Letter to the Editor:
Allan Dragseth recently wrote about the impact of the Altru expansion on
RiverView Healthcare. I believe his letter is accurate and that the Altru
expansion could and will have a negative impact on RiverView.
I would like to go back to 1985 when the Northwestern Clinic was acquired by
Altru. As that acquisition was being negotiated, the Board of Altru met with the
Board of RiverView to discuss the acquisition and made several promises. They
promised that as Specialist Physicians retired or left their practices in
Crookston they would be replaced by doctors practicing in Crookston and using
the hospital. That included OBGYN’s, Urologists, Orthopedic and General
Surgeons. That never happened. Altru would disagree by stating that their
specialists drive to Crookston to see patients. However, those same specialists
then took the patients to Grand Forks when they needed hospital care, rather
than supporting the local hospital. Even under this arrangement, some
specialists were not replaced at all! Altru also promised they would not
compete in Crookston with the Hospital in other areas such as Radiology,
Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology services, etc. All
their promises from those meetings have been broken!
Having services available 24 hours a day 365 days a year is very important to
Crookston and the surrounding area.
I also encourage the local residents to support the hospital services by
requesting referrals to RiverView for the services that are offered locally,
where there are the 24-hour services available when you may need them the most.
Tom Lenertz, retired RiverView CEO
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