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Celebrating the Person Inside that White Coat

Improving the health of communities, one neighbor at a time. That’s at the heart of what physicians do, whether they’re catching cancer early, performing life-saving procedures or coaching more active lifestyles. It’s work that has a personal impact, especially when the health they improve is yours.
This past year, we all suddenly faced a very real threat to our lives. A far-off epidemic became a global pandemic and moved quickly from the coasts to the Midwest. Our doctors responded fearlessly, tirelessly, selflessly. They met the uncertainty of this virus with courage, compassion and the best medicine had to offer. In the end, they saved lives, and they continue to save lives.
“Physicians have been called the ‘superheroes’ of this pandemic. It’s important to remember those heroes are also human,” said Jeff Zarling, board chair of CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Foundation. “They feel the effects of exhausting hours, frustrations of dealing with a new virus, anguish when they reach the limit of what can be done for a critically ill patient. Thanks to them, there were far more successes.”
“I’ve heard patients say ‘St. Alexius saved my life.’ That happened over and over this year,” said Dan Bjerknes, president of CHI St. Alexius Health. “The response of our physician team to COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal. You can plan for public health emergencies, but there are always unknowns and the need to manage new aspects of the crisis – that’s where they truly shined.”
For Doctor’s Day on March 30, and every day, let’s remember that the person inside that white coat is also a neighbor, a church goer, a parent, a friend. Let’s thank them for stepping forward when we needed them most to see our community through this year -- and every year.