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Health Calendar published April 5, 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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Mental health workshop

WILLMAR — The American Association of University Women will have a mental health workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at the Willmar Community Center. Mindy Greiling, author of “Fix What You Can, Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son,” will be the speaker. A panel of local mental health providers will follow Greiling’s talk to share information and local resources, followed by a question-and-answer session. Tickets are required. Deadline is April 13 to pick up a free ticket at the Willmar Public Library or online at Eventbrite.com.

Conference on the Brain

WILLMAR — The 2023 community conference on the brain will be from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Willmar Senior High School. The guest speaker is Bailey Parnell, founder and CEO of SkillsCamp, a soft skills training company that helps people develop the skills they need for success. She will speak on social media’s impact on mental health. Cost is $30. For more information and to register, contact PACT for Families Collaborative online at www.pactforfamilies.org .

Memory Loss

MONTEVIDEO — The Montevideo Area Memory Loss Network will host internationally recognized dementia care expert Rachael Wonderlin from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the United Methodist Church in Montevideo. Wonderlin has a master’s in gerontology and owns Dementia by Day, a dementia care consulting firm and her “16 Things I’d Want If I Got Dementia” poem has circulated the globe many times over. She will touch on a variety of topics including embracing their reality, handling negative “behaviors," dealing with caregiver stress and more.

Register by April 20 for $25, including lunch. Contact Lori Petersen at apfamily@hcinet.net or 320-226-2343 . Continuing education credits available for additional fee.

Grief support

MONTEVIDEO — CentraCare Hospice will be offering a six-week grief support group for individuals who have experienced the death of a loved one starting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the Montevideo Community Center in Southtown Plaza. The groups meet for a series of six weeks, addressing a new topic for each week. It is more effective if a person is able to attend all the sessions. It is open to all community members at no cost and it is not necessary to have utilized the CentraCare Hospice program to participate. Register at CentraCare.com/events or call 320-231-4450 .


Camp GK Bear

WILLMAR — Camp GK Bear will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at CentraCare — Rice Memorial Hospital's Lakeland Auditorium in Willmar. It is a free, one-day camp for children, grades K-6, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. The camp combines activities such as art and music with grief education and support. Register online at CentraCare.com/events by April 14. For more information, call 320-231-4450 .

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

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

  • Willmar: April 6, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Bethesda
  • New London: April 11, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: April 25, 5 to 6 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living


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

  • New London: April 13, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: April 27, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Park View Village Assisted Living


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community Parkinson’s support groups will next meet:

  • Willmar: April 18, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda
  • New London: April 20, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: April 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living

Aging Wisely

WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Willmar Community Center. Nate Erickson from the University of Minnesota Extension will speak about the gardening program offered through the Extension. 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, April 5.

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, April 6, 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 .

Multiple myeloma

WILLMAR — The central Minnesota multiple myeloma support group will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 8, in the training room at the Willmar Fire Department. Interested patients, caregivers, family members and friends are encouraged to join. For more information, contact Bev and Tony Hartzburg, 320-894-8101 ; Steve and Sheila Ellingboe, 320-295-3940 ; email CentralMN@IMFsupport.org ; or see the website at CentralMN.support.myeloma.org . The group is affiliated with the International Myeloma Foundation.


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, April 11, 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 .

Compassionate Friends

WILLMAR — The West Central Minnesota Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society Museum in Willmar. The Compassionate Friends is a self-help group offering friendship and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child at any age. Call Lois at 320-444-4334 if you have questions about the meeting. Please leave a message. More information is available at www.compassionate friends.org .

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.

Sign up for the following classes at bit.ly/3ub8byS .

To update classes, click on the signup link above and it will take you to all the classes scheduled. Do NOT use the website calendar, it is often missing events.

  • Medicare 101: April 5, 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.
  • New to Medicare: April 11, 2:30 to 4:30 p.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 it 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 and Consumer Fraud: April 19, 2 p.m., online. Virtual presentation on how to protect your personal information against Medicare and consumer fraud by staff from the Senior LinkAge Line.

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: TThis 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. It is also available online at www.mnsafetycenter.org . Advance registration required, online at www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-888-234-1294 . Classes set in the West Central Tribune area include:

  • Refresher course, 5 to 9 p.m., April 13, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
  • Refresher course, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., April 17, $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 5, Clara City: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., MACCRAY High School

April 6, Hancock: Noon to 6 p.m., Hancock School

April 7, Kandiyohi: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Civic Center

April 7, Granite Falls: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Prairie's Edge Casino

April 10, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church

April 10, Milan: 2 to 6:30 p.m., Kviteseid Lutheran Church

April 11, Maynard: Noon to 6 p.m., Events Center


April 12, Clara City: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Community Center

April 12, Hector: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart High School

April 13, Montevideo: Noon to 6 p.m., Training and Community Center

April 14, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., YMCA

April 17, Granite Falls: 1 to 7 p.m., Kilowatt 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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