Wolf Point Herald

Northeast Montana Health Services Launches Patient Portal

With the launch of a new patient portal program, Northeast Montana Health Services now offers patients the option of accessing their medical health records online.
Enrollment in the portal will begin July 1. The portal is a personalized, safe, secure and completely confidential communication link between the patient and their healthcare providers.
Through the internet based portal, guests can log-in and utilize some of the interactive features and functions to enable them to have an active role in managing their health.
"Our goal is to keep patients informed and involved in their health care every step of the way. The portal will help enhance our patients ability to get the best medical care we have to offer, from anywhere and at any time," said Peg Norgaard, chief executive officer for
NEMHS.
The portal will provide patients with direct online access to their medical records, including upcoming appointments, test results,  medications, allergies, current immunization records, medical summaries and discharge instructions. Other functions may be turned on within the portal which may include a bill-paying option and reauthorization for prescriptions in the future.
Guests can enroll by visiting one of the facilities for a face-to-face visit at any registration area where they would normally check in for an appointment. This includes the clinics, any of the registration areas, or the medical records departments. Lab and X-ray will also be able to registers guests into the portal. To register, guests will need to bring valid photo identification. For privacy protection, phone or online registration will not be available.  
Patients can then access the portal once they have registered for an account and established a secure username and password. They will also be able to enroll their minor children and access their accounts. However, once children become 18 years old, parents will no longer have access to the account unless they are granted access by the child. Some circumstances allow underage patients to manage their own accounts.  
"The portal is not a replacement for personal contact, but is instead a vital tool that can improve communications between patients and their caregivers. It is one more way we are enhancing the patient experience," said Scott Nefzger, chief information officer for NEMHS.
The portal was launched as part of NEMHS' push to keep pace with technology while answering the national call to action to enhance America's national healthcare system.  
Most commonly referred to as the Stimulus Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included provisions, through the HITECH Act, to provide financial incentives to healthcare providers for the adoption and use of health information technology. The act also stipulated that eligible healthcare organizations, such as NEMHS, would be able to qualify for financial incentives by demonstrating "meaningful use" of electronic health record technology, starting in 2011 and ending in 2016.
During Stage 1 of meaningful use guidelines, NEMHS received 2.8 million from Medicaid and $763,000 from Medicare and began using Cerner Technology for their electronic health records.
As part of Stage 2 of meaningful use guidelines, NEMHS has been able to implement the patient portal.
"We are proud to offer the technology and accessibility that make healthcare easier for our patients," Norgaard said.
For more information, contact 653-6560 or 768-6108.

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Changing Of The Guard: Stennes Retiring After 41 Years, Toavs Slated To Move Up

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Retiring District Court clerk and Roosevelt County Superintendent of Schools Pat Stennes (seated) with Jeri Toavs, who has acted as Stennes’ deputy clerk for 16 years.  (Photo by John Plestina)

 

By John Plestina
A longtime fixture in the Roosevelt County Courthouse, Pat Stennes is retiring after more than 41 years working for the county, 23 of which as clerk of the District Court.
Stennes started working for Roosevelt County in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in January 1973. She had returned home to Wolf Point after working in Billings following college. She later worked as a deputy under the Clerk of the District Court and was appointed clerk in 1991.
She was formally appointed Roosevelt County Superintendent of Schools in 2000. The position had been in her title earlier than 2000, but a past justice of the peace served as superintendent prior to 2000.
The changing of the guard for both of Stennes’ positions will be Thursday, July 31, with 16-year county employee Jeri Toavs as the likely designee to replace Stennes. The county commissioners must formally appoint her.
“[Toavs] started in the clerk and recorder’s office, also.” Stennes said.
After working for the clerk and recorder for about one year, Toavs began working under Stennes as a deputy district court clerk in October 1999.
Laurie Evans recently began working with Stennes and Toavs and will be the new deputy clerk. She previously worked in the county treasurer’s office.
Stennes was born in Wolf Point and graduated from Wolf Point High School. She spent time in the courthouse as a child. Her mother, Marge Stennes, is a former county employee. She continues to live in Wolf Point.
“When I was born, my mother was working in the clerk and recorder’s office,” Stennes said.
“I’ve always been here — it feels like. The lady who was my mother’s boss was still here when I started,” she said.
Stennes has seen a lot of changes come to the Roo-sevelt County Courthouse.
“Oh, man, the changes are unreal,” she said.
“Judge [James] Sorte was the judge when I came,” Stennes said.
The late Judge Sorte served on the bench in the 15th District from 1969 until 1994.
Judge David Cybulski took the reins of the 15th District in 1995 and remains as district judge.
“We didn’t have computers when I started here,” Stennes said.
She said everything was done manually in 1991. Today, the state provides software that is in use in the courthouse.
“The changes are the biggest thing and the changes in the crime. When I started here — criminal cases — maybe eight a year,” Stennes said.
The number of felony cases — mostly drug-related — that are currently filed in the 15th District are at least eight each month. Six people appeared in court in Wolf Point for arraignments on felony drug cases, Wednesday, June 25.
Despite the sharp increase in criminal cases, Stennes said she will miss her job.
“You see the bad, but you see the good. The adoptions; they’re the special cases,” Stennes said.
Stennes said she plans to continue to live in Wolf Point, for at least a few more years, but she wants to spend more time with her daughter and grandchildren in California. Stennes’ mother lives in Wolf Point.

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Driver Runs Away From Crash And Injured Girlfriend

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This 2003 GMC Yukon Denali struck a pole bringing down a power line at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Custer Street, Monday, June 30. Police said the driver fled the scene leaving an injured passenger.  (Photo by John Plestina)

Wolf Point Police reported that two witnesses told officers a man ran away from a crashed vehicle, Monday, June 30, leaving an injured woman in the passenger seat.
Police said there is a possibility the Poplar man might have been intoxicated.
Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice officers are looking for the driver, according to the WPPD.
The single-vehicle crash at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Custer Street knocked a light pole down on the corner beside the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church at 4:24 p.m. An electrical line was on the sidewalk between the downed pole and the front entrance of the church.
WPPD Sgt. Ryan Michaelsen said the 2003 GMC Yukon Denali was southbound on Fourth Avenue South and jumped the curb at the corner of Custer Street, striking the light pole. There was minimal damage to the vehicle.
Police reported that a 27-year-old Poplar woman, who was seated in the front passenger seat, suffered minor injuries. She was transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus. She has been released from the hospital.
A repair crew from Montana- Dakota Utilities was on the scene at 5 p.m. and had the electrical line and downed pole removed by 5:30 p.m.

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Liquor Store Owner Seeks Council OK For 11th Hour Request For Stampede Street Dance

The Wolf Point City Council will meet in a special meeting Wednesday, July 2, to consider a late request to hold a street dance during the Wild Horse Stampede on Anaconda Street,  east of Third Avenue South.
Bob Stracener, owner of the Wolf Point Liquor Market located next to Arlo’s Bar, is seeking approval to close Anaconda Street during evening hours, Thursday, July 10.
City clerk/treasurer Marlene Mahlum said Stracener contacted the city during the last week of June seeking approval to hold a street dance.
The Wolf Point Elks Club had planned a street dance in the block of Main Street between Third Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South, but shuttered the plan to hold the event in the street because of a city requirement that groups holding street dances must clean up several blocks of the downtown area, not just the immediate location of the dance.
The Elks will hold dances with beer sales Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of Stampede in the parking lot between the Elks Club and Prairie Cinema. Municipal approval is not required since the event will be on private property.
The city council, on Monday, June 16, approved a $1,000 contract for services to the Wolf Point High School football program for cleanup of the downtown area all three mornings of Stampede.
Despite the football players cleaning up the streets, Stracener still has to comply with the city’s clean-up mandate for street dance permit holders, according to Mahlum.
“The kids will clean up, but he is being asked to assist or contribute,” she said.
The city asks for 60 days notice for those seeking permits for special events. Mahlum said it is not mandated by ordinance.
The council will address one other issue, a call for bids for the Wolf Point Village apartment complex construction project.
The council must approve a call for bids for the 24-unit project because the city received a $750,000 HOME grant through the Montana Department of Commerce. Great Northern Development Corporation is project manager for the city.
The special council meeting was slated for Wednesday, July 2, at 7 p.m., in the city council chambers.

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Fourth Of July Festivities Abound In Northeast Montana

Several events will mark the Independence Day holiday weekend in Wolf Point, Poplar and Sco­bey.
Poplar will celebrate the July 4 holiday with the Poplar Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Family Fun Day.
The Independence Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Main Street.
Registration for the Barbecue Cook-off Competition begins at noon. Beef will be handed out at 1 p.m. There are hamburger and steak categories and prizes will be awarded.
A horseshoe tournament begins at 3 p.m., with registration at 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top four teams.
Other events include a cookie decorating contest for children at 3 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.
Wolf Point’s fireworks begins at 10 p.m. and will be shot off in the carnival parking lot, two blocks east of the Sherman Inn. No parade or other events are planned in Wolf Point Friday, July 4.
Shakespeare in the Park’s As You Like It will be presented in Faith Home Park, Sunday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m.
Scobey’s Fourth of July celebration will be fun for the whole family the whole day and includes a fun run/health walk beginning with registration at 6:30 a.m., flag presentation at noon at the Main Street stage, children’s games at 1 p.m., car/truck/motorcycle show from 9 a.m to 3 p.m., two-person Rescue Races with a calcutta at 2:30 p.m., open mike singing contest at 7 p.m., fireworks at dusk and street dance from 9 p.m. to midnight.

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