Mark Ellingson, Grand Forks, letter: Even Altru’s chaplains talk with Mayo colleaguesAltru’s Pastoral Services Department (the chaplains) is in contact with the Mayo Chaplaincy Department to discuss ways we can both improve our spiritual and emotional support for patients. We Altru Chaplains have been both affirmed and challenged to do our work better by partnering with our Mayo colleagues.
By: Mark Ellingson,
GRAND FORKS — I was disappointed when I read the letter from Carrie Tobkin (“What does Altru’s Mayo affiliation mean?” Page D3, July 8).
As an Altru employee, I’m disappointed when someone doesn’t have a good experience. I hope the person/family in question talked to one of Altru’s patient representatives.
The letter also says that “Altru is engaged in a misleading marketing ploy to make people think it has special access to the expertise of Mayo Clinic.”
That statement also is disappointing because it’s not accurate.
I am a chaplain. I have been with families when the doctor has said they will consult with Mayo, and when some doctors have said the patient should be sent on to Mayo. I’ve heard doctors also say they weren’t calling Mayo (it wouldn’t be right to call every time, would it?).
And I’ve heard physicians change their mind about consulting Mayo.
I would never say our doctors — or any doctors — are always right. But they do have access to Mayo. I know it is true. I have seen it. Does anyone think that Mayo Clinic would let Altru use the Mayo name as a “marketing ploy”?
The letter writer, who says Mayo has “excellent care and expertise,” surely can’t believe that.
I know this in another way, too. Altru’s Pastoral Services Department (the chaplains) is in contact with the Mayo Chaplaincy Department to discuss ways we can both improve our spiritual and emotional support for patients. We Altru Chaplains have been both affirmed and challenged to do our work better by partnering with our Mayo colleagues.
Just last week, a Mayo Clinic chaplain sent me an email explaining the best ways to communicate to Mayo chaplains any spiritual needs or concerns of our patients who are sent on to Mayo.
And Altru chaplaincy is not the only department talking to its Mayo counterparts.
Again, everyone at Altru is disappointed when things don’t go well for our patients. But our affiliation with Mayo is no marketing ploy. It’s a partnership that will benefit all of our patients.
Ellingson is an Altru Health System chaplain.