- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Stanley and Pat Sundheim family recently donated a new recliner chair to Roosevelt Medical Center for use in their emergency room waiting area. The chair will be available for family and friends to use while someone they know is receiving medical treatment in ER. The brown, plush chair replaces an older, less comfortable chair. (Submitted photo)
- Written by Jaimee Green
A retirement party will be held June 10 at 5:30 p.m. to honor Sharon Schmitz’s 35 years of service to Roose-
velt Medical Center.
“I think everyone is going to miss her. She was not just a co-worker who wore so many hats, but a friend, a supportive person, someone to look up to who was great at what she did, and always did it with her fiery passion,” said Amber Bond, clinic coordinator.
For the last three-and-a-half decades, Sharon Schmitz has watched the healthcare industry grow and change. This month, she is retiring from her role at Roosevelt Medical Center as business manager for 34 years and as the better health improvement specialist for the last year. But, she has no plans of slowing down.
“My husband, Gene, and I are at the age where we are old enough to retire and want to enjoy our time while we are still young enough and able enough to do the things we have always dreamed of,” she said. They also want to spend more time with their children and grandchildren.
As excited as she is about spending more time with family, Schmitz will miss the staff who have come to be her extended RMC family. “The greatest highlight of my career is the quality of people I have gotten to work with,” she said. “I think the people here are just wonderful. I have depended on them over the years and I treasure those friendships that have been forged along the way,” she added.
Schmitz began her career at RMC in 1980, but not as the manager of the business office. She first began working in the housekeeping department and after six months moved into the new clinic where she worked as a medical assistant and receptionist. There, she was instrumental in helping design and implement policies and procedures and certifying the RHC in 1992. Her work provided a perfect background for her to take on the role as business office manager beginning in 1998.
In her earliest years at RMC, the organization consisted of two hallways dedicated to 32 nursing home residents and two halls for as many as 15 hospital patients. When RMC transitioned from nursing home status to long-term care status, she was directly involved in helping make the huge regulatory process smooth.
She worked with many providers throughout the years. “Dr. Mann was an excellent teacher. I came into this job cold, off the street, but over the years, the encouragement I received always made me feel like I was making a difference,” she recalled.
More recently, Schmitz faced the challenges of growing federal regulations along with the implementation of electronic health records. “The days of handwritten orders and charting are long over. Documentation requirements have quadrupled since I began this journey, but I have always enjoyed the challenges presented in healthcare,” she said.
This last year she has worked as the netter health improvement specialist, working through a grant that has enabled RMC to receive leadership and staff training, as well as purchase three electronic smart boards for the facility and community to use.
When she retires, her remaining duties will be absorbed by the appropriate departments.
“I will miss the everyday challenges that come with working in healthcare. RMC has always been a good place to work where the leadership is forward thinking, the staff is kind and the primary care is exceptional,” she said.
- Written by John Plestina
An Amtrak employee who is alleged to have committed a kidnap and sexual assault onboard an Amtrak train that was passing through Roosevelt County on April 19 made an initial appearance in 15th District Court Wednesday, May 13.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office identified the defendant as Charles Henry Pinner, 59, of Detroit, Mich.
Undersheriff John Summers said Pinner works for Amtrak and is based in Chicago, Ill.
An online search shows Pinner living in Detroit with several previous addresses in Los Angeles and two other cities in California.
Sporting long dreadlocks, a beard and gray stripped jail suit, Pinner appeared before District Judge David Cybulski where his charges were read. He did not have an attorney and pleas were not entered. Pinner is scheduled to appear for a full arraignment Wednesday, May 27.
The charging documents show two counts filed against Pinner of sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping. Each felony charge carries maximum penalties of 100 years imprisonment.
Summers said Pinner was working onboard Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder route that stops in Wolf Point April 19. A woman who was a passenger onboard that train made the allegations to Amtrak. The federal Amtrak Police Department detained Pinner in Chicago. APD transported Pinner to Fargo, N.D., where he was held temporarily.
Summers said the woman who made the allegations is not from Roosevelt County.
He said APD contacted the RCSO about the allegations April 30.
The Roosevelt County Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Pinner May 1.
Sheriff Jason Frederick and jail administrator Melvin Clark drove to Fargo and brought Pinner back to Wolf Point Tuesday, May 12.
RCSO Sgt. Patrick O’Connor and federal APD detectives based in Havre and California worked on the investigation.
- Written by Nancy Mahan
The Culbertson School board met in regular session May 19. Paying the bills and the approving agenda as first order of business.
The next business was swearing in the elected board members and the reorganization of the school board. Paul Finnicum is the chairperson while Ron Larsen is the vice chair. Lora Finnicum, the current district clerk, was approved.
The 2015-16 school year student council members were present to request permission to start a student council Facebook page, controlled and monitored by their adviser. These students are: Adam Buxbaum, president; Chris Azure Melbourne, vice president; Tessa Larsen, junior secretary; Jacob Martin, sophomore class representative; Ashtyn Handy, senior class representative; Skyler Tibbs, junior class representative; Wyatt Sheldon, senior class representative; Logan Nickoloff, representative at-large; Noah Nickoloff, freshman representative at-large; Lucas Oelkers, freshman representative; Charlie LaMay, representative; at-large; and Sierra Machart, junior representative.
In other business, the summer facility projects are ready and waiting. These projects include a new ceiling in the north elementary hallway, plumbing issues in the east elementary wing will receive upgrades, as will the janitorial sink and the administrative restroom. Library computers on the east wall will get new shelving, parking lines will be repainted, windows re-caulked, on landscape finishing touches on the north side of the new gym addition, fixing the old armory leaks and replacing the interior door knobs.
In construction news, the bus barn is waiting on a heating system and the concrete apron needs poured. The south elementary addition has concrete on both levels with the anticipation of exterior walls going up soon.
The kindergarten through eight grade students meet and exceeded the expectations for the Accelerated Reading Program and all the classes earned pizza parties and field trips to the ARC in Williston, N.D.
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners held a public hearing Tuesday, May 26, to discuss architects that are vying for the contract to design the new county jail.
The commissioners will hold a special meeting Friday, May 29, to make a decision on an architect.
The county sought requests for proposals from architects and seven responded. The field is narrowed to four finalists. They are Slate Architecture of Bozeman; Stevenson Design of Miles City; Epic of Williston, N.D.; and Klien McCarthy of Bismarck, N.D.
Voters in November approved a bonding measure to replace the aging jail with a 47.58 percent voter turnout. A lower, 34.88 percent voter turnout prevented passage of a similar measure in June 2014.
The approval authorizes the county commissioners to issue and sell $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years.
The current jail is under-sized and does not meet current jail standards.
Legal action brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2013 forced Roosevelt County to reduce the number of jail beds by nearly one half.