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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New suite was right thing to do for patients

I would like to publicly commend the current Sanford administration for their bravery and determination to save the lives of our youngest area residents, specifically those having a birthday.

The new cesarean section suite on the third floor of the hospital reported in the Pioneer on June 12 will truly be a lifesaver, over and over again.

The proximity of the suite to laboring moms, and also the training of the nurses on the floors to perform the procedures needed, will make having a baby in Bemidji significantly more likely to have a good outcome.

When a baby's heartbeat drops very low, it is similar to a drowning victim. Every minute counts to start resuscitation. This new addition will allow the team involved to have that chance, whereas in the past it was technically impossible. In this era where large medical organizations like Sanford get criticized for large glitzy buildings and towers that don't seem to have a direct impact on patient care, this small hidden away room, which most residents will never see, will truly and directly save lives.

There is no payback in terms of money here. We won't be doing any new procedures or generating any new revenue. We will just be doing what we do better. I served on the hospital board and finance committees for many years, and I know the extreme pressure on administration to "make the margin." Bryan Nermoe, Lisa Johnson, Joy Johnson, the hospital board, and many others involved in the decision to make this happen should be truly commended for their willingness to spend the money needed because it is the right thing to do for our patients.

Roland Armstrong, Bemidji, specializes in obstetrics and gynecology at Sanford Health.