Granite Falls Municipal Hospital To Establish Its Own Provider Based Clinic and Hire Female Providers

On July 26, 2016 the Board of Directors of the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor voted unanimously to establish its own clinic.

Since the early 1990’s, Affiliated Community Medical Center (ACMC) a for profit, physician owned organization, out of Willmar, Minnesota has been operating the clinic in Granite Falls.

The decision to establish a provider based clinic, hospital owned, came due to continued decline in market share and the inability of ACMC to recruit providers, particularly female providers to Granite Falls.

The board approved the hiring of a female Family Practice Physician who does Obstetrics (O/B), a female Internal Medicine Physician and two female Family Nurse Practitioners.

According to Allen Anderson, Vice President of Operations, “we have successfully recruited a female Family Practice Physician who does O/B and a female Nurse Practitioner. We have offered a contract to another female Nurse Practitioner and are finalizing a contract with a female Internal Medicine Physician. On top of that, we will continue to recruit new providers for our community. For example, we are interviewing a female Family Practice Physician who does O/B in September and we have a Physician Assistant who has indicated he would like to come to work in our clinic.”

Earlier this year Granite Falls Hospital announced the hiring of four Advance Practice Professionals (APPs) and have a contract offer out to a Board Certified Family Practice Physician who specializes in Emergency Medicine, to staff its Emergency Room. According to Anderson, the staff hired for the clinic is in addition to the staff (APPs) hired for the Emergency Room. He
further states, “Granite Falls Hospital could potentially have an employed medical staff made up of four physicians and six APPs by the end of the year.”

Tom Kooiman, C.E.O. stated, “as a provider based clinic, the hospital is essentially setting up another department of the hospital, allowing Granite Falls Hospital to spread out overhead costs, gain synergies and pass this savings along to our patients. The fact we are a 501©3, not for profit, community owned organization, assists in passing along cost savings to our patients. Our profits are invested back into our facility and not paid out to shareholders.”

Having a provider based clinic allows the hospital to establish a 340b pharmacy program. 340b is a federal drug pricing savings opportunity. This will allow the hospital to work closer with
local pharmacy(s) and offer more services to our community; a benefit to the patients, pharmacy and the hospital. Thrifty White has approached the hospital about partnering to benefit the community.

Kooiman stated, “the hospital tried on many occasions to work with ACMC’s administration to set up a provider based clinic, however, ACMC’s administration, to date, has been unwilling to do this, citing they “do not want to give up control.” They told us they would rather compete, and win, than work with the hospital. To us it is not about winning or losing, it is about what is right for our community. We are not interested in grabbing ACMC’s market share, but regaining the market share that has left our community. With Lucy Brink, Nurse Practitioner, leaving, Granite Falls would be left with no female providers. We believe this will lead to continued declining volumes. We are only capturing 39% of our market share; we want to keep
local services local. Our goal is to have a market share of 80%. We believe the hiring of additional providers, particularly female, will assist the hospital in achieving this goal.”

The hospital board is still evaluating where to put the new hospital based clinic. ACMC leases the space on the bottom floor of the hospital. A portion of the lease has expired. One option would be to move the new providers into that space; the second option is to renovate the first floor of the old Granite Manor. The hospital is keeping their options open, but have plans to be in operation around the first of the year.

LaVonne Koenen, Granite Falls Hospital Board Chair, believes “the move to establish our own hospital, provider based clinic, begins to position the organization well for the changing health care industry. In the past trying to recruit with ACMC has been difficult and relatively unproductive. The decision to establish our own clinic will allow us to keep health care service local, assist us in our goal to reduce the total cost of care, achieve improved population health
and improve quality. The primary goals of the Affordable Care Act. Having our own clinic will allow us to partner with organizations who share a similar mission, vision, goals and objectives.”

August Employee of the Month

Natalie McPhail has been chosen as the August Employee of the Month.  Natalie has worked in Nursing at the Manor since June 2012.
She has been married to her husband, Jay, for 34 years and committed to her nursing career for 36.  She has been blessed with four children – Matthew, Megan, Catie and Cameron.  She has one granddaughter – Johannah.  She was twice blessed having a son with special needs, taking her family on a journey of love and inspiration.  They also care for her mother in their home. 
Natalie’s hobbies include gardening, coaching Special Olympics in power lifting, swimming, basketball and unified flag football and crafting when she finds the time. 
When asked what she likes about her job working at the Granite Falls Hospital and Manor, she states “I was 7 when I was first at the old Manor, visiting my great grandmother.  On my first day at the Manor I could easily find my way to the room.  She was in so many years ago.  I felt I was home and the Granite Manor would be my last stop in my nursing career.  My personal standards in nursing are high and have found the same with all my co-workers at the Manor.  I am very blessed to be a part of such a great team.  I am honored. Thanks.”
Thank you Natalie for all you do.  You are truly appreciated!
Natalie (2)

Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor to Employ Own Providers

The Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor has hired and will employ their own providers to care for patients in their emergency department. This shift in model to care for patients in the emergency department is to be able to increase the quality of care given to the patients.

Up until now, the emergency department has been staffed by a company called Acute Care Incorporated. Acute Care Incorporated is locum tenens organization who staffs emergency departments on a substitute basis. These substitute providers have no ties to the area or the patients they care for. The contract for those services will end effective December 1st, 2016.

The hospital and its board of directors put forth a goal to hire five total providers to staff the emergency department full-time. To date, they have four accepted offers and signed contracts. The four individuals that have accepted to date include, Fred Altamirano, PA-C, Heather Reeve, PA-C, Melissa Magstadt, CNP, and Holly York, CNP. They are confident in hiring a fifth provider and are in current conversations with an individual.

All four of the signed providers come with a wealth of knowledge and experience and have stated their commitment to providing the highest quality emergency care. On top of their vast experience in emergency medicine, each of the providers will be going through a rigorous training schedule, led by Dr. Darrel Carter to ensure they are skilled and efficient with the latest standards/benchmarks in emergency care.

To further improve the quality of the department, Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor is working with Avera to equip the emergency room with a product from Avera out of Sioux Falls called eEmergency. This system is a telehealth system linking rural hospitals to a fully staffed hub of board-certified emergency physicians and seasoned emergency nurses. The two-way video system allows rural facilities to access the support services of a Level-II trauma center, including the presence of emergency and other specialty physicians and nursing support for transfer coordination, documentation, and procedural support.

Reducing time between patient care and physician access allows for faster diagnosis and treatment, translating into improved recoveries and lives saved.  . The supportive nature of eEmergency closely follows the care model practiced in larger facilities, offering support to rural physicians who cover all the medical needs of our community. eEmergency also supports the nursing staff by providing a peer nurse resource that can assist with arranging transfers, making necessary calls to on-call staff, and completing real-time documentation as care is delivered.

This product is a form of telemedicine that will allow the provider in the emergency department to contact a virtual hospital in Sioux Falls and have access to board certified emergency department physicians which can act as a consulting physician in any situation that is presented.

Tom Kooiman, CEO, states “The move to Advance Practice Professionals employed by Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor, along with the support of Avera’s eEmergency, will greatly enhance the quality of emergency services delivered to our community”.

Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor is planning to host an open house for the public to meet and greet these new providers as members of the hospital and community as soon as all of them have officially joined.

Melissa Magstadt

Melissa Magstadt, CNP

Fred Altamirano

Fred Altamirano, PA-C

Heather Reeve

Heather Reeve, PA-C

Holly York

Holly York, CNP

Thank You!

On behalf of the Granite Falls Ambulance, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all who participated in making our 9th Annual Golf Tournament Fund-day a huge success.  Over the past 9 years, we have been hosting a golf tournament in an attempt to raise funds for a building to house our four ambulances and three special transport vehicles as well as facilitate office space, meeting/training room and sleeping quarters for  our out of town staff while taking call. This year’s tournament was outstanding!

I personally, would like to thank board member Mark Jensen, medical director Dr. Art Rillo, and V.P. of Operations, Allen Anderson who golfed and joined us for dinner.  Without the support of all the hospital board members, administration and medical directors, Dr. Darrell Carter and Dr. Art Rillo, we would not be where we are today.  We are grateful for their unending support and dedication to the Granite Falls Ambulance Service.

All of this could not be possible without the support from our sponsors.  A big thanks to GF Bank and Fagen, Inc. for their generous donation of $2,000 as this year’s Platinum Sponsors.  This year’s additional sponsors were:  Almich’s Market, Christensen Farms, Citizens Alliance Bank, E&C Graphics, F&M Agency, Inc., Granite Falls Energy, LLC., Granite Falls Lions Club, Granite Floral and Greenhouse, H&H Construction, Life Link III, Meyer’s Repair and Towing, MN Feed Distributors, National Independent Health Club Association, Northern Grain Design and Construction, Par Piping and Fabrication, Prairies Edge Casino Resort and Hotel, Project Turnabout, Robert Danielowski, CPA,  Soine Construction, Upper Sioux Community, Wood Lake Lumber, and Woody’s Bar.

Thank you to the Granite Falls Fire Department, Hanley Falls Fire and First Responders, and Clara City Ambulance Service for joining us in friendly competition and great camaraderie. Also, a special thank you to the Wood Lake Fire Department for use of their dunk tank to provide us with great entertainment.

Thank you to: John Berends, Yellow Medicine County Commissioner, Isaac Rillo, GF Ambulance EMT and Sam Ohliger for submitting yourselves to the dunk tank in an effort to raise funds.  Your willingness was greatly appreciated and we thank you for representing in this way.

Lastly, thank you to my co-workers.  I am so blessed to work with such a dedicated group of individuals who are willing to pour blood, sweat and tears into making all of our fundraising efforts successful. The support of our sponsors, phantom golfers, silent auction donations, golfers, those who came from near and far to join us for dinner and the volunteers was overwhelming.  We had a great year and look forward to your continued support in 2017.

Jana Berends-Sletten, RN/Paramedic

Local hospital leaders and GFMHM board chair person recognized by Minnesota Hospital Association

Eight hospital trustees from across Minnesota were recognized for earning certification through the Minnesota Hospital Association’s trustee certification program. The comprehensive certification process prepares hospital trustees to effectively meet the growing demands of serving on a hospital board and to be strong health care and community leaders.

By participating in MHA’s voluntary certification program, hospital trustees receive training on current health care trends, governance best practices, ethics, government regulations, patient safety and quality. Participants undergo 35 hours of coursework, making Minnesota’s initiative the most comprehensive in the nation.

“In Minnesota, more and more hospital trustees are formally preparing themselves to address the often complicated issues facing hospitals and health systems today,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO. “Our trustee certification program proactively ensures that hospital leaders are well-prepared to make good decisions.”

“With so many changes in health care policy and practice — especially under federal and state health care reform — hospital trustees want this kind of support to be strong leaders in their organizations,” Massa said. “Earning this certification demonstrates a trustee’s commitment to the patients and communities the hospital serves.”

Following are the newly certified trustees:

Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar Douglas W. Allen

Johnson Memorial Health Services, Dawson Dustin Citrowske

Swift County-Benson Hospital Dan Enderson

United Hospital District, Blue Earth Barbara Hanson

Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor LaVonne Koenen

Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake Anna Lattu

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby Richard Schiller

Unity Hospital, Fridley John Swenson

For more information about MHA’s hospital trustee certification program, visit For more information about Minnesota hospitals, visit

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents 137 hospitals and health systems, which provide quality care for their patients and meet the needs of their communities.

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