Filling out forms from Altru, one dab at a time
Dear Casey Ryan, After I was in the hospital, I got some forms to fill out to give my opinion of Altru Health System. Now as near as I can figure, you are the head person over there. I mean, the buck probably stops with you. It may be rather pres...
Dear Casey Ryan,
After I was in the hospital, I got some forms to fill out to give my opinion of Altru Health System. Now as near as I can figure, you are the head person over there. I mean, the buck probably stops with you.
It may be rather presumptuous of me to be writing to the president of Altru, but then people get sort of presumptuous as they age. So please forgive me if I seem too blunt. You see, Casey, I watched you grow up here in Grand Forks. You were playing a mean game of golf when you were 14, and you were into hockey, too. Didn't you play for Colorado College?
Your dad, Gerry Ryan, was a great Irish potato guy. And your mom, Sanny, is one of the best women who ever walked the streets of Grand Forks. Your parents always told us to order potatoes when we went out to dinner. Your mother-in-law, Arlene Brandt, is very nice. She never says anything mean about you, so you must do things right.
Well, anyway, here's what I think of Altru. I am sorry I can't fill out all those forms because I can't find them.
- The people were mostly Grade A. There might have been a couple of Bs in there. Once in a while, there were rather long delays while waiting at appointment windows in the clinic. And I felt rather intimidated when I was signing in before surgery at 7 a.m.. I especially liked a nurse on the surgery floor by the last name of Whalen. And there was a young intern with short, short black hair. She was positively cool.
- Altru is so handy. I would never want to leave Grand Forks for surgery. Here, I found people who really made me feel that they care. The friends are here around Grand Forks, and they sent cards saying they would pray for me, and you better believe I needed that. And guess what, Casey ... A reader over at Rocklake, N.D., sent me a little angel to wear on my collar.
- Surgeons go beyond the call of duty to be friendly and supportive. I join the chorus in singing praises to the ones I met -- Brad Belluk, Don DeBeltz and Robin Hape.
- Food service. It's great that patients and their visitors can order food and have it delivered in 35 minutes to their rooms. When you are in the hospital, you don't necessarily get hungry at 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. The food was worthy. They have good bread at Altru, and the carrot cake is great. I was just thinking, though, they could do more to make the trays appealing or colorful. And maybe some bright signage or lights would help visitors find the cafeteria in the lower level of the hospital.
Things could be a little more cheery, don't you think?
- Nobody asked, but I'd like to say something about the magazines in some of your waiting rooms at the clinic. They are really old. Some were from last Christmas. I took some newer ones over and left them one day. And by the way, you need to get some of that Hagerty carpet cleaning powder and sprinkle it on the spots in a couple of the examining rooms. It's really good stuff. I think they have it at Home of Economy.
- The waiting room for friends and family of those having surgery is very comfortable. My daughter Gail mentioned how well she was treated at a kind of tense time for her.
With all best wishes and thanks to you and the people of Altru,
P.S. It doesn't seem so many years ago that Darrel Koehler came back to the Herald from the clinic one day and said he had been referred to "that young Dr. Ryan."
P.P.S. Usually on Thursday, I write to my sister Shirley down in Tucson. I will catch up with her. Nowadays, I have to mail the newspaper because she lost her computer when her house burned down. She's doing OK, though. She just bought a smaller house in Tucson Estates.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.