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WILLMAR — The future of Rice Memorial Hospital will be one of the main topics when the Willmar City Council meets Monday for a work session followed by the regular council meeting. The work session is scheduled at 5:15 p.m. in the council chambers at the Willmar Municipal Utilities building. The council meeting is at 7 p.m. at the MUC building.
WILLMAR — A burst of snow Friday afternoon led to numerous reports of spin-outs and vehicles in the ditch. The band of snow across central Minnesota only produced a few inches but roads turned slick and snow-covered just in time for mid-afternoon traffic. Three people were injured in Yellow Medicine County after a driver lost control in icy conditions and struck another vehicle on U.S. Highway 212 in Stony Run Township northwest of Granite Falls.
WILLMAR — Changes are coming to the Rice Memorial Hospital emergency department to increase safety for staff, patients and visitors. The Willmar hospital is responding to a sharp rise over the past three years in the volume of patients with acute needs, especially substance use. The trend began in 2014, at about the same time the use of synthetic marijuana, spice, K2 and other designer drugs became more widespread, said Dr. Ken Flowe, an emergency physician and chief medical officer at Rice.
WILLMAR — The Rice Memorial Hospital Board of Directors approved a series of agreements Monday to create a new entity for delivering health care to the region in partnership with Affiliated Community Medical Centers and CentraCare Health. The new entity, to be known as Carris Health, will go into operation Jan. 1 if all agreements are approved by all parties.
WILLMAR — An employee committee has been formed to engage staff as Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital move toward finalizing a partnership with CentraCare Health. The 12-member committee will have input into the transition process, as well as helping with communication.
Area health facilities are among those recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health FluSafe for achieving high flu vaccination rates for their workforce during the 2016-17 influenza season. Those earning a blue ribbon for a vaccination rate of 90 percent or more included: Swift County-Benson Hospital, Benson; Johnson Memorial Hospital, Dawson; Glacial Ridge Health System, Glenwood; Granite Falls Municipal Hospital, Granite Falls;
WILLMAR — A trucker who faced criminal charges stemming from a road rage incident this past May will avoid jail time. Instead, Matthew Donavon Monson will spend three years on supervised probation for first-degree criminal damage to property. Successful completion of probation will result in dismissal of the charge. Monson, 34, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court. In addition to probation, Judge Michael Thompson ordered him to pay restitution to the victim and write a letter of apology.
WILLMAR — Michelle Haefner, president and CEO of Bethesda Health and Housing, has been named to LeadingAge Minnesota's 50 for the Next 50. The list recognizes innovative and influential leaders, a broad array of professionals who work on behalf of older adults in senior living, adult day services, home care and skilled nursing as well as organizations that support long-term services and support throughout Minnesota.
WILLMAR — Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has awarded a $120,000 grant to the Rice Health Foundation to add an advanced dental therapist to the staff of Rice Regional Dental Clinic. The new staff position will expand access to oral health care for an estimated additional 3,000 patient visits annually. The Rice Regional Dental Clinic provides dental services to children and adults from a 17-county area in southwestern Minnesota who have limited access to care. The clinic sees 35 to 40 patients per day.