Letter: Altru Health System prepared to help

Steven Weiser, MD, president of Altru Health System

Thanks for your recent kind words and acknowledgement of the challenging circumstances under which health care employees have been working as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase. (Herald editorial of Wednesday, March 11: “Coronavirus, health care and kind words”)

Those who choose health care as a profession do so out of a sense of responsibility and passion for the well-being of others. We see it as a sacred obligation.

As your community health partner, it’s important to Altru to share the steps we are taking to keep our patients and employees safe and healthy. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health and following all CDC recommendations. A team of experts from many areas of Altru is diligently working to stay on top of the evolving situation and adjust operations as necessary. Additional screening measures are in place at our hospitals and clinics. A 24/7 COVID-19 Screening Hotline, 701-780-6358, has been established for those who are concerned they have symptoms or are at risk.


There are many aspects of COVID-19 that we don’t yet understand, but there are steps that we as community members can take to help keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If soap isn’t available, use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands. Avoid people who are visibly ill. If you’re sick, stay home. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.

These may seem like small steps, but they make a big difference in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

The health and safety of our patients, staff and community remains Altru’s number one priority as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the practices and protocols we have in place, and those we will adopt as the situation changes, I am confident that Altru is well-prepared to serve our community during this challenging time.

Steve Weiser, MD, is president of Altru Health System

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