First Care Health Center Newsletter - October 2021

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Providing professional care with a personal touch — all day, every day, all year

Back-to-Back-to-Back First Care Health Center Ranked as a Top Critical Access Hospital Nationwide

First Care Health Center (FCHC) in Park River, ND was recently named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in patient satisfaction for 2021 in the country. The top 20 CAHs, including FCHC, scored best among nearly 1,350 CAHs nationwide as determined by the Chartis Center for Rural Health for patient satisfaction. The rankings were recently announced by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). An awards ceremony was held during NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital Conference in September. The top 20 CAHs have achieved success in overall performance based on a composite rating from eight indices of strength: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge, and financial efficiency. This group was selected from the Chartis Center for Rural Health’s 2021 top 100 CAH list, which was released earlier this year. SEE TOP 20 on page 6

New Heating & Cooling Units Instrumental in Infection Control Negative Pressure Rooms also Added in Spring Project

In May, crews took to the rooftops of First Care Health Center to replace heating and cooling units. The new units are larger and more efficient to make the facility better environmentally-controlled. Additionally, the new units are equipped with ionization to purify the air to help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, making the installation of the new units a must to keep patients, staff, and the community most safe.

The new units use Global Plasma Solution’s (GPS) Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization to perform against particles, pathogens, and volatile organic compounds in the air during the air exchange process. First Care Health Center is one of four hospitals in North Dakota that uses this instrumental technology and the only facility in the northeast North Dakota region. GPS is the first air purification solution to test SARS-CoV-2, achieving a 99.4% reduction of the strain within 30 minutes, ultimately clearing the air of harmful, infectious disease particles more quickly and more efficiently than any other system.

SEE NEW UNITS on page 5 • 701-284-7500 (Hospital) • 701-284-7555 (Clinic)


CEO Corner - Update from CEO Marcus Lewis In difficult times, we find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. Our rural populations show time and again what togetherness and community really means. We are so blessed to have the supportive communities in our region, and we are proud to serve our patients in all capacities of their healthcare needs. We are excited to announce our new services added and expanded over the past year, allowing patients the opportunity to receive their care close to home and in coordination with their primary care team. We are ecstatic to announce our back-to-back-to-back recognition for remaining in the top 1% of hospitals nationwide in patient satisfaction, based directly from patient perspectives. To be recognized once is quite a feat, to continuously repeat is remarkable, and it is a testament to our commitment to the most important part of our organization: the patient. We will continue to strive for excellence in all areas of delivering healthcare, and we will remain the leader in our region. Through both good times and the more challenging ones, we are here for you and your loved ones. We sincerely appreciate your support, loyalty, and trust in us. Aloha,

Marcus R. Lewis CEO/Administrator

Sleep Studies, Chemotherapy, & Immunotherapy Treatments Available at First Care Health Center At First Care Health Center, we strive to keep patients and their families close to home while providing great care. By offering comprehensive outpatient treatments, procedures, and services, we are able to continue to do so. In the Outpatient Expansion of our facility, same-day procedures take place in the operating room with patients having their own, private pre-procedure/recovery room with their own bathroom. This newly-constructed addition also offers the ability to adequately conduct sleep studies in a relaxing separate outpatient area of the building. First Care’s Sleep Study Program is certified by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). The ACHC’s approach to accreditation is designed to facilitate a higher quality of patient care. By achieving ACHC Accreditation, First Care Health Center has demonstrated our commitment to providing the highest-quality service through compliance with national regulations and industry best practices, and we are ready to serve you right here in Park River. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments also take place in the Outpatient Expansion. Shared secure electronic records ensure FCHC has access to your personalized treatment plan from your specialist to assist in your care. Having these outpatient treatments available at FCHC allows patients to have less travel time and less interruptions to their daily lives. If you are receiving chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments and would like to have them administered in Park River, please call 701-284-4566. 2

First Care Health Center’s 26th Annual

Harvest Fest

Online Auction ● In-home Dining Experience ● Virtual Event With the health and safety of our community at the forefront, we have decided to host Harvest Fest 2021 virtually on Thursday, October 28th. Proceeds from Harvest Fest will be used to purchase equipment to benefit patient care at FCHC and the Rural Health Clinic. This year, we are raising funds to purchase an Amsco Washer Disinfector and Amsco Sterilizer. The washer is used to clean the surgical and procedural instruments and the sterilizer is used to sterilize instruments and other equipment so they are ready for surgical, clinic, and hospital procedures. Harvest Fest 2021 will consist of: Cash Prizes & In-home Dining Experience - Cash prizes totaling $500 will be given away by Citizens State Bank with the purchase of a $40 Harvest Fest ticket. An in-home dining experience is available for those that purchase the $40 Harvest Fest Ticket and place an order for a charcuterie tray. Tray delivery is an option for 14 area communities. To place an order, contact Ruth Jelinek, Development Director, at 701-284-4589 or Online Basket/Silent Auction - Items will be available to bid and buy online by using your phone, computer, or tablet device. The online auction begins at 10AM on Thursday, Oct. 21st and closes at 9PM on Thursday, Oct. 28th. Anyone can par ticipate and bid/buy items without pur chase of a Har vest Fest ticket. YouTube Live Virtual Event - The virtual event will take place at 7PM on Thursday, Oct. 28th. To view the event, find FCHC’s YouTube Channel → Search “First Care Health Center” on or click on the YouTube Live event link on the homepage of the auction site - SEE HARVEST FEST on page 7


First Care Health Center strives to keeps patients close to home for their care. Dr. Mirza B. Baig is FCHC’s in-house gastroenterologist. He is a dedicated and compassionate provider that offers consultations and procedures each week at FCHC. Here is some more information about Gastroenterologist Dr. Baig as he is our Featured Specialist in this issue. Medical Specialties — Gastroenterology & Liver Specialist How long have you been a visiting specialty provider at FCHC? I was originally a visiting specialty provider at FCHC beginning in 2006 and then became an in-house provider in June of 2020. When do you see patients for consultations and procedures at FCHC? Tuesdays and Wednesdays of each month Tell us a little about yourself/your career. After graduating from the Dow Medical College in Pakistan with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees, I completed General Medicine and General Surgery Internships followed by an Internal Medicine Residency at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. I then completed fellowships in gastroenterology and hepatology through Chicago Medical School and Harvard Medical School, receiving years of training in these specialties. In my free time, I enjoy relaxing, taking part in the arts, visiting museums, and spending time with my two active teenage children. What do you enjoy most about your career and being a part of FCHC? I enjoy doing procedures and ultimately helping people. The best part of being a part of First Care Health Center is the fantastic staff. The staff are the type of people that people dream of working with. The brand new outpatient expansion area is state-of-the-art and another highlight of being at FCHC. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Baig, please call 701-284-4682.


Memorials & Honorariums Memorials and honorariums can be made in memory or in honor of a loved one. Your gift is important. Gifts to First Care Health Center provide expanded healing ministry to people of the region and improve patient experiences. Your gifts bless the lives of those who are served today and will continue to serve others for generations to come. Thank you! First Care Health Center is grateful for the following memorials and honor gifts received as of August 31, 2021. IN MEMORY Arvid Knutson fr om Keith and J ulenne Anderson, Corrine and Curtis Berg, Robert and Billie Brouillard, Roberta Charrier, Randy and Diana Hahn, Pam and Albin Jallo, Sanford and Mayvis Jallo, Sharon Kadlec, Joe and Debby Karas, Jon and Jeannen McMillan, Janice Meagher, Dennis and Jackie Melland, Robert and Rose Lynne Miller, Susan and Francis Peterka, Ann Pohanka, Karen Seboe, Linda and Roger Seim, Craig and Sherri Sobolik, Dale and Veronica Stark, Ron and Jennifer Thompson, Tim and Jacqi Zikmund Avis Jehlicka fr om Tim and J acqi Zikmund Barbara Dahlen fr om Dr . Daniel and Betty Koenig Bernice Arens fr om Laur ie and Kevin J ensen, Nancy Jensen, Dr. Daniel and Betty Koenig, Lois and Gary Mathiason Carol Monson fr om Randy and Diana Hahn, Dean and Leah Skjerven Dean Petska fr om J ack and Paulette Misialek Debrah Novak fr om Or ville and J udy Aune, Dr. Daniel and Betty Koenig, Lois Kovarik, Lon & Jane Kratochvil, Marlen McLaughlin, George and Faye Moen, Charles Novak, Kaye Novak, Grant and Amy Skibicki Diane McLaughlin fr om Dennis and LuRae Erickson, Linda Knudson, Dr. Daniel and Betty Koenig, Larry and Tami Larson, Jon and Jeannen McMillan, Trudy Wippler Donald Narloch fr om J ack and Paulette Misialek Doreen Dahlgren Drinkard fr om Colleen Kram, JoAnn and Robert Mehring Doris Otto fr om Gar r eth and Mar ger y Kavlie Doris Skavhaug fr om Cher yl and Tim Daley Douglas Carlson fr om Keith and J ulenne Anderson, Ron and Kelly Anderson, Julie and Chris Byron, Darrell & Sherry Carlson, Susan Carlson, Brad and Elaine Dahl, Arlan and Janice Dahlen, John and Elaine Hagen, Steve and Charlotte Johnson, Luther and Linda Meberg, Leonard and Adele Momerak, Val and Rick Walker, Trudy Wippler Douglas Kemp fr om Dennis and J udy Kemp Earl Larson fr om Luther and Linda Meber g

Eunice Evenson fr om Gale and Kenneth Beneda, Julie and Chris Byron Gordon Matejcek fr om Dar lene Knutson Gordon Sondeland fr om Shar on Laaveg Gwynn Harlow fr om J ack and Paulette Misialek Harlan Bowles fr om Shar on Laaveg, Lois and Gary Mathiason, Deb and Bill McKee, Randy and Carol Summers Jane Zidon fr om Tim and J acqi Zikmund, Jeany Clar ke fr om Don Clar ke, Megan and Davis Thompson, Pete & Linda Torgerson, Mike and Linda Whiddon Jimmy Liddle fr om Gay Midgar den Joe Holm fr om J ulie and Chr is Byr on, Kr isti and Rodger Hall, Glenn and Lynette Langerud, Luther and Linda Meberg, Val and Rick Walker Joel Midgarden fr om Randy and Diana Hahn, Kristi and Rodger Hall, Barbara and Brian Marks, Rodney and Gail Melland, Dean and Leah Skjerven, Wes and Sandi Welch Joseph Holm fr om Molly and Ken Wiesen Joyce Iverson fr om Gar y and LeNae Askim, Wayne and Nancy Bell, John and Audrey Blair, Darrell & Sherry Carlson, Brad and Elaine Dahl, Cheryl and Tim Daley, FCHC Dietary Dept, Grafton Drug, Larry and Bonny Dvorak, June Ellingson, Brittany & Nathan Jallo, Nancy Jensen, Dennis and Judy Kemp, Adam and Emily Koenig, Sharon Laaveg, Sylvia Madson, Joni Mastre, Lois and Gary Mathiason, Jon and J eannen McMillan, Jack and Paulette Misialek, Gaylin and Sandy Moe, Judy and Darrell Myrvik, Ann Pohanka, Russ & Linda Ramsey, Linda and Roger Seim, Kristin and Joe Sobolik, Stacy and Leah Staven, Ron and Jennifer Thompson, Karyn Waslaski, Tobin & Cheryl Welch, Jayse and Beth Wharam, Trudy Wippler, Tim and Jacqi Zikmund Karen Schommer fr om Laur ie and Kevin Jensen Larry Maier fr om Shar on Kadlec Lawrence "Buzz" Ward fr om Kelly & Kevin Kroke, Trudy Wippler Louis D Kadlec fr om Dr . Daniel and Betty Koenig Lynda Houser fr om Gale and Kenneth Beneda, Dale and Veronica Stark

Marcell Flicek fr om Er na Meber g, Marcy Arzel fr om Susan and Fr ancis Peter ka Marvin & Lila Mielke fr om J ack and Paulette Misialek Mary Beth Fetsch fr om Dr . Daniel and Betty Koenig Melvin Kristjanson fr om Tr udy Wippler Michael Waechter fr om Ron and Rita Beneda, Richard and Ruth Clemenson, Iver and Teri Dahl, Cheryl and Tim Daley, Lyle and Kathy Jelinek, Terry & Wanita Kadlec, Dr. Daniel and Betty Koenig, Randy and Mary Jo Lewis, Angie Schroeder, Stacy and Leah Staven Paul Ensrude fr om Rober ta Char r ier , Lois and Gary Mathiason, Ann Pohanka Paul Spoonland fr om J oan and Rod Schanilec, Ross & Tracy Spoonland Reva Gregg fr om Dennis and LuRae Er ickson Richard Blackwell fr om J osh and Kir sten Lien Robert Anderson fr om Ross and Colleen Anderson, Ed and Debra Karas, Bill and Joyce Kingsbury, Bob and Sharon Mloch, Cyril and Mary Suda Ron Whaley fr om Mar y Whaley Sandra Novak fr om Ar lan and J anice Dahlen, Dennis and LuRae Erickson, Charles Novak Selma Johnson fr om J oni Mastr e, Kar yn Waslaski Shirley Zahradka fr om J une Ellingson, Dennis and LuRae Erickson, Dennis and Elaine Lovcik, Charles Novak Teri Lynne Larson fr om Bob and Penny Haselmo Thomas Shirek fr om Dennis and LuRae Erickson Thor Thompson fr om Ir ene Hodek Waina Helland fr om Br ad and Elaine Dahl, Laurie and Kevin Jensen, Kelly & Kevin Kroke Wayne Nygard fr om J ack and Paulette Misialek Willard Frovarp fr om Lois and Gar y Mathiason IN HONOR In Honor of Austin Otto' s 96th Bir thday fr om Garreth and Margery Kavlie

New Patient Transport Van Adds Patient Comfort, Safety, and Accessibility


At the end of July, designated staff had training on the operations of the new FCHC transport van. This effectively-designed motor vehicle will safely and comfortably transport wheelchair-bound patients to appointments during their hospital stay if needed. We are happy to add this additional personal touch to best accommodate patients during their stay at First Care Health Center.

Current Career Opportunities Laboratory Technicians (MLT/MLS)

Life is short. Work somewhere

Full-time with benefits. 32 hours per week. Part-time openings available as well. Tuition assistance is available to those who qualify. Sign-on bonus available.

Financial Controller

Full-time, benefited position. Assists with accounting operational functions and compliance.


Hospital Nurse

Full-time, benefited position. Looking to hire an RN, LPN, or Charge Nurse.

If you have any questions, contact Nina Hollingsworth at or 701-284-4580.

Hospital Nurses' Aide

Full-time, benefited position.

To Apply - Complete the online job application found

First Care Health Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). First Care Health Center is an Equal Opportunity Provider.


NEW UNITS: Continued fr om page 1 Reducing the spread of disease with the new GPS system at FCHC Air is cleaned faster and more efficiently The GPS system clears the air of harmful particles faster. These particles include pollutants, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria, and viruses. The needlepoint bipolar ionization that GPS utilizes constantly generates a high concentration of positively and negatively charged ions. These ions travel through the air continuously seeking out and attaching to particles and pathogens, such as coronavirus, MRSA, and E. Coli, making them easier to filter and destroy. As the particles grow, they are removed from the air more rapidly. GPS inactivates pathogens Additionally, positive and negative ions have microbicidal effects on pathogens that ultimately reduces the infectivity of viruses. GPS is safe for indoor air quality and the environment The GPS needlepoint bipolar ionization is ozone-free where as traditional systems produce harmful ozone as a byproduct. Having this piece of mind for patients, staff, visitors, and the community is simply another personal touch of providing the region’s best care. FCHC is honored to incorporate this state-of-the-art technology to deliver clean indoor air that is safe and healthy without producing ozone or other harmful by-products. The late-spring air unit project also included adding the capabilities to adjust five hospital patient rooms to negative pressure if needed. Negative air pressure rooms help prevent airborne diseases, such as tuberculosis, from escaping the room and infecting other people in different areas of the building. If a negative air pressure room is active, when the door is opened, potentially contaminated air or other dangerous particles from inside the room will not flow outside into non-contaminated areas.

The goal with this upgrade was simple — cleaner air = healthier patients, staff, and community.


Fighting COVID-19 is a team effort! First Care Health Center offers COVID-19 services, including vaccinations and testing. Please call 701-284-7555 to schedule an appointment.

TOP 20: Continued fr om page 1 The top 20 CAH best practice recipients have achieved success in one of two key areas of performance: Quality index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across rural-relevant process of care measures. Patient perspective index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across all 10 HCAHPS domains.

“Being a recipient of this Top 20 designation is a testament to the care delivered by our providers and staff every day at First Care Health Center. This patient satisfaction award directly represents the perspectives of patients who have received care from us, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results,” says Marcus Lewis, CEO of FCHC. “The fact that our organization has been recognized with this award two out of the last three years is a wonderful recognition of our patient-centered care, collaboration, and coordination. We live our Mission and Guiding Values at First Care, and we are honored to be the trusted healthcare provider for our region. We are thrilled to celebrate this with our providers, staff, patients, and community, and we will continue to strive for patient care excellence in the future.”

The designation of the Top 20 award highlights the care provided by all departments.

About NRHA The National Rural Health Association is a national nonprofit membership organization with more than 20,000 members. The association’s mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues. NRHA membership consists of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health. About the Chartis Group The Chartis Group provides comprehensive advisory services and analytics to the health care industry. With unparalleled expertise in strategic planning, performance excellence, informatics and technology, and health analytics, Chartis helps leading academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, children's hospitals, and health care service organizations achieve transformative results. For more information, visit Providers and staff wore blue throughout the month of June


13 Reasons It Might Be Time to See a Gastroenterologist A gastroenterologist is a digestive disease specialist and helps treat conditions that affect many different areas of your body. When we think of the human gastrointestinal system, oftentimes many are tempted to limit it to the stomach and intestines. However, gastroenterology examines the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. In addition, there are a variety of different reasons why it may be time to see a gastroenterologist. Dr. Baig is First Care Health Center’s gastroenterologist. He is specialty-trained and is available for consultations, appointments, and procedures right here at First Care Health Center in Park River! Patients are seen in the clinic as well as in the new outpatient expansion which is where procedures take place. Each patient has their own prep and recovery room with their own private bathroom. Seeing a gastroenterologist allows patients to receive optimal care in that specialty. Medical enhancements in the field are also utilized and available at FCHC. These include capsule endoscopies and using Endocuff Vision. Capsule endoscopy helps the doctor see inside your small intestine—an area that isn’t easily reached with a colonoscopy or endoscopy. Endocuff Vision is a device attached to the end of a colonoscope designed to maximize the views during procedures to provide enhanced images and increase the detection of polyps. FCHC is also part of the ScreeND program. This initiative is designed to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in ND to thereby reduce the occurrence and late-state diagnosis of cancer and ultimately to increase the number of lives saved. We are honored to be a part of this life-saving program! To schedule an appointment with FCHC’s Gastroenterologist & Liver Specialist Dr. Baig, call 701-284-4682. If you are experiencing any of the following: You’re age 45 or older

13 Reasons Why it Might Be Time to See A Gastroenterologist You have a family history of colon cancer—Your first colonoscopy should be 10 years before your family member was diagnosed

HARVEST FEST: Continued fr om page 3 How to Register to Bid/Buy Items: You must register to place bids, purchases, or a donation. From your computer, laptop, or table: 1. Visit 2. Click SIGN UP TO BID | ATTEND 3. Enter the required information. 4. Click Create My GiveSmart Account. From your cellphone: 1. Text HarvestFest2021 to 76278. 2. Follow the prompts from the texts you receive, including entering your name and clicking the link that appears afterward.

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Chronic diarrhea Change in bowel habits Rectal bleeding Abdominal/stomach pain Heartburn Indigestion History of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease Trouble swallowing or painful swallowing Epigastric pain Excessive or persistent vomiting Anemia/low hemoglobin

We hope to “see” you at Harvest Fest 2021! How to Bid/Buy Items: 1. Register or Sign In. 2. Click on the “Items” tab at the top of the page. 3. View Items by categor y or sear ch by Item number or name. 4. Click the item of interest ot view the description as well as te current bid or price of item. 5. The system will auto-popul;ate the bid amount based on the set increment for the item. (Choose to bid at the set amount or higher.)

To place an order for a charcuterie tray or to purchase a Harvest Fest ticket to be eligible for cash prizes, contact Ruth Jelinek, Development Director, at 701-284-4589 or


First Care Health Center Board of Directors Michael Helt

Ann Pohanka


Vice Chair

Loretta Monson

Dennis Markusen


Dr. Mark Helgeson Eugene Bossert Harold Myrdal

Patty Dahlen

Dr. Nicholas Beneda

Gale Beneda

Katherine Hall

First Care Health Center is honored to provide our communities with professional care with a personal touch — all day, every day, all year. • 701-284-7500 (Hospital) • 701-284-7555 (Clinic) Follow us online by finding First Care Health Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, & YouTube!

Back-to-Back-to-Back Ranked a Top Critical Access Hospital Nationwide