Archives for August 2011

Little Ones Remembered bereavement service for parents who have miscarried babies Sunday, September 18

On Sunday, September 18, Winona Health Family Birth Center nurses will hold a brief memorial service for area parents and families who have lost babies through miscarriage or stillbirth. The service will be from 3 until 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 1190 Sugar Loaf Road in Winona.

The memorial service is organized by the Family Birth Center’s Little Ones Remembered committee. “Our purpose is to honor parents and families who have lost babies and to give them a permanent physical place to visit and grieve,” said Renee Isakson, RN, one of the event organizers. “There will be a special site with a symbolic marker, and during the service we’ll release balloons.”

 Refreshments will be provided and there will be time to visit and share memories.

Winona Health nurses also host a free monthly outreach group to support families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Gatherings are 6:30-8 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month in the Great Hall at Watkins Manor, 175 E. Wabasha in Winona.

For more information about the service or about the monthly outreach group, call 507.474.3042.

For more information about Winona Health, visit


Winona Health Hospice seeking volunteers, offering training

Winona Area Hospice Services is offering training for community members interested in becoming hospice volunteers. Training begins Monday September 19 and runs five consecutive Mondays. Training will take place in the Great Hall at Watkins Manor assisted living residence, 175 E. Wabasha in Winona.

“We provide extensive training, covering everything from the various roles of hospice volunteers and nurses, to how to support families and understanding the bereavement process,” said Sheila Skeels, LSW, hospice volunteer coordinator. “Volunteers provide a wonderful service to individuals and families, and they often find their own lives enriched.”

Hospice staff and volunteers provide respite care and emotional and spiritual support to individuals living with a terminal illness and their families, providing compassionate care and reducing suffering during an individual’s end-of-life journey.

Registration is open through Friday September 9. Those interested can contact Sheila Skeels at or call the hospice office at 507.457.4468.

To learn more about Winona Area Hospice Services, visit or call 507.457.4468.

Jan Brosnahan joins Winona Health board of directors


Jan Brosnahan recently joined the Winona Health board of directors.

Brosnahan is the Controls Division controller for Watlow, a position she’s held since joining the company in 1993. She also has been involved in Watlow’s lean transformation, a practice that Winona Health has been incorporating since 2005 in order to increase healthcare value and efficiency.

“I’ve served on Winona Health’s Finance committee for many years,” said Brosnahan. “Now I’m looking forward to offering my experience and passion for lean with the Winona Health board of directors and helping Winona Health continue to provide better and better service to our community.”

Brosnahan has been a member of the Winona Community since 1989. She joins Winona Health board members: Scott Biesanz; Steve Blue; Scott Birdsall, MD; Matthew Broghammer, DO; Vicki Decker; Gary Evans, board chair; Richard Ferris, MD; Herb Highum; Mark Jacobs; Jim Killian; Hugh Miller; Ken Mogren; Daniel Parker, MD; Rachelle Schultz, president/CEO; Kim Schwab; and Mark Wagner.

The board is responsible for establishing Winona Health’s strategic direction, quality and safety and financial oversight and setting organizational policy. These individuals 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.

Winona Health offering FREE Smoking Cessation Program beginning September 1

Winona Health is offering a FREE four-session Smoking Cessation Program beginning Thursday, September 1. The group meets four consecutive Thursday evenings from 6 – 7:15 p.m. in the Parkview Conference Room located on the first floor of the hospital.

Whether this is your first attempt to quit or you’ve tried to quit several times before, this class is for you. “People don’t always manage to quit the first time they try, but with each attempt, they may come closer to their goal of improved health,” said Lynn Sprain MS, RT, RCEP, one of the program facilitators. “Our goal is to provide information, resources, encouragement and support, because becoming tobacco free is one of the biggest steps an individual can take to improve his or her health.”

Winona Health’s Smoking Cessation Program will:

• help individuals recognize and understand their reasons for smoking

• cover a variety of benefits to quitting

• provide ways to handle physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms

• share many tips and techniques for becoming and remaining smoke free

• provide a supportive atmosphere for you to ask questions and get helpful information

This is the first time the program is being offered at no charge. Advance registration is appreciated, but walk-ins will be welcome as space permits. For more information or to register, call 507.474.3324.

Winona Health Auxiliary Birthday Ball volunteers setting the scene

Judie Foster-Lupkin gives a sneak peak of some of the Birthday Ball decorations

With less than a month until the big night, the 2011 Winona Health Auxiliary Birthday Ball committee members are wrapping up final plans for “Bright Lights, Big City.” This year’s annual fundraising event will be held at Visions Event Center on Saturday, September 10. Reservations will be accepted through Wednesday, August 31.

Decoration co-chairs Judie Foster-Lupkin and Jayne Grupa from Winona ORC have been hard at work setting the scene, which will include famous cityscapes and of course bright lights. Their special touches are sure to provide guests with an elegant and memorable evening.

The Birthday Ball is open to the public and everyone is welcome. It is a wonderful event that benefits the entire community. Funds raised in 2011 will go towards the purchase of a new colonscope and gastroscope as well as healthcare professional scholarships.

To request an invitation, call reservations co-chair Jennifer Hemker at 507.459.6354.

Check out the Birthday Ball at or on Facebook for regular updates about this exciting event.


Winona Health hosting Healthcare Value Leaders Network site visit

Improving patient care by applying lean principles of continuous improvement and process redesign

Since 2005, Winona Health has been using lean principles to improve value to patients through examining and redesigning processes to increase efficiency and eliminate waste. Relatively new to healthcare, lean principles have been used to improve efficiency in American manufacturing for decades and in Japanese manufacturing organizations even longer.

“We embarked on this lean journey years ago because we knew that healthcare delivery systems have to change,” said Rachelle Schultz, Winona Health president/CEO. “Change can be challenging—and exciting, and our staff has done, and continues to do, an incredible job in learning and applying lean principles to improve processes in every area.”

To share experience and successful outcomes from these lean principles, Winona Health has been selected to host a two-day site visit for the Healthcare Value Network (HVN), on August 25 and 26, 2011. The HVN is made up of healthcare organizations from across North America all of which are incorporating lean principles for continuous systems improvement.

“Learning and implementing lean principles is an ongoing process,” said Linda Wadewitz, director of Continuous Systems Improvement for Winona Health. “This site visit is a great opportunity to network with staff at other healthcare organizations equally committed to using lean philosophy and tools to improve value to patients.”

Winona Health will focus on specific lean projects in several areas including Primary Care, Surgical and Specialty Care, Emergency Department and Inpatient (hospital) Care.

The visit will involve structured learning and interaction at the work site or “gemba” (a Japanese term for the place where the work is actually done). During the site visit, Winona Health staff will share their experience in designing and putting into practice lean management throughout a community healthcare system. The site visit is an opportunity for individuals and healthcare organizations to learn from each other, as well as assess and provide valuable feedback.

“Implementation of lean processes is an organization-wide initiative,” said Schultz. Staff and physicians in every role are involved in learning, evaluating, teaching and presenting new processes and ideas.”

To learn more about Winona Health, visit


About Winona Health

Winona Health is a community-owned nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of the regional community. Winona Health meets the community’s healthcare needs through its hospital, primary and specialty care clinics, long-term care, memory care and assisted living residences and home care and hospice services.

About Healthcare Value Leaders Network (HVLN)

HVLN is a partnership between the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (TCHV). This relationship brings together two of the world’s leaders in “lean thinking,” with a combined 20 years of experience in lean implementation and education. Working in partnership allows LEI and the TCHV to leverage their unique perspectives and not-for-profit missions to accomplish a shared goal of fundamentally improving healthcare delivery through lean thinking.

Currently, HVLN has three networks, each made up of between 10 to 14 healthcare organizations from across North America all of which are on the lean journey. Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Vanguard, Seattle Children’s, Kaiser Permanente, ThedaCare, Park Nicollet Health Services, and UCLA Health System are just a few of the distinguished members in the Healthcare Value Leaders Network

Prostate screening $15, Thursday, September 22 at Winona Health

 Winona Health will provide prostate screening for $15 on Thursday, September 22, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Recently updated guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend that men make an informed decision with their primary healthcare provider about whether to be tested for prostate cancer.

 Starting at age 50, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of testing so you can decide if testing is the right choice for you. If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with your doctor starting at age 45.

According to the American Cancer Society, research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. Before being screened, men should talk with their doctor about the possible risks and benefits of testing and treatment.

Prostate cancer screening takes approximately 30 minutes. The screening will consist of two parts: a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test and a Rectal Exam (DRE). The first part of the screening will be a blood draw to obtain the PSA, and a physician will perform the DRE exam.

The screening will be on the second floor of Winona Clinic on the Winona Health campus, 859 Mankato Avenue. The $15 fee will be collected at registration.

Appointments are encouraged, and walk-ins will be accepted as time permits. To make an appointment or for more information, call 507.454.3680.




Birthday Ball menu announced

Brian Britten & Debi Wildenborg, 2011 Birthday Ball menu chairs

The Winona Health Auxiliary 49th annual Birthday Ball will be held on September 10th at Visions Event Center. Brian Britten & Debi Wildenborg, 2011 Birthday Ball menu chairs, are planning a dinner that will rival those served in Metro steak houses across the country.    

They have chosen a delightful meal that will be appealing to most everyone, a simple yet elegant taste of America. The dinner begins with a wedge of iceberg lettuce, tomato vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles, served with artisan rolls with whipped butter. The main course includes the popular classically roasted prime rib with horseradish cream on the side, loaded twice-baked potato and creamed spinach. Saving the best for last, the meal wraps up with a specialty dessert: baked Alaska. For our vegetarians, there will be an amazing seasonal selection. Gluten free options are available as well.

The Birthday Ball is open to the public and everyone is welcome. It is a wonderful event that benefits the entire community. Funds raised in 2011 will go towards the purchase of a new colonscope and gastroscope as well as healthcare professional scholarships.

To request an invitation, call reservations co-chair Jennifer Hemker at 507.459.6354. Check out the Birthday Ball at or on Facebook for regular updates about this exciting event.

Anesthesiologist Nicole Varela, MD, joins Winona Health medical staff

Nicole Varela, MD, Anesthesiology

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

“Anesthesiologists play a vital role in Surgical and Pain Management Services” said Sara Gabrick administrator for Surgical and Specialty Care Services. “We are fortunate to have a superb anesthesiology team here in Winona, and Dr. Varela is a wonderful addition to our medical staff.”

“I’m looking forward to working in an environment where I can really get to know my colleagues. Surgical care is a team effort, and everyone plays an important role,” said Dr. Varela. “As an anesthesiologist, I enjoy making surgery less stressful and much more comfortable for each patient.”

Dr. Varela received her Doctor of Medicine degree at JCE Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, and completed Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology residencies at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Dr. Varela is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology, the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association. Her volunteer activities have included American Red Cross blood drives. She also is a National Ski Patroller.

For information about healthcare providers and services available at Winona Health, visit or call 507.454.3650.

Sarah Lallaman, DO, joins Winona Health medical staff

Sarah Lallaman, DO, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine

Pediatrician, Sarah Lallaman, DO, will join the Winona Health medical staff on August 15 and will see children in the Pediatrics Department at Winona Clinic.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Lallaman to our organization and to the Winona area,” said Marti Bollman, administrative leader for Primary Care Clinics. “Parents and children will easily connect with her and she will be a wonderful addition to our healthcare team.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting parents and watching their children grow,” said Dr. Lallaman. “And I look forward to being here taking care of them when they graduate from high school.”

Dr. Lallaman received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at A. T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. She completed her residency at the Department of Child Health University Hospitals and Clinics in Columbia, Missouri and served as co-chief resident.

Dr. Lallaman is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Lallaman and her husband, Josh, who accepted a position as assistant professor in the Biology Department at Saint Mary’s University, are looking forward to making the Winona area their home. In her free time, Dr. Lallaman enjoys scuba diving, volleyball, swimming, triathlons and a variety of outdoor activities including hiking and canoeing. She also enjoys baking and scrapbooking.

To schedule an appointment in the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Department at Winona Health, call 507.454.3680.