Ruland Honored As PA of the Year

Mountrail County Medical Center’s Abbey Ruland was named the PA of the Year by the North Dakota Academy of Physician Assistants last week. The award was scheduled to be presented at the organization’s Spring Conference but was cancelled due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled for the Fall meeting, but that too has been cancelled.

Cheryl Ulven of Ray, who served on the board as the head of the scholarship and legislative committees, was in Stanley on Wednesday, Aug. 19 to present the award. Abbey serves on the board as a Public Relations person and had volunteered at their last meeting to help judge the three candidates nominated for the award, unaware she herself was one of the nominees.

Nominations are made by a PA’s peers, physicians, clinic staff or hospital staff. The nominations are then reviewed and voted on by the six officers, eleven committee chairs and three national delegates of the NDAPA Board.

To be nominated, they must be a Physician Assistant who works or resides in North Dakota. The nominator may feel the PA deserves recognition because they provide excellent patient care, are well respected by the medical community as well as patients, and/or are considered to be an asset to the community and the PA profession. They might be someone who has been involved in medical education, dedicated to improving public health by involvement in community education in addition to patient education. They may be involved in humanitarian projects, giving of themselves in service to others above and beyond their normal daily responsibilities.

A nearly unanimous selection by the board, Ruland checks all those boxes based on the letter of nomination by Mountrail County Medical Center CEO Steph Everett.

Abbey started with MCMC in 2013. In 2018 she took a hiatus serving the residents of New Town at the Trinity Clinic. Ulven says that Abbey was her replacement in New Town. MCMC set out  to get Ruland back on staff. The letter says that without her, “the void created in our team without her devoted and kindhearted nature was palatable”. With a provider not fulfilling their contract, they reached out and were lucky enough to get her back in the fall of 2019.

She hit the ground running on her return, stepping back in with her patients, sitting as an active member of the medical staff council, taking Emergency Department call, and filling in for Dr. Longmuir in reviewing and accepting patients for the Swing Bed and Nursing Home program. The letter says, “Abbey is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure our patients are getting excellent community based care”.

She has spearheaded the Quality Improvement process in the Rural Health Clinic. She oversees documentation of care for one doctor, two nurse practitioners and two physicians assistants.

The nationwide opioid epidemic is apparent in our local area, including with patients in and around New Town and the TAT reservation. Although the reservation has built up their capability to treat drug and alcohol use disorders with inpatient treatment centers, there was still a large portion of the population that was not able to get treatment or did not know how to seek treatment appropriately. Seeing this gap in care, Ruland undertook the additional responsibility by completing training to offer Medication Assisted Therapy through the clinic. This is the only PCP driven MAT program within 100 miles.

“Abbey is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to serve her patients,” stated Rich  Laksonen, FNP, ENP in the letter. “She’s a pleasure to work with, always willing to lend an ear or a helping hand. Her work ethic, and knowledge of the latest in evidence based care ensure that her patients receive compassionate care close to home, be it through the rural health clinic or emergency department.”

CAH Director and former ER Nurse LaRae Rudolph had this to say. “Abbey has a wide knowledge base and a positive energy and drive in healthcare always going above and beyond using both an individual and/or team effort approach to deliver optimal patient care to whomever is in need.”

Everett said this at the end of the nomination letter. “The bottom line is that Abbey is an esteemed member of our MCMC family and the compassionate community based care we provide here in Stanley is a result of Abbey’s hard work.”

The mission of NDAPA is to promote quality, cost-effective, accessible health care to enhance the health and well-being of the people of North Dakota and to promote the professional and personal development of Physician Assistants.

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

COVID-19 Update July 20th, 2020

20 Jul 2020 News

Through routine testing for our employees, MCHC has identified a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This case is not related to travel or a known positive contact and the employee is currently quarantined at home per ND Department of Health guidelines. This case correlates with an increase in community spread of COVID-19 in Stanley and Mountrail County. We as a Health Center are advising the residents of Mountrail County to follow the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 now more than ever.

We continue to practice strict infection control measures within MBH and MCMC. Our infection control team has performed the necessary contact tracing in house and families have been notified accordingly. We have instituted immediate repeat testing later this week of MBH, Rosen Place and Centennial residents as well as testing of our entire staff to screen for any additional positive cases.

Given the dynamic nature of COVID-19 and with regard to the nationwide plans to re-open/restart, the face to face visitation inside our nursing home and assisted living are on hold again at this time. We will visit these restrictions on a daily basis and will keep family members posted.

Any questions can be answered by calling:

Tanya Giese, RN – MBH DON – 701– 628-2424—Ext. 105

Amy Littlecreek, LPN – MCHC Infection Control – 701-628-2424—Ext. 104

If you feel you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or would like to be tested please call the Reiarson Rural Health clinic at: 701-628-2505.

July MBH/MCMC Board Meeting Agenda Available

17 Jul 2020 News

MOUNTRAIL BETHEL HOME/MOUNTRAIL COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER

AGENDA

Executive Conference Room

Thursday, July 23, 2020

7:00 a.m.

  1. Call to Order – 7:00 a.m.
  • Changes to Agenda
  • Approval of June 25, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

4.   Visitors/Guests

5.    Financialsattached

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

      11.    Executive Session

MBH/MCMC – Quality:  Tanya Giese, MBH DON. Executive session to discuss patient care and quality issues. The discussion will include references to patient health information that is private and confidential under state and federal law including but not limited to: N.D.C.C. § 23-01.3-01, N.D.C.C. § 23-34-02, N.D.C.C. § 44-04-19.2 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

We’re closed to the Public.  To call into the meeting please follow:

Call 1-605-472-5291
Access Code:  889325#

Next Board Meeting Date:   Thursday, August 27, 2020, 7:00 am

Rosen Place and Bethel Chapel Featured

13 Jul 2020 News

Rosen Place on 8th and the new chapel at the Bethel Home were recently featured in an architectural magazine. This article has some astounding pictures and a lot of information on the construction of our new additions. You may view the PDF of this publication here.

Please note that you must have Adobe Acrobat or a similar PDF viewing software installed to view the above link. Alternatively, you may click on the pictures below to read the article.

COVID-19 Update July 6th, 2020

6 Jul 2020 News

As we stated last week, through routine bi-weekly screening, MCHC identified a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this, we tested all of our Centennial Court, Rosen Place on 8th and Mountrail Bethel Home residents last week. Our employees were tested also. All tests completed have come back negative. Repeat testing for everyone will be done again this week.

As we monitor the situation this coming week and work with the State Health Department, plans for our Phase Two Smart Restart will be put into motion again. Families will be contacted once we have all our results in from this next round of testing, which will be completed later on this week. The steps we had previously for our Smart Restart will be the same. A reminder, immediate family members will need to get an updated COVID test completed before they come into the facility.

Any questions can be answered by calling:

Tanya Giese, RN – MBH DON – 701– 628-2424—Ext. 105

Amy Littlecreek, LPN – MCHC Infection Control – 701-628-2424—Ext. 104

Press Release – COVID 19

30 Jun 2020 News

June 30th, 2020

Through routine bi-weekly screening, MCHC has identified a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This staff member had recently returned from a trip out of state, was completely asymptomatic at the time of screening, and is currently quarantined at home per ND Department of Health guidelines.

Our infection control team has performed the necessary contact tracing in house and families have been notified accordingly. We have instituted immediate repeat testing of MBH and Rosen Place residents as well as testing of our entire staff to screen for any additional positive cases.

Given the dynamic nature of COVID-19 and with regard to the nationwide plans to re-open/restart, MCHC has put any plans for face-to-face visitation in our nursing home and assisted living on hold at this time.

Any questions can be answered by calling:

Tanya Giese, RN – MBH DON – 701– 628-2424—Ext. 105
Amy Littlecreek, LPN – MCHC Infection Control – 701-628-2424—Ext. 104

If you feel you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or would like to be tested, please call the Reiarson Rural Health clinic at 628-2505.

Working Together To Fill A Need

17 Jun 2020 News

When the Coronavirus hit North Dakota, schools closed, and businesses closed or altered their business model. Daycares were impacted and many in Stanley chose to close. This created a challenge for staff at Mountrail County Medical Center. A cooperative effort between Ragamuffins Ranch Daycare and the Mountrail County Health Foundation worked to fill that need over the last two months.

MCMC Administrator Steph Everett says that the process started on March 23. She began receiving texts from staff expressing their concerns about what they would do as they faced closing schools and daycares. She said that she reached out to Carol Maurer at Ragamuffins Ranch who opened their arms to the staff’s children.

Everett says that each request was met with a “we’ll figure it out” response that was amazing. As they began the conversations, Everett says they had no idea how many staff members would need daycare. Based on the texts from staff, she knew it would be more than just a few.

As they received the guidelines from the state regarding daycares, working together the daycare was ready to start taking students by the weekend of March 27. Working hand in hand, they were ready for the first children on March 30.

Ragamuffins Ranch Daycare owner Carol Maurer says that working on the Bright and Early curriculum and achieving the Step 3 designation made the process easy. The assessments and training she says that by the blessing of God helped them be prepared to take on the challenges.

She says they were already set up to the new standards and guidelines set up by the state for childcare facilities in response to the Coronavirus. That includes the way they use spaces in the daycare, their sanitizing processes and the separations for age groups they already had in place.

They already were separated to eat in smaller groups and play in smaller groups and different areas. The babies, toddlers and older children already interact in their own groups on a regular basis.

Maurer says that the biggest challenge was to bring in children that didn’t know them or their environment. She says they wanted to make sure that each child felt safe and comfortable during this stressful situation. They wanted them to feel at home and happy, knowing this was a safe place to be.

The children coming into the daycare have moms and dads that work on the frontline during this virus fight. Life can be stressful, and children often pick up on that stress.

The staff put their heads together, even knowing it might not be easy, but knew they could do it and come out for the better. Maurer says they really stepped up to the plate and did a great job.

As they got ready to add new children to their groups, Ragamuffins reached out to their parents. For some, they were already planning on keeping their children home with schools and businesses closing or reducing staff. Others offered to keep theirs home to make room, saying that it was important to take care of first responders’ families. She says she gives credit to those families for giving the okay to use their spots.

With some of their kids not coming because of the virus, Maurer said they missed their kids. It was hard emotionally on everyone, but at the end of the day they came back and grew a whole new family with these new children.

As for helping out staff at the medical center, Maurer says that they knew the needed the help and they were ready to do it. It was amazing to watch, she says, and now as the two months come to a close, they will be missing these children that will be going back to their former providers.

Looking back now, Maurer says that everything was a learning curve with stepping stones at the right time with the right help to set up this difference to succeed. She said, “I do it this way and it works. Sometimes you pray and ask God to show you the way. My heart is put into this and we have invested so much of ourselves.”

Everett says that for the two months Ragamuffin met their needs, they were a lifesaver. Eight families with eleven children were helped during this time. Mountrail County Health Foundation, along with grant funds from the NWND Community Foundation helped cover some of the costs.

While many families will be returning to their previous providers this week as daycares resume operations, a few will be staying at Ragamuffins Ranch enjoying the new relationships they have formed.

Steph Everett says that they just knew at the beginning they had to do something to help their staff. All of this was so new to medical facilities. They had heard about the first stories with coronavirus coming from a nursing home in Washington. The focus became on what if it happened here.

“For medical staff, there is no choice but to be at work. The last thing we wanted was for staff to have to make a hard choice. We needed them here, for Health Centers never shut down. Some of our Staff made shifts from their clinic positions to helping at the nursing home, for they were needed there to ensure our nursing home residents were cared for,” said Everett.  “The partnership with Raggamuffin Ranch allowed us to take one huge stressor off our staff. Especially through this, maneuvering through unchartered territories over the last few month,” Everett said.

The two month partnership between the medical center and Ragamuffin Ranch is just another example of small towns pulling together to help each other through these challenging times. It is also an example of meeting critical needs through collaborative effort.

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

Reopening of Services at the Mountrail County Medical Center

6 May 2020 News

May 4th, 2020

As we all work together to reopen “North Dakota Smart”, we here at the Mountrail County Medical Center want to let the public know how we will be reintroducing our services starting the week of May 4th. Due to the encouragement of Governor Burgum, we as a facility did mass testing of our county, our employees and our residents the week of April 20th. Over 450 tests were completed in 48 hours, with only one new positive emerging from this testing. With these results, we feel confident to slowly reopen our clinic, our outpatient services and bringing our specialists back to Stanley.

Details

Inpatient Services: The providers in the clinic will slowly start working at seeing their normal patient load the week of May 4th. Telemedicine will still be utilized, when seen fit. Respiratory issues and COVID-19 symptoms will still be seen through the ER, along with traditional ER patients. We are doing all COVID testing through the ER also.

Outpatient Services: We will start providing mammograms the week of May 4th. Christine and Nile will be rejoining the physical therapy team, with Heidi. MRI’s will begin to be scheduled again starting May 11th.

Specialists: Dr. Joshi and Dr. Amsbury will start seeing patients again on May 14th. Dr. Williams will start again the following Wednesday, May 20th.

Checking in Process: This will look a bit different for everyone. All patients will still be screened per the CDC COVID-19 guidelines. All clinic patients, outpatients and specialists’ patients will check in through the clinic. When you arrive please call 701-628-2505 and you will be given instructions on how to get registered. Please sit in your vehicle until your appointment time, so we can maintain social distancing. Special arrangements will be made if this is not possible for the patient. We also will require each patient to wear a mask, so please bring one to your appointment.

COVID—19 Screening and Cleaning Process: All technicians, specialists and their staff will follow the same screening protocol the rest of the Mountrail County Health Center staff follow. They will come in door 11 and get their temperature, change into MCHC scrubs and go through the basement to get to the clinic, avoiding the Mountrail Bethel Home. Our cleaning process in the clinic will be expanded and door knobs, desk areas, seating areas and clinic rooms will be sanitized between patients. For any questions, please call the Rural Health Clinic at 701-628-2505

Mountrail County Health Center Drive Through Testing Draws A Crowd

30 Apr 2020 Events, News

Mountrail County Health Center in Stanley hosted a Drive Through COVID-19 testing event on Friday, Apr. 24. Testing started at 10:00 a.m. and ran through 2:00 p.m. although the lineup of vehicles of those waiting to be tested started more than an hour before.

Testing was organized through staging using the Stanley High School parking lot. Those looking to be tested were asked to report to the High School where they were assigned a number to their car. Mountrail County Sheriff Corey Bristol and several of the department officers, Mountrail County Emergency Manager Warren Bogert along with the Highway Patrol were at the school to coordinate that portion of the event.

When told by Health Center staff, they would then send a set number of vehicles down 8th Avenue towards the hospital. Along the way, intersections were being controlled by members of the Stanley Public Works and Stanley Police Department to assure smooth movement of not only those who were waiting to be tested, but also those cars that were just trying to go from one area of the city to another.

At the Health Center, they were met by staff with the information forms prior to testing. They then moved along the driveway area on the east side of the complex for testing. Tests were administered by staff and then brought back into the “command center” where they were documented and packaged for transport to the State Lab for testing.

The Health Center was grateful to all that helped make the testing a success, saying they could not have successfully done this test without coordination and manpower from the Stanley Police Department, Mountrail County Sheriff’s office, Stanley Public Works, and the Highway Patrol. They kept everything moving as smoothly as possible, without clogging up city streets with traffic, and that was no small feat. People participating were in awe of the teamwork as they drove from the staging area and down 8th Avenue to MCHC.

Additional thanks went to Marilyn Gaebe, who provided a delicious lunch for staff and kept them energized for the entire day. They appreciated Estvold Oilfield Services, specifically Jake and Kelsey, for allowing them to use their coolers to safely transport tests from Stanley to Bismarck testing labs and the “best COVID-19 courier in the state” Rodney Essler.

They also expressed their thanks to the community saying, “We would not try to offer these testing services if we did not think that people would show up to be tested, and our community SHOWED UP! It was a steady stream of cars the entire four hours.”

Last but not least, they expressed a personal thank you to the staff of the Mountrail County Health Center. From traffic control, to gathering information from each test subject, to registering each test subject, and properly marking each test to the Providers performing the swabs, and then our lab processing each test from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and to everyone inside the building allowing business to proceed as usual. This was pointed out as teamwork at its ultimate finest.

In the span of a little over 4 hours, the Mountrail County Health Center staff were able to test 189 vehicles, totaling 357 tests that included residents from throughout the county and a few out of county residents. “Thank you to everyone who came to get tested so we can gather more data about how this virus is impacting our community and to start working on getting North Dakota open again,” they said.

The drive through testing helped support Governor Doug Burgum’s goal of increasing testing to start the work on smartly reopening the state.

This testing clinic was a group effort between administration and providers.

Additionally, per direction of the state, the facility is also testing all of their residents and employees starting last week and continuing on Monday.

As of Monday morning, tests completed in Mountrail County had increased from 524 on Friday to 892 on Monday. One new positive was recorded on Monday, up from the cumulative 33 since the first tests administered in the county. That new positive is part of the testing done on Friday and is a case from New Town. Of the 892 tests recorded in the county thus far, 858 have returned negative. Not all of Friday’s test results were included in Monday’s numbers.

This article has been republished by the gracious consent of the Mountrail County Promoter.

Mountrail County Health Center COVID-19 Drive Through Testing

20 Apr 2020 Events, News

April 20th, 2020

RE: Mountrail County Health Center COVID-19 Drive Through Testing

Mountrail County Health Center is committed to providing our community the best care possible during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. We therefore are offering a complimentary “Drive Through” testing event at our facility on Friday, April 24th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  We are strongly encouraging residents of Mountrail County who have not previously had access to  drive-through testing to be screened.

Details

COVID—19 testing will be conducted at door 13 at the back of our building.  Please see the map for further instruction.

Please bring your Photo ID.  MCHC employees will register patients while they wait in line.  Please remain in your vehicle with your window rolled up unless instructed otherwise by MCHC staff.

Testing will be offered on a first come first serve basis.  Please be advised that once you enter the driveway for testing, there IS NOT an area to turn around.  You will need to wait until it is your turn to be tested in order to exit. 

You will have a limited amount of time with the provider conducting this test.  The drive through testing clinic is NOT the time to discuss symptoms or other medical conditions with a doctor.  If you need 1:1 time with a provider, or are experiencing severe respiratory symptoms, please do not use the drive through clinic.  Call the Rural Health Clinic at 701-628-2505 so our nurses can triage you individually and get you the care you need. 

If you have questions about this process, please call 701-628-2424 and ask for Rich Laksonen.

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ATTENTION VISITORS!

April 9th, 2020

As a precautionary measure against Coronavirus, the entire MCHC Campus is closed to visitors.

This includes:  MCMC Hospital, Rosen Place on 8th, Mountrail Bethel Home, and Centennial Court.

If you have questions, or need more information, please call the corresponding department manager.
Our main phone number: (701) 628-2442.

Rosen Place - Lauren at extension 153
Mountrail Bethel Home - Tanya at extension 105
Mountrail County Medical Center (Hospital) - LaRae at extension 189
Mountrail Bethel Home Nurses Station - at extension 124

Thank you for your help in keeping us all safe.

Updates will be posted to this website and our FaceBook page as they become available.