340B Health

Faces of 340B

Dave Sandberg, Pharmacy Director, CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center, N.D. 

CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital located 50 miles from the Canadian border in the northwest corner of North Dakota. It uses its 340B savings to provide uncompensated and charity care to patients as well as a wide array of services that are vital to its community, including an emergency department, obstetrics, and oncology. Dave Sandberg, the hospital’s pharmacy director, says the hospital would not be able to keep operating without the help of 340B savings. Without these services, patients would see their local access to care shrink significantly. If the hospital did not provide an oncology center, patients needing cancer care would need to drive at least five hours to receive infusion treatments. Instead, the hospital uses its 340B savings to bring specialty oncology providers to its community. Such support is especially critical during economic downturns. Williston is one of the largest oil and gas regions in the U.S., and residents looking for work during busts in the domestic energy industry often are uninsured and in need of assistance in obtaining health care that they otherwise could not afford.