Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined The Forum in 1985. He covers a wide range of subjects including health care, energy and population trends. Email address: pspringer@forumcomm.com

Respiratory syncytial virus, which continues spreading in the area, can cause serious breathing difficulties in very young children with tiny airways that can become obstructed.
Sanford Health and Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services are pursuing a merger planned for completion by the end of 2023 that would combine the nation's largest rural health provider with a major Twin Cities health system.
The two health systems would form a network of 3,500 providers serving more than 150 care sites in four Upper Midwest states if a merger is reached.
The use of artificial intelligence, which enables computers to learn, has been hampered by a lack of clinical data. Sanford Health has joined with Dandelion Health and Sharp HealthCare to try to solve that problem.
Essentia Health in Fargo is among the first to use a robotic endoscopy apparatus that allows low-risk access to hard-to-reach lung nodules in early development.
Infectious disease specialists say individual health status and vaccination history are important considerations in whether and when to get a second booster dose.
North Dakota is slightly above the national average in the number of people taking mental health prescriptions, and has seen a sharp rise during the pandemic. Minnesota and South Dakota are closely behind North Dakota.
It’s been said that a newspaper is a community in conversation with itself. Reporting is the ultimate conversation starter.
Retailers and restaurateurs are adapting to survive during the ongoing pandemic. Stores offer personal shopping appointments, curbside pickup and beefed-up online shopping. Restaurants are turning to takeout and, in a few cases, outdoor dining options including "igloos."
The merger between Sanford Health and Intermountain Healthcare, if completed, would form the nation's sixth or seventh largest health system, with 89,000 employees, 70 hospitals, 435 clinics and 336 senior care facilities.