Saturday, September 15, 2007

A new hospital for Grand Forks

Now comes confirmation that what I reported last month was accurate: the Aurora Hospital is going to be built after all (Herald story).

Plenty of both good and bad things have been said about Grand Forks having a second hospital. In the end, I have to think that there is room in this market for a new hospital and I tend to see this as economic development.

I wish both health care systems a good future. I hope that Altru remains a strong, vibrant health care provider and employer for the community. As for Aurora, I hope that it will provide the second choice that some citizens are seeking and I also hope that it will offer growth and new jobs for Grand Forks. I'm a bit of an optimist, but I see good things in store for both Altru and Aurora.

By the way, I'm still scratching my head over how they're going to build a new hospital on that relatively small lot. How are they ever going to have enough room for a hospital and adequate parking lots? I assume we must be talking about a hospital building that is several floors tall?

65 comments:

river man said...

I'm with you GFG, I hope when this hospital is finally built that both medical communities can thrive side by side, giving patients exceptional service, and employees a great place to work. But part of me is a skeptic and critic, also. I lived in Billings, MT, for a few years in the late 90's, which has two hospital systems. This small city was around 90,000 a the time. They both thrived and expanded, but I know at one time one of the hospitals had to lay off a significant number of people. This was in the late 90's. So it will be interesting to see how things turn out here. I'll be watching with a careful eye, but I hope the best for both hospitals.

Anonymous said...

During the late 90's the balanced budget act was passed which effected medicare funding for many areas of health care. People in health care were laid off nationwide at that time. The county Billings is in now has over 120,000 people in it and both hospitals are a lot larger than Altru. It would be better to compare GF with Minot when it had two hospitals or Bismarck with their two.

Imagine said...

I wish I owned a condo where I could look out my window and see sick people....

dale said...

Depending on whom they're marketing the condos to, nearby access to a health care centre is probably a selling point.

Anonymous said...

RE: small lot. New concept to GF build it up and high. Remember Columbia Towers and now Canad Inn. 20 floors and up is possible. Hope it does well.

Matthew said...

Do you realize that the one winemaking supply shop in this town is out of yeast? Not only that, but they only sell one kind to begin with.

I am not particularly happy right now.

Anonymous said...

At least this will bring jobs other than retail and restaurant ones. And, I have no problem with another hospital but they didn't need the tax abatement.

Anonymous said...

The one winemaking shop didn't even know there were different sized corks...Save some money, order from Northern Brewer in St. Paul. Whenever I've gone to Vintner's Cellar to buy some equipment to make beer/wine at home, the service is horrible once they know I'm not going to "make" my goods there.

j said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Aurora tends to build up. How many stories? I would guess somewhere between 5-10 stories depending on the size of land which doesn't look to be very big.

And doesn't Fargo have a second hospital south of I-94 that is built tall? I kind of see that with Aurora on the south side of town.

Anonymous said...

My guess is they are downsizing, if you read between the non informative statements released by the Aurora spokesperson. The fact that they are already commercializing the property (Shoppes at Aurora) tells me what their mission is. Profit,Profit, Profit.

Anonymous said...

And once again, the Herald map of GF that points out where the new hospital will be built is straight out of the 1970's...why can't they ever get it right on the little stuff?

Matthew said...

Well, part of it's my fault since I didn't check to see if I had yeast before I started this batch.

This time I'm going to wait until Wednesday and go get this generic yeast they sell, but after that I'll probably start ordering supplies from elsewhere.

In other news, the Art and Wine walk was great!

-----
Campus Dakota - For College Students

Anonymous said...

Matt,
check out www.northernbrewer.com

They are very reasonably priced, and have fast shipping.

Anonymous said...

I thought I might still have some Wine Yeast but mine was old sorry. I have had good luck at Vinters. I have been surprised that a lot of things they have been cheaper then ordering. I did need some Malolactic Cultures and they did not seam to know what I was asking for. I would think with Northern Grapes that it would be common up hear. Guess you do not need it for kits though.

GrandForksGuy said...

"And once again, the Herald map of GF that points out where the new hospital will be built is straight out of the 1970's...why can't they ever get it right on the little stuff?"

I agree, Anonymous...yet another outdated map. This one actually appears to be from the early to mid 90s. For that matter, I'm still waiting for them to publish the corrected map of the landfill sites...I don't get a chance to see the paper version of the Herald every day, but I don't believe it has been run yet. It really shouldn't be that hard for the graphic department to make an accurate map of the city.

Anonymous said...

Choice is good. Go Aurora!

Anonymous said...

With a shortage of healthcare workers in the state (and really-in the country), I don't know why people think this will be good for the job market. Check out the Herald today or any Sunday. Meritcare in Fargo, the VA Centers in the region and various other health related endeavors are searching for workers. Hospitals and clinics are constantly upgrading salaries to remain competitive among their peers.

As for choice being good-give it a few years and then let's talk.

Anonymous said...

The shortage of healthcare workers is not just in this region--it's nationwide. That's not something that's going to change anytime soon, so it's basically just a constant.

I'm not saying it's a "good" thing, I'm just saying that is normal for all healthcare facilities just about anywhere in this country. I don't think building the new Aurora hospital will really have an effect on the healthcare shortage in this region, specifically. Between UND and Northland, as well as NDSU, and other schools in ND/MN, healthcare workers such as nurses and therapists are being churned out by the semester. They will all find a job - the question is just where.

Anonymous said...

Nurses and therapists won't go unemployed-there are recruiting incentives in many areas. So it isn't a matter of them finding jobs. It is a problem for clinics and hospitals to just keep staff levels adequate. And you're right-it is a nationwide problem. If new nursing and therapy grads want to live anywhere in the country-they'll have a job.

Jess said...

I am so happy Aurora is building a hospital. I do all my urgent care needs there because it's quick friendly service, no waiting like at Altru. I worked at Altru before and they are a great employer, I loved my job. I do think that they had a monopoly going on though so this will be good for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Each time I have used Altru's Urgent Care Center in the past 5 years or so, I have never waited.

dale said...

I was going to go over to the Aurora urgent care last week (partially to check it out,) but when I called ahead to see if they were open, they noted that I needed my insurance card, which had just mysteriously gone missing.

So I went to Altru instead (which already has all my insurance junk on file,) and didn't wait to be processed into a room, though I waited maybe fifteen minutes to actually see someone. That's been my experience over there for a while, as well. And, truth be told, it's about what I'd expect anywhere. If Aurora is faster, bully for them.

Personally, I'd just as soon go to Aurora, because it's near my house, but unless my GP switches over, I'll likely stick with Altru.

jackson said...

I do not think the shortage of health care employees in GF will be as bad as we are expecting. We have UND and Northland that both have health related fields. A lot of those students do not want to leave the area after graduation - I know because I am one of them and seldom I meet a student that wants to leave.
Also, UND is working on an accelerated nursing program to be released in the near future, which, I think, is going to be very popular, and of course is going to supply our area with even more health care employees.

Anonymous said...

A two-story facility was announced, dashing all of our high-rise hopes. They're certainly not overbuilding, are they?

Anonymous said...

Nothing about Altru is good, nothing..with the exception of a "few" good doctors. Their billing sucks, and Urgent Care Doc's are less than second rate. I have yet to get good service and I have two young children therfore I have been there often. I have had MANY misdiagnosis and my children have had to suffer until they went to see their primary, (sometimes weeks later). I have been to Aurora and absolutely LOVE it. The doctors are great, you don't have to wait and they know what the hell they are doing. Best of all, the billing is understandable so I don't feel as if I am being overcharged, recharged, and charged again for the same service. Does ANYONE understand the billing at Altru?

Anonymous said...

A two story hospital is all we're going to get. You need to remember - the Aurora is a FOR PROFIT hospital. They do not have to serve the needs of the community like Altru does. Expect more of a "boutique" hospital - the more high-profit services will be offered and done well (Urgent care for well-insured customers), but the primary care low profit services will be missing. Are they too small? Who cares? They've got Altru to take the leftovers. Choice is good - but this is a bad deal for Grand Forks.

Anonymous said...

Come on, it's fun getting two different bills (one for clinic services, one for hospital services) everytime I have some sort of procedure, etc. performed at Altru. They have only been merged for 10 years, give them some time to get it figured out!

Anonymous said...

I come from a metropolitan area with SEVEN (yep, 7) full-service hospitals in the city/very close suburbs, with 2 more in the southern suburbs that I'm not even counting. This also doesn't count the 3 free-standing women's hospitals/birthing centers in the city.

The city isn't even that large, relatively. It's bigger than Fargo, yes, but certainly not as big as the Twin Cities area. I also realize that having that many hospitals in one city is an anomaly - for instance, the Detroit metro area only has two major hospitals, and Detroit is much larger.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there IS room for more than one healthcare center, even in the medium-sized market of Grand Forks. The way I see it, Aurora can fill in the gaps where Altru is lacking, and perhaps that is what they aim to do.

As a female thinking about having children one of these days soon, i don't like not having a choice about where I go to birth my child. I'm used to being able to choose a hospital based on its birth center amenities, rather than it being the only location within 75 miles. Maybe (or maybe not) Aurora will offer a more upscale birthing experience...we will see. For those of us with insurance, we should be able to have a choice, yes?

I would also appreciate being able to visit my physician (either primary care or specialist) in a more upscale environment (quiet, nice furniture, calming lighting). The current setup at the Altru Clinic falls far short of that wish. It's not comfortable, and often crowded during "peak" times.

I don't mean to sound like a snob, but I was just shocked when I moved to Grand Forks and found I did not have a choice when it came to healthcare.

ec99 said...

"As a female thinking about having children one of these days soon, i don't like not having a choice about where I go to birth my child."

You know our mayor is an OB/GYN. Be careful he doesn't charge property tax on your child.

Anonymous said...

Looking for an "upscale" place to deliver your child? How incredibly naive! I prefer quality and safety over nice furniture and lighting. Birthing is a beautiful experience in itself. Your safety and that of your child should be your concern. To each their own.

Anonymous said...

Come on folks, the healthcare here is great. Even the dentists will throw in a free breast exam.

Didn't the Altru CEO testify in support of that dentist?

Anonymous said...

The Altru monopoly's been 'round for too long. Time to give the new guys a chance and let them sink or swim on their own merit.

Anonymous said...

"Looking for an "upscale" place to deliver your child? How incredibly naive! I prefer quality and safety over nice furniture and lighting."

D'oh!! I doubt the blogger would want to sacrafice safety either. Safety and a pleasant experience are NOT mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Dangit, I thought I posted a long response to that (I was the person who wanted a pleasant/upscale hospital environment above), but I guess I only previewed the post!

What I was going to say is basically what the person just above me said. Assuming both Aurora and Altru are JCAHO-accredited, they are as reasonably "safe" as a patient can expect. It *would* be nice to have a choice, and for that second choice to provide a calming, clean, comfortable, and "posh" hospital environment (not just for birthing, but for all services).

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard rumors that the existing privately owned Psychiatric hospital on the Aurora property was having some issues with JCAHO, and were also reprimanded by Medicare for "care related" violations in the past.

If they have issues with their existing psych hospital, can you realistically expect them not to have issues with their brand-spanking new one?

You'll want to do your research before having said baby.

Anonymous said...

Wow an anonymous post who says they "think" they heard "rumors" that there were problems. There's some pretty clear evidence there. Nice try CEO of Altru!

Anonymous said...

Your quite welcome-Dr Peterson!

Anonymous said...

I actually checked JCAHO website www.jointcommission.org and found out Mr Anonymous failed to mention that Altru's Open Heart Surgery is rated below average. Did not find anything about Aurora/Stadter "rumors" on the website.

Anonymous said...

Would you consider having open heart surgery at Altru when Mayo is so close?

Anonymous said...

You won't find "rumors" at the JCAHO website because Aurora isn't a hospital-yet. Stadter Center is not listed as a JCAHO facility. It was the ND State Health Department that sanctioned Stadter Center for safety and patient care violations. I don't know if their website shares those details but it should be public knowledge. It was for the GF Herald.

Anonymous said...

That's right...Aurora is not a hospital yet. Therefore, we shouldn't be speculating on their patient care standards and ability (or inability) to be JCAHO-accredited.

I, for one, am just happy that the citizens of Grand Forks will finally have a choice when it comes to healthcare, even if Aurora will not offer every service. A little competition is usually good for the market, as it forces prices to be competitive. If Aurora does turn out to offer a better patient environment overall, it may force Altru into upping their own standards and offerings to provide a nicer facility.

Anonymous said...

I would go to Mayo or Meritcare if I am to have Open Heart Surgery.

Anonymous said...

Same person writing here? Since when is open heart surgery capitalized?

Anonymous said...

I actually checked JCAHO website www.jointcommission.org and found out Mr Anonymous failed to mention that Altru's Open Heart Surgery is rated below average. Did not find anything about Aurora/Stadter
"rumors" on the website.

Altru just got rid of one of their open heart docs (don't know if he was fired or left).

As for the Stadter Center I know they are very expensive so wouldn't the new hospital be expensive too. I know someone who stayed at the Stadter for 9 days-- for observation only -- and the bill was $19,000!

Anonymous said...

If you review JCAHO records (under quality) you will find a more detailed report for regional hospitals (quality report). Also, one can look up information on Healthgrades. There are free reports for hospitals and nursing homes. Altru scored higher scores than Fargo hospitals in several areas. So if anonymous above wishes to be more informative and open, they would invite you to look at these sites.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that the "open heart dr" was indeed fired due to going to the higher ups and stating some unethical things that the other Doctors were doing and they asked him to either resign or be fired. Looks like Altru is trying to hide something again!!!!

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS..........................
who really cares that someone spelled open heart in all caps, is that all you do is go around and question or check others spelling??? Hopefully you don't make any mistakes

Anonymous said...

My point was...the same person must be posting because "Open Heart Surgery" was used in two different places on this thread. There is no misspelling, just unusual capitalization. Pay attention, dear or I'll make you sit up front.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! My Chest Hurts! I Think I Need Open Heart Surgery!...Dude, I Ain't Goin To Altru.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe a blog is a place to put rude comments about others now is it??? Go to the first blog and put down your age and please start acting like it...

Anonymous said...

I worked at Altru, and it is the worst enviroment for anyone. They talk badly about employees, employees look in patents personal files and can find out anything about you, worse yet, they tell other employees what they have found out about you. If you had an STD, saw a therapyst...etc..They can and do access doctor reports. It's was absolutely sickining...which is why I left. When they found out the Dr. Trottier was leaving Altru, they changed his locks, fired his nurse, fired his wife, and he wasn't even ready to leave yet.
It's no wonder that the GOOD doctors have left Altru, I am sure more will follow.

Anonymous said...

I work at Altru and I have never witnessed other employees talking about or even looking up personal and confidential information. I would really like to know what area you worked in because that does not happen in the areas I work in.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in several hospitals and I have witnessed first hand that yes Altru employees do not follow the confidential rules as they should. I'm surprised they haven't been sued by now!!

Anonymous said...

I've worked in several hospitals and I have witnessed first hand that yes Altru employees do not follow the confidential rules as they should. I'm surprised they haven't been sued by now!!

Anonymous said...

I work at Altru. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and breach is grounds for dismissal. If the above poster "witnessed first hand", it is their obligation to report this. I find some of the information in these posts to be pretty far fetched. I can say as a long time employee, I am very proud of what we do. I'm sad to see the comments posted by some. By far, the majority of people I work with are proud of the work they do and the people we serve are very appreciative. But it seems the negative comments and rumor are what find there way onto blogs.

Anonymous said...

Since I was the one that experiened first hand Altru not abiding the laws of confidentiality I will tell you that I did do something about it and it was taken care of but was very hush hush and no one ever heard of it. Imagine that!!! So as a RN I don't put in rumors only facts that I know of and it's a fact that Altru covers negative happenings up. This is something I will go on the record as saying. Thanks but what I postedis not "far fetched".

Anonymous said...

Okay...you say you "did something about it and it was taken care of". What cover up? If an employee is dismissed, that is also confidential. Your comments are contradictory and confusing. For some reason, I don't believe you are an RN.

Anonymous said...

I heard about the manner in which Dr. Trottier and his wife was treated. That was very unclassy. I thought you would expect better from an organization like Altru.

Anonymous said...

Unless you know the whole story, you probably shouldn't be commenting.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I would prove I'm a nurse on here nor do I feel I need to. The fact that I'm stating is that Altru isn't as reputable as everyone believes and they do and have in the past covered up unfavorable and negative happenings.

Anonymous said...

Your grammar and spelling has some of us wondering...

Anonymous said...

I have yet to meet a HUC, RN, PRN, LPN, CNA that will follow the confidentiality rules at Altru. I can walk up to any of the above mentioned and ask about "my dad" in room 302 and they will tell me with out verifing that I am even related. I worked up there, I KNOW that patients are talked about.

Anonymous said...

I think you are full of it. I do not think you are a RN or even work at Altru for that matter.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you thought the last comment was from me who stated I was an RN. Funny that I'm not the only one who states Altru isn't all that great with confidentiality. Oh...because I don't have the worlds perfect grammar means I'm not a RN??? Who do you really think you are to make such a statement.
I'm finding this all too funny to think about really who's who on this and if people actually met what would happen.

GrandForksGuy said...

I've closed this comment thread and deleted the last couple of posts. This blog is not the place to be making accusations against private citizens. I don't care if the accusations are true or not, this is not the place to make very specific accusations against people you used to work with. Criticize Altru, but don't criticize individuals who work at Altru. You don't have to name names to get your point across.