A rumor that Trinity Health has hired 115 nurses from the Philippines is false, although a Trinity official has said that the option is not out of the question in the near future.
Randy Schwan, vice president of Trinity Health, said that the rumor is not totally off-base, but that "the number and timing" were not accurate.
A document, which allegedly outlines 35 summary points made during a recent meeting of the North Dakota Sheriffs and Deputies Association, states that Trinity "has just hired 115 nurses from the Philippians [sic] to work at the hospital, as they cannot get enough local nurses to supply."
Like every other rumor, "there is a nugget of truth in it," Schwan said. He explained that conversations between Trinity and a search agency, which specializes in placing international medical professionals in regional care centers throughout the United States, began in September.
"There are a number of hospitals in North Dakota that have placed international professionals like these in their hospitals, and are very pleased with their training and education, and we anticipate it will be very positive," he said. "We are pursuing that same strategy here to help us fill our open positions."
There are various positions available, possibly "more than 50," across the Trinity Health care system, including clinics, the nursing home, and anything else that falls under the umbrella of Trinity Health, he said.
"We are in need of qualified nurses and other medical professionals, and whether they come from the Philippines or Minot, we will certainly look at qualified applicants," Schwan said, noting that as long as the applicants satisfy Trinity's stringent criteria, "they would certainly be appropriate and desirable applicants."
Schwan said that Trinity has been recruiting using "our traditional methods," although they have not been working.
"We're not attracting staff to North Dakota - to Minot - for the same reasons that other companies in town are having trouble. It's not unique to Trinity, it's not unique to medical professions," he said, noting that the recruitment process is "difficult, at best."
"I think the region's economy has played a role in that. We attribute it to the impact of the flood and the housing situation. There's no question that has impacted our recruitment immensely," he added. "We have secured some housing ourselves; we're doing everything that everyone else is trying to do."
Schwan said that he was "a bit dismayed" after hearing about this document, and then learning that it was taken for fact and printed in some newspapers.
"I was a bit surprised to learn a conversation between law enforcement would lay claims without verification," he said.
Schwan said that he contacted board members from the North Dakota Sheriffs and Deputies Association, regarding the document, and according to Schwan, the association denies that the document came from their office. A message left for Paul D. Laney, the sheriff for Cass County and the association's president, was not immediately returned.
"I'm not sure what the accuracy of all Internet talk is. I've learned that not everything you get off the Internet is true, and you should use it as a source very carefully," Schwan said.