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MeritCare and North Valley Sign Agreement

MeritCare East Grand Forks and North Valley Family Medicine Clinic have signed an agreement to join forces and combine their providers and staffs into one team effective Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, to better serve patients in East Grand Forks and the surrounding region. Both clinics are primary care clinics; the name of both clinic locations will be MeritCare East Grand Forks, with the Central Avenue Northwest location being used primarily for family medicine services.

MeritCare East Grand Forks and North Valley Family Medicine Clinic have signed an agreement to join forces and combine their providers and staffs into one team effective Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, to better serve patients in East Grand Forks and the surrounding region. Both clinics are primary care clinics; the name of both clinic locations will be MeritCare East Grand Forks, with the Central Avenue Northwest location being used primarily for family medicine services.

North Valley clinic president Dr. Tom Cariveau says, "This is really a great opportunity for us to serve more patients by growing our practice and providing even more comprehensive services to patients than we could have alone." Doug Vang, MeritCare senior executive, says, "MeritCare is very happy about this partnership. The providers at both clinics are excellent. We are confident that joining forces is the very best way to serve patients of the area."

The managing physician partner of the clinic will be Dr. Charles Breen, family medicine. Breen also does outreach work at MeritCare East Grand Forks. Providers that will be staffing the new clinic are (all are family medicine providers):
  • Dr. Robert Beattie
  • Dr. Mark Berntson
  • Dr. Jon Bradbury
  • Dr. Thomas Cariveau
  • Dr. Charles Christianson
  • Dr. Eric Pearson
  • Dr. Mathew Stayman
  • Michele Spiekermeier, nurse practitioner

As a complement to the family medicine services and as a convenience to patients, there are a number of MeritCare providers that have been providing outreach specialty services to patients at MeritCare East Grand Forks; after Aug. 1, MeritCare is expecting to offer even more specialty outreach services. The providers that currently doing outreach and their specialties are:
  • Dr. Brad Anderson, podiatric medicine and surgery
  • Dr. Charles Breen, family medicine
  • Dr. Louis Geeraerts, oncology/hematology
  • Dr. Tim Luithle, family medicine
  • Drs. David Clardy, Susan Farkas, Kushal Handa and Joshua Wynne, cardiology (cardiology services include stress testing, echocardiography and a pacemaker clinic)
  • Dr. Steffen Christensen, reproductive medicine
  • Mammography and ultrasound

Additional information:
  • Location - MeritCare's current location is 621 DeMers Ave. and North Valley's is 929 Central Ave. NW; the two organizations are just across the parking lot. Once the two organizations become one, they will continue to utilize both locations.
  • Patient questions - If patients have questions prior to Aug. 1, they should call their clinic as they usually would. After Aug. 1, all patients should call (701) 773-6800.
  • Clinic manager - Carrie McLeod, who has served at regional clinic manager of MeritCare East Grand Forks since November 2006 will continue in this role at the new clinic.
  • Staffing - While no decisions have been made, a transition plan regarding staffing levels is being created with the goal of offering patients the best-possible services and retaining as many staff as possible, while having appropriate staffing levels.