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CNN honors Sanford Bemidji's Johnna Nynas, M.D. on its Champions for Change program

8th annual special features changemakers across United States

BEMIDJI, Minn. - CNN has chosen Johnna Nynas, M.D., OB-GYN at Sanford Bemidji, as one of this year's Champions for Change honorees, a recognition that highlights individuals making a difference in their communities and across the world. Nynas is one of 14 people selected, joining leaders in industries from health care and education to fashion and art.

According to CNN, Champions for Change programming "spotlights the extraordinary stories of pioneers who are driving us towards a brighter future and changing the world." Profiles in grit, creativity and innovation are highlighted on air and across CNN's digital platforms, culminating in an hour-long special hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Nynas was recently featured in a CNN story detailing how Sanford Health provides vital access to medical care through telehealth for pregnant women living in rural towns throughout northern Minnesota. Sanford Health provides patients with a low-tech toolkit that includes a doppler to measure fetal heart rate and a blood pressure cuff to use for virtual prenatal appointments.

"We are delivering care to women rather than expecting women to come to us for care," said Nynas. "Many patients may not have a reliable vehicle or money for gas, so when we bring the care to these women and make it easier, they're more likely to engage in the recommended care and that contributes to better outcomes for our patients and their babies."

Nynas devoted her time to help Sanford Health attain a $3.67 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Rural Maternity and Obstetric Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, which was used to create the Families First: Rural Maternity Health Collaborative. The regional collaborative is focused on improving access to prenatal, obstetric and postpartum care and reducing inequitable outcomes for women in rural, underserved and tribal communities.

As part of the RMOMS program, Sanford Health assembled a team to help set up doctor appointments, provide patient transportation and facilitate nurse home visits to assess what patients may need outside of medical care.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America's heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves 1.4 million patients and nearly 200,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 45 hospitals, 211 clinic locations, more than 160 Good Samaritan Society senior living centers, 2,900 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 540 active clinical trials, and nine world clinic locations around the globe. Learn more about Sanford Health's commitment to shaping the future of rural health care across the lifespan at or Sanford Health News.


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