Wilderness Health news

Sharing Telehealth Resources & Looking to the Future

June 7, 2024

On 21 May 2024. Alexis Sininger, Program Associate at Wilderness Health and Mauro Pratt, AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) at Wilderness Health co-presented at the Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center (gpTRAC) Telehealth Everywhere Splash Session’s annual regional telehealth conference. It is hosted by two federally funded telehealth resource centers that cover six states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and North & South Dakota) and is located at the University of Minnesota.


Advocacy for Innovative Care: Shaping Telehealth 2030: Interprofessional Interns Design Paths for Advocacy for Telemental Health in Rural Minnesota and Wisconsin

Students from the University of Minnesota presented work on the future of Telehealth and of Mental and Behavioral Health to the Telehealth Committee of Wilderness Health on May 28th, 2024.

Therein, they reported on a study of policy in both Minnesota and Wisconsin in two areas of concern: telehealth (in all its applications, from basic doctor visits to specialist care) and mental and behavioral health. They found that Wisconsin and Minnesota have innovated in different, often complementary ways.


Mental and Behavioral Healthcare Needs in Silver Bay, Wilderness Health Hosts Community Listening Sessions

May 24, 2024

Silver Bay, Minn. – Mental and behavioral health needs remain a challenge throughout the state of Minnesota, and the unique needs of rural Minnesotans require targeted attention. To learn more about the needs of residents of Lake County, Wilderness Health invited community members to share their stories and help shape the future of mental health care. The listening session was held on Monday, May 20th at the North Shore Area Partners building in Silver Bay, MN.


Developing Healthcare Leadership Wilderness Health Offers Roundtables around Compassionate Financial Stewardship

May 15, 2024

Several finance and leadership roundtables held across the Northland are bringing best practices to rural hospitals. Nationally recognized speakers like Donna Littlepage, Rachel Everhart, Amy Graham, and Joe Schindler presented to hospital leaders. The events brought leaders from Duluth-area hospital St. Luke’s, now a part of Aspirus Health, and rural hospitals like North Shore Health in Grand Marais and Ely- Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely, together. Recent events were held at Lake View Hospital, now a part of Aspirus Health, in Two Harbors, MN, with options for leaders around the region to join by Zoom.


Wilderness Health Announces Emergency Department TeleMental Health Program

January 17, 2024

(Two Harbors, MN) – Wilderness Health (WH) in partnership with member hospitals, recognized a major gap in care for patients needing mental healthcare in the Emergency Department. For example, at North Shore Health (NSH), in Grand Marais, some patients who needed specialized psychiatric care were waiting in the emergency room while the staff sought advanced care options. In Cook County, there are no inpatient facilities for mental health care available. Kimber Wraalstad, CEO of North Shore Health, believed that the hospital needs to be able to offer more than a safe place to stay when patients with mental health needs come in.

With the help of Northern Minnesota native Chandra White (APRN, CNP, PFMHNP) and Adaptive Telehealth, Wilderness Health is proud to announce the implementation of the Emergency Department TeleMental Health program at North Shore Health.


Students in a UMD Class in Medical Sociology break down research into substance use disorder

January 10, 2024

UMD students enrolled in Prof. Kim Dauner’s “Medical Sociology” class took up the task of researching the sociology of substance use disorders (SUDs) in rural Minnesota.  They shared their findings in a presentation to Wilderness Health, a collective of non-profit hospitals in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.


Digging into Community Health

January 2, 2024

By: Chance Lasher

UMD student and public health major Minh Phan took up the task of digging through Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) during his internship with Wilderness Health, a collective of non-profit hospitals in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.

Hospitals are required to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. These documents are foundational in understanding the health needs of a community and pinpoint what needs should be prioritized by legislators and health leaders. Basically, CHNAs are a compass to a community’s health needs.


Improving Rural Mental Health Care: “Upstream & Downstream Solutions”

November 30, 2023


When a patient presents with a mental health issue, the physician’s biggest challenge can be connecting the patient to the help needed. The patient may seem engaged and thankful for the referral, but this enthusiasm can vanish quickly. The patient may never make an appointment, or may make an appointment and become a no-show. For patients living in greater Minnesota, lack of mental health provider options and greater travel times can exacerbate these concerns.


Student Research Explores Rural Mental Health Care Barriers

August 29, 2022

Student, Carina Hebl, developed her honors thesis to look into why residents in rural areas postpone mental health care. She found that many rural residents didn’t know what care was available or that they needed care.


Wilderness Health targets vulnerable populations to ease COVID-19 Impact

August 26, 2020

Wilderness Health, a Northeastern Minnesota health care nonprofit is reaching out to at-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a state-provided dataset, Wilderness Health is identifying and contacting people on Medicaid who are potentially vulnerable to complications if they become sick with COVID-19.