North Shore Health Announces New Virtual Hospitalist Services from Horizon Virtual

July 21, 2023

North Shore Health (NSH) in Grand Marais, MN announced that they have successfully launched their new virtual hospitalist services with provider, Horizon Virtual. Until recently, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic (SMC) provided inpatient, swing bed and observation services to NSH patients. In April, SMC announced that their physicians would soon focus on clinic primary care and would discontinue providing the aforementioned services as of July 1, 2023. To continue to provide these services without interruption, NSH conducted thorough research on a variety of options.

In early May, NSH announced to their leadership team that they had committed to enter into a contract with St. Cloud, MN-based virtual hospitalist provider, Horizon Virtual. Horizon Virtual purchased a state-of-the-art telehealth cart and associated technologies for NSH. With that equipment installed by mid-June, NSH began to test, educate and train their staff with the new virtual hospitalists. “I am happy to confirm that we successfully launched on July 1 as planned,” said Kimber Wraalstad, NSH CEO. “Since then we have several patients admitted and everything is working well.” As with any new technology, there is a learning curve; NSH staff is working through any small hurdles to fine-tune the process. “We are thrilled with our new providers and we think our patients will be too,” Wraalstad continued. Some patients may not be familiar with virtual telehealth care. To put patients at ease about the transition, NSH produced a video that demonstrates a basic medical examination using the new technology. The video includes real-time doctor, nurse and patient interaction throughout the exam and diagnosis, followed by a Q&A (00:07:41) to help answer any remaining questions. View the full video on YouTube here:

“We wanted to clarify that this new service only applies to inpatient, swing bed and observation,” said Troy Batchelor, Director of Nursing-Hospital. “All of the other services that NSH patients have been accustomed to are still available with our in-person staff.” For further information about North Shore Health, please call 218-387-3040 or visit

About North Shore Health: North Shore Health is a rural health facility located on the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, MN. The organization, which is part of the Cook County Hospital District includes a 16-bed critical access hospital, a 37-bed skilled nursing facility, a home health agency, an ambulance service and a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services. Their mission is “Community Access to Compassionate Care”.

Horizon Virtual Earns Endorsement from Minnesota Hospital Association for Exceptional Healthcare Solutions

Horizon Virtual is pleased to accept the Hospital Association’s designation as an Endorsed Business Partner and Associate Member.  The endorsement affirms Horizon Virtual’s commitment and capacity for exceptional clinical support as a vital complement to our current and future clients’ mission driven dedication to serve patients.  By completing MHA’s rigorous vetting process, Horizon Virtual demonstrated its excellent, valuable medical service while meeting MHA”s high-quality standards.  The process promises Horizon Virtual’s clients and prospective clients can expect unparalleled levels of support and expertise.

Horizon Virtual’s telemedicine hospitalist service starts with skilled, fully credentialed physicians that link to local staff through high quality, dependable audio-visual devices.   The telemedicine medical service – physician providers and equipment – increases assurance that patients receive skilled care close to home, reduces outbound patient transfers, assumes the burden from managing patient admissions and consultation and increases physician availability for in-office practice.   Their providers are also uniquely a part of the hospital’s healthcare team.  Taken together these attributes reduce cost, increase revenue, and create capacity for medical practice growth while improving patient loyalty.

Horizon Virtual’s partnership with the Minnesota Hospital Association is testament to its exceptional services and solutions that meet the needs of healthcare organizations in Minnesota and beyond. Horizon Virtual looks forward to continuing to provide high-quality care and values their relationships with current and future clients. “We are honored to have earned this endorsement.” Concluded Darin Willardsen MD Co-Founder of Horizon Virtual.

View The MHA Endorsed Listing

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Two local physicians share a vision to bring quality healthcare assistance to rural hospitals all across the upper midwest. WJON News features their inspiration behind this innovative concept that started here in Central Minnesota.

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