Archives for July 2016

Welcome Dermatologist Kevin Christensen, MD!

Kevin Christensen, MD

Kevin Christensen, MD

“Winona Health is a progressive, forward-thinking organization that is expanding to meet the needs of and serve the Winona community,” said Dermatologist Kevin Christensen, MD. “This presents a wonderful opportunity for me to develop a dermatology practice and deliver specialized care to the community.”

Dr. Christensen, a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship trained skin cancer surgeon (MOHs surgery), joined the Winona Health medical staff and begins seeing patients in the Winona Health Dermatology Department in August.

“I chose Winona Health because I want to provide excellent patient-centered dermatologic care to the people of Winona and southeast Minnesota. As a native of Minnesota who did his training at Mayo Clinic, I feel a strong connection with to people in this area,” said Dr. Christensen. My goal is to deliver high-value, patient-centered care that is accessible and convenient.”

In addition to providing general dermatology services, Dr. Christensen specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer as well as cosmetic treatments such as Botox, fillers, and laser surgery. During his fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, he learned surgical techniques that offer the highest cure rates for skin cancer and learned techniques to treat aging skin.

After earning his Medical Degree from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Christensen completed his internship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn., his dermatology residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a fellowship in Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology (Mohs surgery) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences earning high honors at Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass. He is certified by the American Board of Dermatology.

Dr. Christensen and his wife have two young children. He enjoys playing and watching basketball, spending time with family, barbecuing outdoors and traveling to new places.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Christensen in the Dermatology Department at Winona Health, call 507.457.7674.


Ongoing health concerns? Free program helps you live well!

Living Well with Ongoing Health Concerns               

Winona Health is offering a free six-week program to help people who are living with a chronic health condition. Living Well with Ongoing Health Concerns meets Thursdays, September 15 through October 20, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

During the program participants will develop action plans to help with pain control, healthy eating, healthy activities, and ways to Communicate with family, friends, and healthcare providers.

The program will be at Winona Health Sarnia Square, 420 E Sarnia in Winona.

There is no cost unless you choose to purchase the manual for $20. Class size is limited and RSVP is required.

RSVP for Living Well or call 507.453.3741.


Eye Care Center Sunwear Sale

Clinic ThumbnailWinona Health Eye Care Center Sunwear Sale!

40% off all in-stock sunglasses frames*
Monday through Friday, July 25 – 29, 2016.

*Oakley frames not included.

The Eye Care Center is on the clinic 3rd floor:

Winona Health
855 Mankato Ave.
Winona, Minnesota

Information about the Eye Care Center

Free Health Talk: It’s in the Bag!

Theresa Hoyles, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Winona Health

Theresa Hoyles, RD, LD, CDE

Thursday, August 18, 4:30 p.m. at Winona Health
The secret to healthy and affordable lunches and snacks on the go!

Think of the money you could save and the health benefits you would enjoy if you took a simple brown bag and filled it with delicious and nutritious lunches or snacks! Learn how to do just that at Winona Health’s free Health Talk: It’s in the Bag! Thursday, August 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the B.A. Miller Auditorium on the hospital 3rd floor at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave., Winona.

Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Theresa Hoyles has tips and advice for packing lunches and snacks that will satisfy every member of your family. Whether you’re brown bagging it for school, work, a picnic or a cross-country family vacation, you’ll find out how to ensure you have the provisions you need to keep everyone healthy—and happy!

The free Health Talk is part of Winona Health’s Spirit programming and is open to men and women of all ages. Spirit membership is free and there are several benefits.

There is no charge. RSVP is requested by Tuesday, August 16.

RSVP for It’s in the Bag! Learn about Spirit!



Welcome Joe Verzwyvelt, MD!

Joe Verzwyvelt, MD

Joe Verzwyvelt, MD

“I always wanted to be a doctor who could take care of anything,” said Joe Verzwyvelt, MD. “The best part of my work is being able to help someone through a tough experience.”

Dr. Verzwyvelt (pronounced Verse-WHY-Velt) joined the Winona Health medical staff and will provide emergency care for people of all ages. His special interests include neurovascular emergencies and Emergency Management Services (EMS).

After earning his degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., Dr. Verzwyvelt completed residency at the Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program, University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

“I chose Winona Health because a couple of things really made Winona Health stand out,” said Dr. Verzwyvelt. “For example, the friendly atmosphere and the high level of appreciation and respect for patients and healthcare providers. It feels like a very cohesive team environment.”

Prior to joining Winona Health, Dr. Verzwyvelt served in the Emergency Department at Rockford Memorial Hospital in Rockford, Ill. His experience also include serving as an emergency physician for a hockey team, assistant medical director for a fire department, and as a flight physician with the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Air Care and Mobile Care in Ohio. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Neurocritical Care Society.

Dr. Verzwyvelt is married and has two young children. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting and camping. He and his family are looking forward to exploring the area.

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

Nearly half of all eye injuries now happening in the home

Two new surveys highlight disconnect between reality and perception of eye injury risks.

What do a bungee cord, a pan of frying bacon and lawn-care chemicals have in common? They are just a few of the common items around the house that can cause eye injuries, which a study from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) reports are increasingly occurring at home. The Eye Injury Snapshot, a clinical survey of eye injuries across the U.S., found that nearly half of the 2.5 million eye injuries that Americans suffer annually now happen in and around the home in common places like the lawn, garden, kitchen or garage.

In an effort to combat the rate of household eye injuries, the Academy and ASOT have issued a new recommendation that every household in America have at least one pair of ANSI-approved* protective eyewear to be worn when doing projects and activities at home to safeguard against eye injuries.

The recommendation from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ASOT comes as a new companion survey conducted on behalf of the Academy’s EyeSmart™ Campaign underscores the disconnect between the reality of eye injury risks and people’s perception of that risk. Most Americans think that eye injuries are a workplace phenomenon or related to events like Fourth of July fireworks displays. In fact, Americans are more likely to be injured in their homes from common everyday activities like mowing the lawn, cooking, cleaning and do-it-yourself home improvement projects that impact both participants and bystanders.

“Preventing an eye injury is much easier than treating one,” said Dr. Laurel Quinn of the Winona Health Eye Care Center. “Ninety percent of all eye injuries can be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear. As the Fourth of July approaches, people are aware of the threat to the eyes that fireworks can represent, but they need to be equally aware of the everyday dangers that lurk in the home.”

The first of the two surveys, called the Eye Injury Snapshot (EIS), was conducted by the Academy, ASOT and 12 subspecialty societies. EIS presents a clinical “moment in time,” looking at eye injuries treated in the United States by ophthalmologists, emergency room physicians and pediatricians during a one-week period. 2008 marked the fifth year of the EIS. In 2008, there were 775 cases reported from all parts of the country. The survey found that:

  • Nearly half of all eye injuries occur at home, with more than 40 percent happening during everyday activities like cooking, home repairs or yard work
  • Men were more likely to be injured (74 percent) than women (26 percent)
  • 78 percent of eye injuries occurred to individuals who were not wearing protective eyewear during the time of the injury.
  • Nearly half of all injuries were to individuals between the ages of 18 and 45.
  • Around the home, the majority of eye injuries occurred in the yard (39.4 percent), garage (11.8) and workshop (8.1 percent). Yet in-home locations, such as the kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathroom were also significant areas prone to injury, accounting for more than 34 percent of all eye injuries reported.

The companion public survey designed to measure Americans’ understanding of eye injuries found that most underestimate the risks of home eye injury, believing more eye injuries occur outside the home, such as at a construction site or factory or at special events such as Fourth of July fireworks. Fewer than one in five Americans believes that he or she is at even a moderate risk of eye injuries.

“Slipping on a pair of safety glasses is quick and easy. Unfortunately, compared to other common-sense safety steps, such as wearing seatbelts, using protective eyewear does not happen frequently enough,” Dr. Quinn said. “Sadly, the risk is not just confined to people doing the projects. Bystanders can also be injured and should take precautions against eye injuries as well.”

The EyeSmart public opinion survey, conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research, also found that:

  • Only 35 percent of Americans report that they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said they own protective eyewear, but, of that group, 30 percent do not consistently wear the eye protection when doing home repairs or projects.
  • Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed never or rarely wear protective lenses for repairs or maintenance, and nearly half (48 percent) report never wearing eyewear when playing sports.

“People seem to understand that you need safety glasses when using power tools, but the threat to your eyesight lurks even in basic home repairs and cleaning,” Dr. Quinn said. “People should use protective eyewear during any potentially hazardous tasks around the house, from cleaning your oven with a chemical cleaner to using bungee cords to hold items in place. In the event that you do suffer an eye injury, have an ophthalmologist examine the injury as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first.”

The landscape of eye injuries in America has changed significantly since the 1990s, when the majority of eye injuries occurred in workplace settings. Today, due in part to improved safety measures, workplace injuries have fallen off, while a growing do-it-yourself attitude for home projects and increased falls among aging baby boomers may partially explain the increase in household injuries. Of the 2.5 million Americans who suffer from eye injuries each year, 50,000 experience significant vision loss from these injuries.

Additional information regarding eye injury prevention and treatment as well as executive summaries of both surveys can be found at

ANSI-approved protective eyewear is manufactured to meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eye protection standard. ANSI-approved protective eye wear can be easily purchased from most hardware stores nationwide and can be identified by the mark “Z87” placed on the eye wear. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is not approved for use in sports. To locate appropriate eyewear for specific sports talk to your ophthalmologist or visit