Health Initiative Offers Self-Scheduling Appointments for Virtual Mental Health Care – Grand Forks Herald

Grand Fork – Sanford Health patients can now schedule their own virtual behavioral health appointments via My Sanford Chart with the first appointments available on Monday, March 27.

Patients over the age of 10 are connected to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist and do not require a referral from a primary care provider, according to a Sanford Health news release.

Patients across Sanford Health’s footprint will be able to receive virtual behavioral medicine, which is covered by most insurance policies, Sanford officials said.

Grand Forks-based Altru Health System offers a similar service, said Kenneth Harvey, communications strategist at Altru.

“With Altru, patients can already request virtual behavioral health visits through MyChart,” said Harvey. “Our robust virtual service continues to meet the needs of our community.”

For more information, visit

Sanford developed a virtual healthcare initiative to meet the needs of patients, regardless of where they live.

Brad Schipper, President of Virtual Care at Sanford Health, said: “There are so many people struggling with mental health and our goal is to provide another way for people to access care.

“Taking care of your mental health is just as important and normal as taking care of your physical health,” Schipper said. “By giving patients the ability to schedule virtual behavioral health appointments directly through the My Sanford Chart, we are giving them the convenience of getting treatment when they are ready.”

Licensed therapists provide counseling, help develop interventions and treatment plans, and identify mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Psychiatrists assess, diagnose, prescribe medications, and treat patients for a variety of mental health disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.

Patients can schedule a virtual behavioral problem appointment on My Sanford Chart by visiting

For more information on Sanford’s new Virtual Care Initiative, please visit

Pamela Knudson

Pamela Knudson is a feature and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked with The Herald since 2011 and has covered a variety of topics including the latest performances in the area and health issues.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.

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