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Health forums added much to the discussion

I would like to comment on the criticism made about the Bemidji Pioneer covering a health care forum.

I attended the forum and as a health care provider and advocate to those accessing health care, I found the forum to be straight forward and an opportunity for the public to learn about what is happening with health care in Minnesota. The presenters were both senators who are acutely involved with health care policy in Minnesota. They brought information about how the recent legislative session has impacted reimbursements for North Country Hospital and how we may rectify this issue in the future.

The Bemidji area, and even the region, is fortunate to have an excellent provider of care -- and if this hospital continues to lose $5 million per year in revenues because of an inequitable reimbursement policy, it will fold. We need the North Country Regional Hospital here in Bemidji and we need the jobs that come with having a hospital in the region.

Sen. Mary Olson has proven to be a dedicated, hard-worker, health care advocate for our region. We have not had someone so knowledgeable about health care representing our region and district in decades. I am thankful that we have someone who can bring health care policy information to our local area and one of the top influencing senators (Berglin) to share her perspectives and see what rural health care is all about.

All praise to Mary on this one!

Jeanine E. Gangeness

Registered Nurse