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The Minnesota Medical Association issued a strongly worded statement this week about "chickenpox parties," or playdates organized by parents to purposely expose their children to chickenpox in hopes of acquiring "natural" immunity. The so-called chickenpox parties put kids at risk and increase the risk of spreading the disease to other vulnerable people, the MMA said in its statement, which was issued late Thursday. "There is no controversy about this among pediatricians and other physicians. The vaccine is far safer," said Dr. Linda Van Etta, an infectious disease specialist at St.
WILLMAR -- Inspectors showed up unannounced at Rice Memorial Hospital Dec. 12 for an accreditation survey by the Joint Commission. Hospital officials were notified this week of the results: renewal of Rice's accreditation for another three years. There were "no big surprises" in the survey team's findings, said Teri Beyer, chief quality officer at Rice.
Holiday shoppers are in a good mood this year. Local retailers say they see signs that customers are shaking off their recession worries and starting to spend again. "We've had days when it seemed like it used to be," said Jan Scheltens, co-owner of Ken's Casuals in downtown Willmar. Even regional sales representatives are reporting optimism at the stores they supply across southern Minnesota, said Ginny Knapp of Mill Pond Mercantile in New London. "Our fall and Christmas season has been wonderful.
Here in the West Central Tribune newsroom we're armed and ready for the holiday season: We've just been issued the official Associated Press Holiday Style Guide, a list of seasonal words, phrases and definitions to help ensure correct usage in our holiday news coverage. To read the rest of this Inside Scoop story, visit insidescoop.areavoices.com .
The income tax filing deadline is still a long way off but it's not too soon to start planning, say financial experts. Some tax breaks are still available -- for example, an energy tax credit of up to $500 for energy-efficient doors, windows and similar items purchased before Dec.
WILLMAR -- After two staffers were injured in 2009, officials at Rice Memorial Hospital sat down to look at better -- and safer -- ways of caring for patients who are mentally ill and aggressive. What they came up with was an innovative model allowing some of these patients to be placed in the hospital's intensive care unit, where there's both security and supervision. Resources and training for the staff also were beefed up. One year after being implemented, the new model appears to be working well, said Wendy Ulferts, chief nursing officer.
WILLMAR -- Local health providers still have influenza vaccine available -- but better hurry because there's not much left. "If you're thinking about it, take advantage," advised Jo DeBruycker, manager of the Health Lear-ning Center at Aff-iliated Community Medical Centers. The U.S.
WILLMAR -- Viola Ausherman rarely sought attention, preferring to work quietly on behalf of causes she cared about: animal welfare, education, community services. Those hours of volunteering and the thousands of dollars she donated to her favorite charities added up to a significant legacy. Ausherman, a retired teacher, died Sunday at Glen Oaks Care Center in New London. She was 96. Friends remembered her this week as generous with her time, her encouragement and her checkbook, especially when it came to her passion for animals. She was a founding member of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi
Pope County and the Meeker, McLeod, Sibley Community Health Board are among seven agencies to be awarded state grants to help build local capacity for addressing health hazards in homes. The grants were announced today by the Minnesota Department of Health. They total $250,000.
WILLMAR -- Scrimp or splurge? As shoppers flock to the stores today for the holiday opener, financial counselors urge a reality check. Consumers who fail to set spending limits or who don't have a plan are among the most likely to wind up overspending during the Christmas season, said Cherrish Holland, a consumer credit counselor with Lutheran Social Service in Willmar. "Know what that stopping point is for you, whether it's a dollar amount or when your list is done," she said. Researchers at the University of St.