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WILLMAR -- A free-standing aquarium, populated with colorful tropical fish and starfish, has been an unexpected hit with patients and families who spend time in the waiting room at the new Willmar Regional Cancer Center. Patients who are there for chemotherapy appreciate the option of receiving their treatment in either a group setting or a semi-private bay, each with its own TV. "It's just nice for them to be able to have the choice," said Barb Hoeft, director of the cancer center. And patients and families really like the physical surroundings -- soothing colors, private corners, lots of
The Willmar Regional Cancer Center will host a public open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. The cancer center is in the west wing of Rice Memorial Hospital. Guests are asked to use Door E or the hospital main entrance, both on the north side of the building. A private open house for patients and families is slated for Saturday morning. An open house for staff of Willmar Medical Services, Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers will be held Friday.
WILLMAR -- A statewide plan calls for investing anywhere from $6 billion to $9 billion in the next 20 years to upgrade and enhance Minnesota's ability to move freight and passengers by rail. The proposal, the first comprehensive rail plan Minnesota has ever tackled, was presented at a public hearing Wednesday that was aired via videoconference to Minnesota Department of Transportation district offices across the state.
WILLMAR -- Former state Sen.
WILLMAR -- Last week's bad weather did more than close schools and interfere with travel. It also disrupted the Red Cross's efforts to collect blood for use in the region's hospitals. There's still enough blood for patients who need it, but donors are being urged to give at the earliest available chance so the supply can be replenished, said Red Cross spokeswoman Jill Applegate. "O-negative blood has dropped to emergency levels. We are at less than a one-day supply," she said. January is traditionally "a tough month" for local blood drives, Applegate said.
WILLMAR -- After a piece of a sizing cuff was accidentally left inside a patient during major surgery at Rice Memorial Hospital last year, a hospital team gathered to analyze how it happened and how to prevent similar incidents in the future. The hospital has since adopted a different system of accounting for the equipment that's used during large surgical cases such as this one. "It did result in us making some changes in the way we were doing things," said Maureen Ideker, associate administrator of care management and chief nursing officer at Rice. The incident was among 301 "never" event
WILLMAR -- Can Kandiyohi County support three community-owned grocery stores whose focus is on fresh, locally grown food? A market and feasibility study being undertaken by a local initiative will attempt to come up with enough data to help answer this question. The joint operations board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission voted Thursday to allocate up to $12,000 to underwrite the cost of the study, which is being carried out by the G2G Research Inc.
WILLMAR -- Sure, many people think it's expensive to outfit a youngster to play hockey. But it doesn't have to be that way, says Jeff Melby. "I could put someone into hockey equipment for under a hundred dollars, including skates," he said. Melby and his wife, Kina, are the new owners of Play It Again Sports, picking up where Doug Quick, who owned the local franchise for the past 17 years, left off. New or used, buy, sell or trade, Play It Again Sports is one of the region's key resources for helping equip athletes to pursue their chosen sport. "We really want to reach out to the communit
WILLMAR -- There's still time to get vaccinated against seasonal flu and the H1N1 novel influenza virus, and there's still vaccine available. This double message is being urged by state and local health officials on the eve of the Minnesota Department of Health's annual "Ban the Bug" campaign, which runs next week. Although local influenza activity has waned dramatically, the state Health Department is warning that a third wave of the H1N1 virus is possible. Minnesota also is moving into the time of year when seasonal flu is most likely to occur. "No one can predict.
WILLMAR -- The two dogs at a rural Kandiyohi County home had access to shelter and appeared to be healthy, but their drinking water had frozen in the subzero temperatures gripping the region. The call on Saturday to local law enforcement authorities, asking them to check on the dogs' welfare, was one of several in recent days.