Wilderness Health formed to improve patient quality and outcomes

Wilderness Health, comprised of nine regional health care providers, recently announced its formation at a press conference in Duluth. While the member health care providers will remain independent, they will be working together to improve patient quality and outcomes.

Members of Wilderness Health are: Bigfork Valley Hospital, Bigfork; Community Memorial Hospital, Cloquet; Cook County North Shore Hospital, Grand Marais; Cook Hospital, Cook; Fairview Range, Hibbing; Lake View, Two Harbors; Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake; Rainy Lake Medical Center, International Falls; and St. Luke’s, Duluth.

Wilderness Health values rural health care providers but also understands the challenges that can arise providing care in small communities, especially when there are limited resources available. “The nine members of Wilderness Health will be working collaboratively to share best practices and coordinate patient care, which is not always feasible working alone,” said Cassandra Beardsley, executive director of Wilderness Health. “By working together we can help ensure patients that their care will continue to be in their local community, just like it always has been,” explained Beardsley.

There is incredible value in working together and planning for patient care is an active and continuous process that includes an integrated system of settings, services and providers. Dr. David Spoelhof, medical director of Wilderness Health and chair of the quality committee, said, “It is our goal to collaborate throughout the patient’s continuum of care and identify areas for improvement with care coordination.” Opportunities for areas of improvement include chronic disease management and critical care transfers.

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