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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WILLMAR -- A couple of days a week, when the weather is nice, Andrew Bjur rides his bike to work at Engan and Associates in downtown Willmar, where he works as an architect. "I only have to travel about a mile so it's not that bad," Bjur said.
WILLMAR -- Tenex Health Inc., the developer of a medical device for removing diseased tissue from tendons, will open a production facility at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The California-based company made the announcement Wednesday. The addition of Tenex Health marks the technology campus' entry into Minnesota's flourishing medical device industry. Jim Sieben, president of MinnWest Technology Campus, said campus officials had been working to put together the necessary incentives to bring Tenex Health to the area. "They are an important step in our effort to draw biotechnology
WILLMAR -- Organizers of a Walk to End Alzheimer's Oct. 1 in Willmar hope to raise several thousand dollars for research and services. But more than this, they want to increase local awareness of a disease whose incidence continues to rise. A national campaign launched Wednesday for the Walk to End Alzheimer's, which will be held in towns across the U.S. this fall. All told, millions of dollars are expected to be raised. The event in Willmar on Oct.
WILLMAR -- Inside the large white trailer that houses the Minnesota Department of Health's Mobile Medical Unit, field beds are neatly lined up, partitioned by curtains. Rows of glass-fronted cabinets house basic supplies. The unit has a portable X-ray machine and its own small laboratory and pharmacy. It's equipped with ventilators. It can provide invasive cardiac monitoring and ultrasound. "You'd think you were in an emergency department, and you are," said Dr.
WILLMAR -- New expenses prompted the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission to revise its budget upwards for the year, a move that was unanimously approved Thursday by the joint operations board. To help cover the spending increase, the EDC's reserve fund will be dipped into more deeply.
All through the winter, staff and residents at Rice Care Center have watched the walls go up, the roof get built and the windows installed for the facility's new short-term stay unit. The project is now weeks away from completion, and already officials are starting to talk about the open houses they want to host to introduce the new Therapy Suites to the community. "It's been very exciting.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital's financial health strengthened with another profitable month during March -- the fourth month in a row with a positive margin. After a period of low in-patient volume and fiscal stagnation, hospital officials are beginning to hint at signs of recovery. "I really believe we've turned that corner," Bill Fenske, chief financial officer, said Friday at a meeting of the hospital board's finance committee. The city-owned hospital posted a $617,000 net profit in March -- more than six times what was budgeted. For the year so far, Rice is sitting at a $1.3 millio
WILLMAR -- In its glory days, the Lakeland Hotel was one of Willmar's premier places to stay. Built in 1927, the brick structure occupied the heart of downtown Willmar, on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Litchfield Avenue. Its 60 rooms were usually full. "That was the place that people got off the train and went to stay," said Bev Dougherty, who has researched the building's past. But the city's era of stately hotels has long since faded. The Grand, the Lincoln, the Benson -- all have been torn down.
WILLMAR -- Changes are being proposed for the Cushman A. Rice Trust grant application process, making it easier for people to seek help paying their bills at Rice Memorial Hospital. The trustees at Bremer Bank, which manages the fund, filed a court petition last month requesting a judge's approval for the revisions. "We did this to streamline the process," Carol Hruby, vice president at Bremer Investment Management and Trust in Marshall, told the Rice Memorial Hospital Board's finance committee on Friday. The proposed changes won't affect who's eligible for a grant.
WILLMAR -- There was a slight commotion as three costumed men strode into the lobby of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter Wednesday morning. "Hi, I'm Geist," said one of them, shaking hands with a family visiting the Willmar shelter to see the dogs. The trio left an assortment of gifts at the front counter -- cat food, dog food, food and water bowls, a litter pan and some cash. "Keep up the good work," Geist called out as they departed in an unmarked car for their next stop. Who were those masked crusaders? Don't ask for their real names because they aren't telling.