV vaccine”
✓ Tara Nardacci and Dr. Longmuir from the Mountrail County Medical Center and Gerald White and his team from the Three Affiliated Tribes Drug Task Force covering “Prescription drug abuse and what it can lead to”
✓ Shelly Kinney from Mountrail County Social Services covering “Drug exposure and its effects”
✓ Terry Goldade from Northland Community Health Center covering “The effects of “screens and screen time” on Mental Health”
✓ Brenna Thompson from Pospishil and Associates covering “Suicide, Cutting and Self Harm”
✓ Bob Hayes from Bob Hayes Addiction Services covering “Alcohol Abuse and Addiction”
✓ Stephanie Nishek from Dakota Natural Health Center covering “Importance of a healthy diet for your developing brain”
✓ Pastor Carter Hill from Prairie Lutheran Parish covering “Being cruel is easy: Bullying Online and Off”Stacy Schaffer from 31:8 Project covering “Sexting – Importance of cell phone use responsibility”
✓ Kris Halvorson from the Stanley Police Department and Hillary Burchett from the Stanley Ambulance Service covering “How and When to call 9-11 for an overdose and the danger of Nar Can usage”
✓ Virginia Dohms from North Central Human Service covering “Healthy Dating Relationships”
✓ Michelle Svangstu from Upper Missouri District Health Unit covering “Long term effects of smoking and chewing and how vapping is not a safe alternative”
✓ Abbey Ruland and Tammie Braaflat from the Mountrail County Medical Center covering “Safe Sex, STD’s, HPV and the importance of the HPV vaccine”
✓ Tara Nardacci and Dr. Longmuir from the Mountrail County Medical Center and Gerald White and his team from the Three Affiliated Tribes Drug Task Force covering “Prescription drug abuse and what it can lead to”
✓ Shelly Kinney from Mountrail County Social Services covering “Drug exposure and its effects”
✓ Terry Goldade from Northland Community Health Center covering “The effects of “screens and screen time” on Mental Health”
✓ Brenna Thompson from Pospishil and Associates covering “Suicide, Cutting and Self Harm”
✓ Bob Hayes from Bob Hayes Addiction Services covering “Alcohol Abuse and Addiction”
✓ Stephanie Nishek from Dakota Natural Health Center covering “Importance of a healthy diet for your developing brain”
✓ Pastor Carter Hill from Prairie Lutheran Parish covering “Being cruel is easy: Bullying Online and Off”Stacy Schaffer from 31:8 Project and BCI Agent, Dr. Analena Lunde from the Victims of Crime division covering the topic of how technology influences the mind and how it effects your mental health and beyond.

✓  Al Schmidt from the Berthold Police Department covering the topic of drugs.

✓  Heather Jenkins from the Domestic Violence  Program NWND covering the topic of Healthy Dating Relationships.

✓  Becky Fladeland from Upper Missouri District Health Unit covering the topic of the long term effects of esmoking and chewing and how vapping is not a safe alternative.

✓ Abbey Ruland and Tammie Braaflat from the Mountrail County Medical Center covering the topic of Abstinence and STI’s.

✓ Chris Pulver and Mike Schott from the ND State Highway Patrol covering the topic of Law and Legalities for Teens.

✓ Alyssa Kreutzfeldt from bar 33 Leadership covering the topic of I Choose.

✓ Brenna Thompson from Crossroads Therapy covering the topic of Self Harm.

✓ Sarah Sorenson covering the topic of Be a Daymaker.

✓ Stephanie Nishek from Dakota Natural Health Center covering the topic of Nutrition for the Brain.

✓ National Guard Members doing a team building segment with the students.  

✓ Andie Roise teaching the students the importance of yoga and meditation.

✓ Brandi Larson covering the topic of Getting Involved In Your Community.

“We are go grateful to all the speakers that took the time to come talk to our Youth,” states Steph Everett, Mountrail County Health Foundation Director.  “Some of these topics are hard to talk about on a regular basis. So bringing in different faces and voices for the students to hear allows them to hear the topic a bit differently.  We hope last Wednesday made an impact on them.”

Gustavson Named Social Worker Of The Year

8 Sep 2021 News

Mountrail Bethel Home’s Kelly Gustavson was named the Social Worker of the Year last week at the Long Term Care Association of North Dakota’s annual convention. Unfortunately, the convention moved to virtual again this year meaning that the planned celebration was not held in person. As a result, the NDLTCA will provide Mountrail Bethel Home with funds to hold a celebration later.

It was a different experience for Gustavson who has usually been a part of the decision making for this honor. The award decision changed recently to have the nominees judged by past winners of the award. Prior to that, the decision was made by the board of Long Term Care Social Workers of North Dakota. Currently, Gustavson holds the position of president of that board.

Any facility in North Dakota is able to nominate their candidate for the award, with an average of five to six nominees per year. Each member of the selection committee then reviews the nominations, scoring each question to create a cumulative score.

A copy of the video made to support Kelly’s nomination can be found at She says that when watching the video, she was so excited to see her deskmate Flo in the pictures, but she also cried when she listened to it. She says that she was glad she was at home when she was watching it.

When describing her job, Gustavson says that a nursing home social worker is often the first person contacted for a referral. They are the first person a resident or their family meet at the facility. She says that her job is to make sure that all rights available to a resident are met, including having the psycho-social care planned correctly. She works as part of the care team to make sure that all needs are met including nursing, activity, dietary and therapy. She is quick to point out that she could not do her job without everyone else in the facility.

Her job is to help families and residents with the transition to nursing home care. That includes making sure they know this is not a “jail”. They can come and go. Even throughout  COVID, they have guidelines in place for residents to be able to leave the facility.

One thing that may set Gustavson apart is her firm belief that it does not matter the time of day, her job is to be there, especially when it comes to answering questions or being there to support them when a resident is ill or dying.

She points out that boundaries are fluid for her. She never wants a family to be worried, which is why she is available after “regular” work hours. She says that she could sit all day with the residents and their families. She says that she wants to be that person that supports them at the worst times when needed.

“My entire heart is in the whole building,” she says. “I cannot imagine doing anything else.”

This past year and a half have been hard for everyone in long-term care.

Throughout the pandemic, the goal has been to provide good care. She didn’t want families to have a hard time seeing their loved ones, even though at times that choice was taken away from them.

As president of the LTCSWND, Gustavson says the board is made up of six regional representatives. The group serves as a voice for long-term care social workers, not only in planning, but also serving as a resource to staff in their regions. When social workers have questions, they provide the answers. Sometimes that includes sending out a request for resources and ideas from other areas.

Having just celebrated their 50th anniversary, the group has changed over the years. They have provided meetings and trainings. Providing that training virtually is  new for this organization as well.

Gustavson says that every nursing home is different and every one is in a different place. The training and CEUs need to be completed even despite a pandemic. In order to keep up with the requirements by the ND Board of Social Work, they are looking for alternatives that include virtual and independent trainings.

The letter of submission from Mountrail Bethel Home read, “It takes a special heart and soul to be a Social Worker. Kind, caring, patient, understanding, helpful, dedicated and selfless are some of the qualities that Kelly was born with. That is why she is a perfect fit for Social Work.

Kelly graduated from the University of Mary in 1991 with her degree in Social and Behavioral Science. In 2000 she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Right out of college, Kelly started working for Williams and Ward County with Home and Community Based Service Programs.

In 2012, Kelly found her calling as the Director of Social Services for the Mountrail Bethel Home, although this wasn’t the first time, she had been at Mountrail Bethel Home. She had actually completed her internship here.

Kelly is always willing to go the extra mile for everyone she works with.

Families are always commenting on how amazing Kelly is to them. Aside from giving the absolute best care to our residents, she is there for the families, day in and day out. Her cellphone is on practically 24/7 and she is available to families whatever the topic is. During this pandemic, she has fielded some tough calls in regard to visits and positive COVID cases.

She has handled them with grace and compassion.

Kelly is an active member of the LTCSWND. She became treasurer when she joined in 2012 and held that position until she was elected as President in 2019.

When Kelly isn’t working, her other hours of the day are dedicated to her family. During the summer days you can find her in her garden, camping at Smishek Lake with family and friends or running her son to all of his activities, rarely finding some time for herself.

Not only is Kelly an amazing advocate for the residents and their families, but she is also an amazing friend and colleague. Her door is always open, the candy jar is always full, and she is always willing to listen, console and be there for staff.”

MCMC Administrator/CEO Stephanie Everett says, “Kelly Gustavson does not know where the off button is for her compassion for our residents inside the Mountrail Bethel Home.  She is the first person they talk to when entering our Nursing Home to the last person they see, for her dedication to the end of life care is beyond anything I have witnessed.  The one area I marvel at with her is her desire to be with our residents at the end of their life. It does not matter where she is; she drops everything, comes in, does the angel prayer with the resident, and is with them and the families as the residents take their last breath. So many families have expressed their gratitude for this simple action.   So, in ending, Kelly Gustavson deserves this reward for her love of every resident is portrayed by her actions and her words daily.”

Deloris Oja named Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer

15 Jun 2021 News

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Deloris Oja of Stanley received the Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer award at the 2021 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health. The award recognizes the contributions made by a community person who has volunteered his/her energy, time, and skill toward the betterment of rural healthcare. The virtual awards presentation was held on June 3, and the program may be watched here, 2021 Awards Program.

Oja has been with the Mountrail Bethel Home for over 30 years, whether as a nurse or volunteer. For the past 12 years she has volunteered as treasurer of the nursing home auxiliary, scrupulously keeping track of auxiliary funds and presenting her reports at auxiliary meetings, which helps to plan future projects.

“Many fundraising efforts are completed by the auxiliary each year, and Deloris is always an active part of them,” said Lynn Patten, credentialing specialist with Mountrail County Health Center and secretary of the Mountrail Bethel Home Auxiliary. “She is one hard-working, reliable, enthusiastic lady who is a great example to the rest of us of what a volunteer can accomplish.”

Along with her involvement with other events hosted by the home, Deloris spearheads the sales of cutlery, which has helped fund many projects for the nursing home over the years. But perhaps her most lasting effect is with nursing home residents. Each Friday Deloris visits the residential ladies for some “hair fixing,” greatly adding to their quality of life. 

About the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health:
The Dakota Conference allows healthcare professionals, educators, and students several days to share their strategies for sustaining healthy North Dakota communities, and offers workshops, keynote speakers, poster presentations, and an awards banquet, during which the awardees are celebrated. The annual event is a joint effort by the North Dakota Rural Health Association; the North Dakota Public Health Association; Altru Health System of Grand Forks; the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines; and the Center for Rural Health.

New Faces In MCMC PT Department

31 Mar 2021 News

A pair of new faces have joined the staff in Mountrail County Medical Center’s Physical Therapy Department this month. Zachary Mravec and Taylor Augustine, recent graduates from Cleveland State University and an engaged couple, have taken traveling positions that will see them in the facility at least through June with an option to extend.

Mravec is originally from Rocky River, Ohio, having started his career as a licensed massage therapist for seven years. He says that he knew he wanted to be a physical therapist and used the career in massage therapy as a way to pay for the schooling.

Augustine is originally from a small town in Colorado, very similar to Stanley. As an undergrad, she focused on dance and was a professional dancer for ten years in Seattle, Wa. When she went to Cleveland for graduate school, the couple met in the same class.

They have chosen to be in Stanley and North Dakota, saying that it allows them the adventure of travel while working as physical therapists. They have a goal to travel for three years or so. It will enable them to see the country and in the end to better settle down with their finances in place and pay for their upcoming wedding. It also fits into the fact that both say they are a bit of a wanderer, liking to travel and try new things. They also look forward to being together in a setting where they can gain a variety of experience working with outpatient and hospital setting.

Their differences in training and background will also bring new skills to the MCMC Physical Therapy Department, something that department head Heidi Nielsen says she is looking forward to. This will benefit not only patients, but also give Nielsen insight into some specialized areas of physical therapy that she can use well into the future.

Taylor’s focus has been on dance rehabilitation and physical therapy. She has done continuing education and courses that have allowed her to specialize in treatment for performing arts. She is on the registry for doctors for dancers and the only provider currently in the state of North Dakota with that designation.

She also has completed level one of three in another niche specialty for pelvic health. This specialty deals with incontinence, pelvic pain, rehab after birth and pelvic floor issues for both men and women. She says that while physicians may see a patient with a pelvic floor dysfunction, pain or otherwise, not many look for the signs that lead to a different approach. That includes finding that patients with low back pain may actually have a pelvic floor issue.

When it comes to the dance rehab and therapy, she says that she can work with dancers of any age from the young child learning to dance, to the professional dancer, and the aging dancer who still dances recreationally. Well versed in all styles of dance, she says that she can treat all dance styles. That includes helping injured dancers with the rehab necessary to return to dance, as well as helping dancers enhance their performance as they train back to the demands of choreography. For the younger dancers, she says that she can do pointe shoe screenings, as well as helping them with training and safety.

Education, she says, begins with adolescent dancers. She has worked with professional dancers in the past, but her goal is to help young dancers prevent injury with education.

Zach’s background and focus deals with vestibular issues. He spent fifteen weeks in a clinic that focused on those issues including diagnosing and developing a plan of care and aftercare for patients who suffer from those dizziness and vertigo issues. The goal, while seeing a patient in therapy, is to provide them with the information to care for  those issues at home as well.

Beyond that, he says that anything neurological or involving the brain piques his interest. That has included helping patients with concussion issues. He also helps patients return to work and with prework testing. Having worked with workers’ comp patients, he was surprised at how motivated people are to get back to work.

Taylor is involved with the American Physical Therapy Association, a professional network that includes conferences and events to further the education of its members. She has also worked in advocacy, spending time at Capital Hill to address issues.

As a pair, they just became National Park members, starting at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota with a mission to see most of the national parks.

They are also looking forward to experiencing life in Stanley, getting to know the residents and the community. Taylor says that she enjoys being back in a small town and the community feeling that comes with that. Stanley, they say, feels cozy, welcoming and friendly. For Taylor, she grew up that way and says that it is nice to be back in the circle.

As for the facility, they say that MCMC provides a great working environment. Everyone is approachable and in it for the right reasons, they want to help people. The approach is different than in a large city facility and feels more like why they wanted to work in healthcare.

Zach hopes that eventually they can also start some planning for nursing home residents. With the challenges that COVID has presented to nursing homes, he says they could maybe start with a small balance or dance course or class to increase activity. He would like to take that onto their plates to promote in the facility.

PT Department Head Heidi Nielsen says that she is thankful that the transition went so smoothly as one set of traveling therapists was leaving, this couple was coming in. Although the licensing stalled, it came through at the perfect time.

The skills that both bring to the table are something that Nielsen looks forward to learning more about.

She says that they see quite a few patients with vestibular issues. During her schooling, she says, they got the gist of how to treat those patients, but she did not have the intensive hands on experiences that Zach had in his clinic rotations. She looks forward to refining her techniques and helping patients find the appropriate after and home care, saying that if they can take those skills to home practice the therapists have done their job.

As for Taylor’s pelvic health training, Nielsen says this is something that needs more light shed on it. People have kept their issues quiet and do not like to talk about it. Trained hands and minds can find a way to improve that, saying that “just because it is frequent does not mean it is normal”.

She looks forward to learning from both of them and refining her skills along the way. “It is exciting for me, too,” she said. “Everyone has a different focus and passion. To get to see and learn from that allows others to grown and help patients more”. For MCMC as a rural clinic in a rural community, Nielsen says that “to be able to cover so many more avenues is something you do not typically see in rural care”.

New Provider Starts at MCMC

30 Dec 2020 News

A new Family Nurse Practitioner is starting at Mountrail County Medical Center in Stanley this month, helping to fill a need at the facility.

Jessica Charon, DNP, FNP-C, is originally from Carrington, graduating from Carrington High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, graduating in 2014. After working as an RN in Glasgow, MT for three years at a critical access hospital, she moved to Bismarck, where she continued her education and worked as an emergency room nurse at St. Alexius. She graduated in April of this year from the University of Mary with her doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) with a focus on family nurse practitioner (FNP).

Choosing MCMC for the next step in her career, Charon says that she has always loved rural health. Growing up in a small town, she says that practicing in a rural setting allows her to practice medicine in a setting she passionate about. While you see a is little bit of everything, patients also become like family to you. When she graduated, she knew she wanted to stay in North Dakota. Visiting Stanley, she says that she really liked the facility. The flexibility of the position, makes this job a great fit for her family.

Charon started at Mountrail County Medical Center a few weeks ago with her hire date of December 1. She is filling a gap for providers by becoming an exclusive emergency room provider. That means that she will be working eight twenty-four hour days per month. She says that with her previous experience she is more comfortable in the role as an emergency provider. She says that she loves coming into work in this setting and the challenge of not knowing what will be coming in the door with each patient. That, she says, keeps you on your toes and makes you learn.

She has signed a three year contract with MCMC and says that she is happy to be there. She points to the working relationships and a great work environment as a breath of fresh air. She credits great upper management on all levels for making that possible. She says that having great management and younger management staff means a more progressive attitude towards health care. Forward thinking and innovative medical care means the facility is doing great things for the community and she looks forward to being part of that.

Signing with MCMC, she says, is giving her the opportunity to fulfill what she sees as her professional long-term goals. She wants to establish a role she can stay in, providing good patient care while becoming more confident in her job. She believes that Stanley is a fantastic place for her to continue her journey. She is looking to certify as an ENP, specializing in emergency care.

Her current schedule does not have set days, but rather it is those eight days per month. That could be split over different times throughout the month, depending on facility needs. She says that living closer to Stanley allows her to split those days up to meet staffing needs for the facility.

Her husband Benjamin works doing fiber installation and property management in Bismarck. The couple has two children, three year old daughter Kinley and four month old son Lincoln. The couple will continue to live in Bismarck for now. In the off time, the family enjoys traveling, being outdoors, camping and hunting. “We are very excited to have Jessica join our MCMC family. The minute we met her we knew she would be the perfect fit to round out our team of Providers. We now are fully staffed with exceptionally qualified and caring Providers for our patients. And we look forward to working together as a team to position ourself and start implementing our vision that will propel MCMC to the next level,” says Steph Everett, MCMC Administrator/CEO/Foundation Director/PR and Marketing Director.

Postponed – MBH/MCMC Nov. 19, 2020 Board Meeting

New Date/Time – December 17th, 2020 7:30 a.m.

Executive Conference Room
Thursday, November 19, 2020 7:00 a.m.

  1. Call to Order – 7:00 a.m.
  2. Changes to Agenda
  3. Approval of October 22, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Visitors/Guests
  5. Financials
  6. Administrator’s Report
  7. Medical Staff – Chief of Staff comments
  8. Foundation Report
  9. Old Business
    • MBH —  Phase III status
    • MBH/MCMC – Strategic Planning
    • MCMC – OR Expansion
  10. New Business
    • MBH/MCMC – Approve Policy and Procedures Manuals:  none
    • MBH/MCMC – Board Members with Terms ending Nov./Dec.:
      MBH – Elda Titus – First Term ends Nov. 2020
      MBH – John Anderson – Second Term ends Nov. 2020
      MCMC – Heath Hetzel – Term ends Dec. 2020
      MCMC – Mike Sorenson – Term ends Dec. 2020

We’re closed to the Public.  To call into the meeting please follow:
Call 1-605-472-5291
Access Code:  889325#

MBH Annual Meeting:  Thursday, November 19, 2020, 6:30 pm               American Lutheran Church, Stanley

Next Board Meeting Date:   Thursday, December 17, 2020, 7:00 am

Upcoming MCMC/MBH Board Meetings
(All dates are tentative, unless marked as confirmed)

December 17, 2020 (confirmed)
January 28, 2021
February 25, 2021
March 25, 2021
April 22, 2021
May 27, 2021
June 24, 2021
July 22, 2021
August 26, 2021
September 23, 2021

Why Should You Mask Up?

23 Oct 2020 News

Mountrail County Medical Center released the following information this week.

With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, not just in our state, but also right here in Mountrail County, many of us are rightfully concerned. Just this week, Mountrail County’s risk designation changed from “moderate” to “high” risk. We have 96 active cases of COVID-19 in our county alone, as of Monday, October 19, 2020. North Dakota and Mountrail County are seeing higher numbers of COVID-19 than at any time during the previous months of the pandemic.

This has many of us anxious and concerned. We are concerned about our own health, the health of our children, our elderly parents and grandparents, our teachers, our healthcare providers, our friends and fellow community members. We worry about our jobs, whether our daycares will get shut down, whether our children will be able to stay in school, whether we will be able to visit our elderly family members. All of these are legitimate concerns.

Unfortunately, as our numbers of COVID-19 rise, these threats to our loved ones, our jobs, our schools, daycares, and communities rise as well. What can we do to help mitigate these risks? The answer is simple… MASKUP Mountrail County.

Coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets that are expelled into the air when we talk, breathe, cough and sneeze. A mask acts as a simple barrier to help prevent these droplets from traveling into the air and onto the people around us. There is growing evidence from both clinical and laboratory studies that demonstrate that masks reduce the spray of these respiratory droplets when worn over the mouth and nose.

When we combine wearing a mask with other simple but effective infection control measures such as frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact, regularly cleaning and disinfecting, and staying home when we are ill, we have the power to DRASTICALLY reduce the risk of transmission COVID-19 and the subsequent consequences to our community. We want our children in school, we want to be able to continue to go to work, we want our parents and grandparents healthy. We as a community have the power to keep each other safe and healthy. It starts with you. #maskupmountrailcounty.

This article is republished with the gracious consent of the Mountrail County Promoter.

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