Health initiative offers self-scheduled appointments for virtual mental health care

First appointments become available Monday, March 27

The logo of Sanford Health.

GRAND FORKS – Sanford Health patients may now self-schedule virtual behavioral health appointments through their My Sanford Chart, with the first appointments becoming available Monday, March 27.

Patients, ages 10 and older, will be connected with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist and will not need a referral from a primary care provider, according to a news release from Sanford Health.

Patients across the Sanford Health footprint may receive virtual behavioral health care, which is covered by most insurances, Sanford officials say.

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

“At Altru, our patients are already able to request behavioral health virtual visits through MyChart,” Harvey said. “Our robust virtual service continues to meet the needs of our communities.”


For more information, visit .

At Sanford, the virtual health care initiative has been developed to meet the needs of patients, regardless of where they live.

“As we continue to reimagine health care through our virtual care initiative, an important step is to meet patients where they’re at,” said Brad Schipper, president of virtual care at Sanford Health. “There are so many people out there who are struggling with mental health and having another way for people to access care is our goal.

“Getting care for your mental health is just as important and normal as getting care for your physical health,” Schipper said. “By offering patients the ability to directly schedule a virtual behavioral health appointment through My Sanford Chart, it’s giving them the convenience of getting care when they’re ready.”

Licensed therapists offer counseling, help create interventions or treatment plans, and identify mental, behavioral and emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression.

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

Patients can schedule a virtual behavioral health appointment in My Sanford Chart by visiting .

For more information about Sanford’s new virtual care initiative, visit .


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

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

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