Hoeven Working to Enhance Lake Region Health Care

Senator Again Brings Together CommonSpirit, Essentia, Altru, Devils Lake & Spirit Lake Leaders to Address Urgent Health Care Needs

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a roundtable with local leaders and health care providers in Devils Lake to discuss CommonSpirit Health’s master plan for, and progress on, updating the local hospital. This is the third roundtable Hoeven has held to address the most urgent health care needs of the region, with the senator today having brought together the following stakeholders to move these efforts forward:

  • Tim Bricker, President and CEO, CommonSpirit Health Midwest Division.
  • Mariann Doeling, President, CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake.
  • Jim Moe, Mayor, Devils Lake.
  • Lonna Jackson-Street, Chairwoman, Spirit Lake Tribe.
  • Kevin Dauphinais, Director, Tribal Health Administration, Spirit Lake Tribe.
  • Dr. Mark Thompson, President, Essentia Health–West Market.
  • Andy Askew, VP Public Policy, Essentia Health.
  • Todd Forkel, CEO, Altru Health System.
  • Dr. Josh Deere, President, Altru Health System.

The group discussed ongoing renovations of the Devils Lake Hospital emergency department, for which construction is expected to be completed by fall 2025, as well as Altru’s recent investment in expanded dialysis capacity for the community. Hoeven also continues to press for certainty from CommonSpirit on a timeline and committed dollars for future updates to the hospital, while ensuring the plans incorporate input from the community.

“This is about having an open and honest discussion about where things stand in our work to bring quality health care to the Lake Region,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate CommonSpirit Health beginning renovations at the Devils Lake Hospital, but the community needs more certainty on the long-term plans for this facility. That means providing a clear timeline, the dollars to be invested and the opportunity for residents to give feedback. That’s how we work together to identify and advance community-driven solutions to address this region’s most urgent health care needs.”

          Today’s roundtable builds upon meetings Hoeven held with the community and health care providers in August and November, as well as his hosting of Bricker for a tour of the Devils Lake Hospital in October. Hoeven has insisted on these discussions to ensure local residents can give direct feedback to CommonSpirit Health. Last year, Hoeven also met with CommonSpirit Health CEO Wright Lassiter III in Washington, D.C. to outline the community’s concerns and work towards a solution.

          This comes as part of Hoeven’s continued efforts to enhance rural health care services in a way that benefits both patients and providers, including in communities such as GraftonHazen and Rugby. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to support programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that were essential in making new facilities in these communities a reality.