FCHC December 2023 Newsletter

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December 2023 Providing professional care with a personal touch — all day, every day, all year

Local Doctor Earns State & National Awards Dr. Joel J. Johnson receives State and National Recognition in 2023

On March 9th of this year, Dr. Joel J. Johnson answered a phone call that at first he thought was a joke. It was Donna Douglas from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) in Kansas City, Missouri, calling him to congratulate him being named the Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. After sitting down to take the call and realizing this was actually happening, Dr. Johnson humbly and with great appreciation verbally accepted the award. An awards ceremony in San Diego, California, was held in May where Dr. Johnson accepted the distinguished national award from the NRHA, the national membership organization that brings together thousands of members across the country with a mission to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. Then, at the end of March, the Center for Rural Health announced the recipient of the 2023 North Dakota Outstanding Rural Health Provider. The recipient was Dr. Johnson. Those that know him and work alongside him know just how deserving he is of these prestigious state and national awards. The recognitions are truly a testament to the great work Dr. Johnson has done and continues to do for rural health care. Hardworking, compassionate, and dedicated, Dr. Johnson is an asset to the community in so many ways, and we are so thankful for his leadership, contributions, and excellence at First Care Health Center (FCHC) in improving the health of patients, families, and our community. A provider that treats and cares for generations of a family at a time, makes himself available to his patients, treats ear infections in the Clinic and reads EKGs in the Emergency Room, Dr. Johnson encompasses the grit and overall dedication of being a rural health practitioner. As Marcus Dr. Johnson accepted his 2023 national award, Lewis, CEO / Administrator of FCHC mentioned in his letter the Rural Health Practitioner of the Year, on nominating Dr. Johnson for the Rural Health Practitioner of the stage at the NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Year Award, “His commitment to patients, fellow clinicians, Conference in San Diego in May. support staff, and the community is second to none.” SEE NATIONAL AWARD on page 6

Merry Christmas Wishes & Happy New Year Wishes Whether it’s the peacefulness of snow falling on a crisp and clear winter night or stillness of lights on a Christmas tree in the early morning hours, there is something magical that seems to dawn on us during this time of year causing us to reflect and appreciate the things that bring warmth to our hearts, smiles to faces, and strength to us as a community the whole year through. As we reflect on 2023, we are extremely thankful for our supportive community. From Auxiliary events and those intricate handmade dishtowels in the gift case to providing insight as we look to the future and supporting causes that advance medical care in our region, we are thankful for you. Wishing you peace, joy, and very good health for the holiday season and throughout the new year. We appreciate the trust you place in our staff and our clinic and hospital for your health and your family’s care. From all of us at First Care Health Center, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year!

www.firstcarehc.com • Hospital: 701-284-7500 • Clinic: 701-284-7555


CEO Corner - Update from CEO Marcus Lewis As each year comes to a close, we put forth our best effort at reflection. This year is no different. In 2023, we have been quite busy expanding care and services to our community. We are so proud to bring our award winning care delivery to outreach and specialty services, right here in Park River. We are so proud of the individual and organizational accolades achieved, and we thank our staff for their commitment to world class healthcare. In the last year we have provided expansion of services through Primary Care, Surgery, Gastroenterology, Therapy, Behavioral Health, Specialty, Transportation, and many more. Our community has spoken, and we are intentionally listening. As we continue to expand in essential care delivery, we appreciate your patience and understanding with all aspects of our implementation. Although we have much recognition to celebrate, we are excited for the new year, new possibilities, and new opportunities for our patients, staff, and community. We have high aspirations for the upcoming year, and couldn’t be more enthusiastic for the opportunity to care for our region.

None of this would be possible without the trust and support of our dedicated clinicians and staff, generous donors, engaged community, and our loyal patients. From all of us, we wish you a safe, healthy, and joyous holiday season! Aloha,

Marcus R. Lewis

FCHC Welcomes General Surgeon Dr. Michael Bittles First Care Health Center is very excited to welcome Dr. Michael Bittles to our team of exceptional providers! Dr. Bittles is a General Surgeon and began seeing patients for consultations and procedures in November of this year. He is a Board Certified Surgeon and has many years of surgical experience. Dr. Bittles and his wife, Pattie, recently relocated to North Dakota from Indiana. His healthcare career began when he was a paramedic and he continued to serve in this way while continuing his education. His medical school education and surgical training were completed in Indianapolis, followed by his initial eight years of practice which were with a large group in northern Indiana. He then moved to rural Nebraska and worked in a critical access hospital similar to those where he is now practicing in rural northeast North Dakota. In 2019, Dr. Bittles and Pattie moved back to Indiana, where he was then working at a larger hospital prior to the move to North Dakota. Dr. Bittles shared, “I look forward to rekindling my interest in fishing and owning that snowmobile I have always wanted! I am looking forward to returning to a more rural type of practice and meeting new patients and friends in North Dakota.” We are so happy to welcome Dr. Bittles to FCHC and the Park River area! Stay tuned for a Community Meet & Greet with Dr. Bittles in early 2024! To schedule, call 701-284-7500.

Our patients and the community are the reasons why we do what we do!


The Chartis Center for Rural Health announced in November the top performing rural hospitals in the nation. For the third year in a row, FCHC has been recognized with a Performance Leadership Award in Patient Perspective for 2023, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the country. We say “THANK YOU” to our patients and community for letting us provide care for you and your family!

Prost! - Donors Come Together for Harvest Fest FCHC’s 28th annual Harvest Fest event took place on Saturday, September 16th at the American Legion Coliseum in Park River. An Online Auction was also part of this year’s Harvest Fest event, along with an in-person event that included games, a delicious themed meal catered by Jim’s SuperValu and desserts by FCHC’s Dietary Department, chances to win cash prizes donated by Bremer Bank of Grafton, the Premier Sponsor of this year’s event, and an evening of fun. Harvest Fest is a way to bring the community together and raise money for needed medical equipment to enhance patient care at FCHC and the Rural Health Clinic. This year, funds raised helped purchase a new ultrasound machine for the Radiology Department. We are excited to share that the new machine arrived two weeks ago and has been in use, benefiting patients! The new machine adds services for patients and the community and now gives FCHC the ability to complete echocardiograms (ultrasound imaging of the heart) within the facility each day or night. Previously, echocardiograms could only be completed one day a week. Additionally, the new ultrasound machine has updated the obstetric scanning capabilities to 3D/4D, allowing greater detail to be seen and more precise imaging. The 3D/4D obstetrics ultrasound probe can be used to show expecting mothers a more detailed view of their baby’s face. The 3D gynecological probe can assist the Sonographer in showing pathology such as polyps and fibroid within the uterus. This can help the Radiologist make a more accurate diagnosis. Overall, the technology and the detail on the new ultrasound machine is incredible and really helps to obtain a more accurate ultrasound image.

Jen Kadlec and Cheryl Daley beautifully decorated the Coliseum to fit the Oktoberfest theme.

Proceeds of this year’s reverse auction at Harvest Fest are going to help fund the need for a Neptune 3, the only constantly closed waste management system on the market. The Neptune 3 works to protect those working in surgeries and procedures from surgical fluid, smoke, and harmful airborne pathogens to keep everyone in the operating room safe. Overall, at the end of the Harvest Fest event and at closing time of the Online Auction, over $76,000 was raised. It is with a very grateful heart, that FCHC says, “THANK YOU.” From Online Auction bidders and buyers to attendees of the Harvest Fest event at the Coliseum to all of the individuals and organizations that donated items, baskets, and packages for the different auctions, thank you. Thank you also to the people that contributed by sending in donations to support the cause and to all of the volunteers for making Harvest Fest possible. FCHC feels truly blessed by the generous donations and the continued support.

Erin Loewen, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at FCHC, is all smiles with the arrival of the new ultrasound machine.

Dr. Setness Hoefs Begins Outreach Practice at FCHC Dr. Tana Setness Hoefs of Altru Obstetrics & Gynecology is now an outreach provider at FCHC. She began seeing patients in November of this year. Dr. Setness Hoefs has over 25 years of experience in the medical field and was recently awarded the UND Dean’s Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Volunteer Faculty in 2022. She attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD to attain her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biology. Upon completion, she received her medical degree from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and then completed Residency through the University of Minnesota Department of OB/GYN in Minneapolis, MN. Dr, Setness Hoefs makes a monthly visit to FCHC, usually on the third Monday of each month. We are excited to have Dr. Setness Hoefs at FCHC and in Park River! To schedule an appointment with Dr. Setness Hoefs, patients call Altru - 701-780-6900 and request to be seen in Park River.

Scrubs Camp - An Interactive Learning Experience Connecting High School Students to Health Careers in the Community 37 high school students from Park River Area High School spent two days in early December with FCHC out and around Park River learning more about a multitude of different careers in the medical field, including physician's assistant, medical lab scientist, chiropractor, optometrist, radiology technician, nurse, pharmacist, and veterinarian. Highlighting hands-on learning, activities and sessions were interactive and included simulation of mole removal using pork belly, wrapping a dog's leg, practicing injections, identifying eye anatomy, working with phlebotomy arms to draw blood, and more! We could not have done this to this extent without the help of local community partners, including Heartland Eye Care, P.C., Golden Valley Veterinary Clinic, and Back In Motion Chiropractic Clinic, along with collaboration and support from the Center for Rural Health — THANK YOU!!


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 December 5, 2023. IN MEMORY Alberto R. Lopez, Sr. from Grafton Dr ug and Beth Wharam Alfred Lindell from Orville & J udy Aune, J oe & Patty Bata, First United Insurance, Grafton Drug, Garreth & Margery Kavlie, Lois Lundquist, Jeffrey & Loralee Zahradka, and Wayne Udby Allen Ruzicka from Paul & Debby Vorachek Alvin French from Claudia Axvig, J oe & Patty Bata, Lowell & Sonja Bylin, Darryl & Vonda Collette, Neil & Elizabeth Daby, Louise French, Shirley French, Wayne & Gayle Holth, Hamilton & Marian Hurtt, Babara & Merlyn Langton, David & Irene Levang, Larry & Jean Lindgren, Kelly & Shirley Lindquist, Larry & Lila Lynne, Janet Nordby, Charles & Mark Novak, Shelley & Jack Ottem, Nancy Seim, Donald & Susan Shuley, Leroy & Betty Stensland, Maynard & Bonnie Stoa, Pete & Linda Torgerson, Allen & Lisa Tucker, Trudy Wippler, and Joseph & Joan Zahradka Arnold Dvorak from Rodney & Audrey Kadlec, Kristin & J oe Sobolik, and Joann Votava Bertha Hodny from Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Teri Dahl, LuRae Erickson, Michael & Amber Helt, Irene Hodek, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, Marlen McLaughlin, and Charles & Mark Novak bill alkofer from Anna Mae Daley, Dennis & Pat Helt, Michael & Amber Helt, and Tim & Naomi Hurtt Blaine Pederson from Douglas & J anet Leith Blanchard "Sonny" Welch from Anonymous, Tom & Stephani Bertsch, Terri & Galen Bosh, Robert & Billie Brouillard, Teri Dahl, Shirley Dub, Randy & Diana Hahn, Michael & Amber Helt, Tim & Naomi Hurtt, Nancy Jensen, Jerel & Linda Lindgren, Barbara & Brian Marks, Jon & Jeannen McMillan, Gail Melland, Charles & Mark Novak, Tim & Sally Ostenrude, Douglas & Kay Thompson, and Beth Wharam Bruce Bondy from Linda Knudson Bruce Phelps from Anonymous, Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Cor rine & Curtis Berg, John & Audrey Blair, Terril & Elsie Borgeson, Bowl-Mor Lanes, Roberta Charrier, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Teri Dahl, Jim & Karyn Dobmeier, Bonny Dvorak, Janice Englerth, First United Bank, Larry & Lori Gaarder, Randy & Diana Hahn, Michael & Amber Helt, Ruth Jelinek, Roger & Katie Johnson, Wayne & Connie Johnson, Orville & Sheryl Kjelland, Darlene Knutson, Dr. Daniel & Betty Koenig, Kristi Kovarik, Lois Kovarik, Sharon Laaveg, Dave & Laura Langemo, Lois & Gary Mathiason, Tammy & Jason McMillan, George & Faye Moen, Jim & Jean Mosolf, Harold & Charlotte Myrdal, Dwight & Kathy Myrvik, Susan & Francis Peterka, Allison Peterson, John & Carolyn Phelps, Gary & Mary Ramsey, Karen Seboe, and Linda & Roger Seim Carole Stalheim from Paul & Debby Vorachek Clair Kroke from Wanita & Gerald Cost Cledith Carlson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Clem Dub from Paul & Debby Vorachek Clementine O'Toole from Randy & Nicole Dub Cleo Novak from J ohn & Audrey Blair, Terril & Elsie Borgeson, J im & Karyn Dobmeier, and Irene Hodek Cynthia Schiernbeck from Keith & J ulenne Anderson, Wayne & Nancy Bell, Anna Mae Daley, Jim & Karyn Dobmeier, Dennis & Pat Helt, Michael & Amber Helt, Laurie & Kevin Jensen, Roger & Katie Johnson, Steve & Charlotte Johnson, Erna Meberg, Jessica & Travis Rodecker, Dale & Veronica Stark, and Cyril & Mary Suda Cynthia Thompson from Richard & Ruth Clemenson, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, Susan Phelps, Linda & Roger Seim, and Mary & Jack Thompson Daniel Kouba from Dennis & Patty Bina Daniel Young from J oe & Patty Bata, Mar k & Ruth Bennington, Corrine & Curtis Berg, John & Audrey Blair, Eugene & Dianne Bossert, Bowl-Mor Lanes, Jeff & Laura Brodina, Jennifer Carlson, Russ & Candy Carlson, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Anthony & Diane Colacicco, Brad & Elaine Dahl, Cyrilla Demers, Shirley Dub, Patty Eidenschink, Dennis & Pat Helt, Michael & Amber Helt, Tim & Naomi Hurtt, Francis & Bonnie Jelinek, Ruth Jelinek, Damon & Jennifer Johnson, Roger & Katie Johnson, Larry & Patricia Kadlec, Jim & Marlys Kjelland, Linda Knudson, Mike & Shannon Kringstad, Glenn & Lynette Langerud, Waylon & Lana Lietz, John & Karla Lovaasen, Rachel Lundquist, Lois & Gary Mathiason, Marlen McLaughlin, Tammy & Jason McMillan, Luther & Linda Meberg, Gail Melland, Dana & Chuck Midgarden, Gaylin Moe, George & Faye Moen, Brent & Becky Nelson, Susan & Francis Peterka, Linda & Roger Seim, Dean & Leah Skjerven, Ken & Pat Sweeney, Megan & Davis Thompson, Cathy & John Van Dam, Joann Votava, and Val & Rick Walker Darlene Gilbertson from Paul & Debby Vorachek David Johnson from Keith & J ulenne Anderson, Shirley Dub, Bonny Dvorak, Janice Englerth, Randy & Diana Hahn, Betty Hanson, Bob, Penny & Zak Haselmo, Roger & Katie Johnson, Miranda & Tom Lien, Jim & Joan Miller, and Jim & Jean Mosolf Deloris Porter from Duane & J udy Korynta and Paul & Debby Vorachek Dennis Dryburgh from Gar reth & Margery Kavlie Dennis Erickson from Michael & Amber Helt, Linda Knudson, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, and Charles & Mark Novak Donald Brintnell from Gale & Kenneth Beneda and Tr udy Wippler Donald Oppegard from Colleen Anderson, Ron & Kelly Anderson, William & Kristy Dahl, First United Insurance, Michael & Amber Helt, Edward & Elaine Laxdal, Erna Meberg, Michael & Michelle Shereck, Megan & Davis Thompson, and Paul & Debby Vorachek Donnely Bakken from Bonny Dvorak, Roger & Katie Johnson, Tammy & Jason McMillan, Luther & Linda Meberg, Linda & Roger Seim, and Joann Votava Doris Otto from Garreth & Margery Kavlie Edith Drevecky from Gale & Kenneth Beneda and Steve & Charlotte Johnson Edward Bartuska from Craig & Sher ri Sobolik and Kristin & J oe Sobolik Ellen Hurtt from Owen & Ruth Melland Elmer Gronneberg from Gale & Kenneth Beneda and Wanita & Gerald Cost Frances Boulduc from Beth Wharam and J ayse Wharam Frank Henley from Shirley Dub, First United Bank, Tim & Naomi Hurtt, Joel & Steve Johnson, and Gwen & Rory Sobolik


George Hurtt from Colleen & Mark Alphson, Karen Baier, Bradley & Denise Becker, Matt & Kelli Beneda, John & Audrey Blair, Roberta Charrier, Dale & Brenda Collette, Sue Fagerholt, Tom & Leslie Fagerholt, First United Bank, Loren & Val Gullickson, Fred & Dorothy Hall, Greg & Ruth Hall, Kristi & Rodger Hall, David & Teresa Holt, Judy Holt, Leslie & Jane Hurt, Dean & Beverly Hurtt, Debra & Randy Hurtt, Thomas & Carla Hurtt, Rachel & Cody Johansen, Cameron & Jeanie Korynta, Dave & Laura Langemo, Dwight & Shane Larson, Larry & Tami Larson, G.M. Leedahl, Douglas & Janet Leith, Richard Lien, Jerry Lindell, Owen & Ruth Melland, Chris & Jenna Midgarden, Nancy & Edward Miller, Jeanne Monson, Harold & Charlotte Myrdal, Bradley & Bette Nilson, Brenda & Keith Nilson, Tom & Stephanie Nilson, Cindy Olson, Maren & Steve Olson, Kurt & Lori Onstad, Paul Suda Farms, Kari & Guy Phelps, Drs Jon & Laura Raymond, Loretta & David Schmidt, Linda & Roger Seim, Lynelle & Yon Shutt, Kristin & Joe Sobolik, Douglas & Deborah Thompson, Lon & Dana Tisdale, Tom & Deborah Torkelson, Jeff & Tammy Walker, Val & Rick Walker, Deb & Kent Whaley, and Molly & Ken Wiesen Georgia Matejcek from Gale & Kenneth Beneda and Ar lan & J anice Dahlen Glenn Gorder from Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Wanita & Gerald Cost, Sharon Laaveg, and Dean & Leah Skjerven Gloris Gronneberg from Gale and Kenneth Beneda, Wanita and Gerald Cost, Harold Jallo from LuRae Erickson, Gary & J anice McLaughlin, Paul & Debby Vorachek, and Trudy Wippler Harold Olson from J oe & Patty Bata, Dennis & Patty Bina, Wanita & Gerald Cost, Arlan & Janice Dahlen, Monica & Jim Dub, Deb & Bill McKee, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, Marlen McLaughlin, Charles & Mark Novak, and Cheryl Olson Irene Espelien from Dennis & Patty Bina, Bonny Dvorak, Wayne Udby, and Paul & Debby Vorachek Irene Schanilec from J im and Karyn Dobmeier, Linda Knudson, Harold and Charlotte Myrdal, Irene Sellheim from Wanita & Gerald Cost Iver "Junior" Dahl, Jr. from J oyce Ander son, Keith & J ulenne Anderson, Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Corrine & Curtis Berg, John & Audrey Blair, Wanita & Gerald Cost, Teri Dahl, Arlan & Janice Dahlen, Margaret Dub, Monica & Jim Dub, Janice Englerth, Greg & Donna Erovick, John & Wanda Helmowski, Dennis & Pat Helt, Michael & Amber Helt, Hoople Farmers Grain Co., Pam & Albin Jallo, Wayne & Connie Johnson, Dennis & Marlene Kovarik, Douglas & Janet Leith, Jerel & Linda Lindgren, Lois Lundquist, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, Marlen McLaughlin, Dennis & Jackie Melland, Gaylin Moe, Jim & Jean Mosolf, Kenneth & Delores Olson, Susan Phelps, Leon & Diane Schmitz, Karen Seboe, Ernie & Jane Slominski, and Gloria Waechter Jane Cowger from J ohn Cowger Jerome Gerard Cicha from Lor raine Thompson Jerroll Olson from Glenn & Lynette Langer ud and Kristin & J oe Sobolik Jim Iverson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Jim Miller from Glenn & Lynette Langer ud Joan Littlejohn from LuRae Erickson John Janda from Dennis & Pat Helt and Marlen McLaughlin Jon Mielke from Fred & Dorothy Hall and Greg & Ruth Hall Josephine Kelly from Fir st United Bank, Dennis & Beverly Hammer, Michael & Amber Helt, and Kenneth & Delores Olson Joyce Olson from J im & Karyn Dobmeier Joyce Torgerson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Karyn Waslaski from Paul & Debby Vorachek Kathleen Midgarden from Anonymous, Shir ley Dub, and Char les Novak Kathy Lundquist from Lee & Elaine Cudmore Kerry Johnson from Anna Mae Daley Kevin Hoenke from Elizabeth Hoenke Larry Dvorak from Corey & Andrea Anderson, Anna Mae Daley, J im & Karyn Dobmeier, Roger & Katie Johnson, Sharon Laaveg, Kelby & Suellen Lemar, Jim & Jean Mosolf, Charles & Mark Novak, Karen Seboe, Kristin & Joe Sobolik, Ken & Pat Sweeney, Ken & Vicki Sweeney, and Joann Votava Lisa Henry-Swanson from Wanita & Gerald Cost Lisa Montgomery from Ter ril & Elsie Borgeson, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, John & Elaine Hagen, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, Jeanne Monson, and Harold & Charlotte Myrdal Lois Peterson from Luther & Linda Meberg Lorene Larson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Loretta Dvorak from Rodney & Audrey Kadlec Lorna Johnson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Louise Pederson from Harold & Char lotte Myr dal Lydia Kelly from Paul & Debby Vorachek Lynn Hilde from J oe & Patty Bata, Kevin Drevecky, Family of Lynn Hilde, Colleen Kram, and Jeffrey & Loralee Zahradka Lynn Larson from Paul & Debby Vorachek, J ayse Wharam, and Beth Wharam Marco Eklund from Keith & J ulenne Ander son, Cor rine & Curtis Berg, Kurt & Lori Onstad, Tim & Sally Ostenrude, and Dean & Leah Skjerven Margaret Houser from Wayne & Nancy Bell, Ar lan & J anice Dahlen, Anna Mae Daley, and Roger & Katie Johnson Margaret Skjerven from Dean & Leah Skjerven Marion Onstad from Ron & Kelly Anderson, Mar k & Ruth Bennington, Terril & Elsie Borgeson, Gerald & Lisa Byron, Betty Crowder, Ward & Mary Eagleson, Sue Fagerholt, First United Bank, Loren & Val Gullickson, Kristi & Rodger Hall, Debra & Randy Hurtt, Lynda & Lowell Hurtt, Sandra Hurtt, Cynthia Johnson, Sharon Laaveg, Glenn & Lynette Langerud, Dwight & Shane Larson, Richard Lien, Susan & Tony May, Luther & Linda Meberg, Dennis & Jackie Melland, Chris & Jenna Midgarden, Harold & Charlotte Myrdal, Bradley & Bette Nilson, Brenda & Keith Nilson, Doug & Alyson Olson, Maren & Steve Olson, Tim & Sally Ostenrude, Val & Rick Walker, Tobin & Cheryl Welch, and Deb & Kent Whaley Marjory Einarson from J ean Fjeld Mark S. Miller from Wanita & Gerald Cost

Marlene Rosvold from Paul & Debby Vorachek Marlowe Simon from Cor rine & Cur tis Berg, J ohn & Audrey Blair, Jeff & Laura Brodina, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, Jim & Karyn Dobmeier, Sharon Kadlec, Dr. Daniel & Betty Koenig, Luther & Linda Meberg, Judy & Darrell Myrvik, and Susan Phelps Marlys Elke-Stark from Karen Seboe Marlys Miller from Er nie & J ane Slominski Mary Corah - Manhattan, Kansas from Dennis & Pat Helt Mary Jo Olson from Randy & Nicole Dub Maureen Setness from Orville & J udy Aune Melynie Wolfgram from Karen Seboe Mildred Machart from Eugene & Roberta Francis, Sharon Kadlec, Sylvia Madson, Jim & Jean Mosolf, and Louise Novak Morris Vondra from J ohn & Audrey Blair, Irene Hodek, Dr . Daniel & Betty Koenig, Jim & Jean Mosolf, Dean & Leah Skjerven, and Trudy Wippler Myron Jallo from Linda Knudson and Gary & J anice McLaughlin Paulette Bachman from Wanita & Gerald Cost Philip Foss from Paul & Debby Vorachek Randall Viger from Ter ri & Galen Bosh Randy Summers from George & Faye Moen and Paul & Debby Vorachek Raymond Onstad from Gerald & Lisa Byron, Patty Eidenschink, First United Bank, Tim & Naomi Hurtt, Renae Midkiff, Keith & Lanie Onstad, and Susan Phelps Raymond Veum from Val & Rick Walker Rick Reilly from Sharon Laaveg Robert "Bob" Hankey from J ohn Cowger Robert “Spike” Desautel from Steve & Char lotte J ohnson and Dean & Leah Skjerven Robert Lundquist, Jr. from Anonymous, J oe & Patty Bata, Gerald & Lisa Byron, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, Brad & Elaine Dahl, Monica & Jim Dub, June Ellingson, FCHC Radiology Department, Grafton Drug, Bruce & Mary Heggen, Steve & Charlotte Johnson, Dr. Daniel & Betty Koenig, Sharon Laaveg, Lois & Gary Mathiason, Jim & Joan Miller, Charles & Mark Novak, Kenneth & Delores Olson, Kurt & Lori Onstad, Dale & Veronica Stark, Tom & Deborah Torkelson, and Trudy Wippler Robert Miller from Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Terril & Elsie Borgeson, Robert & Billie Brouillard, Roberta Charrier, Wanita & Gerald Cost, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, Arlan & Janice Dahlen, Jim & Karyn Dobmeier, Rodney & Audrey Kadlec, Sharon Kadlec, Linda Knudson, Darlene Knutson, Lois & Gary Mathiason, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, Jim & Jean Mosolf, Charles & Mark Novak, Kaye Novak, and Linda & Roger Seim Rodney Nygard from Beth Wharam and J ayse Wharam Ronald Dahl from Dean & Leah Skjerven Rose Lynne Miller from Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Ter ril & Elsie Borgeson, Wanita & Gerald Cost, Lee & Elaine Cudmore, Arlan & Janice Dahlen, John & Elaine Hagen, Jim & Marlys Kjelland, Gary & Janice McLaughlin, George & Faye Moen, Jeanne Monson, Harold & Charlotte Myrdal, Kaye Novak, and Linda & Roger Seim Rosemarie Myrdal from Gale & Kenneth Beneda, Ron & Rita Beneda, Jim & Karyn Dobmeier, Jean Fjeld, Bruce & Mary Heggen, Michael & Amber Helt, Charles & Mark Novak, and Kenneth & Delores Olson Ross Anderson from Anonymous, J ames & J anice Aasand, Rodney & Judith Alme, Colleen Anderson, Wayne & Nancy Bell, H. Odell & LaVonne Berg, Dennis & Joy Buchholtz, Lawrence & Adele Burianek, Roberta Charrier, Christianson Revocable Trust, Richard & Ruth Clemenson, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Frances Coulthart, Teri Dahl, Glenn & Vonnie Daley, Daniel & Teresa Dusek, Kenny Dusek, Grafton Drug, John & Elaine Hagen, Kirk & Vicki Ham, Randy & Brenda Hanson, Tom & Kristi Heine, Dennis & Pat Helt, Michael & Amber Helt, Brittany & Nathan Jallo, Wayne & Genell Jallo, Rodney & Audrey Kadlec, Stephen & Dena Larson, William & Floris Link, Kristi Longtin, Kimball & Julie Lutovsky, Erna Meberg, Sonia Midgarden, Nash Grain & Trading Co., Lowell Oak, Susan Phelps, Leon & Diane Schmitz, Linda & Roger Seim, Art & June Selseth, Dean & Leah Skjerven, Dustin & Kelsey Slaamod, Karen Snider, Douglas & Kay Thompson, Tom & Deborah Torkelson, and Cathy & John Van Dam Sandra Moe from Keith & J ulenne Anderson, Cor rine & Cur tis Berg, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Teri Dahl, Shirley Dub, Bonny Dvorak, Janice Englerth, First United Bank, Tom & Pam Ford, J. R. Simplot Company Grand Forks Field Department, Duane & Judy Korynta, Dwight & Shane Larson, Leon & Diane Schmitz, and Mary & Jack Thompson Sanford Jallo from Anonymous, Margaret Cain, Ar lan & J anice Dahlen, Lina Eide, Janice Englerth, John & Anna Mae Hankey, Michael & Amber Helt, Kevin & Charlotte Hodny, Lisa Homuth, Tim & Naomi Hurtt, Jason & Christy Jelinek, Wayne & Connie Johnson, Elaine Kelley, Linda Knudson, Darlene Knutson, John & Karla Lovaasen, Kevin & Erma Matejcek, Kevin & Kristi Matejcek, Lois & Gary Mathiason, Judy & Darrell Myrvik, James & Diane Olson, Polar Communications, Linda & Roger Seim, Larry & Janice Sieg, Kristin & Joe Sobolik, Greg Trenda, Mark & Rosemary Veum, and Paul & Debby Vorachek Sharon Nygard from Paul & Debby Vorachek Stephanie Fjestad from Dennis & J ackie Melland, Linda & Roger Seim, and Beth Wharam Susie Beard from Wanita & Gerald Cost Tami White from Paul & Debby Vorachek Thomas Johnson from Cor rine & Curtis Berg, Tamara & Rick Clemetson, Teri Dahl, Anita Johnson, Harold & Charlotte Myrdal, Susan & Francis Peterka, Susan Phelps, and Val & Rick Walker Thomas Scott Denault Townson from Paul & Debby Vorachek Tracy Dietrich from Paul & Debby Vorachek Viola Funseth from Kenneth Funseth William Kenney from Betty Nelson Yvonne Bjorg from Steve & Char lotte J ohnson, Char les & Mar k Novak, and Trudy Wippler IN HONOR In Honor of Dr. Joel Johnson from Ter ry Bur ns, Susan & Francis Peterka, and Carol Rinde Lewis In honor of Ruth Jelinek's Retirement from J ohn Cowger and Kirk & Vicki Ham

Life is short. Work somewhere

Awesome !

First Care Health Center was recently recognized as a Best-in-Class Employer based on r esults for m Gallagher ’s 2023 U.S. Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey. FCHC stood out as an organization committed to employees and a strategic approach to benefits, HR, and compensation. Supporting our workforce builds our overall organizational strength and resilience.

Current Career Opportunities at First Care Health Center Speech Language Pathologist

Full-time, benefited position. A MSLP degree is required. Duties include inpatient and outpatient services.

Charge Nurse *$10,000 sign-on bonus!*

Occupational Therapist

Full-time, benefited position. RN license is required. This position includes competitive wages and Charge Nurse hourly incentive. Tuition assistance / loan repayment options are available.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Hospital RN or LPN *$5,000 sign-on bonus!*

Full-time, benefited position. An OTR/L degree is required. Duties include inpatient and outpatient services. Full-time or part-time, benefited position. Provides in-person, individual therapy in an outpatient clinic setting. Opportunities in care management and population health. Must be licensed in the state of North Dakota.

Full-time or part-time, includes working every third weekend. Benefit-eligible position. Tuition assistance / loan repayment options are available.

Radiologic Technologist *$5,000 sign-on bonus available!*

Full-time or part-time, benefit-eligible position. Work schedule: 12-hour shifts, rotating days/nights, every third weekend, rotating holiday schedule.

Full-time or part-time; benefit-eligible position. Tuition assistance / loan repayment options are available.

Nurses' Aide

To Apply - Complete the online job application found at www.firstcarehc.com/employment-opportunities. If you have any questions, contact Rachel Lundquist at rachel.lundquist@1stcarehc.com or 701-284-4502. First Care Health Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). First Care Health Center is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

Integrated Telehealth Partners - Assisting FCHC ER Nurses & Expanding Behavioral Health Services A new resource located in the Emergency Rooms at FCHC is not exactly visible to the eye yet is having a profound impact. Founded in 2012, Integrated Telehealth Partners (ITP) was created to expand access to behavioral health providers and overcome a shortage of mental health services across the United States. ITP develops and implements sustainable solutions, leveraging the latest technology to help healthcare organizations and their patients connect with an experienced group of psychiatric nurse practitioners, therapists, and social workers. The behavioral health providers deliver real-time care through video and web conferencing tools.

SEE ITP on page 7

Women + Wellness Experience 2023 A Perfect Combination of Population Health Info, Shopping, & Good Company The Women + Wellness Experience 2023 was held on Friday, October 13th at the Park River City Hall. Eventgoers enjoyed tasty appetizers while learning more about women’s health and well-being and shopping from local vendors. Women were also able to schedule for the future or have their 3D mammogram that evening. It was a wonderful evening celebrating women’s health!


FCHC Benefit Golf Tournament In Memory of Dan Young A little golf recap from this past summer... The 2023 FCHC Benefit Golf Tournament ~ In Memory of Dan Young was held on Friday, July 14th at Hillcrest Golf Course in Park River. 26 teams participated in the scramble event, and over $25,000 was raised with proceeds going to support capital improvements around the facility to continue enhancing patient care at FCHC. THANK YOU to everyone for their part in the golf tournament! THANK YOU to the team and hole sponsors, the donors and the golfers, and the volunteers and supporters of FCHC!! The top 3 placing teams were: 1st Place: Altru Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 2nd Place: Grand Forks Welding & Machine 3rd Place: Advanced Business Methods Photo of Park River Volunteer Ambulance Service Team with a photo of Dan Young. Darryl Hell, Cindy Staven, Randy Mastre, Josh Irvine. Dan was a longtime member of the FCHC Benefit Golf Tournament Committee, a member and former president of the Golf Course Board, an avid golfer, and typically golfed in the FCHC Benefit Golf Tournament each year on the Ambulance’s team. Young received the 2020 ND EMS Provider of the Year award and was named a Community Star in 2018 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. An active member of the community and on the Park River Volunteer Ambulance Service and Respiratory Therapist and Purchasing Director at FCHC, he has been greatly missed by all who knew him after his passing this spring.

NATIONAL AWARD: Continued fr om page 1 Dr. Johnson’s role as Medical Director is also instrumental to all medical practice at FCHC. “He always puts patient care first, and his team his held to that same high standard,” commented Lewis . To Dr. Johnson, these two dignified awards are more of a reflection of the work he and his team provide rather than individual accomplishments. “I’m happy for the whole facility,” Dr. Johnson acknowledged.

“He’s very humble - he doesn't like to take credit for anything,” Tammy Clemetson, PA-C at FCHC said. “If he can do something for someone and they don’t know that it was him that did it, he’s happier that way.”

Dr. Johnson accepted his 2023 Outstanding Rural Health Provider award at the Dakota Conference banquet luncheon on June 15th in Bismarck.

“I wouldn’t trade my career for anything,” Dr. Johnson expressed while accepting the NRHA award. He went on to share that rural America deserves high-quality, local medical care. Wrapping up his acceptance speech, Dr. Johnson expressed his appreciation. “I want to thank my family for their support… Everyone that works here at First Care Health Center. I also want to thank my nurses. Their compassion and skillsets are unmatched and allow me to continue to provide the best care I can to patients... Last of all, I want to thank my patients. You keep scheduling appointments, you trust me with your stories and your lives, and we still share a good laugh at Dairy Queen. Thank you.” The Center for Rural Health’s North Dakota Outstanding Rural Health Provider Award is presented to a health care provider in North Dakota who is committed to improving the health of their community and service area. The National Rural Health Association’s National Rural Practitioner of the Year Award recognizes a provider for leadership in bringing health services to rural populations.

C-Arm Purchase Made Possible by Giving Hearts Day Donors—Thank YOU! This past Giving Hearts Day (February 9, 2023) we raised funds for a C-arm machine. With thanks and appreciation to very generous donors, we were able to purchase this machine and now have staff trained to use the instrumental new piece of equipment. At the end of November, the first patient was able to benefit from this advancement! A BIG thank you goes out to the 2023 Giving Hearts Day and Match Fund donors for making this possible!!! The C-arm machine is an advanced medical imaging device that allows FCHC to offer epidural steroid injections for patients to help alleviate pain, especially in backs. During an epidural steroid injection procedure, medication is injected into the epidural space around the spinal cord. The C-arm machine is a form of active x-ray called Fluoro. By using the C-arm machine, the provider can see the procedure, as it is happening, to ensure that the needle is in the right space and will reach the inflamed nerves that they are targeting.


Partnership Begins with Aging brings many joys – more time with family and freedom in retirement – but our older years can also bring difficult life transitions, including the loss of loved ones and stress from age-related health concerns. First Care Health Center’s Senior Life Solutions Program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of individuals, typically 65 and older, experiencing depression or anxiety related to life changes often associated with aging. The program empowers older adults to thrive mentally. Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last a few weeks or months, you may be dealing with something more serious. If you or someone you know has experienced any of the following, this program might be right for you.          

Anxiety Changes in appetite Depression Difficulty sleeping Feelings of sadness or grief lasting more than two weeks Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness Lost a spouse or close family member Loss of energy Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities Recently experienced a traumatic event

Rural hospitals are critical to the success of the health care system in the United States to expand access to care in remote areas. CEOs at the helm of these important community institutions have many responsibilities to make sure their hospitals thrive and succeed. The executives featured on Becker Healthcare’s Rural Hospital CEOs to Know list have taken steps toward ensuring their communities have access to improved health care services. While rural hospitals across the country have faced closure in recent years, these leaders have developed a model for not only surviving, but thriving. Note: This list was developed by Becker’s Healthcare to highlight top executives from rural hospitals across the U.S.

Services offered by First Care Health Center’s Senior Life Solutions Program include a confidential, comprehensive assessment, group, and individual therapy, family therapy, medication education and management, and after-care planning, where we continue to engage and support our participants. Even though this is a group setting, each person is addressed individually based on their unique needs. The program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed therapists, a registered nurse, and other professionals dedicated to the mental health care of the older adults in our community. Jess Johnson, RN is the program director of the FCHC SLS location. She shares, “I am so excited to be part of the Senior Life Solutions program at First Care Health Center in Park River. It is wonderful to know this resource is available for our community, limiting the need to drive long distances to get help. North Dakota’s long cold winters can make our daily stressors worse.” Anyone can make a referral to the program. This includes self, family members, physicians, or other healthcare professionals.

Marcus Lewis Named to Becker Healthcare’s Rural Hospital CEOs to

Congratulations to Marcus Lewis on being named a Rural Hospital CEO to Know in 2023! It is an honor to work alongside him and be a part of the remarkable betterment he is making in rural health and our region. His leadership and support is greatly appreciated. Thank you for guiding and leading us at FCHC! ————————————— Lewis was also on Becker Healthcare’s list for the 67 Rural Hospital CEOs to Watch in 2022.

For more information about the Senior Life Solutions program, call Jess Johnson, Program Director, at 701-284-4569 or email jess.johnson@1stcarehc.com. ITP: continued fr om page 5 Erin Henke, RN and Charge Nurse at FCHC, shares about the impact ITP is making at FCHC. “Although ITP is a relatively new resource in our facility, it has already proven to be an incredibly valuable tool for us to better serve patients experiencing mental health challenges. From a nursing standpoint, the ease of use with this service has been one of the most positive takeaways thus far. With ITP, we can upload a referral directly to a provider. From there, the provider can meet with the patient virtually and can very quickly give us a professional recommendation on the next best step. The ITP team also coordinates all outreach to other facilities if a patient would best benefit from care at a secondary facility that specifically provides in-house mental health services. I feel like it has really expedited the process of getting patients connected with the people and resources they need most, and that feels like a big win.”

First Care Health Center now provides Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. Therapists screen and treat pediatric to geriatric patients with various diagnoses. Call 701-284-4682 to schedule.

Anita, OTR/L

Stephanie, SLP


First Care Health Center Board of Directors Dennis Markusen • Dr. Mark Helgeson • Gale Beneda • Eugene Bossert • Katherine Hall • Kirk Ham Diana Hahn • Ian Myrdal Not Pictured: Patty Dahlen, Dr. Nicholas Beneda, Brenda Nilson

First Care Health Center is honored to provide our communities with professional care with a personal touch — all day, every day, all year. www.firstcarehc.com • Hospital: 701-284-7500 • Clinic: 701-284-7555 Connect with us online — Find First Care Health Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Instagram! 8

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