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NDMA President Dr. Anderson Provides Insight on Recruiting Health Care Workers for Pandemic

Posted 4/03/20 (Fri)

Dr. Jim Buhr and NDMA President Dr. Misty Anderson both work at Sanford Health in Valley City.


A news feature that focused on North Dakota's capacity to handle a worst-case coronavirus situation highlighted comments by NDMA President Dr. Misty Anderson.

Dr. Anderson, a physician at Sanford Health in Valley City, commented that many smaller hospitals like hers could become stressed if two or three nurses get sick and are out of the rotation for 14 days. She added that it would be “disastrous” if the virus began to spread in the city's only nursing home.

“You can't get volunteers off the street to be a nurse,” said Anderson, who also serves as president of the North Dakota Medical Association.

One of Dr. Anderson's partners, Dr. Jim Buhr, 74, who also serves as the Barnes County public health officer, planned to retire on May 1; however, he has extended his stay to Sept. 1.

“He is willing to step in and work because he doesn’t want anything to happen to me,” she said.

While Anderson and Buhr wonder out loud whether it would make more sense to have the younger, healthier workers put in longer shifts rather than recruiting retirees, Buhr cites a public health acronym, YPLL, or years of potential life lost. That's typically a factor doctors consider in outbreaks or disasters that have large numbers of deaths, he said.

Dr. Buhr is a life-time member of the ND Medical Association and has dedicated many years of leadership service to improving the health and wellbeing of North Dakota's citizens.


Copy credit for this clip goes to the news author: Dave Kolpack Associated Press. Read the entire story here.


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