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WILLMAR -- Local hospital officials are moving to take advantage of a major grant by Allina Health and the George Family Foundation to improve community wellness. Rice Memorial Hospital is among 13 hospitals in Minnesota invited to apply for one of the grants, which are designed to help each community de-velop a continuum of wellness resources that are accessible and sustainable. Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital, calls it "a significant opportunity I believe we have before us." The development of a successful program will not only help lead to better community wellness and pre
WILLMAR -- The Rice Memorial Hospital Board of Directors awarded construction bids Wednesday for a $5.6 million renovation of the Rice Care Center. At the same time, board members also voted formally to go ahead with the long-awaited project.
By the time a client contacts Paul Ryan about a house for sale, he or she has probably already researched the property online, knows what the house looks like, maybe has taken a virtual tour of the interior and even checked out the home valuations in the rest of the neighborhood. Ryan, a real estate broker with RE/MAX Preferred Realty, estimates 80 percent or more of property-seekers these days "look online before they even talk to anyone or pick up the phone." "They make a decision what they want to see before ever meeting with us," said Lisa Mord, broker-owner and chief executive of All-St
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