Archives for February 2016

Join us for a sewing bee!

DSC04682You’re invited to pillowcase sewing day at Winona Health, Tuesday, March 8

When facing surgery, smiles may not be the norm. But colorful, hand-crafted pillowcases are bringing smiles to surgery patients at Winona Health.

The idea of providing patients with a colorful pillowcase was initiated by two neighborhood friends who share a love of quilting. Robin Trombetta and Sara Gabrick, who is also Vice President of Specialty Services at Winona Health, decided their extra material could be used to create unique pillowcases, each with coordinating colored trim and end panel.

Volunteers are needed to cut material, iron, fold, and sew the case. This second ‘sewing bee’ will be held in BA Miller Auditorium on the hospital third floor, Tuesday, March 8th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come for a couple of hours or all day.

If you have questions about the sewing day, email or call Winona Health Volunteer Services at 507.474.3328.

Donations are also accepted to the ‘Sewing Fund’ through the Winona Health Foundation, 507.474.3328.




Free Health Talk: Silent Night, Thursday, March 17

Denver Brown, PA-C

Denver Brown, PA-C

Do you wake up tired and not ready to face the day? Or do you have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep because of the noise or sudden movements your partner makes? Snoring, and how it affects restful sleep, can add stress to a relationship, and leave you or your bed partner fatigued. Poor sleep also can have a negative impact on your health.

Winona Health will present a free Health Talk: Silent Night, Thursday, March 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the B. A. Miller Auditorium at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.

“People are becoming more aware that there are ways to improve their quality of sleep so they feel more energetic and alert throughout the day, but many people have questions about how to take the first step,” said Bill Cota, Winona Health durable medical equipment (DME) manager. “We’re here to answer questions so people can decide whether they want to take the next step.

Denver Brown, PA-C, with Winona Health Family Medicine, Cota and Ashley Wilkemeyer, DME coordinator and sleep advisor, will share information and answer general questions about common sleep issues, sleep studies and effective use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices. Those who are interested in learning about sleep studies or who are currently using CPAP equipment are welcome to bring their questions.

RSVP is requested by Tuesday, March 15.The program is free and light refreshments are provided. To RSVP for this program, click here or call 507.457.4161.

Zika FAQs

To help patients and concerned community members, Winona Health’s Infection Control Committee is sharing a list of frequently asked questions about the Zika virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Below is information based on what is known about the virus as of February 19, 2016.

Information related to the Zika Virus Disease is rapidly changing. For the latest information, visit these websites:

What is Zika virus disease?

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika is not currently found in the US. The mosquitoes that can carry Zika are found in some areas of the US.

Where is Zika found?

Zika infected mosquitos have historically existed in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Since May of 2015, there has been an outbreak happening in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

How is Zika transmitted?

Zika is transmitted in the following ways:

  • through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito
  • from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy
  • through sexual contact

What are the symptoms of Zika virus disease?

Note: 4 out of 5 infected individuals do NOT show signs of infection; only 1 in 5 become ill.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Pain in the joints, especially in the hands and feet
  • Red eyes

Symptoms begin 2-7 days following a bite from a Zika infected mosquito and are generally mild and last for several days to a week.

What should you do if you have symptoms of Zika Virus Disease?

  • Contact your healthcare provider.
  • See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider where you traveled.

If you are diagnosed with the Zika virus:

  • Treat the symptoms:
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
    • Take medicine to reduce fever and pain
    • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus

How can I protect myself from getting the Zika virus?

You can protect yourself (minimize the likelihood of getting bit by an infected mosquito) by:

  • Avoiding travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing and if travel is required, protect yourself by:
    • Using air conditioning or window/door screens
    • Using mosquito repellents on exposed skin
    • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
    • Wearing permethrin-treated clothing
    • Emptying standing water from outdoor containers

There is no vaccine to protect you from getting the Zika virus

Special Considerations regarding Pregnancy:

Women who are pregnant (in any trimester) and plan to travel to Zika outbreak country:

  • Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing
  • If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip
  • Zika can be spread from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy
  • Infection during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects in babies

Women who are pregnant and have traveled to a Zika outbreak country:

  • See your healthcare provider
  • Your healthcare provider will consult with the CDC to determine if testing should be initiated. Testing may be offered from 2-12 weeks after a pregnant woman has returned from travel.

Women who are pregnant and their partner has traveled to a Zika outbreak country and the couple has had sexual intercourse without protection when their partner returned, should see their healthcare provider to determine if testing should be initiated.

  • The man should consistently and correctly use a condom or abstain from sex throughout the duration of the pregnancy.

Women who are trying to become pregnant:

  • Before you travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection
  • Strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip


  • To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed.

Unknowns at this time related to pregnancy and birth defects:

  • It is unknown if there is a safe time during your pregnancy to travel to an area with Zika
  • It is unknown if you do travel and are bitten:
    1. How likely you are to get Zika
    2. How likely it is that your baby will have birth defects from the infection

Zika Testing

All Zika testing is conducted by the CDC and only performed when the CDC indicates.

Information related to the Zika Virus Disease is rapidly changing. For the latest information, visit these websites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

World Health Organization at

New! Sleep Advisor and CPAP equipment and supplies

Winona Health sleep advisor, Ashley Wilkemeyer, meets with CPAP client Hugh Severson. Severson said that CPAP therapy has helped him feel more rested, and his wife doesn’t miss his snoring.

Winona Health sleep advisor, Ashley Wilkemeyer, meets with CPAP client Hugh Severson. Severson said that CPAP therapy has helped him feel more rested, and his wife doesn’t miss his snoring.

The Winona Health Sleep Lab allows area residents to have a sleep study conducted right here in Winona. But when individuals learn they have sleep apnea, the most common diagnosis for sleep disorders, they may not get all the benefits of their prescribed therapy because of the learning curve in using the related equipment.

Winona Health has expanded Sleep Therapy Services to include Sleep Advisor Services and CPAP equipment and supplies.

With a sleep apnea diagnosis, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is usually recommended, which requires a CPAP machine, a comfortable mask and other accessories.

Hugh Severson, 63 of rural Galesville, an employment specialist with Vocational Rehabilitation Services at the Department of Employment and Economic Development, had a sleep study at Winona Health and began using CPAP therapy in January. He said, “CPAP therapy has greatly improved my sleep time, eliminated snoring—my wife likes that—and I feel more rested upon awakening.”

Bill Cota, Winona Health Durable Medical Equipment (DME) manager noted, “A key aspect of successful CPAP therapy is comfortable fitting and proper use of equipment. If your CPAP mask is not properly fitted and you are not comfortable with the device—therapy will not be effective.” Cota added that effective sleep therapy can vastly improve quality of life, and that’s why Winona Health expanded services to help ensure individuals have a smooth transition into using sleep therapy devices—so they can begin enjoying the many health benefits of a great night’s sleep.

Winona Health’s Sleep Advisor Services are available at no extra charge to ensure a smooth transition into CPAP therapy.

Winona Health’s complimentary Sleep Advisor services include:

  • Sleep apnea overview and education
  • CPAP or BiPAP equipment instruction
  • CPAP or BiPAP mask/pillow fitting to ensure maximum benefit and comfort
  • Assistance with obtaining all necessary equipment and supplies
  • Assistance with the equipment reimbursement processes
  • Follow-up consultations to ensure successful therapy

Winona Health’s Durable Medical Equipment department fulfills prescriptions for CPAP/ Bi-PAP devices and accessories and assists in ensuring compliance with most major insurance carriers.

“Ashley [a Winona Health sleep advisor] has done a wonderful job of explaining the health benefits of CPAP therapy, available equipment options, and the operation and maintenance of the CPAP machine. She has provided ongoing support, listened to my concerns and addressed the issues,” said Severson. “She’s also very thorough with all the necessary paperwork and insurance related questions.”

Winona Health’s consultation and fitting room is located on the first floor of the Winona Clinic next to the clinic pharmacy.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for a free CPAP orientation and fitting, call 507.457.7703.

If you are interested in having a sleep study conducted at Winona Health, talk to your primary care provider about a referral to Winona Health’s Sleep Lab or call 866.444.5674.



Celebrate the Winona Health Auxiliary as they leap into the future: Monday, February 29

Join us in celebrating the legacy of the Winona Health Auxiliary as they retire their pink smocks and unveil their name and new look.

Join us in celebrating the legacy of the Winona Health Auxiliary as they retire their pink smocks and unveil their name and new look.

Join us in celebrating the legacy of the Winona Health Auxiliary as they leap into the future as the Winona Health Volunteers, Monday, February 29, from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Winona Health clinic lobby, 859 Mankato Ave., in Winona.

The Winona Health Auxiliary was founded in 1894 with 50 members dedicated to supporting local healthcare. Since then, the Auxiliary has grown to nearly 400 members serving in more than 30 service areas.

This year, the Auxiliary takes another exciting step in its long legacy of caring, serving and giving, by changing its name to Winona Health Volunteers. They not only have a new name, but have also refreshed their look, added new service areas, developed new fundraisers and updated their organizational structure.

“Our volunteers touch so many lives through their service and fundraising activities,” said Kris Walters, Volunteer Services manager. “We hope community members will join us for a party to celebrate their legacy as they leap into the future.” Walters notes that attendees can pick up information about volunteer opportunities during the event.

Enjoy refreshments and the unveiling of the Winona Health Volunteers’ new look on leap day, Monday, February 29, 5-7 p.m. in the Winona Health Clinic lobby, 859 Mankato Ave., Winona, Minn.

For more information about volunteering at Winona Health, click here or call 507.474.3328.


Welcome Denver Brown, PA-C!

Denver Brown, PA-C

Denver Brown, PA-C

Denver Brown, a certified physician assistant (PA-C) has joined Winona Health’s Family Medicine staff. In addition to providing primary healthcare services to people of all ages, he is certified as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) by the Mayo Clinic.

Brown, who is from Becker, Minn., is no stranger to Winona. “Growing up, we often came to Winona to see family during the holidays. It’s always felt like a second home.” He also graduated from Winona State University.

Brown said he chose Winona Health because, “I love the bluffs, the river and the outdoor experiences available here. I also still have family here, which is another reason I decided to check out Winona Health. I was so impressed with the atmosphere and how people enjoy working here—that’s really important to me.”

Before joining Winona Health, Brown was a Family Medicine physician assistant at the Hayward Clinic and in the Emergency Department at the Hayward Area Hospital, both in Hayward, Wisconsin. He provided care for acute conditions and chronic diseases for children and adults, and he has served as a preceptor for students from three universities.

“My favorite part of my job is helping people see the long-term benefits of improving their health and doing my part to help them get there,” said Brown, “I love seeing people succeed in making healthy lifestyle changes that will benefit them the rest of their lives.”

Brown graduated from the physician assistant program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, achieving a perfect score on his Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

While earning his undergraduate degree at Winona State University, he was also a supplemental instructor for Anatomy and Physiology. He worked as a nursing assistant at Saint Anne of Winona while attending college.

In his free time, Brown enjoys biking, cross country skiing, hunting and fishing. He and his wife also enjoy cooking—or rather she cooks and he likes the results. Asked whether they are “foodies,” he says, “We could be considered foodies who like to cook at home.” The Browns have two young daughters and are looking forward to making Winona their home.

To request an appointment with Denver Brown, PA-C, call the Winona Health Family Medicine department at 507.457.7648.





Way to Wellness Expo: Saturday, February 27

A Heart-beating, fun-loving, laughter-filled day to kick up your health

Winona Health and area partners invite people of all ages to the Way to Wellness Expo, Saturday, February 27, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Winona Middle School, 1570 Homer Road in Winona, Minn.

“Way to Wellness will be a fun day filled with information, education, inspiration and motivation to help people live healthier and happier,” said Nicole Schossow, community relations coordinator at Winona Health.

Attendees are welcome to drop in for any or all of the seminars and visit informational booths. Seminars cover areas including: nutrition, active living, mental health, general wellness, and cooking demonstrations.

The seminar schedule includes:

  • Little Things can Make a Difference, Lynda Brzezinski, Winona State University
  • Homeopathy & other Holistic Modalities, Patti Bartsch, Naturally Unbridled Wellness
  • The Medicare Donut Hole, Dave Clauer, Novo Nordisk
  • Unlock the Genius in Your Child—and You! Paula & Amy from Communities Off n’ Funning
  • 3 Good Things, Ann MacDonald, Winona Health
  • A Wellness Approach to Grief, Eunie Alsaker, Winona State University
  • Fitness through the Decades, Deb McClellan, Live Well Winona
  • Anxiety & Stress in Children, Jenni McHugh, Hiawatha Valley Mental Health
  • Bicycle Basics & Comfort, Scott Sherman, Winona Area Mountain Bikers
  • Strong Women Stay Young, Linda Shepardson, Prairie River Home Care
  • Sweet Lies: The Truth about Sugar, Anna Hudson, Winona Health
  • Eat More: Vegetables that is! Nadine Bayer, Winona Volunteer Services
  • Versatile Vinegar, Winona Health Food & Nutrition and Anna Hudson
  • Delicious Juicing, Aileen Swenson, Nourishing Happiness
  • Living and Thriving with Diabetes, Ann Heesacker, Winona Health
  • Healing Yourself with Food, Kristin Noble, Infinity Chiropractic
  • Too Much on Your Plate, Janet Macon, Winona State University

Special activities requiring RSVP include:

  • The Grand Tasting: Sample delicious dishes that have been “healthy-fied” by the dietitians at Novo Nordisk. Recipes will be available. The Grand Tasting requires advance registration for planning purposes.
  • Day of Play: The Winona Family YMCA will have staff at the middle school hosting a special ‘Day of Play’ for children from 9:30 to 11:30, so parents can attend seminars or visit booths. Day of Play requires advance registration for planning purposes.

Please note: Advance registration is required for the YMCA Day of Play and the Grand Tasting. Because of the planning necessary for these two programs, we will not be able to accept registration the day of the event. No advance registration is required for the seminars.

Many other health and wellness-related organizations will have exhibits for attendees to visit and ask questions.

RSVP for the Grand Tasting or Day of Play and get the details!

Way to Wellness Details

or call 507.457.4161.

The Way to Wellness Expo is a collaboration between Winona Health and community partners including: Winona Noon Lions Club, Live Well Winona, Winona Area Public Schools, Winona Family YMCA, Winona County Public Health, Winona County SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Program), and Winona State University.

Benevolence & Blues: A celebration of generosity

Breast Fest committee members give a gift to benefit those undergoing breast cancer treatment during the Winona Health Foundation’s Benevolence and Blues. Pictured (l-r): Betsy Midthun, Winona Health VP of Community Engagement, and Breast Fest representatives Bonnie Steinfeldt and Mark Fredrickson.

Breast Fest committee members give a gift to benefit those undergoing breast cancer treatment during the Winona Health Foundation’s Benevolence and Blues. Pictured (l-r): Betsy Midthun, Winona Health VP of Community Engagement, and Breast Fest representatives Bonnie Steinfeldt and Mark Fredrickson.

Nearly 200 people celebrated generosity in our community at the Winona Health Foundation’s 3rd annual “Benevolence & Blues” at Visions Event Center at Signatures in Winona on Friday, January 29.

“Benevolence and Blues is a unique community event that highlights just a few of the stories that illustrate generosity in all of its forms,” said Betsy Midthun, Winona Health vice president of Community Engagement. “Blues music, delicious barbeque and heartwarming stories of giving made it a fun and uplifting evening.”

This year’s honorees included:

  • Caring. Sharing. Giving. – Ray Fawcett, Volunteer. Ray was recognized for his gracious and generous spirit of volunteering and his commitment to service.
  • Grassroots Fundraising at its Breast – Breast Fest Committee. The Breast Fest Committee raises money to help local breast cancer patients.
  • Mission and Values in Action – Theresa Dillinger, RN. Theresa caring and compassion goes above and beyond for Lake Winona Manor residents.
  • A Life Changer – Community Care Network Coaches. The Community Care Network coaches are part of an award-winning program to connect with our area’s most vulnerable residents.
  • A Legacy of Generosity – The Doug & Ruth Robinson Family. The Robinson family is continuing a precedent of generosity established by their parents, Doug and Ruth, who were well known philanthropists in the Winona community.

At the event, the Breast Fest Committee presented a check for $10,000 to the Foundation to help local breast cancer patients. Organizers say they just want to ease the path for those who are undergoing breast cancer treatment, whether that’s paying for groceries, a massage, gas cards or a bill or two. “This is an example of what community members can do together to not only help their family, friends and neighbors, but also strangers who just need a lift.”

Make a note and save the date for next year’s Benevolence and Blues, Friday, January 27, 2017 at Signatures. For more information about the Winona Health Foundation, click here.


$5 Jewelry (and more) Sale Feb. 17-18

The Winona Health Auxiliary will again host the Masquerade $5 Jewelry Sale Wednesday, February 17 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Thursday, February 18, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the HOSPITAL LOBBY at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave. Attendees are asked to park in the hospital parking lot and use the hospital main entrance, which is closest to the sale.

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, leggings, scarves, watches and much more. Everything is $5. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted.

All proceeds will go toward healthcare-related educational scholarships and Auxiliary healthcare projects. For more information, please call the Winona Health Volunteer Services Office at 507.474.3328.