Jane Amundon, Sharon, N.D., letter: Altru did the right thing for Grand ForksIt took only one line to assure me that Altru executives made the right decision for their business, their 3,000-plus employees and their community. No business or company in today’s climate can afford to lose $6 million to $9 million by losing the Medicare “single provider” status. They had to protect that status. The community depends on Altru remaining stable and viable.
By: Jane Amundon,
SHARON, N.D. — I’ve been reading three days worth of “news” about Altru Health System’s decision to buy the building the Doctors Hospital had plans to open. Enough. I’m sure Doctors Hospital had the same chance to buy the property as Altru did but chose instead to lease, taking a “toe in the water” approach to new ventures.
I know any health care issue is emotional. The evidence is in all the letters and press attention. Most businesses do not debate their decisions in the newspapers.
It took only one line to assure me that Altru executives made the right decision for their business, their 3,000-plus employees and their community. No business or company in today’s climate can afford to lose $6 million to $9 million by losing the Medicare “single provider” status.
They had to protect that status. The community depends on Altru remaining stable and viable. Those 3,000-plus employees help keep Grand Forks growing, too: They buy or build homes. They spend their earnings on gas, groceries, utilities, insurance, shopping, entertainment and so on like everyone else in Grand Forks and region.
And let’s not forget that the territory Altru draws from also is a big plus for Grand Forks. Each patient and driver or family member who comes into Grand Forks for health care usually does some of these things: They buy gas, buy groceries, buy a few items at local stores.
Then when they’re ready to go home, they usually stop for lunch or supper on the way out of town. Some even will stay the night in a local hotel. Some remain for extended stays if the patient is here for a lengthy treatment.
And all spend money in Grand Forks.
Let’s be thankful Altru was in a strong enough position to make the purchase. By doing so, Altru kept its single-provider status, gained some growing room and can keep flourishing here in Grand Forks.
I work at Altru. Every shift, I watch as the staff, nurses, medics and doctors in my unit give of themselves to do the best for every patient. I watch as they keep up their continuing education requirements and skill validations, adjust to new standards and keep up with a constantly changing patient flow.
Then I watch as a new critical situation gets thrown at them, and they gather strength to use their skills on behalf of the patients, again and again.
They make me proud to be part of the Emergency Room team.
Altru is Herald readers’ neighbors, friends, relatives, customers and community. I hope it can continue to grow, prosper and serve our health care needs.
Amundon is a health unit coordinator in Altru Hospital’s emergency room.