I write this letter to all of North Dakota’s healthcare workers and organizations with a message of hope and health. I/we look forward to a year ahead, free of this dark cloak of COVID-19 that has challenged all of us for the past two years. All the while, with the latest COVID-19 variant moving faster than ever across our nation, including North Dakota, I am afraid we all still have more work to do.
Today, active cases in North Dakota are 7,690, bringing our positivity rate to 17.86%. As of January 25, 2022, more than one million vaccine doses have been administered. There are currently 173 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 128 of those hospitalized are not fully vaccinated.
The monoclonal antibody infusions and vaccines made available over the past year have provided nearly 500,000 residents across the state with essential protection against the virus and deaths, and yet hundreds of thousands more remain vulnerable. As always, the gaps in access to the vaccine and monoclonal distribution and protection against the virus reflect inequities between North Dakota’s cities and within other communities across the state.
In my role at Trinity Health, I get to witness the dedication and compassion that has always characterized the Trinity Health workforce, and that has been on full display since the pandemic began. As challenging as the last two years have been, I have never been as proud to be a member of an organization and among those who chose healing and protecting as their vocation and calling.
All of us across the state should be extremely grateful to the individuals, caregivers, and organizations – from critical access hospitals to North Dakota’s major health systems around the state – all of whom have been devoted to caring for the health of all North Dakotans. Together, North Dakota’s healthcare organizations are using performance improvement science to help their respective systems deliver care safely, reliably, and equitably to their respective patient populations across North Dakota. It is critical for all of us to get our hands around the enormous challenges we face today. All of us among North Dakota’s healthcare organizations continue to work tirelessly to honor the trust placed upon us.
Thank you for all that you do to improve the health and healthcare across the state. I understand, and I salute you.
John M. Kutch
Trinity Health President & CEO