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A Critical Turning Point Has Arrived

December 20, 2021  /   Coronavirus, Press Releases  /   4-minute read

Dear community members,

This past summer, Welia Health’s providers wrote an open letter to our communities dispelling misinformation and pleading for every eligible individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine. At that time, we were at a pivotal point in the fight against COVID-19. Unfortunately, five months later, we are pleading with you again as we now find ourselves at the most dire moment since the start of the pandemic.

Throughout the state, there are record hospital admissions, ER and urgent care visits. This is also true for Welia Health. Due to the current COVID-19 surge, nearly all available hospital beds are being occupied, both locally and statewide. Welia Health needs the ability to transfer patients who are in need of services we are unable to provide here, COVID-related or not. With the present spike, these transfers are being delayed by several hours to days. As a result of these changes, we are desperately reallocating staff and other resources to manage.

It’s important to recognize that the strokes, heart attacks, automobile accidents, and other life-threatening conditions we normally treat have not gone away. Staff are already stretched to their limits, and it is simply not possible to operate beyond capacity and safely provide care to you, your family, friends and neighbors.

Last week, we made the difficult decision to postpone elective surgeries, Medicare wellness exams and adult physical exams until further notice. We hope this is a short-lived measure, but that may depend largely on how we respond in this moment.

More than ever, you need to:

  • Get vaccinated and/or the booster shot today, do not delay any longer
  • Wear a mask indoors, even if you are vaccinated
  • Engage in social distancing and discontinue activities and behaviors that increase the chances of transmission of COVID
  • If you feel ill, get tested right away
  • Wash your hands often and well

We need your help now.


Brian D. Niskanen, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Welia Health

The undersigned are all Welia Health providers.

Matthew G. Allen, MD
Darla Anderson, APRN, CNP
Nikki Anderson, APRN, CNP
Amber Axtell, PharmD
Chelsea Benson, PharmD
Randall Bostrom, MD
Shara Brace, PA-C
Aimee Burke, PharmD
Renee Coleman, PA-C
Breanna Cook, PA-C
Donald Dahlen, MD
Heidi Deutschlander, APRN, CNP
Peter J. Donner, MD
Cherie Dowell, PA-C
Joseph Dvorak, PharmD
Kati Dvorak, PharmD
Brenda Fischer, APRN, CNP
Ryan Gaalswyk, MD
Beth Gilbertson, PA-C
Nicholas Giller, PharmD

Ronald Halvorson, MD
Matthew Hamiel, CRNA
Jill Herges, APRN, CNP
Jenny Houglum, PharmD
Amy Huseby, PA-C
Terry Johnson, MD
John Kampa, MD
Beth Kempf, APRN, CNP
Kurt Keogh, MD
Shannon Koski, APRN, CNP
David Kroll, CRNA
Katie Kroschel, MD
Ryan Kroschel, MD
Joseph B. Lind, MD
Patricia Lind, PharmD
Amy McDaniel, PA-C
Kirsten Miller, PharmD
Sandy Moore, APRN, CNP
G. Troy Mork, OD

Joseph Mork, OD
Thomas Mullin, MD
Jessica Olen, MD
Matthew Patterson, MD
Erin Shierts, PharmD
Jody Schoenecker, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Matthew D. Schultz, MD
Benjamin Sickler, CRNA
Thomas Stearns, PA-C
Jack D. Schwinghamer, MD
Scott TenNapel, PhD
Aaron Terning, PharmD
Brent Thompson, PharmD
Corey Valentine, MD
Dustin Voss, PA-C
Lindsey Wagenbach, CNP
Robert M. Weeks, MD
Cara Winn, APRN, CNP
Robert Woods, CRNA
Albert Youn, MD

What You Need To Know Now


COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot information can be found at WeliaHealth.org/Getting-Vaccinated. If you require a vaccination during your annual Medicare or physical exam, nurse-only appointments are available.

Postponed appointments

A Welia Health representative will call you to reschedule postponed surgeries or exams.

Prescription refills

If you need prescription refills for chronic health conditions, please contact your provider.

Questions for your provider

At this time, the best way to reach your provider is through MyChart. Visit WeliaHealth.org/MyChart to sign up today.

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