Published on June 30, 2020

Essentia Health-Sandstone adding eight advanced practice providers

Melody Johnson, certified physician assistant

Melody Johnson, PA-C

Essentia Health-Sandstone is excited to announce the addition of eight advanced practice providers (APPs).

These APPs are hospitalists who will deliver and oversee medical care for inpatients at Essentia Health-Sandstone. They are part of the hospitalist team at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, and now will bring their specialized training to Sandstone. Using telehealth, they will be able to communicate and collaborate with their physician colleagues, which will ensure patients receive the best care possible.

Melody Johnson, physician assistant-certified, will be on-site in Sandstone full-time. Her seven APP teammates, who will provide support and offer additional care, are: Kristen Anderson, certified nurse practitioner; Jenna Coldwell, physician assistant-certified; Heaven Gustafson, doctor of nursing practice; Kelly Higgins, physician assistant-certified; Lynn Gevik, certified nurse practitioner; Hannah Murphy, certified nurse practitioner; and Michelle Miller, doctor of nursing practice.

Using telehealth to augment hospitalist services is not a new model at Essentia. It’s an established way to leverage technology so that patients can receive expert care close to home.

“This is part of our commitment to continue providing the highest quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Thomas Witt, regional practices chair at Essentia. “It combines local bedside care with regional expertise and support from Duluth through telemedicine.”

In addition to the Essentia hospitalist team, physicians from Gateway Clinic have the opportunity to provide inpatient care to their patients hospitalized at Essentia Health-Sandstone.

These changes take effect July 13.

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