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WILLMAR -- Charity care provided at Rice Memorial Hospital nearly tripled last year and will continue to rise this year as well, hospital officials said Friday. "It's just a sign of what's going on with the economy," said Bill Fenske, chief financial officer at Rice. According to the city-owned hospital's annual audit for 2009, it provided $915,000 worth of charity care last year -- a significant increase over the year before, when charity care totaled $385,000. Fenske said Friday that charity care likely will exceed $1 million this year.
WILLMAR -- It was dark when Dr.
WILLMAR -- Most of the people who attended a forum Tuesday in Willmar on rural health care coverage said they know someone who's struggling to pay medical bills.
A delegation from Willmar joined the tens of thousands who marched in Washington, D.C., Sunday to press for immigration reform. "A very amazing experience" is how Paola Janeth Pena described it three days later. "You could feel the power of all those people together," she said. Waving signs and American flags, the demonstrators urged for lawmakers to tackle an immigration bill -- and to do it soon.
Andrew Wilkowske first encountered the stories and characters of American novelist John Steinbeck when he was a student at Willmar High School. These days, the 1993 Willmar graduate has reason to know Steinbeck especially well. Wilkowske, 34, a classically trained baritone, sang two years ago in the Minnesota Opera's world premiere of "The Grapes of Wrath." This next week he takes to the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York for a concert version Monday night of the modern opera based on Steinbeck's epic novel. Wilkowske has been singing professionally for more than a decade.
WILLMAR -- Board members of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission want to see the same level of funding for the agency in 2011 as it is receiving this year. It's still at least five months before the EDC must come up with a proposed budget and tax levy for next year.
WILLMAR -- With only two weeks to go until its annual community review, the United Way of West Central Minnesota is more than 25 percent short of its fund-raising goal. The regional United Way put out an urgent plea this week for people to dig into their pockets and give, so all United Way agencies can get their full budget allocations for the year. "We're trying very, very hard to keep our level of funding the same to our programs," said Stacey Roberts, executive director of the United Way of West Central Minnesota. "We had a lot of people drop off in giving," she said. It has made for a
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital's new strategic plan will begin producing concrete results in the next couple of months with the finalizing of both a growth plan and a facilities plan for the city-owned hospital. "We are working hard on a number of different fronts," said Mike Schramm, chief executive of the hospital. In a report to the board of directors Wednesday night, he reviewed the timeline and the progress that has been accomplished so far with the strategic plan, which was adopted in December. The strategic plan outlines the future direction for Rice Hospital and the services the
WILLMAR -- It started with a simple quest. Stephen and Laura Deleski, owners of West Central Printing, were looking for historic photos of their 1890s-era building in downtown Willmar. They uncovered some vintage postcards depicting many of the grand brick buildings that graced the downtown business district. One thing led to another and Stephen Deleski's interest grew. "We travel a lot, so when we're camping in summer we hit all the antique stores," he said. He began collecting old local photos through auctions and online sales.
WILLMAR -- Give consumers the option of paying their hospital bill online via credit card, and they'll jump at the chance. That was Rice Memorial Hospital's experience after introducing an online credit-card payment option last June.