Winona Health expands Health Care Home Certification: Now includes Rushford Clinic

Rushford Clinic staff (l-r): Michele Ekern, Registration; Janet Jaimes Mendoza, LPN; Diane Montgomery, PT; Nicholas Modjeski, MD; Katie Halder, CNP; Trisha Bellock, RN; Tanya Dockter, Rad Tech; Danielle Corcoran, Registration.

Winona Health’s certification as a Health Care Home by the Minnesota Department of Health has expanded to encompass all of Winona Health primary care areas from Pediatrics to Internal Medicine including Rushford Clinic.

Health Care Home certification assures that Winona Health’s care delivery approach is a partnership with primary care providers, families and patients with the goals of improving the quality, experience, and value of care. This is a shift from a purely medical model of health care to a focus on linking primary care with wellness, prevention, self-management and community services. The goals encompass improving health outcomes and quality of life while working to prevent hospitalization and unnecessary emergency care and the higher costs associated with those services.

Winona Health provides care that goes beyond screening, diagnosis and treatment to focus on improving an individual’s understanding of their health status and overall health. This may include connecting patients with key staff and services to help them determine health goals that are important to them and manage their health conditions.

“This is about focusing on the right work to benefit our patients and to improve overall population health,” said Marti Bollman, Winona Health VP of Primary Care Services. “Each person’s needs are different, and our healthcare professionals and support staff continually develop innovative ways to enhance care for people who may be struggling to manage their health.”

One aspect of being a certified Health Care Home is providing Care Coordination services for interested patients. Patients may meet the criteria and be referred for Care Coordination services if they and their healthcare provider agree that Care Coordination services would be beneficial. Patients then meet with a registered nurse, discuss health goals and receive enhanced services to help them manage complicated health conditions and meet their health goals.

To schedule an appointment in Winona, call 507.454.3650, or in Rushford, 507.864.7726.

Well-child checkup perfect time to complete sports physical

Appointments now available

Winona Health Pediatrics and Family Medicine departments remind parents that a well-child checkup is the perfect time to complete your child’s sports physical.

Parents are encouraged to schedule sports physicals with a Primary Care provider in Winona or Rushford. Appointment times are available.

“If your child is due for a well-child exam, it’s best to schedule a well-child appointment and bring your sports physical forms,” said Winona Health Pediatrician, Sarah Lallaman. “That way we can take care of everything for you in one visit.”

If you need a copy of your school’s sports physical forms, Minnesota and Wisconsin sports physical forms are available here.

Students previously diagnosed with heart conditions or head injuries must schedule an appointment with a member of their regular healthcare team.

If you have questions or to schedule an appointment in Winona, call 507.457.7607.

For an appointment at Rushford Clinic, 109 W. Jessie St., call 507.864.7726.

You can also schedule appointments through your My Winona Health account.

Healthcare providers in Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine:

Sarah Lallaman, DO, FAAP

Kelli Ostermann, MD

Laura Dubis, PA-C

Jessica Nelson, CNP

Sports physicals can also be completed with your Family Medicine provider.

Urgent Care now located on the Winona Health main campus

Winona Health’s Urgent Care Clinic is located on the first floor of the clinic on the Winona Health campus at 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.

“We want the community to know that only the Urgent Care location has changed. They’ll find the same friendly faces but in a new location,” said Beth Poulin, director of Emergency and Urgent Care Services.

Urgent Care is available seven days a week on the first floor of the clinic at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue.

Monday – Friday:  7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday – Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Holidays, such as Memorial Day, Monday, May 28: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter

“Our new location on the clinic first floor is closer to the Emergency Department and Primary Care Clinics,” said Poulin. “This is an advantage to those who come to Urgent Care but who can benefit from immediate referral to Emergency Services or Primary Care Services.” Poulin also noted that having Urgent Care on the main campus will mean even shorter wait times because of the intentional care delivery design that will allow access to care very quickly in Urgent Care or, if a wait time is expected, immediate referral to Primary Care to help eliminate waiting for our patients and their families.”

Urgent Care estimated wait time is posted during open hours at And, as always, Winona Health’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day every day.

For more information about Urgent Care, click here.

Pediatrician Sarah Lallaman: Why I vaccinate my children

Sarah Lallaman, DO, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine

Vaccines are undoubtedly one of the most commonly contested subjects, yet vaccines are one of the most successful achievements in modern medicine. I am routinely surprised to see how anti-vaccine lobbying groups can find any ground to stand on with the indisputable research that has shown over and over again that vaccines are safe, effective, and have nearly eliminated so many diseases that once plagued even developed countries not that long ago.

Just as the medical field puts to rest one concern, such as vaccines and autism, another concern is raised. The most recent push from vaccine-hesitant populations has been to delay or alter the recommended vaccine schedule that is supported by all major organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and The World Health Organization.

As a pediatrician, I frequently have conversations with nervous parents, and I welcome these conversations knowing that the information I offer is sound and backed by nearly every other physician in the country. Vaccines are safe. Vaccines given per the recommended guidelines and schedules are also safe. The schedule is not designed to give a baby as many shots as early as we can, but to provide protection to diseases that would be most devastating to infants that otherwise have no protection. The schedule has been specifically designed to work with the body’s immune system at points when they will have the strongest response and to complete the primary boosters prior to the decline of any benefit the mother conferred during pregnancy.

To spread vaccines out is a risk and leaves infants unprotected for longer to diseases that could be fatal if contracted. Even with the best intentions, I routinely see parents plan to return for vaccines, yet rarely do busy parents fit in the extra appointment. I have yet to see how giving shots one at a time is any less stressful for an infant and there is no medical evidence to suggest it is better.

Numerous studies demonstrate that multiple vaccines given at the same time do not increase the risk of any adverse vaccine reactions. If a child is going to have a serious negative side effect from any vaccine, there is no research to say it wouldn’t occur if given one at a time. Additionally, the number of antigens that are used in the entire recommended schedule from start to finish is around 150 antigens or exposures. A child is routinely exposed to 2,000-6,000 antigens a day, just by eating, breathing and playing. Even if all the shots for all 14 diseases we are protecting against were given at the same time, it is estimated that we would be using less than 0.1 percent of the immune system’s capacity.

As a physician, I find it frustrating that there is so much reliable research-based evidence, but the heart-wrenching story of one person with a negative side effect to a vaccine can derail all the successes and advances that vaccines provide every day. People are more vaccine hesitant now because they no longer fear the diseases we are trying to prevent. People no longer fear diphtheria or mumps. Infants are no longer routinely dying from whooping cough. It’s easy to focus on the details of each vaccine, but it’s harder to appreciate the number of people who don’t get sick every year thanks to vaccinations.

I strongly recommend the routine vaccination schedule and for people to take the opportunity to look at the reliable research that is widely available. I wouldn’t ask you to do something with your child that I wouldn’t do for my own child. I don’t know what better recommendation I can give you as a pediatrician and as a mother.

More information about Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Now available here! PET/CT technology improves assessment of cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases

Mike Konsek, nuclear medicine technologist at Winona Health, demonstrates a PET/CT exam.

In March 2018, Winona Health began providing a new diagnostic imaging service that assesses the presence and extent of several diseases, including most types of cancer.

The Computed Tomography/ Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT) scanner allows physicians to diagnose and determine the extent of various cancers, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, and damage to cardiac muscle after a heart attack. Winona Health has partnered with DMS Health Technologies mobile service to bring this technology to Winona.

According to Claudine Van Meeteren, R.T.(R)(M) RDMS, RVT, director of Imaging Services at Winona Health, “Many patients could forego the trauma and cost of unnecessary invasive biopsies and  surgery, and therefore receive earlier and more appropriate therapy, if the extent of their disease had been known beforehand. PET/CT can provide the information to address the possibility of cancer, visualizing the extent and level of malignancy of the disease.”

PET/CT is a medical imaging procedure that provides physicians with information about the body’s chemistry, cell function, and location of disease – information not available through CT, MRI, X-ray, or physical examination. Unlike CT or MRI, which look at anatomy or body structure, PET/CT studies body function or the biology of diseases.

The PET/CT study assists physicians in earlier detection of disease, monitoring the status and response to treatment, and in providing the most appropriate treatment plans.

PET/CT is available to patients by provider referral.

More information about Imaging capabilities at Winona Health is available here.

Winona Health now offers Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) for Obesity

New service covered by Medicare for those who qualify

For many people, weight loss feels like a life-long struggle. Winona Health now offers additional help for those who want ongoing support in their effort to lose weight and improve their health.

Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) for Obesity is a Medicare benefit for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Those interested who know they are overweight but don’t know whether their BMI is over 30 should contact their healthcare provider.

This Medicare benefit allows up to 22 visits per year with no co-pay or deductible, including:

  • A weekly visit with a dietitian for the first month.
  • A visit with a dietitian every other week for months two through six.
  • If successful in losing at least 6.6 pounds in six months, continued monthly follow-up with the dietitian for months seven through 12.

IBT for Obesity is based on collaboration, education and coaching. Here’s what to expect:

  • Brief/basic nutrition education.
  • Self-monitoring of food intake.
  • Participation in goal-setting.
  • Work with a dietitian on a personalized weight-loss plan.
  • Brief visits with a dietitian for a weigh-in, coaching and goal-setting.
  • Success in losing weight!

IBT for Obesity is covered by Medicare and is not subject to co-pay or deductible. The program may be covered by commercial insurance. Those interested should check with their insurance provider.

Those who are interested in losing weight and improving their health, should talk with their healthcare provider about this Medicare benefit. To schedule an appointment, call 507.454.3650.




Free Health Talk: Preventing dislocation complications after hip replacement

Thursday, March 15: noon – 1 p.m.

Kenneth Johnson, MD, an orthopedic specialist at Winona Health will present a free Health Talk: Preventing dislocation complications after hip replacement, Thursday, March 15 from noon – 1 p.m. in the BA Miller Auditorium at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave. Winona, Minn.

Dr. Johnson will discuss hip replacement surgery and steps to take to prevent dislocation complications.

Whether you’ve had hip surgery or are considering it, this is an opportunity to meet Dr. Johnson and learn more about preventing complications after hip replacement.

The presentation is free. Complimentary light lunch provided. RSVP required by Tuesday, March 13.

RSVP here

or call 507.457.4394.

In addition to Dr. Johnson, Winona Health’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic includes orthopedic specialists Andrew Millis, MD and Michael Dussault, MD, along with Adam Fletcher, MD, a Family Medicine physician with a special interest in Sports Medicine. Winona Health’s comprehensive orthopedic services staff also includes athletic trainers and physical therapists to help people prevent or recover after surgery or an injury. Learn more about Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Winona Health.

Winona Health going blue March 5 to shine a light on the importance of colon cancer screening

Beginning Monday, March 5, 2018, Winona Health will be lit up in blue, joining healthcare organizations across Minnesota in shining a light on the importance of colon cancer screening. A colonoscopy is a simple screening that could save your life.

Winona Health is participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month along with more than 60 civic, public, and private organizations across the state that are banding together to turn Minnesota BLUE in March to show support for colon cancer survivors and patients, while raising awareness about the importance of screening.

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Screening for this preventable cancer should start at age 50 for those with average risk. What many don’t realize is screening should start earlier for African Americans and other ethnic groups, as well as for individuals with a family history of colon cancer or polyps.

What can be done to reduce the risk of colon cancer? According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn.:

  • Get screened as recommended, starting at age 50, or earlier for those with certain risk factors.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, and adopt a physically active lifestyle.
  • Understand the symptoms, and talk with your doctor if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation or unexplained weight loss.
  • Consume a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting consumption of red and processed meats.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.

“Now if you drive by and see Winona Health lit up in blue, you’ll know why,” said Sandy Gruszynski, cancer care coordinator at Winona Health. “And if you’re due for a colonoscopy, we encourage you to stop worrying about it and get it scheduled.”

Those who haven’t scheduled a colonoscopy because they don’t have a regular healthcare provider may call 507.454.3650 and say they’d like to establish care with a new healthcare provider, or they can learn more about local healthcare providers online at and click on Find a Provider.

Those who already have a healthcare provider and would like to know more about the General Surgeons who perform this screening procedure can visit and find information about General Surgeons: Matthew Broghammer, DO; Wen-Yu Vicky Haines, MD, FACS; and Crystal Lumi, MD, FACS.


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About the Colon Cancer Coalition

The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn. dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colon cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. In 2017 the Colon Cancer Coalition granted over $1 million dollars to local communities that will build and sustain programs promoting early prevention, screening, and patient support services for this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit

You’re invited – More than Healthcare: Community Conversations about Health

Monday, March 19, 2018

If doing something out of the ordinary is on your list of goals for 2018, here is the perfect opportunity.

Everyone is welcome to share in a conversation about healthcare at a Winona Community Table event, More than Healthcare: Community Conversations about Health, on Monday, March 19 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 9, 302 East Sarnia Street in Winona.

American Legion members, teachers, parents, young adults, seniors, caregivers … anyone who has thoughts and observations about health and healthcare is encouraged to attend. This Winona Community Table event is an opportunity for all community members to share opinions and ideas.

“Everyone’s voice is important, and all observations and ideas are welcome” said Rebecca Lamberty, vice president of Emergency and Urgent Care Services at Winona Health. “We’re looking forward to a compassionate, inclusive community conversation for people to share their thoughts. We welcome everyone, and we are interested in getting a deeper understanding of our community.”

Winona Health President/CEO, Rachelle Schultz, MHA, Ed.D., will be among the event facilitators. General topics will be introduced and conversations will flow based on the thoughts and ideas shared by community members.

The event is free and open to everyone, a variety of snacks and beverages will be provided.

Those interested are encouraged to invite others to attend. The conversation is enriched when people from diverse backgrounds come together to share their thoughts and ideas.

If you have questions or to RSVP, call 507.494.7371.

Expanded kidney care services now available

New kidney care services help area residents improve quality of life

People dealing with any stage kidney disease can now receive comprehensive care right here at Winona Health. Thanks to expanded Nephrology Services and a Kidney Care Team, people who have kidney disease have improved access to local care designed to prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease.

Winona Health’s Nephrology Clinic, located within the Internal Medicine department, is overseen by a Nephrologist and staffed by a Kidney Care Team. The interdisciplinary team includes the nephrologist, a registered nurse, a dietitian, and a social worker.

“Our Kidney Care Team provides what we call ‘person-centered care,’ based on what each person needs and wants for themselves,” explained Emilie Volkman, MSW, MA, LISW, CAPSW, LNHA, Winona Health Dialysis department coordinator. “Research shows that this type of care leads to improved outcomes. There are many factors that impact a person’s health outcomes; medical, health, social, financial, housing, dietary, etc., and we can help people make a plan to manage these things and their disease – and possibly prevent it from progressing to the stage that requires dialysis.”

Volkman said that by slowing down the disease and helping people understand their options as the disease advances, they can ultimately improve a person’s quality of life because they’ll be able to do more of what they enjoy.

Those who have any stage kidney disease who are interested in learning more about this service and how it could help them better manage their condition may contact Winona Health’s Kidney Care Team at 507.457.8560.