Celebrating a collaboration

It was cause for celebration for Trinity Health on Wednesday as the announcement was made about a collaboration between Trinity Health and Mayo Clinic. In a move to strengthen the delivery and quality of health care in northwest North Dakota, Mayo Clinic welcomed Trinity Health as the newest member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

As a member of the network, Trinity Health’s physicians and other providers will have direct access to Mayo Clinic experts and clinical resources. Mayo Clinic established the network in 2011 to extend knowledge and expertise to physicians and providers interested in working together to benefit patients and enhance the delivery of health care at the local level.

Also, as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Trinity Health physicians will be able to connect with Mayo Clinic specialists on questions of patient care using an electronic consulting technique called eConsults. Trinity providers will also have access to Mayo-vetted medical information through the AskMayoExpert database.

Network members share a commitment to improve the quality and delivery of health care. The primary goal of the Mayo Clinic Care Network is to help people gain the benefits of Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise close to home, ensuring that patients need to travel for care only when necessary.

“Today we celebrate and it’s an exciting day for all of us,” said Trinity Health president and CEO John Kutch at the press conference. “Trinity is the 20th health care system in the world to become part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.” Membership in the care network means that patients will receive the most advanced health care in the nation, he said. Trinity Health and Mayo Clinic are building a future and it brings expertise from Rochester, Minn., to Minot, N.D., Kutch continued. This collaboration means that Trinity will continue to demonstrate responsiveness, create a comprehensive health network and ensure that patients have quality care, he said.

Dr. David Hayes, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, said they are excited to have Trinity Health join their team at Mayo Clinic. The needs of the patients come first and that’s what the Mayo Clinic Care Network is about, he added, noting that Trinity Health and Mayo Clinic share that same objective. “By doing electronic consultations, the patient can stay at home,” Kutch continued. “The patient will form a deeper, stronger relationship with physicians and providers through this collaboration. It will provide better care closer to home.”

Equally excited about the collaboration and champion for the new relationship, Dr. Kenneth Keller, who also serves as medical director of the Radiology Department, agreed that this was a great day for patients in Minot and the surrounding area. “We’re doing this mainly for the patients,” he added. “It’s great to affiliate with Mayo Clinic and this (collaboration) solidifies, amplifies that. The ultimate beneficiary of this collaboration is for the patients. This is a great day for Trinity and Minot.”

“This collaboration will give a major boost to the quality and volume of resources available to physicians, hospital staff and, especially, our patients. It will allow more of our patients to get the care they need right here at home,” Keller said.

The collaboration efforts started a year ago, said Hayes, with Altru Health System in Grand Forks joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network two years ago. Mayo Clinic was looking for the same organization that had the same values and Trinity Health fit with that, he added. Also, Hayes continued, the feedback from patients has been great, and they couldn’t be happier with the collaboration.

Patients will be able to benefit from the collaboration starting almost immediately. Keller said they expected to “go live” Wednesday afternoon or this morning.