But if that goal is to be achieved, board members say, status quo won't do.

    On Monday evening in the U of M, Crookston's Bede Ballroom, the 115th RiverView Health annual meeting was held. The theme of the evening was "Continuing the Journey: Exceptional Performance in Uncertain Times." Board of Directors members Robin Brekken, Trent Fischer, Dr. Collin Fennell and Anne Rasmusson conducted a panel discussion to update attendees on the state of Riverview's quality of care, provider opportunities, physical structure and financial status.

    A major speaking point centered around Riverview Health's plan to remain an independent healthcare provider. With larger healthcare organizations quickly swallowing up small town clinics and hospitals, changes will have to be put in place to protect the individuality of RiverView now and in the future. Rasmussson spoke about anticipating change to the best possible degree, saying, "We are convinced that if we continue to do things the way we have historically, we won't be here."

    Added Brekken, "Quality is everything we do and the essential ingredient for us to remain independent."

    Anticipated adaptions to Riverview Health include continuing to improve upon providing quality, world-class care by working toward a truly integrated model of health care. This will involve developing allies and friendships with other small providers, working to create a mini center of excellence for northern Minnesota, and expanding services regionally in orthopedics, gynecology and general surgery.

    The RiverView facility in Crookston will see major renovations over the next few years, with remodeling projects both inside and outside the building. These changes are a step toward the master plan of better use of space, staffing optimization and increased patient access. As the building ages, it may become necessary to consider a new facility, board members said, but plans for rebuilding are not currently in the works.

    Finally, a special focus will be put on marketing to increase regional growth and further improve on RiverView's image in surrounding communities. Riverview Health fully intends to remain a regional player in this area, board members said Monday, and looks forward to offering options for providing services to Canadian patients as well as those in the tri-state area.

    See Wednesday’s Times for more coverage of the RiverView annual meeting, including various award winners.