Kairos Alive! Dance Hall

All ages invited to Kairos Alive! Dance Hall Wednesday, December 3

Winona Health invites community members of all ages to a Kairos Alive! Dance Hall, Wednesday, December 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. when the Great Hall at the Watkins Manor House, will turn into a Dance Hall with Bopaganda, a Winona State University Jazz Combo.

Kairos Alive is an award-winning, uplifting, intergenerational community program that brings people together and integrates the arts to improve overall wellness. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend.

“Our Dance Hall events have been well attended and we love seeing people of all ages having such a great time together,” said Emilie Volkman, a master social worker with Winona Health. “A Dance Hall event is an opportunity to come together to enjoy live music and each other’s company. Those who come may participate as much or as little as they like.”

Volkman also said, “If you know an elderly person who may not be comfortable driving at night, a Dance Hall event is a wonderful opportunity to invite them out to join you for an entertaining evening—there is really no better gift.”

Whether you used to like to dance, still like to dance, or just wish to observe and enjoy the music, you’ll be glad you came. No matter how you feel when you arrive, you will feel better before you leave.

To watch a video of a previous Dance Hall, or to learn more about Kairos Alive! visit www.winonahealth.org/arts or call Emilie Volkman 507.453.3770.



Generosity Inspires: Staff and volunteers give back

Staff and volunteers give nearly $50,000 to the Winona Health Foundation

 The Winona Health Foundation’s annual employee giving campaign, Generosity Inspires, wrapped up in October. Throughout the six-week campaign, staff and volunteers had opportunities to learn more about the Foundation and how it supports Winona Health’s mission: to improve the health and wellbeing of our family, friends and neighbors.

The 2014 Generosity Inspires campaign’s “funds of focus” were the Lake Winona Manor Bus Fund, Community Care Fund, Humanitarian Relief Fund, Employee Relief Fund and Healing Environment Fund. Staff and volunteers also could select a fund of their choice.

A quarter of the staff gave during the campaign along with 100 percent of the senior leadership staff.

“Generosity makes so much possible,” said Betsy Midthun, vice president of Community Engagement at Winona Health. “We all understand the value of having a strong local healthcare organization, and our staff and volunteers’ generosity in giving back to support our mission is inspiring.”

The most popular fund among employees was the Area of Greatest Need, which received $17,616. This fund is used for individuals in dire need of assistance or for projects that impact and benefit Winona Health patients, residents, staff and the community.

The second most popular fund was the lake Winona Manor Bus Fund. While Lake Winona Manor currently has a vehicle to transport residents to outings and events in the community, its capacity is very limited and it is in need of replacement. This year’s campaign raised $10,945, which was added to $7,900 given during the 2013 campaign. The estimated cost of the new bus is $55,000—so there is still a way to go.

Through the generosity of staff, volunteers and board members, a total of $49,925 was raised during the 2014 Generosity Inspires campaign. To see the Generosity Inspires videos about the various funds of focus, go to winonahealth.org/generosityinspires. To learn more about the Winona Health Foundation, call 507.457.4304 or click here.


Fantasy of Trees Schedule



The Winona Health Auxiliary will hold its 14th annual Fantasy of Trees at Winona Health, on the clinic first and second floor, 859 Mankato Avenue, Winona.


The Fantasy of Trees features beautifully decorated holiday trees which will be open for bid by silent auction. These trees have been generously decorated and donated by Winona-area businesses and individuals.


The trees will be on display:

  • Monday-Thursday, November 10-13; 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, November 14; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The trees will be open for bid:

  • Monday, November 17; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 18; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 19; 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 20; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, November 21; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 22; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Holiday Décor for sale:

  • Wednesday, November 19; 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday – Friday, November 20, 21; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 22; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Everyone is welcome to the Holiday Open House on Wednesday, November 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and special vendors will display their products and specialties, just in time for the holiday season. The famous See’s Candy will be sold throughout the entire event.


Proceeds from the trees, centerpieces, wreaths and candy will go towards healthcare scholarships and enhancing the healing environment of the Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit.


For more information, please call Winona Health’s Volunteer Services office at 507.474.3328 or click here.

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




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.


Free Diabetes Expo: It’s a Family Affair, Sat. Oct. 25

Informative. Fun. Free!
Winona Area Diabetes Expo: It’s a Family Affair.
Get motivated to start improving your health and feeling great.

The Winona Area Diabetes Expo: It’s a Family Affair, is a free event hosted by Winona Health Diabetes and Nutrition Education staff and area Lions Clubs to help individuals with diabetes, or at risk for developing diabetes, live longer, healthier lives.

The event will be Saturday, October 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the clinic at Winona Health, 859 Mankato Avenue, Winona, Minn. Attendees are welcome to attend any or all of the free programs and activities.

Programs and activities include:

8:30 a.m.: Doors open, visit exhibits and free blood pressure and glucose screening. Gift bags will be given to attendees while supplies last.

9:00 a.m.: “Living Well With Diabetes” by Paula Philipps, RN, and Cassie Boddy, MSW, LGSW, from Winona Health’s Community Care Network

9:30-10:30 a.m.: Panel of Experts: Internist, Daniel Parker, MD; Pediatrician, Sarah Lallaman, DO; Obstetrician/Gynecologist and women’s health specialist, Melissa Richards, MD; and Ann Heesacker, RN, MSN, CDE.

11:00-11:30 a.m.: Cooking Demo # 1

11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.: Recipe Renovation by Heidi Ferris, RD, CDE

12:00-12:30 p.m.: Cooking Demo # 2

In addition, free Blood Pressure and Glucose screening all morning.

“The occurrence of diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in this country and world-wide,” said Sue Haug, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Winona Health. “The line-up of programs and presenters for this year’s free event is geared toward increasing awareness of diabetes and diabetes risks through one’s entire life.”

Risk factors for diabetes include:

• Abnormal glucose laboratory results

• Diabetes in pregnancy or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

• Family history of diabetes

• Excess body weight (especially around the waist)

• Low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides

• High blood pressure

• Low activity level

• Poor nutrition

The event is free and no registration is required. For more information, contact Sue Haug, RD, LD, CDE, at 507.457.4521 or email shaug@winonahealth.org.




Erin Hanson, CNP, Urgent Care

Hanson_small_CMYKErin Hanson recently earned certification as a family nurse practitioner (CNP) and will transfer from the Intensive Care Unit at Winona Health to Urgent Care at 420 E. Sarnia Street in Winona.

Hanson’s professional experience includes caring for cardiothoracic surgery and transplant patients at University of Madison Hospital and Clinics, followed by seven years caring for patients in Winona Health’s Intensive Care Unit.

“Before joining Winona Health, I worked in a large tertiary hospital. When my husband and I moved back to this area from Madison, I also checked out Rochester and La Crosse,” said Hanson. “I chose Winona Health because of the interpersonal relationships and how that benefits patients. It’s a very supportive community and there are good resources available for people in this area.”

In addition to certification as a nurse practitioner, Hanson also has a doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and a bachelor of science in nursing from Winona State University. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

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.

For more information about healthcare providers at Winona Health, click here. Winona Health is also on Facebook at Twitter.




Free Depression Screening, Thurs., Oct. 9

Winona Health is offering free walk-in depression screening on National Depression Screening Day, Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Screening will be on the second floor of the Winona Health clinic, 859 Mankato Avenue in Winona, Minn.

One out of every five adults may experience depression at some point in their lives. Depression is treatable and help is available at Winona Health.

Common symptoms of depression may include any of the following:

• A persistent feeling of sadness

• Loss of pleasure in usually enjoyable activities

• A feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness

• Changes in sleep patterns and appetite

• Loss of energy

• Restlessness

• Thoughts of death or suicide

No appointment is necessary for this free screening. The screening process will take approximately 30 minutes. Those who have questions about depression screening can call Winona Health Psychiatric & Counseling Services at 507.454.2606.