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WILLMAR -- Under a proposal approved Wednesday by the Rice Memorial Hospital board, anesthesia and sleep laboratory services will be folded into Willmar Medical Services, the joint venture co-owned by the hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers. The move is expected to make these services more efficient, reduce costs and duplication, and set the stage for initiatives to enhance quality. Formal discussions about transferring the two services to Willmar Medical Services had been taking place since last fall. "We sought out input from lots of stakeholders in this process," said Mike
WILLMAR -- Local anesthesia services would be enhanced under a proposal to fold them into Willmar Medical Services, a 4-year-old joint venture between Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers. The plan would transfer sleep lab services into the joint entity as well. The proposal is on the agenda of the Rice Memorial Hospital board of directors, which meets at 5:30 p.m.
In May 2011, a charter bus traveling on Interstate 95 from North Carolina to New York City left the road north of Richmond, Va., at 5 a.m. and rolled over while the passengers inside screamed in fear. Four people died and several others were injured. The driver reportedly had fallen asleep at the wheel. Surviving passengers later told law enforcement officials they saw him gulping down energy drinks and coffee to stay awake.
WILLMAR -- At a recent meeting of the United Way of West Central Minnesota, the refreshments consisted of juicy low-calorie clementines. Not long ago, "we would have brought a box of cookies" instead, said Renee Nolting, executive director. Other workplaces participating in the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota's third annual Bizically Fit wellness challenge are taking similar steps: encouraging employees to be less chair-bound, swapping time in the break room for a walk around the block, and eliminating the office candy dish in favor of treats with fewer calories. Organizers of the 12-wee
WILLMAR -- When community review panels for the United Way of West Central Minnesota sit down later this month to evaluate funding applications, they'll be working with a record number of requests. The agency has received 57 applications totaling $764,415 for its 2012-13 funding cycle. That's an all-time high, said Renee Nolting, executive director. "The need is greater than ever," she said. More than 60 volunteers serve on the review panels, which will meet March 22 to consider the funding requests that have been submitted.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission adopted guidelines Thursday for handling funding requests from community groups. Board members and economic development officials hope it will help make the process more clear and consistent. "It's good to have it in writing," said Bruce Peterson, development director for the city of Willmar.
For weeks, Phyllis Stageberg and the Rev. Mary Hovland have been quietly writing letters and making phone calls. The two women hope their persistent behind-the-scenes campaigning will be among the forces that help change family law in Minnesota to give fathers equal rights in child custody. "This is really important," said Stageberg.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital weathered some daunting challenges over the past five years: declining inpatient volume, shrinking reimbursement and a national recession. But the city-owned hospital emerged from 2011 in the best operational health it's had in years, from financial performance to cash flow and productivity. A status report was shared Monday with the hospital board's finance committee. Taken together, it gives the board a realistic view of how Rice is doing, said Mike Schramm, chief executive. "How are we doing operationally? How strong are we? What have the trends been?
WILLMAR -- The West Central Renewable Ammonia Development LLC has been awarded a major state grant -- for $450,000 -- to help take a proposed biomass-into-anhydrous-ammonia project to the next stage. The grant award was announced Thursday by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.
Local fire officials hope the donation of pet oxygen masks could someday help save the life of a dog or cat rescued from a fire. With any luck, the masks will never have to be used. But in case they're ever needed, "it's nice to know we've got them," said Marv Calvin, Willmar fire chief.