Dull Skin Be-Gone | Treatment for a Celeb-Worthy Glow

It's Altru - Published on December 12, 2016

Skin Care Facial TipsEver notice that celebrities’ skin seems to almost glow? In part, this is due to the work of their high-end make-up artists, but it all starts with skin that’s bright and full of life. While many celebrity treatments are unattainable, cost prohibitive or down-right odd (vampire facial, anyone?), Truyu Aesthetic Center can help you get the celeb-worthy glow you are after with our top-of-the-line 3D facial treatment. Here’s how it works.

The basics

3D facials combine three anti-aging services into one treatment. With that, you see big-time results for key skin concerns, including:


  • Lightening and brightening your complexion

  • Reducing the appearance of pigmentation, redness and broken capillaries

  • Improved texture

  • Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles

  • Shrinks pores


Altogether, this treatment will rejuvenate your skin and give it a natural glow.

Step 1 - Microdermabrasion


skin-care-microdermabrasionThe first step of a 3D facial is microdermabrasion. This exfoliating technique removes dry, dead, complexion-dulling skin. As we age, the rate of turnover on our skin cells slows down, resulting in more build up on the skin which leads to a dull appearance. On top of that, many of us have red complexions or dark spots that reduce the brightness of one’s complexion. This is where the second step comes in.

Next Up – Sun Damage Fixed

BBL or Broad Band Light corrects sun-damaged skin and red complexions. This laser treatment introduces heat to your skin to help raise damaged skin cells to the surface so that they fall off. It also collapses red blood vessels, which reduces redness. Bonus: not only does this treatment correct color issues, it is a great anti-aging treatment as well. In your 20s your skin’s collagen starts to slow down; the heat from the BBL will wake it up so it starts producing more healthy skin, preventing wrinkles from forming.

End it on a high note!

If you’re not already sold, it gets better. The last step, Laser Genesis, stimulates collagen and reverses the signs of aging, promoting healthy-looking skin. Immediately after Genesis, your skin will feel tight and fresh. Individual treatments of Genesis offer subtle changes, but combined with microdermabrasion and BBL, it’s the cherry on top in your quest to revitalize dull complexion with no downtime.

Healthy glowing skinIf you’re ready to schedule your appointment for a 3D facial, there are a few things you should know to prepare for your treatment.

  • Immediately after the treatment your skin will look slightly pink and feel like you have a mild sun-burn.

  • Make-up can be applied right after.

  • There is no “down-time.” You can get this treatment on your lunch break and go back to work.


The holidays are here, and it’s a perfect time to get the glowing skin you dream of. Call 701.780.6623 to book your free individual consultation and learn more about this amazing service.

Living Pain-Free, Not Fun-Free | Ron's Altru Advanced Orthopedics Story

Altru Moments - Published on November 11, 2016

Ron T RakingIn 1999 Ron Thramer had rotator cuff surgery on his right arm. Over the years, the work that had been done had slowly deteriorated, and he was living life in pain.

“I kept putting it off,” explained Ron. “I lived with the pain instead of going in to find a solution. For years, I couldn’t sleep through the night because it was so bad.”

Finally, he saw an advertisement for Altru Advanced Orthopedics showing people living “pain-free, not fun free” and considered it a sign. Living in Roseau, Minnesota, Ron went to Altru Clinic and met with Dr. Jeremy Gardner, an orthopedic surgeon at Altru Advanced Orthopedics who visits regularly.

“Dr. Gardner told me – your shoulder is in really bad shape. Luckily, I know a guy who can fix it.”

Dr. Gardner referred Ron to his colleague, Dr. Darin Leetun, who specializes in shoulder surgery and completes more complex cases. Dr. Leetun reviewed Ron’s case and walked him through the options.

“He asked me what I expected out of the surgery. I said if he could make the constant pain go away and help build back some strength, that I’d be happy,” remembers Ron. “ He told me he could do that, so we moved ahead. I am so happy I did.”

Ron had surgery on his rotator cuff in January of 2016. Dr. Leetun repaired damage and had to include donor tissue to replace the tendons in Ron’s shoulder that were too badly damaged. He referred Ron back to Altru Clinic in Roseau after the surgery so that he could receive physical therapy in his hometown.

Now, nine months after the surgery, Ron is proud to share that, like the advertisement promised, he’s living ‘pain-free, not fun-free.’ “As long as I don’t overdo an activity, there’s no pain,” shared Ron. He’s been able to complete tasks at work with the highway department and at his electric business, Thramer Electric, without having to think about how to avoid pain. And, he’s been able to pick up some of the hobbies he’d left behind when he was living in pain.

Ron T Roofing

“I hadn’t golfed in two years,” he shared. “Dr. Leetun told me to go for it, and though I haven’t had the time to play a round, I swung the club a few times this summer – and there was no pain. Hunting is also much more enjoyable. I can climb into deer stands, I can better support my gun, and most of all I can enjoy it without thinking about the pain.”

Ron’s advice for people who are avoiding addressing their joint pain – don’t. He even referred a co-worker who was much like him to see Dr. Leetun about his shoulder, which had been bothering for years. He’s now on the same path as Ron toward a life without shoulder pain.

“My advice to people is to take care of it now. There’s no good time to have surgery, but the longer you put it off, the worse it gets. And, the more things in life you miss.”

Caring for Joints, Cultivating Relationships | Darin Leetun, MD

Faces of Altru - Published on November 4, 2016

Dr. Darin Leetunleetun-golfing of Altru Advanced Orthopedics helps patients get back to the life they enjoy through thorough care and advanced procedural offerings. He’s also a doctor for the USA hockey, ski and snowboarding teams. On top of that, he provides regular free presentations to the community on common concerns with joint pain, and even has time to mix in a round of golf or two. We sat down with Dr. Leetun to discover more about his approach to care, and the things he enjoys doing when he’s not focused on joints.

Q: What is your area of specialty?
A: I focus on shoulder and knee care. I do everything from basic care and non-surgical treatment to replacements. I enjoy having that focus as I can confidently manage everything for patients related to their shoulder or knee concerns.

Q: What’s your approach to care?
A: I approach caring for my patients as a partnership. I like to work with them to achieve the goal that they’re looking for. Whether it’s to return to an activity, sport or just everyday life—my number one priority is to help an individual accomplish what they set out to do when they sought care. My goal isn’t always to do a surgery, it’s to do whatever I can to get them back to activity with the least amount of risk and difficulty for them. I look at every option and try to emphasize partnering with them to make a decision, not making the decision for them.

Dr. and Mrs. LeetunQ: What motivates you to do what you do?
A: My motivation is simply the fact that I believe God has given me a gift that I can use to help others. Although I may not always be perfect, I can be helpful in what I do and take something that I’ve been blessed with and be a blessing to others.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to go into medicine?
A: My interest in medicine started when I was very young. I broke my arm when I was six, and to set it, the doctor used the fluoroscopy (or live x-ray), so I could see my bones being moved. That experience really got me interested in dealing with bones.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: I enjoy the challenge. Every day is different. Every day there’s something new that I need to adapt to and try to overcome. I enjoy learning new things and adding to my practice. Medicine is advancing all the time, and we’re adding new and better ways to care for our patients—like our recent addition of the Mako Robotic-Arm. That’s allowed me to offer more precision in a partial knee replacement, which is a great value for patients. 

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I enjoy golfing and working in my yard. I also enjoy spending time catching up with family and friends—I feel that those relationships are very important. I just got done goose hunting with my cousins. I’ve never hunted for geese in my life, but I did it so we could spend time together. Unfortunately we got skunked—we didn’t get any geese. But, we had a good day. We enjoyed hanging out and experiencing the benefits of what North Dakota brings.

hunting

Q: Where would you most like to travel to?
A: For me, it would be going to Israel, to Jerusalem. Seeing all the places and sites where Jesus walked and talked, helping the Bible to come alive—to gain a better understanding of what was being taught. Hopefully it would be an opportunity where I could to grow in my faith and apply it to my life.

Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I graduated from Bismarck Century High School, then I went to the University of North Dakota. I actually spent my junior year at the University of Alabama doing a student exchange program (primarily because I was a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan). Then, I ended up going back to Alabama for my first two years of medical school before finishing my medical degree at the University of Virginia. From there, I went to Fort Worth, Texas for five years, and then off to Australia for my fellowship training before starting an orthopedic practice. I’ve been in Grand Forks three years this August.

Q: What do you like about being in Grand Forks?
A: Grand Forks reminds me of how Bismarck was when I grew up. Not too big, not too small. I like the opportunities here with the Greenway, the outdoor activities, etc. But, I’ve got to be honest—my favorite thing is UND Hockey. I’m a big fan; I’ve always been. Having the opportunity to go to the games on a regular basis and enjoy the quality of hockey we have here, week in and week out, that’s a huge plus.

From a Bad Cold to Life Support, and Back to Normal | Denae’s Altru Moment

Altru Moments - Published on October 27, 2016

denae-and-terry-photoIn spring of 2016, Denae Bayne of Newfolden, Minnesota, thought she had a bad cold. After a diagnosis of common bronchitis, she was sent home with medicine.

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Denae was feeling lethargic and gloomy. In the evening, her husband, Terry, knew this wasn’t normal, and he brought her to the closest emergency room in Thief River Falls.

Several tests and chest x-rays revealed Denae did not have bronchitis. It was double pneumonia, covering about one third of her lungs, as well as severe dehydration. She was kept overnight for observation, and given antibiotics and fluids.

By Monday morning, another x-ray showed the pneumonia now covered half of her lungs—and her oxygen levels were dropping. By Tuesday morning, Denae had to be sedated and intubated in order to attempt getting her on a respirator. Another turn for the worse—her body rejected the respirator, and she had to be manually bagged for oxygen.

At 10 a.m., Denae was emergency airlifted to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, where she was immediately put into a medically induced coma and placed on life support.

The pneumonia had aggressively enveloped both of her lungs. As a result, she developed ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). Following more testing in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), doctors determined Denae was infected with the H1N1 influenza virus at some point during the week prior.

Four days before, it was a “bad cold.”

11 Long Days
Denae remained on life support for 11 days. Things took a turn for the better, and she was moved out of the ICU on April 11, 2016. Denae was able to leave the hospital on April 13, with the support of portable oxygen, physical therapy to assist with walking and completing basic hand coordination functions, and her husband, Terry, by her side.

holding-hands

Today, six months later, Denae’s lungs are just returning to normal. 

Dr. Shivu Kaushik [in Altru’s ICU] consistently kept us updated, and it was clear to see that he genuinely cared for the well-being of my wife,” beams Terry. “He thought she would be on life support for a minimum of three weeks; however, he did say, ‘Some people surprise me.’”

Denae was lucky to be one of those people.

Making an Impression
Dr. Kaushik wasn’t the only person who made an impression on the Baynes. Terry explains, “I can’t forget Dr. Mudireddy, who saw her in ER and the first day in ICU. Also Dr. Dalmi, who was with her on the floor after ICU until discharge. It was a great experience with respiratory, occupational and physical therapies, as well as all the nurses and cleaning staff.”

“In fact, the people at Altru impressed us so much that when we got home, I called our health insurance company and switched our primary care to Altru. It left that big of an impact on our lives!”

The Baynes are back to normal life today, enjoying spending time with family and friends and being outdoors in the fresh air. Denae is back at work, advocating for juveniles in the court system, trying to take every day a little slower and cherishing all the moments along the way.

A Heart for Giving | Putting Equipment into New Hands, Across the World

It's Altru - Published on October 26, 2016

Give, Donate, Charity“When asked to do something, sometimes it’s best to say ‘yes’ and figure out how you’re going to do it later,” smiles Jenny Senti, RN, clinical nurse specialist. That is exactly what Jenny did when she was asked to mentor a master of public health student desiring a practicum in obstetrics at Altru Health System.

Jenny said ‘yes’ and was fortunate enough to meet Dede Hesse from Ghana, a sub region of West Africa. Dede had a deep desire to learn, and she planned to take her new skills and knowledge across the world, back home to Ghana.

Dede was fortunate enough to meet Duane Sauer, customer support analyst at Altru. The two literally crossed paths one day—in the hallway at Altru, while Duane was working on equipment in a closet. A brief conversation, coupled with Dede’s interest in the equipment, led to her describing the medical school and health facility her parents were working tirelessly to open in Ghana. Duane, having previous experience with donating computers and medical equipment internationally, quickly began asking questions. His heart for this sort of work kicked into motion.

Turning a Dream into Reality
Dede’s mother, a physician, and her father, a pastor, dreamed of opening this medical facility in Ghana. Planning had already begun, and a donation of medical equipment and computers would help bring the Hesse family’s dream to life.

Jenny and Professor Hesse

Dede’s mother, Professor Hesse, visited Altru Health System in 2015. While she was here, other medical equipment that Altru was no longer utilizing was earmarked for donation to Ghana.

Clyde Strand, manager of biomed electronics, helped to prepare an isolette, fetal monitors, balloon pumps and other medical equipment that would have otherwise been recycled. Duane and other members of his team worked to restore over 100 computers and prepare them with necessary cords, keyboards, monitors, networking equipment and printers.

The donation, which would have all been recycled material and no longer served a purpose here, now would have a new life and serve people across the globe.

It Takes a Team
When the time came to assemble and pack all the equipment, even more departments and people at Altru got involved.

Ann Pederson in Altru’s Medical Library collected four large boxes of books donated by physicians and nurse practitioners. Employees volunteered time to package all contents and helped load the long-awaited truck that took the donation to be shipped to Ghana.

Altru employees

“It’s just something we do,” shares Duane. He finds comfort knowing that equipment that had expired here, or we had outgrown, would continue its life and help further the medical field, instead of being deposited into the recycle bin.

equipment-in-place

“I am so proud of this organization,” reflects Jenny. “We are taking care of people, all over the world.”

The medical school in Ghana was accredited before the shipment arrived, and the donated supplies are now in use.

5 Ways Being a CNA Could Help Your Future Nursing Career

It's Altru - Published on September 30, 2016

kesha-5Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are an important part of the healthcare team. These hard-working professionals provide much of the one-on-one attention patients require. Under the direction of a registered nurse (RN), CNAs deliver hands-on nursing care that includes bathing, dressing, feeding, as well as taking vital signs and other measurements at regular intervals.

If your goal is to become a nurse, starting out as a CNA is a great opportunity to explore the nursing field. You’ll get the chance to work alongside LPNs and RNs in a variety of healthcare settings, earning invaluable experience and skills along the way. In fact, easing into the occupation offers several important benefits. Let’s take a look.

Get Paid While You Train
Let’s face it—college tuition rates are skyrocketing, and nursing school won’t be getting cheaper anytime soon. If you don’t want to graduate with a mountain of student debt, earning your CNA certification is an excellent opportunity to make some money while you gain valuable on-the-job experience. You may even find an employer willing to pay for your CNA training.

Dip a Toe Without Diving In
This is the most obvious benefit of the ladder approach. You get to see what the nursing field is really like without immediately committing your life to it. Few other careers have such an opportunity to work in the field, side-by-side with the professionals you aspire to become. In many ways, it’s a lot like a grownup version of a paid internship, only much more rewarding. Plus, you can experience different healthcare settings to see which fits your style best: hospital, clinic, hospice, etc.

Confirm Your Passion
Nursing is more of a passion than a career. You’re called to the work because you have a desire to help others. On any given day, the sick, injured or elderly will be relying on you to care for their physical (and emotional) needs. One of the greatest benefits of working as a CNA before moving on to nursing school is that you get the chance to affirm in your heart that you have what it takes to deal with those demanding situations.

Boost Your Chances of Getting Into School
Along with rising tuition costs, nursing school is becoming more and more competitive every year. Why? Because it’s a quickly growing job market with plenty of demand all over the country. Look on any job posting site and you’ll find hospitals, clinics and senior care facilities looking for CNAs, LPNs and RNs. Having your CNA credential and on-the-job experience will set your nursing school application apart from those that are fresh out of high school.

Boost Your Chances of Getting a Nursing Job
This is what it’s all about, right? Getting that dream nursing job at the location of your choosing. Just because there are plenty of openings doesn’t mean every employer is desperate to hire just anyone. If you want the highest-paying nursing job with the best hours, the best boss and the best benefits, you’ll need an impressive resume. Working as a CNA proves many things to a future employer: you have hands-on experience, you’ll be able to jump in on day one, you’ve likely shown you can perform under pressure, and you’ve worked your way up, which shows your longevity and commitment to your chosen career.

Few careers offer such opportunities for on-the-job experience and training as the nursing field. With the ability to find free training and paid experience, you can explore nursing as a potential career without investing in four years of nursing school. If you see yourself in scrubs one day with RN next to your name, consider starting out as a CNA to see what the healthcare industry is all about.

Do you have a passion for caring for people? Do what you love. Make a difference. Join our team of over 4,000 health professionals and support staff committed to caring for the region for more than 100 years.

Treating Patients Like Family | Billy Haug, MD

Faces of Altru - Published on September 1, 2016

BikingDr. Billy Haug’s warm personality and genuine caring spirit makes him a favorite around Altru Health System. His patients say his vested interest in their health and well-being, beyond their time at the clinic, is what sets him apart. We’ve heard from many of Dr. Haug’s patients recently on the care they’ve received, and all gave glowing reviews. So, we sat down with Dr. Haug to get to know him a little more and understand what drives him to treat each patient as though they were family.

Q: What is the focus of your work at Altru Advanced Orthopedics?
A. My practice focuses on medical orthopedic care, such as injury management, ultrasound guided injections, concussion management and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. I enjoy caring for those of all ages, from infants with hip dysplasia to folks in their nineties with arthritis.

Q: What have you done outside of the clinic in your field?
A. Earlier in my career I was a team physician for the USA Cross-Country Ski Team and Nordic Combined Team (which involves ski-jumping as well as cross-country skiing). I traveled with them to Norway and Finland. I also worked with the United States Anti-Doping Association at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Three years ago I was appointed to the North Dakota State Board of Medicine which meets three times a year in Bismarck.

Q: What is your approach to care?
A. I strive to be present for my patients — to really listen to them and understand their concerns. It is imperative to respect their wishes and to include them in the plan of care to reach their goals. My staff and I focus on treating everyone the way we would like our family members to be treated.

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
A. Knowing my patients trust me with their care, and to care for their family, is humbling and rewarding. It motivates me to come to work every day with a smile knowing I can share a part of their lives. That trust is so special, and it is a bond I take seriously.

Family

Q: Why did you choose to become a physician?
A. Growing up in Grafton, N.D., I had physicians who made a difference not only in my life, but in the community as a whole. One physician made a house call to see me on a cold winter’s day, and I have always remembered that. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives the way they did in mine.

Q: What do you do for fun?
A. My wife and I enjoy spending a lot of time with our children. We do outdoor activities and take them to live theater and musicals as much as we can. I also enjoy spending time in northeastern Minnesota paddling my kayak, taking part in bicycle endurance races and playing the guitar.

Kayak

Q: What do you do outside of your role at Altru?
A. For the last five years I have volunteered to read weekly at my children’s elementary school in “Book Buddies.” It is a wonderful way to start a day! I am also involved with Special Olympics, volunteering at the annual soccer and bocce ball tournament and at local events. My son has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), and he is excited now that he is old enough to participate in Special Olympics! Additionally, I am the medical director for the Wild Hog Marathon in Grand Forks. It's a historic event this year as it’s the first full distance running marathon in Grand Forks!

Q: Where would you like to travel?
A. When I traveled with the USA Ski Team, I befriended a physician and a few coaches from Russia. Hearing their stories gave me some serious perspective. It is a place I've since wanted to visit and hopefully reestablish those friendships. I’d also love to take my children to England and expose them to where the famous British romantic poets lived. My daughter would especially love to see the new "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" theater production in London.

Q: What would you like to be if you weren’t a physician?
A. The scientist in me would have loved to be a university professor, studying the ecology of the rain forests in South America. The humanitarian in me would love to be a writer, using verse to share the human experience. Don’t look for my work in libraries or bookstores anytime soon, but maybe someday I’ll make an attempt!

One Last Dance | Fulfilling Marvin's Final Wish through Altru's Hospice

Altru Moments - Published on August 24, 2016

Dancing with DaughterAfter arriving home from their daughter Tanisha’s fourth grade graduation, Olisa and Marvin Charboneau were visiting about how great the day was. Marvin stated this would be the last graduation or event he would attend. Most fathers dream of one day walking their daughter down the aisle and dancing together during the father-daughter dance to celebrate her wedding day. For Marvin Charboneau this dream would not come true.

Marvin was diagnosed with end stage renal failure or kidney failure in 2006. For the past nine years, Marvin received hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis at home. In August of 2015, Marvin decided on his own to stop dialysis and enjoy his remaining time with his wife, children, family and friends.

On December 27, 2015, Marvin was admitted to Altru’s Hospice of Devils Lake. Marvin enjoyed all of the nurses, the social worker and the aides who provided care to him for the past seven months.

During one of the visits, Stephanie, Altru’s Hospice social worker, was visiting with Marvin’s wife Olisa, and she shared this would be Marvin's last graduation and he would not get to dance with his daughter at her wedding. Stephanie knew of a special program through Altru’s Hospice, the Sentimental Journey program, which provides patients and their family one last special wish to experience. Sentimental Journey is made possible through generous donors.

On June 17, 2016, Marvin’s wish came true; he was going to be able to have one last dance with his daughter.

Marvin Dancing

The DJ was booked, the food was ordered, guests and family were invited and the hall was decorated in purple, yellow and white, for his favorite football team, The Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Jersey

Marvin loved everything about the evening, and he cried when he got home. He was touched that someone would hold a dance in his honor so he could have a special, final dance with his daughter.

Marvin passed away July 4, 2016, at the age of 41 years old.

He was married to his childhood sweetheart Olisa for nearly 20 years. He was the father of three children: Brendon Belgarde Jr., Womdee Belgarde and Tanisha Grace Charboneau.

Marvin and Family

About Altru’s Hospice
Hospice is a special kind of care for patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.

At Altru’s Hospice, comfort care is the hallmark of our program. Because we are your hometown hospice, we can identify community resources which may be of help during this time. Altru’s Hospice has locations in Grand Forks, Cavalier, Devils Lake, Grafton, Park River and McVille, North Dakota, and Warren, Minnesota.

Larissa KadlecLarissa Kadlec, community relations coordinator with Altru’s Home Health and Hospice, has been with Altru for 10 years. She oversees, plans and implements public relations and marketing activities to support home health and hospice. Larissa enjoys spending time at the lake with her family and dog in the summer and attending UND hockey games in the winter.

Kids, Cars and Summer Heat

Modern Mom - Published on June 30, 2016

CarseatAs the thermometer reaches temperatures that make us swelter in the sun, we need to be extra vigilant about kids and the toll that heat takes on their bodies.

Heatstroke is the medical term used to describe when the body’s temperature becomes excessively hot. Simply put, hyperthermia occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it gives off.

Young children are particularly at risk for heatstroke, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down. When their temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.

Kids in Cars
Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of 14. Since 1998, more than 660 children across the United States have died in cars from heatstroke.

How does it happen?


  • More than half of these deaths occur when a driver forgets that the child is in the car. Experts will tell you this can happen to anybody. Our busy lifestyles create enough stress to trigger “mental lapses” that cause your brain to go on autopilot. The lapses can affect something as simple as misplacing your keys or something as crucial as forgetting a baby. Read about one mother's real story.

  • Almost 30 percent of the time, children get into a car on their own. They find a way into the car, but sometimes, they can’t find a way out.

  • The third scenario is when someone intentionally leaves a child alone in a car. A parent might be running an errand and think, “The baby just fell asleep. I’ll just be gone for a second.” But seconds turn into minutes, and before you know it, the temperature inside of the car has reached lethal levels.


The temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes and upwards of 40-50 degrees in the span of an hour or two. It can be a relatively mild day outside and yet, there can be life threatening temperatures inside a vehicle. “Cracking the window” makes very little difference on the internal temperature in the vehicle. What can you do?

Remember to ACT.

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own. Keep keys out of children’s reach.

  • Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, your purse or your left shoe that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine. For a free vinyl cling window reminder, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks.

  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately if the parent or caregiver cannot be located. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.


We want to hear from you! Safe Kids Grand Forks has more information on heat stroke, including window clings to remind you to look inside and outside your car. You can visit us at www.safekidsgf.com and like us on Facebook. 

Carma HansonCarma Hanson has been a nurse at Altru Health System for over 25 years and now serves as the Coordinator of Safe Kids Grand Forks. Carma enjoys traveling to warm places with her husband and kids and spending time at their lake place. Taking pictures and engaging in community organizations also holds a special place in her heart. 

Safe Kids Grand Forks is an injury prevention coalition who has as their mission to prevent unintentional injuries and death to children under age 19. Safe Kids Grand Forks has Altru Health System as their lead agency, and they serve upper northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. To contact Carma or Safe Kids Grand Forks, send an email to safekids@altru.org

Life after Cardiomyopathy | David’s Altru Moment

Altru Moments - Published on June 23, 2016

David KaulDavid Kaul worked in maintenance management and as a plant engineer for years before starting his own construction and remodeling business. For a few decades, David suffered from pain in his neck and exhaustion, never knowing why, and continued to work through the pain to make a living. In 2013, David retired and began a new life, dedicating time and energy to serving others, volunteering and spending time with his grandchildren whenever possible.

One evening in March 2016, David was preparing the Lenten evening meal at the church he attends in Hallock. He was walking down the hallway in the church and collapsed without warning. The local ambulance transported him to Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center in Hallock, and from there he was taken to Altru Health System. Upon arrival, he was unconscious, recalling nothing happening to him. His heart ejection factor was in the 20s, and his blood pressure was initially low and then sky-rocketed to dangerous levels. David spent five days in the care of Altru’s Heart and Vascular team.

A Big Heart
After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Aboufakher reached a diagnosis: dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is abnormal and the heart is enlarged. Dr. Aboufakher, a cardiologist at Altru Health System, worked diligently to find the correct medications to stabilize David’s blood pressure, and to get his heart back to normal size.

“The nursing staff that included Sadie, Megan, Crystal, Laura, Tika, Cindi, Estelle and others helped me understand, ‘I’m worth it,’ and assisted with every struggle I had along the way to recovery,” explains David. “They were all friendly and courteous—every visit, every time.”

Since David’s extended stay at Altru to fix what he calls his “body’s flat tire,” he has been seeing Dr. Janet Lee, neurosurgery, to further understand the existing pain in his neck. The pain is a result of cervical stenosis, and solutions for relief are in process. David is thankful for Dr. Lee and her caring demeanor, ability to explain everything thoroughly, and the options for treatment for a condition he has lived with for decades.

“Altru is a special place,” says David. “It has taken me being sick to realize that. I guess it’s been the blessing of being sick.”

Every Day is a Gift
David’s experience with cardiomyopathy is a reminder to be aware of your heart health and get regular cardiac care if conditions exist and persist. “Life isn’t about me,” says David, “It’s about being a servant, volunteering and giving back.”

As David continues to recover from his extended stay he is getting back to planting flowers, mowing lawns, helping with the GIVE (God Is Victorious in Everything) program that serves a free meal each month in seven different locations in Kittson County, assisting at his church and attending his grandchildren’s events. And, living each day as if it is a gift.

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