MINOT, N.D. — An organization providing health care services in rural North Dakota terminated, without cause, physician assistants in two of its busiest clinics even as they received a big dollop of tax dollars aimed at keeping health care workers working.
On April 3, Brenna Hudson of Ray and Shelley Bartow of Bowbells each received a fax at their respective clinics from their employers at Northland Health Centers, an organization that operates health care facilities across North Dakota. The documents informed them they were being terminated without cause.
On April 7, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven’s office announced that Northland Health Centers was receiving $650,630 as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding is intended to help providers like Northland “continue addressing the needs of those across the state as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” as Hoeven put it in his news release.
Currently, Hudson and Bartow aren’t serving their communities. They cannot refill prescriptions. They cannot assist with COVID-19 testing.
The citizens in those communities, which are already short on health care services, are now left with even fewer options in the middle of a global pandemic.