Wellness briefly

SHC names recipients of repayment program

BISMARCK The State Health Council, in conjunction with the North Dakota Department of Health, announced that 11 health professionals have been approved through the Grant Loan Repayment Programs approved by the state Legislature. Applications from one nurse practitioner, four physicians and six dentists were accepted during the May meeting.

Sarah Beth Gustafson was the selected nurse practitioner and will be practicing in Mayville.

The physicians chosen were Dr. David Keene, who will work in Williston, Dr. Christopher A. DeCook will work in Fargo, and Dr. Brook Vinine Nelson and Dr. Heather Martin will both work in Dickinson.

Approved dentists were Jackie R. Nord who will practice in Grand Forks; Courtney Rud and Clarissa Sparkman will be in Fargo; Lucas Allen and Narek Ovsepian will practice in Watford City; and Ryan J. Yakowicz will practice in Hankinson.

The skills of these health professionals are filling a growing need in those cities and the surrounding areas, especially in western North Dakota where the increased population is demanding more health services. The current increase and the anticipated growth for such services helped the Council determine all of these selections for the program.

The Loan Repayment Programs are awarded to physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists and veterinarians to help them pay for their educational loans and who have agreed to work in areas of the state that do not have enough applicants to meet the needs of the area. The State Health Council awards the loan repayments based on funding and the criteria set by the Legislature.

For more information, contact Marlene Kouba, State Health Council, at 563-4560.

Jill Hambek

Text4baby seeks new moms, now-pregnant

BISMARCK The March of Dimes and the North Dakota Department of Health are working together to make North Dakota’s pregnant women and new mothers aware of text4baby. Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Women who text “BABY” to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby’s birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages address topics such as immunization, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep and developmental milestones.

“The North Dakota Department of Health is excited to be working with the March of Dimes to promote critical free health and safety information to women who need it the most through text4baby,” said Kim Mertz, Family Health Division Director for the Department of Health. “The text4baby service includes over 250 messages with the most critical information that experts want pregnant women and moms with infants younger than 1 to know.”

Text4baby launched a State Enrollment Contest on Mother’s Day. The contest is a friendly competition among states to connect even more women to critical health and safety information. The top states that enroll the highest percentage of pregnant women and mothers in text4baby between May 12 and Oct. 21 will be announced and recognized during the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Boston in early November.

More information about text4baby can be found at (text4baby.org). For more information, contact Kim Mertz, Department of Health, at 328-4528 or Reba Mathern-Jacobson, March of Dimes North Dakota Chapter, at 552-9180.

Jill Hambek

NDDHS hosts meeting on payment system

BISMARCK The N.D. Department of Human Services’ Developmental Disabilities Division will hold a public stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Comfort Inn of Bismarck, 1030 East Interstate Ave., Conference Rooms C and D. Meeting participants will review a report highlighting the scope and recommendations for implementation of the new payment system for developmental disability service providers. The public is encouraged to attend.

In 2011, the N.D. Legislature passed Senate Bill 2043, which authorized the Department of Human Services to develop a payment system utilizing the Supports Intensity Scale with the help of developmental disability providers and a consultant. The scale is a tool used to assess the plan individual support needs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Individuals who need accommodations, including auxiliary aids or other services to participate in the meeting, can call Colette Perkins at 328-8930, toll free 800-755-8529, ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888, or email cperkins@nd.gov.

To view Senate Bill 2043, visit (www.legis.nd.gov).

Jill Hambek

Sanford AirMed ready to take to the skies

BISMARCK Sanford AirMed took flight in the region on June 17. This life-saving air ambulance service will provide medical transport to critically ill or injured patients throughout central and western North Dakota, eastern Montana and South Dakota.

“Time is crucial in emergency and trauma situations, and Sanford AirMed will help us provide care quickly and in locations where it’s difficult for ambulances to travel,” said Dr. Kadon Hintz, emergency physician and Bismarck medical director for Sanford AirMed.

Sanford Health, first responders and community leaders from around the region celebrated the service’s launch June 14 with a dedication ceremony at Century High School in Bismarck.

Sanford AirMed’s Bismarck base consists of a helicopter and a highly trained team of flight paramedics, flight nurses, pilots and mechanics chosen for their expertise in their fields. A flight paramedic, flight nurse and pilot will be on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Hospitals and first responders can activate the service by calling (800) 437-6886. Sanford AirMed will transport patients to the facility of their choice or to the nearest appropriate medical facility. The helicopter can travel up to 165 miles per hour and fly for two hours and 30 minutes. Sanford AirMed can launch a helicopter within 10 minutes of accepting the call from the referring hospital or first responder unit.

Jill Hambek