Archives for December 2017

Healthy New Year! Simple steps to decrease the spread of flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with healthcare providers at Winona Health remind people to take precautions to avoid the spread of flu.

“We are seeing influenza in Winona, and the Minnesota Department of Health lists influenza as ‘widespread’ which is their highest rating,” notes Brett Whyte, MD, medical chief of staff at Winona Health.

Influenza can range from being an uncomfortable inconvenience to being a severe illness. While people can’t always prevent getting the flu, there are several things they can do to reduce their risk. Winona Health encourages everyone to adopt these simple practices to help limit spread of the flu virus:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • 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.
  • If showing symptoms of the flu or a cold, stay home from work or school, avoid going out to public places, get sufficient rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Treatment information from the CDC:

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option.
  • It is very important that antiviral drugs are used early to treat hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness, and people who are at high risk for flu complications because of their age, severity of illness, or underlying medical conditions.
  • If you have severe illness or are at high risk of serious flu complications, you may be treated with flu antiviral drugs if you get the flu.
  • If you have a high-risk condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having milder illness instead of very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Other people also may be treated with antiviral drugs by their doctor this season. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting antivirals later can still be helpful for some people.
  • If your health care provider thinks you have the flu, your health care provider may prescribe antiviral drugs. A test for flu is not necessary.
  • Antibiotics are not effective against the flu. Using antibiotics inappropriately can lead to antibiotic resistance and may expose patients to unwanted side effects of the drug.

A fact sheet for is available at

If you have concerns or if something doesn’t seem right, call your primary healthcare provider’s office or visit the Urgent Care Clinic or hospital Emergency Department

Same-day appointments usually are available for adults and children who are ill. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a Primary Care provider at Winona Health, call 507.454.3650.


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Symptoms of 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



Holiday Hours December 2017

Winona Health Urgent Care, located in Sarnia Square at 420 E. Sarnia, will observe the following holiday hours:

Sunday, December 24:

  • Urgent Care, 420 E. Sarnia Street, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, December 25:

  • Urgent Care and other Winona Health clinics closed

Sunday, December 31:

  • Urgent Care, 420 E. Sarnia Street, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, January 1, 2018:

  • Urgent Care and other Winona Health clinics closed

During open hours, Urgent Care approximate wait times are posted online here.

Winona Health’s Emergency Department at 855 Mankato Avenue is always open.

HealthyFit for Life 6-week program begins January 10, 2018

Those interested in finding extra motivation and inspiration to improve their health are encouraged to check out Winona Health’s next HealthyFit for Life program.

HealthyFit for Life is a six-week program to help people lose weight and keep it off.  Many people know “what to do” to lose weight, but have a hard time “doing it.” That’s because losing weight and keeping it off involves more than eating your veggies and ditching the sweets. It’s not just changing what you do, but ultimately changing how you think about living a healthier life. Occasional assignments require time to complete independently. For best results, participants should allow 30 to 60 minutes per week outside of class time.

The next HealthyFit for Life program begins January 10 and meets Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. through February 14 on the second floor of the Parkview Office Building at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave. in Winona. The program costs $90, class size is limited and registration is required.

For more information about HealthyFit for Life and other wellness programs at Winona Health, click here. To register, call 507.457.4329.



Stressed out? Sign up.

Conquering Stress with The Desire MapTM, begins Monday, January 8, 2018

Start the new year determined to get a handle on your stress. If you are feeling burned out – like you’re constantly running on fumes, you’re not alone. Stress is a normal fact of life. But chronic stress, even at low levels, over a long period of time can take a huge toll on your health, your relationships and your happiness.

Conquering Stress with The Desire Map™ is a six-week workshop offered through Winona Heath Wellness Services for decreasing stress by clarifying what participants truly want in every area of their life, and using that awareness to guide everyday choices.

Tina Smith, a Certified Wellness and Health Coach and Licensed Desire Map Facilitator, will help workshop participants:

  • Discover desired feelings.
  • Create new goals and intentions based on desired feelings.
  • Decrease or remove the things in your life that are no longer serving you and are simply contributing to your stress.
  • Create a plan for filling life with meaning.
  • Decrease stress by focusing on desired feelings.

The Conquering Stress with the Desire Map workshop begins January 8 and meets Mondays, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. through February 12. In addition to workshop time, participants should allow an extra 30 to 60 minutes per week in their schedule.

The cost for the six-week workshop is $175. To register, call 507.457.4329 by January 3. For more details about this and other Winona Health wellness programs, click here.


The Desire Map © Danielle LaPorte 2014

Cold weather safety tips

With temperatures dipping throughout the season, Winona Health shares these tips from the American Red Cross for staying safe in cold weather.

■ Prepare a winter-specific supply kit that includes a awarm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery.

■ Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service.

■ All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

■ Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.

■ Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep your winter supplies kit in your vehicle. Allow extra time to reach your destination.

■ Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task. Take frequent breaks while shoveling snow.

■ Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers.

■ Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

■ Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Learn how to treat cold weather related emergencies by downloading the free Red Cross First Aid App at More information about winter safety is available at

Those who need a warm place to sleep are welcome to go to the Winona Community Warming Center located in the back of Community Bible Church with a separate entrance for the Warming Center, 69 East 3rd Street in Winona. For more information, call 507.458.9197.


Decided to quit smoking? Free help is here.

Make this year the year you become tobacco free. Quitting improves your health and will save you money.

Winona Health’s smoking cessation program is FREE, and the next session begins Thursday, January 4, 2018. The program will be 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.

“Quitting smoking can be the number one best thing people can do for their health,” said Lynn Sprain MS, RT, RCEP, program facilitator. “We know that quitting isn’t easy, but it can be done and 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.

“Just think: quitting will be such a relief,” said Sprain. “Relief from worrying about your health, relief from dependency on cigarettes—and relief from the high cost of smoking. The benefits to quitting begin immediately.”

This four-session program is free. RSVP is appreciated, but walk-ins the first night of the program will be welcome as space permits. Those who have taken the program before but would like to take it again are welcome. For more information or to sign up in advance, call Lynn Sprain at 507.474.3324.


Lake Winona Manor’s Namaste program benefits residents, families and staff

The Winona Daily News shared a story about how Lake Winona Manor’s Namaste program is helping residents and families.
In case you missed it in Sunday’s (12/17/17) paper, you can read it here.
Lake Winona Manor received a $25,000 Workforce Grant through LeadingAge Minnesota to help support the Namaste program.
In addition to being a wonderful program for residents and their family members, it improves the day-to-day satisfaction of caregivers by creating a soothing atmosphere and increasing the opportunity for them to spend more meaningful time with residents.
More information about Lake Winona Manor is available here.

Environmental Services team scores 100 percent on safety

Several members of the Winona Health Environmental Services team agree to a quick photo to celebrate their 100 percent safety score.

Winona Health’s Environmental Services staff received a 100-percent score on their Sodexo/EcoSure Third Party Safety Audit.

The rigorous audit includes questions regarding safety management programs, making sure the Safety Data Sheets match every product we use and a physical tour and inspection of various rooms and spaces throughout Winona Health.

“We are fortunate to have a dedicated Environmental Services staff who understand the importance and value of the work they do to ensure a safe and sanitary environment in an organization that runs 24/7/365.” said Greg Towner, facilities director at Winona Health.

Winona Health Environmental Services team includes housekeepers, floor technicians, and laundry professionals.


Help for those who are dealing with grief

Tesla Mitchell with the Winona Daily News spoke with Sheila Skeels, Winona Health Hospice Social Worker, and Amy Sixty, who lost her father this year, to share information to help people who are dealing with grief during the holidays.

If you or someone you know is dealing with grief during the holidays, or any time, this article may help.

Welcome back Laurel Quinn, MD!

Optometrists Scott Pastryk and Stephanie LaLiberte with Ophthalmologist Laurel Quinn.

After several months of being out for a medical issue, Ophthalmologist Laurel Quinn, MD, has returned to the Winona Health Eye Care Center.

“Optometrists Scott Pastryk and Stephanie LaLiberte, the Eye Care Center team and the entire Winona Health family are excited to welcome back Dr. Quinn. “We have all missed her, and so have her patients,” said Sara Gabrick, vice president of Surgical and Specialty Services at Winona Health. “It’s great to have her back!”

Friends and community members held a 5K run/walk benefit for Dr. Quinn and her family in June after her third bout of acute myeloid leukemia. Dr. Quinn and her husband, Jason, have six children.

“My family and I have so appreciated the support of this community,” said Dr. Quinn, “I’m happy to get back to the healthy work of taking care of our eyes!”

To schedule an appointment in the Winona Health Eye Care Center, call 507.474.4760. A same-day appointment may be available.