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

Healthy New Year: Free Smoking Cessation Program

Improving your health is a gift to your friends and family. Winona Health’s next smoking cessation program is FREE and it begins Thursday, January 8.

This free program includes four sessions meeting Thursday evenings 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Parkview Conference Room on the first floor of the hospital at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue.

“When individuals quit smoking, they decrease their risk for heart attack, stroke and cancer,” said Lynn Sprain MS, RT, RCEP, program facilitator. “We know that it’s not easy, but there is no doubt that it’s worth it! We’re here to help.”

Winona Health’s smoking cessation program will:

  • help individuals recognize and understand their reasons for smoking
  • cover the variety of benefits to quitting
  • provide ways to handle physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms
  • share tips and techniques for becoming and remaining smoke free
  • provide a supportive atmosphere for you to ask questions and get helpful information

This four-session program is free. RSVP is appreciated, but walk-ins the first night of the program will be welcome as space permits. For more information or to sign up in advance, call Lynn Sprain at 507.474.3324.

 

 

 

Welcome Hans J. Serleth, MD!

New medical services available in Winona:
Plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon, Hans J. Serleth, MD, joins Winona Health

Serleth_small_RGBPlastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon, Hans J. Serleth, MD, (pronounced Ser-LETH) has joined the Winona Health medical staff, bringing a new area of specialty care to the region.

“Dr. Serleth is an experienced, highly skilled plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon whose expertise also includes general surgery,” said Sara Gabrick, administrator of Surgical and Specialty Care Services at Winona Health. “He brings a whole new scope of services to our area and he’ll also be able to increase access to general surgery procedures needed in Winona.”

Gabrick also noted that because of Dr. Serleth’s expertise, Winona Health’s cancer program, which is accredited by the national Commission on Cancer, now also includes breast reconstruction surgery.

Dr. Serleth is familiar with Winona because he attended Winona Senior High School when he was a sophomore, and he still has connections to the area. He said, “My best friend lives here, and I come every year to trout fish with him. He asked me if I ever thought of moving here. I decided to check out Winona Health, and liked what I found.”

Dr. Serleth said he chose Winona Health because, “I like that Winona Health is a community-owned, fiercely independent system that hasn’t been swallowed by the corporations. I like that decisions can be made on a smaller scale and on the level where they’ll be implemented—that’s better for patients and the community.”

Dr. Serleth has been a surgeon for more than 15 years. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, and completed his Internship and residency in General Surgery at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisc. Following that, he completed a one-year fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery in England with the Royal College of Surgeons. He then practiced for approximately 10 years before returning to the University of Minnesota for a three-year fellowship in Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Serleth and his wife have four school-aged children. In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports such as rock and ice climbing.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Serleth, call the Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Department at 507.457.7659.

Join us for the Trees of Light gathering

Trees of Light Celebration set for Wednesday, December 17

Community members who are honoring or remembering family and friends who hold a special place in their hearts during this holiday season are invited to the Trees of Light gathering on Wednesday, December 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the clinic lobby at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave.

Attendees can enjoy music, refreshments, visit with friends, view the trees and take home the ornaments tagged with their honorees’ name.

“We are grateful for the generosity of so many people who choose to honor their friends and family members through the Trees of Light campaign which supports community healthcare,” said Betsy Midthun, VP of community engagement at Winona Health. “It’s a wonderful reminder of those who are important to us and those who will always be remembered.”

Those who gave are welcome to find their ornaments on the trees and take them home during the event on December 17 or anytime during clinic hours after December 17. The trees will remain on display through January 2.

Gifts to the Trees of Light campaign may be made online, by mail or in person at the Foundation office on the first floor of the hospital at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue, Winona, 55987.

For more information, contact the Winona Health Foundation at 507.474.3328 or online here.

 

Welcome Autumn Leigh Cole, CNP!

Cole_small_RGBAutumn Leigh Cole, CNP (certified nurse practitioner), has joined the Winona Health staff as a hospitalist nurse practitioner.

Hospitalist staff focus solely on caring for patients while they are hospitalized. They work closely with each patient’s primary physician along with care coordination teams including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, respiratory and physical therapists, social workers and other specialty care staff.

Cole said she chose Winona Health because, “it is such a forward-moving organization—I wanted to be a part of that. I’ve been at other organizations and there is a much different feeling here. From the moment you walk in, there is an energy and people seem happy to be here.” 

Cole is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Winona State University in Winona, Minn. Cole’s experience includes a decade of healthcare experience including caring for pediatric patients in an Intensive Care setting, and providing hospital and palliative care to patients of all ages.

Winona Health hospitalists provide around-the-clock hospital care. In addition to Cole, Winona Health’s hospitalist team includes, Katrina Hammel, MD; Jake Thomas, MD; Joseph Kaiya, MD, Laura Dubis, PA-C; Amy Macal, CNP; Heidi Thompson-Stangler, CNP; and Debra Tidquist, CNP.  

For information about healthcare providers at Winona Health, click here or call 507.454.3650.

 

Welcome Joseph Kaiya, MD!

Joseph Kaiya, MD

Joseph Kaiya, MD

Board certified Internal Medicine physician, Joseph Kaiya, MD, has joined the Winona Health medical staff. Dr. Kaiya is a hospitalist.

Hospitalists are physicians who focus solely on caring for patients while they are hospitalized. They work closely with each patient’s primary physician along with care coordination teams including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, respiratory and physical therapists, social workers and other specialty care staff.

Dr. Kaiya chose Winona Health because, “I went to school in Minnesota, and I have family here. I’m interested in being part of a community, and I was surprised that a city this size could have a healthcare organization like this. Working environment is important to me, and I like the sense of camaraderie at Winona Health.”

After earning his Medical Degree at The University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences in Nairobi, Kenya, he completed his Internal Medicine residency at Highland hospital, Alameda Health System in Oakland, Ca. He’s also done Master’s work in Public Health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and is hoping to graduate next summer.

Dr. Kaiya recently moved back to Rochester where his family resides. He is familiar with Winona and is excited to be back in this area.

Winona Health hospitalists provide around-the-clock hospital care. In addition to Dr. Kaiya, the hospitalist team includes, Katrina Hammel, MD; Jake Thomas, MD; Laura Dubis, PA-C; Amy Macal, CNP; Heidi Thompson-Stangler, CNP; Autumn Cole, CNP; and Debra Tidquist, CNP.

For information about healthcare providers at Winona Health, click here or call 507.454.3650.

 

Welcome Ian Young, MD!

Young_small_RGBIan Young, MD, joined the Winona Health staff and sees patients of all ages in in the Urgent Care clinic at 420 E. Sarnia Street in Winona, Minn.

“I chose Winona Health because a colleague from residency [Dr. Britton Ercanbrack] highly recommended Winona and Winona Health,” said Dr. Young. “When I visited and interviewed, I found a beautiful and friendly community, and I also liked the community feel I observed at Winona Health—the staff is very caring and approachable.”

Dr. Young earned his Medical Degree at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., and completed his residency in Family Practice at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Prior to medical school, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. His professional memberships include the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Minnesota Medical Association.

While attending medical school Dr. Young volunteered for a number of healthcare and other humanitarian projects in various countries, often serving as a Spanish translator. He also spent a year as an English tutor at a university in Spain. During his residency at Mayo, he helped conduct and presented findings on a variety of research projects.

In his free time, Dr. Young enjoys playing volleyball and staying active. He’s also interested in technology and computers. He played chess competitively in high school and still enjoys playing when he has a chance.

Winona Health Urgent Care hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Urgent Care wait times are updated online during clinic hours. For current wait times, visit www.winonahealth.org/uc.

 

 

 

 

Flu shot update

Beginning Monday, October 27, Winona Health will offer flu shots on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the second floor of the clinic at 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.

Insurance will be filed, or individuals may pay $32 at time of check in. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Children age 8 and under who did not receive a flu vaccine during last year’s flu season may need a second vaccine 30 days after receiving the first vaccine dose. Please check with your primary healthcare provider if you have questions regarding dosage.

Healthcare providers recommend that all infants over six months, children and adults, including women who are pregnant, get a flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated not only helps protect you from the flu, it helps protect those you come in contact with.

More information about influenza is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

To schedule an appointment with a Primary Care provider at Winona Health, call 507.454.3680.

Simple measures can help prevent spread of influenza

Influenza can range from being an uncomfortable inconvenience to being a severe illness. The healthcare team at Winona Health encourages the following habits to help you prevent getting or spreading colds or flu.

  • Cover you mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve rather than into your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after coughing or sneezing, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you have young children, start early with teaching them to wash their hands and help them as necessary.
  • Wash your hands after returning home from work, shopping or any public place.
  • Use a sanitizing wipe on items in your car or home that are frequently touched such as cabinet and doorknobs, the refrigerator handle, phones (including cell phones), light switches, remote controls and keyboards.
  • Protect others: Do not visit people in the hospital or living in long-term care residences, and limit visiting other people and places if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Take care of yourself: Stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get more rest if you begin experiencing cold or flu symptoms. It’s not just good for you, it’s good for everyone else as well.

When to seek medical attention for a sick child

It’s natural for parents to be concerned when their child is ill, but how do you decide whether you should see your healthcare provider?

Give your child more time for rest when they are sick. If your child’s energy level is down and you think they’ll have a hard time focusing in class, it’s probably best to keep them home to rest and get plenty of fluids.

If your child has a severe sore throat, especially if accompanied by a fever, aches and upset stomach without other typical cold symptoms, call your primary care provider about getting a strep test.

Severe illness may warrant a visit to your primary care provider, the Urgent Care Clinic or the Emergency Department.

If you have concerns or if something doesn’t seem right, call your primary healthcare provider or bring your child to the Urgent Care Clinic or hospital Emergency Department.

The Centers for Disease Control noted the following pediatric “emergency warning signs” need medical attention:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

If you have concerns or if something doesn’t seem right, call your primary healthcare provider or bring your child to the Urgent Care Clinic or hospital Emergency Department.

Symptoms of a Cold versus Flu

Symptoms

Cold

Influenza

Fever Rare in adults & older children, but can be as high as 102o F in infants and small children Usually 102o F, but can go up to 104o F and usually lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Sudden onset & can be severe
Muscle aches Mild Usual & often severe
Tiredness & weakness Mild Can last 2 or more weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Sudden onset & can be severe
Runny nose Often Sometimes
Sneezing Often Sometimes
Sore throat Often Sometimes
Cough Mild, hacking cough Usual & can become severe

Welcome Nicole Beatty, MD!

Nicole Beatty, MD

Nicole Beatty, MD

Anesthesiologist Nicole Beatty, MD, has joined the Winona Health medical staff. She joins anesthesiologists Nicole Varela, MD, Amarjit Virdi, MD, and Ruth Moes, MD, along with seven certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) working with the surgeons and staff in Winona Health’s Surgery Department.

Dr. Beatty said she chose Winona Health for “Lots of reasons. I’ve observed the admirable collaboration at Winona Health, and I’ve also been impressed with its systematic efforts to improve quality which has made it recognized as a center of excellence. I’m proud to be joining this forward-thinking team and hope to contribute in a positive way.”

Dr. Beatty received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., completed an internship in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education where she also completed her residency in Anesthesiology. She is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Minnesota Society of Anesthesiologists and the Minnesota Medical Association.

Prior to earning her medical degree, Dr. Beatty was a Physician Assistant, caring for patients in the Emergency Department at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Beatty and her husband have three young children. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, boating and running.

For information about healthcare providers and services available at Winona Health, click on Find a Provider or call 507.454.3650.

 

 

Ebola preparedness

In light of the Ebola virus being confirmed in one patient in the United States, Winona Health administrators and medical leaders would like to update the community on Ebola preparedness and protocols in place or in progress to deal with the potential for Ebola in our community.

“Public Health systems in place the United States give us the greatest opportunities for isolation and containment to limit the spread of Ebola,” said Brett Whyte, MD, chief of Emergency and Urgent Care Services at Winona Health. “There has only been one case diagnosed in the US, and there is heightened awareness about what to be on the alert for. All healthcare professionals are committed to keeping their communities safe.”

Local preparedness for the Ebola virus:

• Winona Health has a very good infection control infrastructure already in place.

• Winona Health rigorously follows the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and daily monitors the updates on Ebola protocols and procedures.

• Standard protocols are already in place for many aspects of infectious disease including isolation requirements and personal protective equipment (PPE).

• Winona Health has adequate PPE in all clinical areas. All clinical staff are scheduled to go through mandatory refresher training on proper use of PPE.

• Winona Health is requiring mandatory education on Ebola and infectious disease for all clinical care staff including providers and all lab personnel.

• Screening for infectious disease, like Ebola, is underway at Winona Health. Patients are being asked 1) have you or anyone you have come in contact with been out of the country in the past 21 days, and 2) do you have infectious symptoms or have you been in contact with anyone who has infectious symptoms. If either response is positive, the patient will undergo more rigorous screening. Winona Health clinical care teams have been informed about CDC protocols including 1) screening and identification of patients; 2) Isolation procedures and 3) early recognition of and risk factors for Ebola. Ongoing education and communication to our healthcare professionals will be deployed as new information emerges on the infection control practices around Ebola.

• Good hygiene is essential with this situation as with any others. And, as usual, everyone is urged to take proper hand washing procedures and get a flu shot.

• We should remember that, right now, there is only one case identified in the US – Dallas, Texas – and every healthcare organization has learned from the communication failure that occurred there.

If community members are interested in more information about the Ebola virus, comprehensive information is available on the Centers for Disease Control website: www.cdc.gov.

 

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