Published on June 27, 2016

Altru Health Foundation receives Otto Bremer Trust Grant for Telemedicine

Grand Forks, N.D. – Altru Health Foundation has received a $93,856 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust to support the expansion of telemedicine services in two regional hubs, Altru Clinic Devils Lake and Altru Clinic Roseau. These funds will expand an already successful deployment of connections between rural patients and medical providers in Grand Forks. 

Telemedicine uses technology to present live, interactive video and audio between patient and specialist separated by distance. The medical consult is conducted from the patient’s hometown health facility, providing local access to specialty care from many miles away.  “Telemedicine is so important in this day and age. It allows regional patients to stay in their local area instead of traveling, lessening stress and improving recovery for patients,” said Marsha Waind, Regional Relations and Telehealth Manager at Altru Health System. In 2015, 3,502 patients received care at Altru via telemedicine services. 

“This will expand the connection times and services to the 80+ telemedicine providers that serve those clinics, as well as the 40 other regional sites.  With the support of these funds, Altru will experience a 12% increase in telemed visits of higher acuity and complexity such as, dermatology, urology, cardiology and diabetes care,” explains Waind. “Otto Bremer Trust has long recognized the opportunities of technology to improve care for rural patients. We appreciate their vision and commitment to health care in the region.”   

“Altru is the leader of telemedicine services that enable individuals from rural North Dakota and Minnesota to receive specialty medical care in or close to their rural homes,” says Jon Green, Executive Director, Altru Health Foundation. “Eliminating the need for the patient to drive to Grand Forks to see and receive specialty care is very important for the elderly and for all individuals in times of inclement weather.  This generous gift from the Otto Bremer Foundation enables Altru to continue to provide world class care to the region and beyond.”

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a specialty hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, and a large home care network. It employs more than 200 physicians and 4,000 staff and has an annual net operating revenue of more than $524 million. As the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru’s providers have access to clinically integrated tools extending Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to patients.