Minnesota Senator Visits Bemidji For Health Care Tour
Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) made a stop in Bemidji to dive into health care and how it affects the region. The discussion is part of his Health Care Round Table Tour.
“Engaging the people who are actually boots on the ground trying to provide for the health of our people and our communities is vitally important,” said Lourey.
Leading health officials and others in the area such as Sanford Health Bemidji Chief Operating Officer Joy Johnson and Beltrami County Administrator Kay Mack were a part of the conversation.
“Discussions that we can have as a community in a cross discipline kind of format are always healthy,” said Mack. “It’s especially healthy when it’s someone that has as much impact in the legislature as I know that Sen. Lourey has.”
“Data practices don’t allow for different members of the team to share clinically appropriate information about the health of a patient they’re together trying to serve, and that’s a real barrier,” said Lourey.
Another topic was the city’s $2 million grant for the jail diversion project created years ago along with a service team to get inmates healthy.
“We do as a county face a significant number of our inmates have a prior mental health diagnosis, and we want to change that,” said Mack.
Sen. Lourey says although Bemidji faces challenges when it comes to health care, there are solutions set in place and that begins with a stronger workforce.
“Our tech schools are partnering with the high schools trying to promote the future workforce for health care, particularly mental health.”
By 2025, 20 percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product will be spent on health care, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Sen. Lourey says it’s important to get this right.
“People’s lives, literally, depend on it,” said Lourey.
Sen. Lourey made a stop in Fergus Falls tonight and will be in St. Cloud tomorrow. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings.