2013-01-24 / Front Page

Improvements are made at the Linton Hospital


Ambulance Squad Leader Nolan Anderson said the new Mission: Life equipment will be a benefit to paramedics and heart attack victims. Units are now located in both ambulances and at the Linton Hospital. Ambulance Squad Leader Nolan Anderson said the new Mission: Life equipment will be a benefit to paramedics and heart attack victims. Units are now located in both ambulances and at the Linton Hospital. The Linton Hospital operates a 14-bed critical access hospital and three clinics, the Linton Medical Center, the Hazelton Clinic and the Campbell County Clinic, Herreid, S.D.

Their mission is to enhance the health, well-being and quality of life of the people they serve. In reaching that mission, the Linton Hospital has made many improvements in 2012 and will continue to do that in order to provide top quality care for their patients, according to CEO/Administrator Robert Black.

In October, the Emmons County Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance received what is known as Mission: Lifeline equipment. The Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association secured $7.1 million in funding to implement Mission: Lifeline, a community-based initiative aimed at improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout North Dakota.

The three-year initiative was launched in September of 2011 with the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust as the lead funder. The state legislature provided $600,000 of matching funding for the project.

A Mission: Lifeline funding grant was made available to every hospital and ambulance service in North Dakota. It is a strategic initiative to save lives and reduce disabilities by improving readiness and response to all heart attack patients while focusing on ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMIs).

A STEMI is caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient’s health and life are at serious risk.

Prior to receiving this equipment in North Dakota, approximately two-thirds of STEMI patients did not receive the best available treatments to restore blood flow.

Ambulance Squad Leader Nolan Anderson said this equipment enhances the Emmons CountyALSAmbulance capability by having the ability to transmit a patient’s 12-lead heart rhythm to not only the Linton Hospital but to any hospital with the capabilities of placing stents or cardiac bypasses.

“It gives the paramedics an extra set of eyes and a vast pool of knowledge for guidance for the very best treatments for heart attack victims,” Anderson said.

When a patient has a heart attack, the speed of response is critical. Within a few short minutes, patients have dangerous heart rhythms and can die. Muscle damage and the chances of future complications, such as congestive heart failure or shortness of breath, are reduced the earlier the artery is opened.

North Dakota ranks among the top 10 states with the highest STEMI death rate. Black and Anderson said they are confident the equipment will lead to better care for heart attack victims and patients in the area served.

Another improvement that was completed in 2012 was the replacement of the roof and soffits of the Emmons County Public Health Building.

The Linton Hospital owns the building, and Emmons County Public Health rents the space.

“The roof and soffits were in need of repair, and the hospital arranged for the repair and replacement in October,” Black said.

Black said there will be more improvements and developments with the hospital and clinics in 2013.

As CEO/Administrator for just the past five months, Black shared his thoughts on his position and living in and serving the community.

“I wake up every morning excited to go about the business of leading ‘our’ hospital,” Black said.

He added, “Linda and I want to thank everyone who we have met for being so helpful, friendly and welcoming. Linton is a wonderful place to live and work.”

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