Less travel for emergency patients in Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. - If you live in the Williston area and experience a medical emergency, you might not have to travel as much as you used to.

There are now three orthopedic surgeons at Williston’s CHI Saint Alexius Hospital, meaning they can offer 24/7 emergency care. If after business hours, you get in a car accident and have a broken bone that breaks the skin, a dislocation, or end up with a joint or bone infection, you can be treated in Williston because one of those doctors will always be on-call. Before, the hospital had one orthopedic surgeon, so they couldn’t be available all the time. That meant a lot of travelling for patients.

Dr. Greg Brown, one of the new Orthopedic Surgeons, said, “If it was something that was urgent, they would have to be transferred usually by air. Or more often, in non-emergency situations, get referred to one of the larger centers in Bismarck or Minot.”

Brown says the rural area deserves the same level of healthcare as anywhere else, so patients don’t have to drive hours for follow-up appointments. He says that’s a big deal, especially in the winter, when roads in North Dakota can be questionable.