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WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital's board of directors voted in favor Wednesday of investing $4.7 million in a clinical information system that will electronically integrate the majority of patient clinical and billing information. The city-owned hospital's vendor of choice: Epic, a private company from Madison, Wis., that specializes in health care software. The selection was the recommendation of a Rice Hospital ste-ering committee whose members spent months researching and evaluating all the options. The process was "very thorough," said Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital.
LAKE LILLIAN -- In what used to be the choir loft at Grace Lutheran Church, intimate tables for four are clustered under the rafters of the sloping ceiling. Church pews have been replaced with an eclectic mix of antique tables and chairs. And the sanctuary is now occupied by a 110-year-old wooden bar discovered at an auction in Stewart. Owners John and Patty Nefstead have spent more than three years transforming the former church into an event center they hope will become a favorite gathering place for weddings, showers, anniversaries, reunions and other special occasions.
WILLMAR -- Health officials are launching a last-minute push this week for influenza vaccinations. If you haven't already had a flu shot, now is the time, say local health providers. "Anything we can do to reduce our likelihood of influenza is something we should all do," said Stacey Zondervan, director of patient services at Family Practice Medical Center. This week a coalition of organizations that includes the Minnesota Department of Health is hosting the annual "Ban the Bug" campaign, reminding the public to get a flu shot if they haven't already done so. The U.S.
Nido has issues. The 4-year-old yellow Lab is allergic to "just about everything," said his owner, Ruth Christenson. "We had to really struggle to find food he could eat." His coat has been dull. His flank bothers him. But after treatment with acupuncture and chiropractic, "he's much, much better," Christenson said. On a recent morning, Nido sits calmly while Dr.
WILLMAR -- Terry Stetzel is on the phone with a patient's chart in front of her, and she's worried. She needs a Migrant Health Service voucher so that the patient can fill two prescriptions -- but one of the medications costs $9 a pill and the $100 voucher won't stretch far. "It can be frustrating," sighed Stetzel, a family nurse practitioner with the Migrant Health Service Inc. clinic in Willmar. Nonetheless, the clinic helps meet a critical regional need for migrant and agricultural workers who would otherwise fall through the health care cracks. "There is a big gap.
WILLMAR -- An undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has documented what the organization alleges is routine abuse and cruelty involving newly hatched turkey chicks at Willmar Poultry Co. The Humane Society released its report and findings Tuesday. The nonprofit organization is calling for the turkey industry to adopt more humane practices for disposing of sick and injured birds and for de-beaking baby turkeys. "Most people don't want animals to be treated cruelly," said Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States. In a statement issue
Updated 4:15 p.m.
WILLMAR - Hands young and old spread colorful icing on holiday cookies Monday at the Rice Care Center. Trays quickly filled with dozens of star- and cloud-shaped cookies frosted in blue, green, pink and yellow and dusted with sprinkles.
WILLMAR -- A youth has pleaded guilty in connection with a series of burglaries and two garage fires on the west side of Willmar this past June. Cody Sander, 18, signed the plea agreement Monday, which charges him with two counts of arson in the first degree and one count of burglary in the third degree. Disposition in the Kandiyohi County case is scheduled for Jan. 24. The fires destroyed one garage and a car parked inside, and seriously damaged another garage, a truck and ATV. A neighboring house sustained some fire damage as well. The fires broke out around 2:30 a.m.
WILLMAR -- A man who sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl a decade ago has pleaded guilty and will be deported from the United States. Tomas Hernandez Lopez, 41, signed the plea agreement Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court. The case had been set to go to trial Nov. 30, but Lopez instead agreed to enter a guilty plea to one count of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. He also is being turned over to the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, with credit for the jail time he has already served. He could have faced 10 years in a U.S.