In January, North Shore Health will welcome a new face to the hospital board. The current term for District 3 board member Steve Nielsen expires on Dec. 31, 2022. Nielsen did not run for re-election, leaving an opening on the hospital board.

Steve Frykman won the hospital district 3 write-in race on Nov. 8 with a total of 34 votes.

“Steve is a registered nurse by background and worked at Hennepin County Medical Center for 20 plus years, back in the 80s and 90s,” said Kimber Wraalstad, North Shore Health administrator.

Wraalstad said Frykman attended the Nov. 17 board meeting and intended to “hit the ground running.”

The North Shore Health board members District 1 Patricia Winchell-Dahl and District 5 Randy Wiitala ran for re-election and won. As a result, both will remain on the board.

In other recent hospital news, on Sept. 23, the CDC updated its guidance on COVID-19 protocols for the healthcare industry.

Wraalstad said the CDC eliminated the requirement for active screening at hospitals. She added, “Which made, I think, a lot of people happy, including the individuals coming into the building.”

In addition, there are a few other minor changes to protocols at North Shore Health. Healthcare workers will no longer be required to wear routine eye protection. While masks will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future, Wraalstad said the hospital doors are wide open now. The requirement for a visitor to be badged to enter the facility has also been removed.

While the hospital adjusts to the recent CDC guidance, there are more changes down the road for North Shore Health. During the Nov. 17 meeting, Paul Goettl, the chief financial officer, announced his resignation. Goettl, who has been with North Shore Health for four years, intends to return to the hospitality resort industry. Goettl’s last day is Dec. 2.

Wraalstad said, “We wish him the very best.” She added, “We’ve really appreciated his support and his work here for the last four years.”

During the meeting, Kelly Swearingen, the business office manager, gave a presentation on the practices of commercial health insurance plans.

Wraalstad said the staff at North Shore Health are experiencing difficulties dealing with insurance companies.

“There’s a lot of complexities that are currently going on within the health insurance realm,” Wraalstad said. If individuals have questions or want further information, Wraalstad said to contact Swearingen.

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Wraalstad, North Shore Health administrator, following the Nov. 17 meeting for an update on the hospital. Audio from the interview is below.

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