Essentia Health facilities in Detroit Lakes, Frazee, Lake Park, Pelican Rapids and Mahnomen recently honored its health care workers by celebrating their many successes during an unprecedented 12 months.

The last year brought about some dark days in health care as communities confronted the COVID-19 pandemic. From taxed resources and full hospitals to challenges with personal protective equipment – all while fighting a novel coronavirus the world knew very little about – health care workers rose to the challenge, embraced the front lines and became heroes.

"At Essentia Health, we not only survived, we thrived," states a press release from the organization. "The high quality care our patients have come to expect never waned; instead, it got better."

Essentia Health’s West Market (eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota) reached – and sustained – a perfect 10 out of 10 score on the Clinical Quality Dashboard, which is a tool to help Essentia improve the health of its patients by measuring quality care. The dashboard measures metrics at both clinics and hospitals. Some of those metrics focus on the patient experience and gauge whether a patient would recommend an Essentia provider or hospital.

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Other recent accolades for the quality of care Essentia provides include the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award; and Essentia's hospitals in Fargo and Detroit Lakes receiving four-star ratings as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Care Compare program.

In addition to patient quality metrics, the West Market also met 14 of 14 strategic initiatives, the community goals Essentia sets for making investments in the health care of the communities and people it serves.

“In recognition of the hard work, sacrifices and dedication to our mission of making a healthy difference in people’s lives, celebrations are being held for our teams in our local facilities, in conjunction with the end of our fiscal year,” explained Al Hurley, chief operating officer.

To celebrate, a staff and family picnic was held at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion in mid-August, hosted by senior leadership and featuring food, games and more.

“These events are to recognize, be grateful for and share our gratitude with those who served in making a healthy difference in people’s lives, as well as their families who supported them in their work,” shared Dr. Bill Heegaard, president.