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WILLMAR -- A final draft of Rice Memorial Hospital's new proposed strategic plan will be unveiled at a meeting Monday of the hospital board of directors and the strategic planning steering committee. Hospital leaders have been working since September to craft the plan, which will help chart the future direction of the city-owned hospital. Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital, said next week's meeting is "the culmination" of the process. "We've put a lot of work into it," he said.
WILLMAR -- As Minnesota's economy sank deeper into recession this year, Mary Quirk and her colleagues at the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration began hearing from around the state about the stresses facing organizations that rely on volunteers. Many were cutting their budgets and being forced to depend even more on volunteers. For some, there was a shortage of volunteers.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital announced Thursday that additional visitor restrictions have been implemented for the holiday season. Group tours have been discontinued for the months of December and January, and caroling will not be allowed at any time, even in public areas of the hospital. "We appreciate carolers, and they have been a great benefit to our patients in past years," said Dale Hustedt, chief administrative officer. "It's wonderful to welcome them when conditions are right.
WILLMAR -- Underage drinkers often start consuming alcohol by the time they're in their mid-teens, and they're most likely to drink when they're with their friends, a new survey has found. The findings suggest that prevention activities should start early, said the St.
WILLMAR -- Vaccine availability for H1N1 novel influenza is being expanded to all health priority groups, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday. The supply is still trickling in and it will take time to get the vaccine distributed to health providers and public health agencies across the state, officials said. Be persistent, counseled Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at the state Health Department. "It's still very important that people pursue vaccination.
WILLMAR -- Home sales in Willmar and in Kandiyohi County have remained relatively steady over the past 12 months, even as the national number of home resales surged by 10.1 percent during October. Local Realtors interviewed earlier this month said buyers have been cautious. "It's the uneasiness in the economy. It's not knowing if they have a job," said Betty Bollig, a broker with Counselor Realty. The tax credit for first-time home buyers has been an incentive, however.
The two women leaving the Kandi Mall in Willmar last Saturday afternoon were laden down with three shopping bags apiece. "I worked up a sweat," one of them remarked as they headed for their car in the crowded parking lot next to the J.C.
WILLMAR -- Children ages 5 to 9 will begin receiving the H1N1 novel influenza vaccine at mass vaccination clinics that start Monday in Kandiyohi County. The county's first shipments of vaccine arrived this past week, said Ann Stehn, director of Kandiyohi County Public Health. The initial supply is limited but more should be arriving shortly, she said. "We anticipate at some point in the coming week that will open up." In the meantime, local health officials are following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health and U.S.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital will focus this coming year on strengthening its operations and putting the city-owned hospital in a better position for growth and new strategic initiatives. Hospital officials plan to accomplish this by controlling expenses and solidifying the balance sheet. "We've got to be in a position to make those strategic investments down the road, nearly all of which take capital," said Mike Schramm, the chief executive at Rice. The goals were laid out Wednesday as part of a $100 million budget for next year.
WILLMAR -- Not far into Kate Selseth's presentation on the ins and outs of Medicare and how to compare plans on the Medicare.gov Web site, someone in the second row had a question: What if you don't know how to use a computer? "You don't have to know.