Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.
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Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Family Practice Medical Center of Willmar held the region's top rankings for diabetes and vascular care, according to a new Consumer Reports survey appearing in a special edition of the magazine. Consumer Reports looked at 552 physician group practices in Minnesota and rated them on quality of care, using data compiled by Minnesota Community Measurement. Unlike most top-doctor ratings, the new Consumer Reports rankings are based on quantifiable measures collected by the physician practices themselves on how well they and their patients control diabete
Lexi Dietz can do most things. The 8-year-old from Milan likes to draw. She likes to read. She plays the piano and says her favorite subject is math. And she has lots of friends. "I like everybody I meet," she says. Although her life has more challenges than most children her age, Lexi is never daunted, says her mother, Jamie Brouwer. "She's very much like everybody else," Brouwer said.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital provided $20.7 million in community benefits last year, from support groups and health fairs to outreach services, health education and charity care. The amount represents 19 percent of the hospital's overall operating expenses in 2011, Rice officials said in a report given to the hospital board at its meeting Wednesday night. The report is compiled each year to assess what Rice Hospital is doing to recognize and respond to community needs. "We are always looking for better ways to provide for our community," said Jackie Hinderks, the hospital's director of
WILLMAR -- Interviews will be held Wednesday with semifinalists for the Willmar Municipal Utilities general manager position. After they have met with each of the candidates, members of the Utilities Commission plan to winnow the field to two or three finalists. The hope is to have a new general manager selected by mid-September, Steve Salzer, vice president of the Municipal Utilities Commission, said Monday. "We want to move it along relatively quickly," he said. The commission was briefed with an update Monday on the hiring process.
WILLMAR -- Interviews will be held Wednesday with semifinalists for the Willmar Municipal Utilities general manager position. After they've met with each of the candidates, members of the Utilities Commission plan to winnow the field to two or three finalists. The hope is to have a new general manager selected by mid-September, Steve Salzer, vice president of the Municipal Utilities Commission, said Monday. "We want to move it along relatively quickly," he said. The commission was briefed with an update Monday on the hiring process.
WILLMAR -- Minnesotans are more willing to take responsibility for their health than they're given credit for, according to the findings in a newly released state report. The report also uncovered more common ground on the contentious issues surrounding health care reform than is often recognized. "We heard over and over again that people are willing to make the choices," said Scott Cooper of the Bush Foundation, which partnered with the Citizens League to develop the report. The findings sum up attitudes, opinions and commentary from more than 1,000 citizens across Minnesota who participat
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture this week announced the formation of a new Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority whose main task will be to oversee the development of a dairy research and teaching facility. Expect Kandiyohi County to make an aggressive effort to be named as a host site, members of the operating board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission were told Thursday. "We've been working on this for two years.
WILLMAR -- The prospect of backyard chickens in town apparently doesn't have Willmar residents crowing with enthusiasm. As a result of all the negative feedback they have received, members of the Willmar City Council decided Monday to send a proposed animal ordinance back to the committee level for more discussion. Councilman Steve Ahmann said he has not heard from anyone who is in favor of the ordinance, which would set standards for allowing people to raise chickens, rabbits and pigeons within the city limits. The nuisance-factor potential makes it something that is unlikely "to enhance t
WILLMAR -- The Robbins Island swimming beach on Foot Lake remains closed after routine testing last week uncovered a high fecal count. Water conditions at the beach are most likely due to a combination of the local Canada goose population, runoff from recent rainfall and typical late-summer stagnant water, said Steve Brisendine, Willmar Community Education and Recreation director. "We want to try to keep it safe," he said.