Among only 7 percent in the nation for IT award

Independent, rural community health system, Winona Health, earns national award for advanced Information Technology

A rural Minnesota, independent community healthcare system is among the top 7 percent of healthcare systems in the nation when it comes to using information technology to improve healthcare quality, safety and outcomes.

Winona Health, nestled in Winona, Minn., (population 28,000) along the Mississippi river in southeast Minnesota, has been a pioneer in health information technology adoption to improve care since 2001 when it was among the first healthcare organizations to develop an integrated electronic medical record system. Today, the organization conducts healthcare appointments in a paperless environment.

After a rigorous, independent onsite visit during which evaluators observed healthcare providers and nurses caring for patients using the organization’s electronic patient records, they announced that Winona Health met the criteria to earn the HIMSS* Stage 7 Ambulatory award. This award honors organizations operating in a paperless environment and representing best practices in implementing electronic health records.

Evaluators observed several best practices in population health including increased breast cancer screening and depression screening, improved care for patients with diabetes, and community engagement programs such as the Community Care Network. Less than 7 percent of clinics nationwide have achieved this award.

“It is very rewarding, because our goal is to improve healthcare for our patients. It’s always about the patient,” said Daniel Parker, MD, chief of the medical staff at Winona Health. “This achievement has been an ongoing team effort, and it reflects that our data-driven, lean management culture is embedded throughout our organization. Our IT partner, Cerner ITWorks, is completely integrated with our staff and that close collaboration is key to our ability to leverage IT when it comes to patient care.”

“Winona Health is a great example of an organization that is putting the person at the center of care,” said Zane Burke, president of Cerner. “We applaud Winona’s industry leadership, especially in helping us advance interoperability by connecting organizations with different EHR systems and facilitating electronic communication between patients and care providers.”

In addition to facilitating personalized care, technology also empowers individuals to take charge of and improve their health.

“Long before most healthcare organizations were contemplating electronic records, Winona Health was beginning to transform healthcare delivery through technology,” said Kathleen Lanik, chief Quality and Safety officer. “In addition to implementing technology to streamline processes like provider orders and visit documentation in real time, we’ve continued to add patient-requested features to our secure patient portal, My Winona Health, making it easier for patients to access their health records and communicate with us at their convenience.”

Winona Health will continue to strategically leverage technology to revolutionize community healthcare.

For more information about Winona Health, visit


*HIMSS – Health Information Management Systems Society.

About Winona Health

Founded in 1894 and located on the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota, Winona Health is a nonprofit healthcare system meeting the lifelong needs of the Winona regional community. With nearly 1,200 employees, the healthcare system includes more than 50 physicians and 40 associate providers. Winona Health cares for the community through its primary care clinics, surgical and specialty clinics, an urgent care clinic, emergency department, 99-bed hospital, skilled nursing home, assisted living appartments, and home care, paliative care and hospice services. In addition, Winona Health has a primary care clinic in Rushford, Minn. Winona Health is governed by a volunteer board of directors who guide the organization’s fulfillment of its mission: to improve the health and well-being of the community.

Winona Health earned the Performance Excellence Network‘s 2013 Performance Excellence Award, which is based on the nationally-recognized Baldrige criteria. It has also been recognized 10 times as one of the Most Wired small and rural hospitals. For more information about Winona Health:

About Cerner

Cerner’s health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 18,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients’ clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, visit, read our blog at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

As of February 2, 2015, Cerner Corporation acquired Siemens Health Services. Certain trademarks, service marks and logos set forth herein are property of Cerner Corporation and/or its subsidiaries. All other non-Cerner marks are the property of their respective owners.





John Gallagher, MD, speaks at national conference

John Gallagher, MD

John Gallagher, MD

John Gallagher, MD, a Winona Health Emergency Department physician and medical director for Winona Area Ambulance Service, was invited to speak at the National Association of EMS Physicians Conference. The conference was in New Orleans January 22 – 25.

Dr. Gallagher’s presentation, From the Screen to the Scene, was about implementing large-scale national policies at the local level. More than 900 physicians from around the country attended the conference.

In addition to his work at Winona Health, Dr. Gallagher serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (MN-ACEP) and the board of directors for the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Medical Director’s Association, an organization of EMS medical directors dedicated to improving 911 care in Minnesota.

Dr. Gallagher joined Winona Health in 2012.

For more information about John Gallagher, MD, or other healthcare providers at Winona Health, visit and click Find a Provider. Winona Health is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Go Red Day: Friday, Feb. 6!

Melissa Richards, MD

Melissa Richards, MD

Let’s wear red Friday, February 6
Melissa Richards, MD

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? I hope you said the bad news. (But don’t worry. The good news is really good.)

Did you know cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year? It’s true. And 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.

So here is the good news: We can prevent up to 80 percent of heart disease and strokes.

The American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN is fighting to save women’s lives from heart disease. Progress has been significant, but there’s a long way to go.  Here are a few things we all can do:

  • Get Your Numbers: Ask your healthcare provider to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
  • Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight if necessary, be physically active and eat healthy.
  • Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
  • Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you & your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
  • Donate: You can show your support with a donation to research or by taking the time to raise awareness about heart disease.

This cannot be a one-woman battle. Share information with your friends, family and co-workers to increase awareness and take action to decrease your risk. You can learn how here.

We have the power to save our lives. So let’s share the good news. We can end the number one killer of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. Make a difference and Go Red for Women.

Let’s all WEAR RED on Friday, February 6.



Melissa Richards, MD, is an obstetrician/gynecologist in the Winona Health Women’s Health Center.


$5 Jewelry Sale – new location!

Winona Health Auxiliary hosting $5 Jewelry Sale
New Location: Hospital Lobby

The Winona Health Auxiliary Masquerade $5 Jewelry Sale will be held in the hospital lobby at Winona Health on Wednesday and Thursday, February 4 and 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that the event will be in a new location: the hospital lobby at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave., Winona, Minn.

The sale has become so popular that the location was changed to prevent parking issues for patients coming in for appointments. Jewelry sale attendees are asked to park in the hospital parking lot and enter the hospital main entrance. The sale will be in the hospital lobby.

Masquerade, a nationally known $5 jewelry company, will showcase more than 25,000 pieces of new jewelry. There will be a wide variety of jewelry and accessories for men, women and children including rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, jewelry sets, wallets, watches and much more. Everything is $5. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted. This is a great opportunity to find Valentine’s Day gifts!

Scholarships available

Healthcare scholarships available through Winona Health

Three scholarships are offered to the Winona community through the Winona Health Foundation and through the Winona Health Auxiliary.

Winona Health Foundation’s Phyllis McClenathan scholarship

The Winona Health Foundation’s Phyllis McClenathan scholarship is a $1,000 award available to an individual who is in the final one or two semesters in completing his or her two- or four-year nursing degree. The scholarship recipient must be from within a 60-mile radius of Winona or attend a post-secondary school within the designated area, or be a current Winona Health employee. Priority will be given to individuals committed to providing care at Winona Health. 

Phyllis McClenathan was a long-time nurse in Winona Health’s Family Birth Center who passed away after a long battle with cancer. In 2006, her husband, Dean, and their children established a nursing scholarship in her name through the Winona Health Foundation. 

Applications for the Phyllis McClenathan Scholarship are due March 15, 2015. An application form and eligibility information is available online at

Winona Health Auxiliary Carol Hill Scholarship

The Winona Health Auxiliary Carol Hill Scholarship is named for a retired director of Winona Health Volunteer Services in honor of her long-standing service to the Winona Health Auxiliary.

Scholarship awards are contingent on acceptance into an accredited healthcare educational program for fall 2015. Applicants also must be a permanent resident of the Winona Health service area or be working and/or volunteering at Winona Health. Individual scholarship awards will be made in amounts of $500 or more, and up to a total of $20,000 in scholarships will be awarded. Scholarship funds are raised through Auxiliary fundraising events.

Applications for the Carol Hill Scholarship are due March 15, 2015. An application form and eligibility information is available online at

Winona Health Post-Secondary Scholarship Program
Through the generosity of anonymous contributors, the Winona Health Post-Secondary Scholarship Program was established to provide graduating high school seniors with financial assistance to pursue a health-related career.

Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Winona Health Scholarship Program Committee based on the student’s demonstration of the program standards which include:

  • a strong motivation to pursue a healthcare career
  • academic excellence
  • a dedication to community service
  • a demonstrated need of financial support for their college education

Additionally, the scholarship is contingent upon acceptance to an accredited institution in a program of study for a career in healthcare.

The deadline for application submission for the Winona Health Post-Secondary Scholarship Program is April 1, 2015. An application form and eligibility information is available online. Click here.

Please note that applications for all scholarships that are received after the due date, or not fully completed, will be ineligible. Call 507.474.3328 for more information.


Join us for Benevolence & Blues!

Winona Health Foundation dinner to celebrate ‘Benevolence & Blues’

The Winona Health Foundation invites community members to the annual ‘Benevolence & Blues,’ Friday, January 30 at Visions Event Center at Signatures, 22852 County Road 17 in Winona.

“This will be a special evening celebrating generosity, blues music and delicious barbeque,” said Betsy Midthun, Winona Health vice president of Community Engagement. “We will recognize individuals and an organization to highlight just a few examples of how generosity makes a difference in our community.”

Honorees include:

  • Fireworks galore: Steven C. Johnson
  • Fantasy of Trees founders: Gayla Clemons, Betty Datta & Sandy Pope
  • 100 years of service: Arnold Fenske, MD, & Lois Gernes, LPN
  • Care above and beyond: Kasey Buchheit, NA, & Katrina Hammel, MD
  • Grateful patients: Ben & Adith Miller Patient Care Fund
  • Get up and dance: KairosAlive!

The community event plays on a ‘blues’ theme. “You may have the winter blues and just need a fun night out,” said Midthun. “We are encouraging attendees to wear their favorite blues—whether it’s dress blues, blue scrubs, blue jeans or blue suede shoes.”

The dinner menu includes: southern slaw; house-made corn muffins with whipped honey butter; BBQ ribs; southern fried chicken; green beans, bacon and onions; sweet potato fingerlings; cheddar cheese grits; and sweet southern biscuit strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. Many menu items are gluten free.

Entertainment includes music by Costello & Hipps and singing by Angie Johannes, director of Winona Health Surgical Services.

Tickets are $35 per person. The evening begins with a hors d’oeuvres, blues music and a cash bar. Dinner, more entertainment and stories of generosity round out the evening. Reservations will be accepted through Friday, January 23. RSVP by sending a check payable to the Winona Health Foundation, and mail to: Winona Health Foundation, 855 Mankato Ave., Winona, MN 55987. Please include the names of those attending. If questions, call 507.474.3328.




Call for nominations: Community Service Tribute

The Winona Health Foundation is seeking nominations for the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute.

The Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute is awarded to an outstanding person, persons or community organization who has made a significant difference and positive impact on the Winona region and/or Winona Health. Candidates will be evaluated on their generosity of time, spirit, energy and/or charitable donations. Nomination forms are available online at and will be accepted through Friday, February 6.

The Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute was established by the late community philanthropist, Benjamin A. Miller, in the name of his wife, Adith. In addition to a special recognition dinner at Cedar Valley Restaurant, the family of Ben and Adith Miller and RTP Company honors the recipient with a $25,000 contribution to the Ben & Adith Miller Patient Care Fund to assist area individuals and families.

Dee Cipov received the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute in 2014. Cipov was recognized for her great attitude, her dedication to her community and her exceptional hard work. Cipov has generously given of her time and talents to benefit not only Winona Health but also the Winona community. Cipov volunteers through a number of non-profit organizations including: Colors of Cancer Fitness Festival, the Winona Health Auxiliary, the Winona History Center, Trinona, the Frozen River Film Festival, the YMCA, the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Habitat for Humanity, the Mid West Music Fest and Theatre du Mississippi.

Written nominations are being accepted now through February 6. Click here to nominate someone. If questions, call 507.457.4394 or contact


Previous Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute recipients:

2013 Dee Cipov

2012 Irene Renk

2011 Marlene Kohner

2010 Jenny Kahl

2009 Justin Green

2008 Nancy Iglesias

2007 Dennis Theede and Home and Community Options

2006 Karen and O.J. Fawcett

2005 Donna Helble

2004 Kent Gernander

2003 Marilyn and Keith Schwab, Kim and Pete Schwab

2002 L. “Max” DeBolt

2001 Rose Anderson and Diane Barge

2000 Carol and Dan Barr

1999 Joette and Michael Gostomski

1998 Roger Metz

1997 Nancy and Mark Kristensen

1996 Dave Arnold and Dan Rukavina

1995 Pete Woodworth

1994 Dr. Frank and Ruth Bures

1993 Sue Cornwell

1992 Bob Kierlin

1991 Tom Graham

1990 Gary Evans

1989 Pauline Knight

1988 Tom and Judith Stark, Dr. Roger and Helen Hartwich, John and Helen David




Toni Highum joins board of directors

Toni HighumToni Highum joined the Winona Health board of directors in January 2015.

“I chose to serve on the Winona Health board of directors as a way of giving back to my community,” said Highum. “I come from a family who believes in giving back, and I’m excited to have an opportunity to participate on a community board that is committed to helping people.”

Highum is the senior system analyst with The J.R. Watkins Co. in Winona, Minn. She has been with the company for more than 21 years. A long-time Rushford resident, Highum is the daughter-in-law of long-time Winona Health board member Herb Highum, who retired from the board in December. Highum and her husband, Ken, live in Rushford and have two grown sons.

In addition to Highum, Winona Health board members are: Ken Mogren, chair; Roderick S. Baker; Scott Biesanz; Steve Blue; Scott Birdsall, MD; Matthew Broghammer, DO; Vicki Decker; Gary Evans; Richard Ferris, MD; Pastor Rick Iglesias; Jim Killian; Hugh Miller; Daniel Parker, MD; Rachelle Schultz, president/CEO; Kim Schwab; and Mark Wagner.

The Winona Health board is composed of community members elected to serve on the board on a volunteer basis. The board is responsible for establishing Winona Health’s strategic direction; quality and safety; financial oversight; and setting organizational policy. Board members are committed to guiding Winona Health in its mission to improve the health and well-being of the greater Winona area community while remaining a strong and independent, not-for-profit community-owned healthcare system.






Free Healthcare Directives Program

Learn how to make your wishes known

The Winona Health Auxiliary will hold an informational program about Healthcare Directives on Monday, January 19, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Parkview Conference Room at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.

This program will provide information about the need for and benefits of having a Healthcare Directive. The primary purpose of a Healthcare Directive is to allow individuals to retain control over their care, even after losing the ability to speak on their own behalf. Trained and certified Winona Health Auxiliary volunteers will facilitate this program with participants using authorized forms. The session will cover both Minnesota and Wisconsin Healthcare Directives.

A working follow-up session will be held Monday, February 2, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Parkview Conference Room at Winona Health. This session is for individuals who have attended the Healthcare Directives Informational Session but have questions or would like assistance in completing their personal directive or to have a Healthcare Directives Facilitator review a completed directive.

These sessions are free of charge and open to the public. No advanced registration is required. All adults over the age of 18 are encouraged to complete a Healthcare Directive.

Our trained Auxiliary volunteers are also available to give group presentations in the community about Health Care Directives. For more information, call the Winona Health Volunteer Services Office at 507.474.3328. 

Visitor limitations due to flu

Winona Health implements temporary visitor limitations due to influenza

Winona Health has implemented temporary visitor limitations to allow only visits from immediate family in the hospital, Lake Winona, Adith Miller and Roger Metz Manors and Senior Living at Watkins until further notice.

Family members who are coughing or showing other respiratory symptoms also are asked not to visit their relatives in the hospital or nursing home.

Patients and family members coming to clinic for appointments who are coughing, sneezing or seeking care for respiratory symptoms are asked to wear a mask. Masks are available at all Winona Health locations.

In addition, Winona Health encourages individuals to adopt these simple practices to help limit spread of the flu virus:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then throw the tissue away. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve rather than into your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

More information about the flu is available here, and if you have additional questions, contact your primary healthcare provider.

The Winona Health Urgent Care Clinic at 420 E. Sarnia. Winona Health’s Urgent Care Clinic is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To check current Urgent Care wait times, click here