Rural North Dakota hospitals named among Top 20 in the nation

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News Article

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Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


Grand Forks, N.D. — Three rural critical access hospitals (CAHs) in North Dakota have been named among the twenty highest-ranked CAHs in the nation, as determined by iVantage Health Analytics. The awards were recently announced by the National Rural Health Association.

Carrington Health Center, West River Health Services in Hettinger, and St. Andrew's Health Center in Bottineau were recipients of this honor. The determining factors for the Top Twenty CAHs were based on ten indicators of strength, including quality of care provided, patient outcomes, and financial stability.

St. Andrew's Health Center in Bottineau is a recipient of the Best Practice Award in the category of Quality. "We are very appreciative of this award and proudly accept this honor," said Jodi Atkinson, president. "Our medical providers and employees have a strong goal of providing best practice to all patients. We continually strive to provide high-quality healthcare to residents in our service area."

Carrington Health Center and West River Health Services in Hettinger were recipients of the Top Twenty Critical Access Hospital award. "Our entire staff helped achieve this award. It's a lot of work to make a small critical access hospital successful," said Mariann Doeling, CEO of Carrington Health Center. "We're continually working toward improving patient experiences at our facilities so we will be known as a high quality, safe place to receive healthcare."

Jim Long, CEO of West River Health Services said, "This award means a great deal to our hospital and community. To our community, it is something for which they can be proud as their sons, daughters, parents, friends, and other relatives have had a hand in achieving this. The recognition tells us that our goal to provide urban-level medical care in a rural environment is being achieved."

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, connects resources and knowledge to strengthen the health of people in rural communities. The CRH has longstanding relationships with rural hospitals in North Dakota through several programs that provide technical assistance in many areas, including quality improvement, workforce development, community assessment and planning, funding opportunities, and community engagement.

"This national recognition acknowledges the importance and success of a number of our rural hospitals in our state," said Brad Gibbens, deputy director and assistant professor at the CRH. "These hospitals face significant financial and health workforce pressures, but are still able to provide high quality services to their citizens. It is testimony to the commitment of the administration and staff of these hospitals and the support they receive from their communities. Rural health is all about rural communities and building local capacity."

Established in 1980, the Center for Rural Health is one of the nation's most experienced rural health organizations. It has developed a full complement of programs to assist researchers, educators, policymakers, health care providers and, most importantly, rural residents to address changing rural environments by identifying and researching rural health issues, analyzing health policy, strengthening local capabilities, developing community-based alternatives and advocating for rural concerns.