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Wishek Hospital


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The community of Wishek has been designated as Cardiac Ready Community.


Our Mission is to provide the highest possible standard of health care in a compassionate and professional manner for the people in our region.

Our Vision is to be the area’s leader in providing access to high quality health care in the communities we serve.

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donate life

Currently, more than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States.  Honored in April of each year, National Donate Life Month works to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.  Below is a letter from LifeSource, the Organ and Tissue Donating Center, that honors an organ donor from our area who passed away last month (for the purpose of his/her privacy, the donor will be left unnamed).

Thank you, Wishek Community Hospital for your timely referral and collaboration with the recent tissue case . A special thanks to Paige Wilen, GN for making the referral to 24-SHARE, to Charge RN’s Carly and Lori for all of your help, and to Jack for transporting our team back and forth. Thank you to all staff involved for supporting the family through this process, for preparing for the recovery, for the use of your OR, and for your communication back and forth with our donor services center and funeral home. Our tissue team said everyone there was excellent to work with.

This patient documented his intent to be a donor, and the patient’s family wanted to uphold his wishes. They will now be part of our Donor Family Network and receive correspondence for as long as they’d like. Also a family packet was left for them by our tissue team, and was given to them by the funeral director.
Our team recovered bone and connective tissue from the upper and lower extremities, heart valves, saphenous veins, femoral veins, aortal-iliac tissue. These gifts will be used in various transplant procedures including hip and knee replacements, implants with prosthetics, ACL/PCL repair, life-saving valve replacement surgeries, heart bypass surgeries, and more. We estimate at least 60 people will benefit from these gifts.

Your help and expertise ensured that this case could move forward, thanks again!
Please contact me with any follow-up concerns.

Kindest Regards,
Barb Nelson-Agnew
Hospital Liaison

If you are not already an organ donor and would like to register, you can do so by visiting or call 1.888.5.DONATE.


Special Training Equips Staff for Trauma Situations

       At the Wishek Hospital and Clinics, our staff is committed to saving lives. Through additional certifications and trainings, our team constantly expands our medical skills. Currently, our staff is trained in the following:
• CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – all nurses
• ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) – all nurses
• PALS (pediatric advanced life support) – some nurses
• ATLS (advanced trauma life support) – all physicians and midlevels
       On January 24th and 25th, six of our RNs underwent a trauma nursing core course to further their education in handling emergency situations. This training was supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Trauma Foundation. Shelly Glaeseman, WHC’s Director of Nursing/Quality Assurance, says it was beneficial to have Wishek native Howard Walth, Trauma Coordinator at St. Alexius, conduct the training. “All six nurses passed their exams and received their certification. Now, every hospital staff RN has the training that will be helpful in trauma situations,” says Shelly.

As we continue our education in order to bring the best of quality care with 
concern and compassion, we want to make sure we are meeting all of the needs 
of our patients. I greatly value your experiences with us and want to hear from 
you directly about how our services and staff can better assist you in the future. 
Please don’t hesitation to contact me with you input at (701) 452-2364 or email Thank you for your faithful support in helping us to 
bring better health to our communities. 

Mark Rinehardt
CEO, Wishek Hospital and Clinics




       Dr. Donald Kosiak Jr. pictured on the eEmergency screen with Stacy Wiest, Director of Outpatient Services (left) and Carly Jonas, RN (right) in Wishek's ER.One of the world's largest telemedicine systems is available right in the Wishek Hospital Emergency Room. It’s called eEmergency. This two-way video technology program directed by Wishek native Dr. Donald Kosiak Jr., makes it possible for rural medical staff to connect with a larger institution for assistance in medical emergencies. The eEmergency room at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. is staffed with nurses and doctors 24/7, 365 days a year and is available in seconds through the simple push of a button.
       It took about three years for Dr. Kosiak and his team’s dream for eEmergency to become a reality, but within the past five, eEmergency has been launched in 85 medical facilities across seven states. In 2010, Wishek became one of the first pilots of the program in North Dakota. “They went through a lot of a growing pains with us early on, but they have helped us learn what is supportive for a rural hospital and what is not,” said Dr. Kosiak. Much of Dr. Kosiak’s inspiration for eEmergency came from growing up in Wishek. With a father as a local physician, he understood the isolation health care providers sometimes feel. 
       Both Shelly Glaesman, director of nursing, and Polly Benson, PA-C/NP, testify that eEmergency is well utilized by all providers and nursing staff. “It is like having another set of hands, ears, and eyes with specialties,” says Polly. “They are a great support for major trauma.” Immediate X-ray viewing, access to information on the facilities’ medical equipment via electronic medical records, and direct interaction with the patients in the ER are all benefits of eEmergeny that result in the best-educated advice to rural healthcare providers. “I prefer having the comfort at a push  of a button,” says Shelly who commented that the support they give to nurses when the doctor isn't immediately available. 
       Although the eEmergency staff offers advice, it is Wishek’s medical staff that makes the ultimate decision about what to do for the patient. Polly says, “It’s not that we can’t handle things like a heart attack; we can, but when you want another set of eyes or ears, I tell you what, that is when this system is really nice.” Shelly comments that although using eEmergency’s service does not always change the outcome of the patient, it provides large hospital care without having to transport the patient out of Wishek.



Barb Mueller: Meet Napoleon Clinic's Receptionist

     Barb Mueller has had her dose of big-city to small-town transition when she moved from Bismarck to Steele, Wishek, and then Napoleon. She started out as receptionist in the Wishek Clinic in 2001. “I had heard a lot of good things about the facility… and I also thought it would be a great way to meet people in the community.” Barb stayed in Wishek until she transferred to the Napoleon Clinic in 2005.

    As a receptionist, Barb has appreciated being able to do a variety of things in the medical receptionist field. As a certified medical coder, she has managed the coding for the Napoleon Clinic and Nursing Home as well as billing and insurance. One of her favorite parts about working the front desk is “helping patients in any way I can.” Building one-on-one relationships with the people she serves is important to her. “It’s easy to get attached to them,” says Barb.

     Barb’s concern for patients is sometimes the biggest challenge when looking at a full schedule while on the phone with a patient that desperately needs to get in. “It is hard to find enough time in the day when Kay Rau (Napoleon’s midlevel practitioner) is only one person, but there is nothing better than hearing a patient say ‘thanks for squeezing me in,’” says Barb.
     The compassion and care for patients and their community is one of the biggest things that make the WHC stand out from other clinics in Barb’s mind. “The providers are excellent; they treat the patients just like family. Patients are not just a number here. They all mean something to us.” The team of three employees at the Napoleon Clinic prioritizes helping each other so that each one is able to fulfill her job to the fullest. “We work well together and all try to do the best we can for our patients, which is what this is all about.” Kathy Feist, Napoleon Clinic’s RN, says the same about Barb, “I could not do a lot of my job without Barb being efficient in doing hers. She has worked hard to keep things flowing smoothly. It truly is a team effort to work at a small clinic.”
     After living in Napoleon for seven years now, Barb expressed that she feels like this is where she belongs. “The community is just great. The people are all friendly and easy to get along with. I feel like I am a part of this community. “ When Barb is not at work, she spends time with her boyfriend, Gary, camping, riding motorcycles, gardening, canning and taking care of her two cat’s Misty and Simon.

Heart Health

The Treadmill Stress Test is just one way to evaluate a patient's heart condition.February, the “month of love,” is also “Heart Health Month,” medically speaking. Since 25.4% of all deaths in the USA today are caused by heart disease (our nation’s number one killer), it’s worth a closer look. Information for this article was gathered from the American Heart  Association,, and includes expertise from WHC’s visiting Cardiologist Dr. Stan Diede and Paramedic Felicia Huber Sampson.

Dr. Diede, WHC’s visiting cardiologist, comes to Wishek once a month to help our communities’ hearts stay healthy. Although he says Midwesterners often have fewer blood vessel problems than they do in other parts of the country, he still sees the most common forms of heart disease every day: heart attacks, high blood pressure, heart failure, arrhythmia, and high cholesterol. Although some people are more prone to heart disease based on daily health decisions, Dr. Diede encourages the following ways to be proactive about reducing your risk of heart disease: 
1. Give up/Don’t start smoking. Smokers have a 70 percent higher death rate from coronary artery disease than nonsmokers. The act of smoking causes a buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, which can lead to coronary
heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Visit the “Quit Smoking” page for more resources.
2. Monitor your diet. What we eat affects the ease at which our blood pumps through our body. Eating saturated fats, salty foods, and high sugar content can build up blockage in our arteries and veins, hindering the flow of blood to and from the heart. Visit the “Nutrition Center” at or call (701) 452-2326 to schedule a consultation with the WHC’s dietitian Kathy Imdieke to start your dieting plan to ensure healthy blood flow.
3. Regular physical exercise. We have the ability to make our heart stronger or weaker. It doesn’t have to be running or lifting weights, but engaging in physical activity for 30 minutes a day can strengthen your heart and blood flow. The American Heart Association encourages walking for exercise and includes walking plans at The WHC staff encourages membership of their own or other workout facilities in the community.
  Although the assumption is that heart disease runs in the family through genetics, Dr. Diede argues that heart disease is due more from nurture versus nature. “It’s more familial habits and the environment that you are raised in than if someone in your family had an issue with heart disease,” says Dr. Diede.  In light of this, if there are family heart problems, he recommends being more careful with controlling the risk factors so as not to fall in the same line. Healthy lifestyles as adults start with the education and examples children see in the home. Teaching children about how to implement activity and healthy choices early can reduce the risk of heart problems in their future. 
  The WHC offers a cardiac rehabilitation program that uses exercise to recondition as well as monitor the heart after a heart episode. Requirements to being admitted into the  cardiac rehab program are for patients who have had a heart attack, open-heart surgery, or a stent placement and have an official order from a cardiologist, NP, PA, or a doctor. 
   Patients with heart problems may have minimal symptoms and steady heart activity while at rest; however, symptoms and signs of heart conditions may come to the surface under the stress of exercise. The WHC performs a “stress test” using a treadmill and lexiscan for patients that show signs of heart problems including chest pain, shortness of breath, and a strong family history of heart disease. 
  The treadmill stress test monitors a patient’s heart rate through electrodes placed on the patient’s body while they run or walk on the treadmill. The adenosine stress test is used on patients who are physically unable to exercise or who didn’t reach their target heart rate during the treadmill stress test. Through an IV, the patient is given a medication called adenosine that opens up the arteries to allow for an easier blood flow.

Heart attacks are often the scariest form of heart disease because of their suddenness and 
fatal effects. Below are the most common signs of a heart attack:
• Discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, shoulders, back (for mainly women), neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
• All of these symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
• Note that diabetics often do not show these same symptoms and should have their heart checked regularly by their medical provider.