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Health Calendar published April 26, 2023

Support groups, clinics and health classes are published weekly on Wednesdays. Email submissions to news@wctrib.com by 10 a.m. at least a week in advance.

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Cancer screening

WILLMAR — CentraCare is offering colon and rectal cancer screening through May 31 for people who are age 45 or older. To receive a free immunochemical fecal occult blood test take-home colon screening kit, print and complete a consent form available on centracare.com , and bring it to a participating location. In the West Central Tribune coverage area they are the Willmar Cancer Center, the Benson Hospital registration desk and the Paynesville Laboratory.

Colon and rectal cancer are a leading cause of cancer death for men and women despite being one of the most preventable forms of cancer if treated early. Regular screening should start at age 45 or sooner if there’s a family history of cancer or other risk factors. Approximately 70 percent of people with colorectal cancer have no family history. The screening does not replace a colonoscopy, which is the best method to detect colorectal cancer. To schedule a colonoscopy, please contact your doctor.


WILLMAR — The Lutheran Social Service caregiver support group meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Willmar Community Center. Call facilitator Debi Retzlaff at 218-593-1333 to register or email debi.retzlaff@lssmn.org .


WILLMAR — A virtual connect group for adults living with epilepsy will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, online. Meet others, share the triumphs and challenges of living with seizures and connect with those who understand the epilepsy journey. Contact Amy Haugen at amy.haugen@efmn.org or 320-203-9722 .


MONTEVIDEO — A Parkinson’s support group meets at 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, in Montevideo at the CCM Wellness Center conference room. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, or family, friends, or community members who would like to learn more about Parkinson’s, are encouraged to attend. For more information, call Gretchen Reeves at 320-321-8240 .


Breast cancer

WILLMAR — The breast cancer peer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 1. The group is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage, whether currently receiving treatment or in remission. Knowing everybody has at least one thing in common to tie them together — cancer — can make it easier to open up, share, cry and laugh. Facilitators will make sure nobody is forced to share more than they wish. Free. Attendees do not need to be a patient of the CentraCare — Willmar Cancer Center. Register at CentraCare.com/WillmarCancerSupport .

Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

More health-related news:
Community and high school art events will be printed each Wednesday in this calendar up to four weeks in advance. The deadline is noon Friday. Email to news@wctrib.com with “arts calendar item” in the subject line.
Diane Elizabeth John, 79, of Willmar, died Saturday, May 27th at Bethesda Grand in Willmar. A celebration of life gathering in honor of her and her late husband, Neil, who passed away on Feb. 6, 2022, will be from 4-5:30 pm, Monday, June 5th at Robbins Island 4-Season Shelter in Willmar with a prayer service starting at 5:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. Arrangements are with West Central Cremation Services, www.hafh.org.
Richard E. Hanson, 85, of Belgrade, died on May 28, 2023 at the Belgrade Nursing Home. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023 at Crow River Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Johnson Funeral Home in Belgrade and one hour prior to the service at church. Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Home of Belgrade.

Aging Wisely

WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose,” will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at the Willmar Community Center. Mary Hanson from Bethesda will talk about opportunities to volunteer, move, and join the Bethesda Community. The program is part of a series to help support the educational, social and nutritional needs of older adults. For more information and to make a reservation, call Britta at 320-262-5288 by 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 3.

NAMI Western Minnesota

WILLMAR — NAMI Western Minnesota mental health support groups for families and peer-to-peer support will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at the Willmar Public Library. Family groups are led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness. The group helps families develop better coping skills and strength through sharing. It is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For more information, call 320-368-8319 .

Suicide survivors

WILLMAR — Heartbeat, a support group for those who have lost a loved one through suicide, will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, north of Willmar. If you are in need of someone to speak to or meet with due to a suicide loss, please feel free to call Diane at 320-894-0182, Kay at 320-262-6162 or Ray at 320-235-0030 or email yourwingsofhope@gmail.com or Heartbeatwillmar@gmail.com .


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community caregivers support groups will next meet:

  • Willmar: May 4, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Bethesda
  • New London: May 9, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Bethesda North Pointe


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community dementia support groups will next meet:

  • Olivia: April 27, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Park View Village Assisted Living
  • Willmar: May 2, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda
  • New London: May 11, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe

Senior services

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging provides advocacy, information, resources and assistance so that older adults can maintain the lifestyle of their choice. To learn more about this and other presentations and trainings MNRAAA has to offer, visit mnraaa.org/calendar.


Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info .

Senior LinkAge Line: Your link to an expert on Medicare, prescription drug expense assistance, forms assistance, community-based resources, finding resources in your community, caregiver planning and support and more. It is a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s local area agencies on aging. It is the state’s federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol. Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays or visit www.MinnesotaHelp.info to chat with a specialist during business hours. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.

  • New to Medicare: April 27, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., online; for people who will be new to Medicare and would like to learn about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. Topics will include a comprehensive introduction to Medicare including what Medicare covers, supplemental insurance and Part D prescription coverage. During the class, learn Medicare enrollment details, how to get the most from benefits and how to research Medicare plan options using the Medicare.gov site. Sign up at bit.ly/3ub8byS . For more information call 1-800-333-2433, space is limited.
  • Medicare 101: May 3, noon to 1 p.m., online. Medicare can be confusing. If you know little to nothing about Medicare and want a brief overview before digging deeper, this class is for you. Learn the basics of Medicare Part A, B, C and Part D. This class will also give you information about when and how to enroll. Sign up at bit.ly/3Yl6hIr.

SAIL: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Willmar Community Center, free, all skill levels. The Staying Active & Independent for Life program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.

55+ Driver courses: This class offered through the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center will save you up to 10 percent on your auto insurance. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies you for the discount. To maintain the discount, you must complete a four-hour refresher every three years. The course covers defensive-driving tips, changes in laws, vehicle technology, and traffic safety. Courses are also available online at www.mnsafetycenter.org . Advance registration required, online at www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-888-234-1294 . Classroom training set in the West Central Tribune area includes:

  • Refresher course, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., May 11, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
  • Refresher course, 5 to 9 p.m., May 11, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.

Disability Hub MN: A free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. The team knows the ins and outs of community resources and government programs, and has years of experience helping people fit them together. Call 1-866-333-2466 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or find email and live chat options at www.disabilityhubmn.org .

Coffee Talk: This statewide phone chat line for older adults is open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. Call toll-free at 877-238-2282. It is staffed by volunteers who understand the older adult population’s needs and challenges and is dedicated to easing loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Volunteers can offer words of encouragement and understanding and provide information about support and resources available in the person’s community. Calls are free. The caller’s privacy is a priority, and the only information requested will be first name. Users of the line may call as often as they would like.

LSS Meals on Wheels: Hot Meals on Wheels are delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A frozen meal is available for the following day or the weekend. The meals are available for persons who are unable to cook for themselves due to their age, disability, illness or recent release from the hospital. Along with the regular meal, two special diet meals are available. The cost is $8.75 and includes milk. Those 60 and over may contact LSS to see if they qualify for a reduced price. Order by noon the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-737-0985. The menu is available on the website lssmn.org/meals .

Willmar Senior Dining: The meals are served at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and are also available for curbside pickup at the Community Center. The meals are open to those who are 60 years of age and older. Suggested donation of $5 a meal. Call 320-262-5288 by noon the day before and leave a message. The menu is available on the city of Willmar website www.willmarmn.gov under Community Center.


Lutheran Social Service: Frozen, shipped meals are available for older adults statewide through the LSS Meals to Go service. Each shipment includes 14 frozen meals and the cost is about $9 per meal, which includes the shipping cost. The cost is covered for Minnesotans who use one of five waiver programs. Meals are also available to anyone in Minnesota who could benefit from healthy meals shipped directly to their homes. Order meals on the website lssmn.org/mealstogo or call 800-488-4146.


The American Red Cross conducts blood drives in the west central area. To give blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. You can give blood every 56 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. While all blood types are needed, type O and type B-negative donors are especially encouraged to give.

Appointments can be made at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org . All donors need acceptable identification. The preferred form is a government-issued picture identification, such as a driver’s license, or a Red Cross blood donor card. Otherwise you will need to provide two other forms of identification, such as a work identification, Social Security card, personal check or credit card. Personalized mail such as a utility bill will not be accepted.

Blood drives scheduled for the Tribune area are:

April 26, Belgrade: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School

April 27, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., First Reformed Church

April 27, Litchfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church

May 1, Grove City: 1 to 7 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church


May 2, Lake Lillian: 2 to 7 p.m., United Lutheran Church

May 3, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School

May 4, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Living Hope

May 4, Benson: Noon to 6 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

May 5, Benson: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

May 5, Starbuck: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Starbuck City Hall

May 8, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church

May 9, Raymond: Noon to 6 p.m., Christian Reformed Church


May 10, Litchfield: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Meeker Memorial Hospital

May 10, Kerkhoven: Noon to 6 p.m., Kerkhoven Civic Center

May 10, Spicer: 1 to 7 p.m., American Legion

May 11, Belview: 2 to 7 p.m., Odeon Hall

May 12, Litchfield: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Litchfield Christian Church

May 15, Willmar: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Willmar Conference Center

May 16, Willmar: 1 to 7 p.m., Eagle Lake Lutheran Church

May 22, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., American Legion Post 167


May 23, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kandiyohi County Health & Human Services Building

May 24, Paynesville: Noon to 6 p.m., Grace United Methodist

May 30, Sacred Heart: 1 to 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Community Center

May 30, Glenwood: Noon to 6 p.m., Glenwood Lutheran Church

May 30, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library

May 31, Buffalo Lake: 1 to 7 p.m., Buffalo Lake Community Center

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
news@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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