Brasel joins Aflac
Chuck Brasel recently joined Aflac as an independent sales agent in the Brainerd lakes area.
He has already achieved Aflac's "Fast Start" award.
Horizon Health staffers attend conference
Horizon Health Home Care management and staff members attended the 39th annual Minnesota Home Care Association Meeting May 20-22 at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd.
The theme for the conference was, "Camp Home Care: Lighting Fires, Blazing Trails." The conference featured speakers, workshops and industry experts, Horizon Health reported. This year's focus was on enhancing the bottom line in 2009 by optimizing day-to-day operations.
The Minnesota Home Care Association is a statewide, nonprofit association whose purpose is to promote the delivery of quality healthcare and supportive services in a variety of home living environments. MHCA represents more than 250 member organizations, which provide hands on care to Minnesota residents in their homes. Horizon Health, Inc., a member organization of MHCA, was represented a the three day conference by Pat Poster, Home Care Director and registered nurses Becky Kapsner and Nicole Virnig.
Abbott named a top performer in national heart study
Allina's Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and United Hospital in St. Paul and Hennepin County Medical
Center made up the top-ranking region in a study that analyzed the performances of regional STEMI networks.
STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
The national quality benchmark for the percentage of STEMI patients who are treated in less than 90 minutes is 75. The Twin Cities region performed at 97 percent. All ten study networks performed at least at 86 percent.
"Since 2002, the Minneapolis Heart Institute has been creating a coordinated emergency network that links hospitals and paramedics throughout the Upper Midwest," said Dr. Kevin Graham, cardiologist and president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. "At the core of the program are educated paramedics who diagnose patients in the field and activate an emergency life-saving chain of events that delivers them to Abbott Northwestern."
STEMI involves the sudden blockage of one of the three big coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Rapid intervention with primary balloon angioplasty and stenting restores blood flow, saves heart muscle, and reduces the likelihood of death.
"Time is muscle, so anything we can do to get the patient's artery open and the heart muscle perfused in less than 90 minutes is a must. Evidence-based data says if we can do this the patient will have a better outcome," said Dr. Kenneth Baran, CV Lab medical director at United Hospital and one of the study's authors.
Angioplasty is the best treatment for a STEMI heart attack, but it is only available in one out of five U.S. hospitals. Nationally, the researchers say fewer than 50 percent of STEMI patients are treated in less than 90 minutes.
The study was published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiology Interventions.
Carlson, Yliniemi and Rohr join CTC
Consolidated Telecommunications Co. recently announced Donald Carlson, Mandi Yliniemi and Daniel Rohr have recently joined the Brainerd-based company.
Carlson joined CTC after the acquisition of C-I Communications where he worked as plant maintenance supervisor. With CTC, Carlson will be working as a combination technician where he is responsible for installing and maintaining network equipment for CTC customers.
Yliniemi joins CTC as a graphic designer. Yliniemi will be a part of the marketing team that works to develop customer communication tools for CTC services. Prior to CTC, Yliniemi worked as a graphic designer with The Johnson Group, Evergreen Press and Range Printing.
Rohr joins CTC as a service assurance technician. Rohr assists CTC customers who are experiencing trouble with voice, data or video services. Prior to joining CTC, Rohr worked as a temporary help desk technician and at St. Joseph's Medical Center.
Verville coordinates RiverWood Bank 50 Plus Club
Mavis Verville was selected to be the coordinator of the new RiverWood Bank 50 Plus Club which is being introduced to the Brainerd, Baxter and Crosslake communities.
Verville has been involved in the banking industry for 35 years in several roles, including teller and a branch manager and as a personal banker with RiverWood Bank.
RiverWood Bank introduced the 50 Plus Club during an open house in Baxter office last Tuesday and plans an open house at the Crosslake Office June 26.
RiverWood Bank is owned by Great River Holding Co..
Waln opens dental practice in Nisswa
NISSWA - Dentist Luke Waln opened his Center for Dental Excellence, Nisswa Smiles on Main Street in Nisswa in April.
Waln invested in a Cerec Machine, which can custom make a crown on site rather than sending out to a lab. This means no more impressions or temporary crowns as patients can be fit with a customized crown in one visit.
Waln received his degree from the University of Minnesota Dental School and has been in practice for seven years. His work experience includes serving the U.S. Army as a dentist in Afghanistan.
Endowed scholarship honors Keran
An endowed scholarship was created at Central Lakes College in honor of Doug Keran, long-time instructor in the natural resources program at CLC.
An initial donation has been made by instructor Gary Carson, who was once a student of Keran's and later a colleague. Aside from serving as an instructor, Keran has been an interim vice president of academic affairs. He retired from his full-time duties at CLC several years ago. However, this fall he is teaching Introduction to Ecotourism, a curriculum he developed as part of an associate in applied science degree program in ecotourism.
Diane Scearcy, executive director of the CLC Foundation, said donations for any amount will be accepted as CLC works its way up to the preferred level of $10,000. The scholarship will be awarded to a student in his/her second year at CLC pursuing a degree in natural resources. To be eligible, a student must have a 3.0 grade-point average.
Two from CLC take leadership training
Sue Austin, interim director of TRiO-Student Support Services at Central Lakes College, recently graduated from the Emerging Leaders Institute training provided by Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel.
She was selected for the year-long training as a member of Minnesota's state chapter, MN TRiO.
Nick Heisserer, coordinator of the Upward Bound program at CLC, is participating in the latest round of training at the Emerging Leaders Institute. Throughout the training period, participants make time from regular scheduled work hours as well as off-work weekends and travel to sessions beyond Minnesota.
MAEOPP is the representative professional body for colleges, universities and agencies that host federally funded TRiO educational opportunity programs in 10 Midwest states. Initiated in 1989, the program's purpose is to identify and prepare TRIO professionals to assume leadership positions, grow personally and professionally and to strengthen state and regional TRIO associations.
St. Joseph's Medical Center gains patient experience award
Ten Minnesota hospitals won HealthGrades award for "outstanding patient experience," including St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.
Health care ratings organization HealthGrades recently released its list of "2009/2010 Outstanding Patient Experience Award" winners.
Winners ranked in the top 15 percent on a federal patient satisfaction survey called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The Minnesota hospitals were: Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury; Lake Region Healthcare Corp. in Fergus Falls; Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater; Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester; Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar; Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia; Rochester Methodist Hospital; St. Cloud Hospital; St. Joseph's Medical Center; and Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.
HCAHPs, operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, asks discharged patients 27 questions ask about physician and nurse communication with the patient, responsiveness of hospital staff, cleanliness and quietness of the facility, medication information conveyed to them and post-discharge care instructions.
Poster, Antolik join summer VISTA program
For the third year in a row, Horizon Health Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, was chosen by the Minnesota Literacy Council to host two Summer VISTAs who will organize and run the eight-week "Summer Reads" Program.
Danielle Poster, a Pierz native, and Brittany Antolik, a Little Falls resident, will focus on helping low-income children and children with limited English proficiency to improve and enhance their literary skills over the summer.
The program, which runs from June 15-Aug. 8 this year, centers on children in grades K-3 at Falls Meadowridge and Chi Rho residential facilities in Little Falls. Students interested in participating in the program, or anyone interested in volunteering in Summer Reads, should contact Jeannie Myers, Summer Reads coordinator, at (320) 468-6451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parsons receives Topper Club honors
Scott Parsons, Farmers Insurance agent in Brainerd, was inducted into the Farmers' Topper Club and invited to attend the 2009 annual meeting of Farmers' top sales producers.
Parsons is being recognized by Farmers for outstanding sales achievements during 2008.
Crow Wing Power annual meeting has record attendance
An estimated 3,000 people attended the 72nd annual Crow Wing Power Member Appreciation Day and Annual Meeting Saturday.
The total number of ballots cast in this year's board election was 6,339. Two incumbents were re-elected to the board - Bob Kangas from Pine River received 6,019 votes and Ken Miller, Little Falls, received 5,875 votes. Lois Hansen from Brainerd will be a new board member on the board replacing the late Ron Kristofferson and she received the most votes in that district with 1,459 votes. After the annual meeting the board held their re-organizational meeting where Bette Mezzenga was re-elected as president. Vice president is Gert Roggenkamp; Kay Blais, secretary and Gordon Martin, treasurer.
CHOW planned Thursday at the Lodge
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber networking event CHOW is planned from noon to 1 p.m. at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, 6967 Lake Forest Road, Baxter.
Cost is $5 for pre-registration and $7 at the door. For more information, contact the chamber at 829-2838 or e-mail email@example.com.
Market in the Park in Pequot Lakes
Pequot Lakes Business Connect, a committee of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, presents a new event starting July 2 at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes "Market in the Park" will run 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays until Sept. 3.
Every Thursday will include - yoga in the park at 8 a.m., Bobber Bingo, "Kids Find the Bobber Contest" from 9 a.m. to noon, Bobber Bowling for kids and adults at 1 p.m.
Crafters, flea market, farmers, fundraisers, garage sales, concessions. Market hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Crosslake organizes planting campaign
CROSSLAKE - The Crosslake office of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber is organizing a campaign entitled Crosslake In Bloom - planting pride in our community.
The contest open to all businesses and residents of Crosslake.
The chamber reported the objective of this contest is to increase awareness of the beauty of our community and the quality of life of our residents, encourage the promotion of tourism in our area, and to create opportunities for business and citizen participation.
There are several categories available including: floral gardens including annuals and perennials, container gardens, shade gardens, water gardens. Each category will have an opportunity for business and residential winners. The Crosslake Garden Club will be supplying the judges for Crosslake In Bloom.
Judging will take place the week of July 20 with winners announced on Aug. 8. For more information, office at (218) 692-4027. Registration deadline is July 10.
Brainerd Valvoline Instant Oil Change raises funds
Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Brainerd raised $755 for Children's Miracle Network, an international nonprofit that raises funds for children's hospitals.
The fundraising event, which took place during the month of April, consisted of Valvoline Instant Oil Change customers purchasing Children's Miracle Network signature paper miracle balloons.
Funds raised locally will be presented to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Donations through Valvoline Instant Oil Change fund specialized medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of children. Children's Miracle Network is an international nonprofit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals.
Harding Place collects pop tops
For the past three years, residents of Harding Place collected seven 5-gallon pails of pop tabs and just recently delivered them to McDonald's in Little Falls.
This is the eighth year the residents have been collecting tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. Harding Place, a division of Horizon Health Inc. in Pierz, is a board and lodging facility for men with special needs related to the challenges unique to American veterans.
Since 1987, the Pop Tab Program has raised nearly $1 million dollars and helped defer the cost for families staying there. Pop tabs bring about $35,000 per year to our House.
Businesses recognized for workplace flexibility and family-friendly values
Despite an economy delivering daily bad news for businesses and their employees, several Minnesota businesses were recognized for helping their employees achieve work-life balance.
Finalists for the national Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award for Workplace Flexibility include a prominent group of 27 Minnesota businesses that included such companies as General Mills, Best Buy, Wells Fargo and Accenture.
The Brian Klinefelter Foundation also announced its finalists for the BKF Family-Friendly Award, which recognizes Minnesota businesses that have successfully demonstrated the implementation of family-friendly employee practices. Finalists completed an application where they highlighted employee benefits and policies that focused on health and wellness, workplace flexibility and community involvement. Finalists included CenterPoint Energy and Marco.
CenterPoint Energy recently introduced Safety Wellness Action Team to its 1,358 employees, which provides a voice for its employees concerns and questions regarding work-life balance issues. They also expanded their employee assistance programs to include counseling services, financial and legal advice, family support, help with relationships and more.
Marco offers its 256 employees the opportunity to telecommute based on their health and family situations. Marco addresses the technology issues associated with telecommuting by providing the technical connections, hardware and software to its employees to access their network. They also have various employee-driven committees that lead everything from healthcare plan review to the employee stock ownership plan.
Company leadership at all the finalists indicated that the implementation of employee-friendly practices have lead to the recruitment and retention of top talent. This, in turn, has helped the companies provide superior products and service to their customers.
Winners of both awards will be announced later this month and both awards will be presented at the annual Brian Klinefelter Foundation Awards Dinner July 13 at BlackBerry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell.
Free career workshops offered at CLC
Central Lakes College has scheduled a free series of career workshops this summer on the Brainerd campus at 501 W. College Drive.
Guests may choose any single workshop or combination of workshops, where space is limited and advance registration with the Counseling Department is encouraged.
Workshop No. 1 - "I know I want to go to college, but I have no idea what I want to do!" 1-3 p.m. June 24 or 1-3 p.m. July 20. Participants will complete surveys to uncover their career interests and then connect their interests with career and job information.
Workshop No. 2 - "Put your personality to work for you." 1-3 p.m. July 14 or 1-3 p.m. Aug. 3. Participants will gain a better understanding of themselves as they define values, personality and emotional intelligence to make sound career decisions.
Workshop No. 3 - "Navigating the educational world: So many degrees, diplomas, and decisions!" 1-3 p.m. July 16 or 1-3 p.m. Aug. 4. College can be confusing, with so many options. What's the difference between an associate of applied science degree and an associate's degree? How does transfer work? Guests learn how to chart the most efficient path through education.
For more information, call 855-8019 or (800) 933-0346, ext. 8019.
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