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DAWSON -- Leaders at Johnson Memorial Health Services first started talking late in 2009 about how they could make the workplace safer for their 220 employees. Three years later, the Dawson hospital and nursing home has earned MnSHARP certification, a designation by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry that singles out employers who go above and beyond in meeting safety requirements. Johnson Memorial is the first nursing home -- and only the second hospital -- in the state to achieve what Ken Peterson, commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, called a demanding set of
WILLMAR -- At the Minnesota-based Schwan Food Co., raw ingredients for the company's many products are obtained from more than 800 suppliers worldwide. Schwan's production of pizza alone amounts to 1 million tons a day. It's this complexity that keeps Jeff Varcoe, vice president of food safety and quality, constantly vigilant. "That's a lot of opportunities for foodborne illness," he said. "That keeps me up at night." Varcoe was one of three panelists who spoke about food safety Wednesday at the second annual animal ag conference, hosted by the MinnWest Technology Campus.
WILLMAR -- A national rise in the incidence of whooping cough has many local residents paying attention. Parents are asking about the whooping cough vaccine as they bring their children in for back-to-school appointments with the family doctor, said Jo DeBruycker, director of the Health Learning Center at Affiliated Community Medical Centers. "There've been a lot of questions and I'm grateful for that," she said. Even older adults have been asking about the disease and whether they should get a booster shot, she said.
WILLMAR -- It's still summer but local health officials say it's not too soon to start thinking about the annual fall ritual of getting immunized against influenza. The Willmar medical clinics have already received their allotments of the flu vaccine and began doling it out this month to established patients and to staff.
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