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Published on March 07, 2013

Altru receives Medica Foundation Grant to improve mental health access in rural North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND – Altru Health Foundation has received a $48,298 grant from the Medica Foundation to improve access to mental health care in rural North Dakota. The sites participating with Altru on this endeavor are Nelson County Medical Center in McVille, Unity Medical Center in Grafton, and First Care Health Center in Park River.

The grant has four components:

  • Improve access to mental health services in rural communities through outpatient mental health services
  • Provide training for rural hospital employees in mental health assessment and handling potential volatile situations
  • Review protocols and care policies
  • Improve communications through care team networking

The grant has enabled Altru to work with these three facilities to offer psychiatric care via telemedicine. Of the 1,295 visits completed using telemedicine in 2012, 206 visits were for psychiatry. Psychiatry is one of the largest provider groups participating in telemedicine at Altru, connecting to ten sites throughout the region.

Altru’s telemedicine connects patients in their hometown hospital or clinic to an Altru medical specialist in Grand Forks using live, interactive videoconferencing equipment. Altru connects more than 20 rural locations in North Dakota and Minnesota to services including: bariatric care, dermatology, wound care, neurology, psychiatry, prosthetic services, nephrology, renal dialysis care, orthopedics, diabetes, pulmonology, dietitian services, urology, infectious disease and telepharmacy. 

About Altru Psychiatry Center

Altru Psychiatric Center is a team of physicians and clinical social workers who provide comprehensive counseling and therapy for individuals (children, adolescents and adults), families, couples and groups. The team consists of five physicians and six licensed, independent clinical social workers.