Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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MOORHEAD — Amy Wieser Willson has suffered for years from chronic pain so severe that some days she couldn't get out of bed. On those days, even contact with her bed sheets was painful. Wieser Willson, whose ailments include fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, now can take a capsule of medical marijuana before bed and, most mornings, wakes up pain free. Occasionally, when she has a flare-up, she uses a vaporized form of the medication, which relieves her pain.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — David Shulkin, a physician whom President Donald Trump tapped to head health care for veterans and later fired, will serve as Sanford Health's chief innovation officer. Shulkin's portfolio will put him in charge of Sanford's research, clinical genetic medicine, Profile weight loss and world clinic programs, according to an announcement made Tuesday, Sept. 11.
FARGO — UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, has announced its plans to enter the small group market in the three-state region in a move North Dakota's insurance regulator said could increase competition. The entry in January into South Dakota and new parts of Minnesota, too, will add a major player in the health insurance market. In North Dakota, the market is now dominated by three companies: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the Sanford Plan and Medica.
FARGO—The Sanford Medical Center has won designation as a top-level trauma center, becoming the first to earn the recognition in caring for the most severely injured patients for a broad region in the upper Midwest. Sanford has cleared its final hurdle to be verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center, a designation awarded by the American College of Surgeons. The achievement makes Fargo the only city with a Level I Adult Trauma Center between Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and Omaha, according to Sanford.
FARGO—Sanford Health, which has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since merging with MeritCare, is poised to see its revenues more than double in less than a decade to almost $6 billion if it joins as planned with the Good Samaritan Society. When Sioux Falls-based Sanford and Fargo-based MeritCare merged in 2009, they had combined revenues exceeding $2.6 billion, more than 800 physicians and 17,000 employees. Today Sanford is a $4.5 billion enterprise, with more than 1,400 physicians and 28,000 employees in the Dakotas and seven other states.
FARGO — Sanford plans a new heart and vascular health center to be built adjacent to its recently opened medical center in Fargo as part of a slate of $200 million in investments over the next decade to expand services for a growing patient base. The announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the opening of the $594 million Sanford Medical Center, where patient volumes are exceeding projections, according Nate White, Sanford's chief operating officer and executive vice president of Sanford Fargo.
MEDORA, N.D.—It was a gorgeous day for a hike in the Badlands. Not too hot, with some moody clouds that made the sky interesting and the sun less intense. Everything was perfect until my dog yelped. Zooey, my yellow Labrador retriever, whimpered and held up her front left paw, which she started licking furiously. I immediately suspected that she'd stepped on a prickly cactus, which were all around us. I crouched down and inspected her paw, which had begun to swell.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The Fourth of July fireworks display near the Pavillion on the shore of Detroit Lake draws throngs of spectators who line the beach for a mile while others crane their necks from their perches on an armada of pontoon boats. The annual aerial display, which has grown over the decades, is reflected on the water, adding a shimmering mirror image to the pyrotechnics. Smaller versions, private displays from the hundreds of people who live around the lake, add more celebratory color and noise.
WEST FARGO — Farmers will rally at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 27, hours before President Donald Trump will stump for Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who is trying to unseat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in the North Dakota Senate race. The rally, organized by the North Dakota Farmers Union and others, is not billed as a protest, but seeks to draw attention to issues confronting farmers, including trade disputes and a potential decrease in an ethanol production benchmark, which would decrease demand for corn.
FARGO—Stacked pallets filled with bags of malt line the back of Drekker Brewing Co. here and a fermenting aroma vaguely reminiscent of baking bread perfumed the brew house. The pleasant smell was a mild distraction as Mark Bjornstad, Drekker's co-founder, explained the crucial role of malt as a key ingredient in brewing beer.