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.

In the news: Winona Health Volunteers’ USO Salute to the Troops!

Winona Post

The cast and crew of the Winona Health Volunteer’s variety show, “USO Salute to the Troops,” are having so much fun in rehearsal that they want the rest of the community to come join them next weekend at the Winona Middle School auditorium. The show, put on entirely by volunteers from around the …

Link to the Winona Post story


Winona Daily News

Dressed in costume, area actors and singers will be portraying the beloved stars and other characters during Winona Health Volunteers’ fundraiser play called “USO Salute to the Troops,” which starts Thursday and runs until Saturday at the middle school. The performance is a way to raise money for …

Link to the Winona Daily News story


Get all the details about tickets and show times here.

Time Out with Andrew Millis, MD – for parents and student athletes of all ages

Andrew Millis, MD

Andrew Millis, MD, an Orthopedic and Sports Medicine specialist at Winona Health, will present a free Health Talk: Time Out, Thursday, April 26 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the B.A. Miller Auditorium at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave. Winona, Minn.

This is a special event for parents and student athletes of all ages. Topics discussed include injury prevention for a successful season. Bring your questions.

The presentation is free. Complimentary light refreshments. RSVP by Tuesday, April 24, online here, or call Emily at 507.457.4394.

In addition to Dr. Millis, Winona Health’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic includes Orthopedic Surgeons Kenneth Johnson, 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 physicians and services at Winona Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

RSVP for Time Out


Community invited to Research Fair 2018

Learn about medical research being conducted by university students right here in Winona

Winona Health provides opportunities for local pre-professional students to gain clinical experience prior to applying to professional school.

The Winona Health Research Committee is hosting a Research Fair to give area pre-professionals the opportunity to share their work and community members the chance to learn about the medical research being conducted by local university students.

Student research may pertain to immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, psychology, kinesiology, exercise science, medical engineering, or any other potentially medically related field of research.

The Student Research Fair posters will be on display during clinic hours from 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 through 4 p.m. Friday, April 20. That Friday, between 1 and 4 p.m., researchers will be on hand to explain their projects and answer questions, and there will be a reception and award ceremony at 4:30. Don Snodgrass, MD, FACP, will be the keynote speaker. His talk: Medical Myths.

The community is welcome to come in to view the posters and learn more about the research being conducted right here in Winona. Community members interested in attending the reception at 4:30 are asked to RSVP to Lori Stanislawski at 507.457.4483 by April 13.

Research committee members include physicians from various specialties and professors from Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University. In addition, several physicians, healthcare professionals and professors serve as mentors for the student research.

Research Committee:

  • Research Committee Co-chair: Adam Fletcher, MD – Winona Health, Family Medicine and Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
  • Research Committee Co-chair: Lee Trombetta, MD, FACS – Gundersen Health System, General Surgeon
  • Nicole Beatty, MD – Winona Health, Anesthesiology
  • Richard Ferris, MD – Winona Health, Internal Medicine/Hematology/Oncology
  • Osvaldo Martinez, PhD – Winona State University, Department of Biology/Virology
  • Erin White, PhD – Winona State University, Department of Health, Exercise, and Rehabilitative Services
  • Todd Reinhart, PhD – Saint Mary’s University, Dean, School of Sciences and Health Professions, Professor of Biology and Health Professions
  • Jonathon Mauser, PhD – Winona State University, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Brant Deppa PhD – Winona State University, Professor of Statistics and Data Science
  • Spencer Treu – Winona Health, Clinical Research Coordinator/EMT
  • Roderick Baker – Winona Health, Senior LEAN Specialist
  • Lori Stanislawski – Winona Health, Executive Assistant
  • Dani Holtzclaw – Winona Health, Manager, Medical Staff Services

Winona Health is dedicated to supporting the healthcare career goals of our local university students. More information about student research opportunities is available here:


Matthew Broghammer, MD: Screening matters. Have you been screened for colon cancer?

Matthew Broghammer, DO

You may have noticed that during March, Winona Health was lit up in blue at night as part of an effort to increase awareness of the importance of screening for colon cancer. I hope many people not only took notice, but also decided to make their appointment for screening. Why do I care?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the US (excluding skin cancer) and it is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. The good news: The death rate from Colorectal Cancer is decreasing. This in large part is due to widespread colorectal cancer screening. Screening allows us to find precancerous polyps and cancers at an earlier stage so that we can provide treatment.

Many colorectal cancer risk factors cannot be controlled. Older people, African Americans, Jews of Eastern European descent, and those who have certain inherited syndromes are at increased risk. Also, people who have type II diabetes or a first-degree relative with colorectal cancer are at increased risk.

An average risk individual should start colorectal cancer screening at the age of 50. But if you have any one of the risk factors mentioned above, talk to your primary care provider about earlier screening.

Although not all risk factors are in your control, there are things that anyone can do to help decrease their chance of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Be physically active which will help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid tobacco.
  • Do not use alcohol excessively.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet including emphasizing fish and chicken over red meats and processed meats.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Get a colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy) beginning at age 50 or as recommended.

Seeking appropriate screening is probably the most impactful step any individual can take. Colonoscopy is the gold standard for screening, as it identifies both polyps and colorectal cancer and allows for diagnosis and possible treatment by removing the pre-cancerous or cancerous polyps at the same time.  However, there are a few other colorectal screening tests.

A CT colonoscopy will identify possible polyps and colorectal cancer, but cannot make a definitive diagnosis or provide treatment.

There are also some tests that primarily diagnose cancer. A stool DNA test (i.e. Cologuard) is a stool sample test for shed cancer cells. It is a very sensitive test, but not specific—meaning there are false positives. Other tests include the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) and the Guaiac based Fecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT) both of which test stool for blood.

Every test has its advantages and disadvantages. The key is to get some type of colorectal cancer screening and follow through on any positive results. Your healthcare provider’s goal is to have you be screened so we can detect any abnormalities in time for them to be easily and effectively treated.

If you are due for a screening, or if you are over 50 and have never been screened for colorectal cancer, call us. My fellow General Surgeons, Dr. Wen-Yu Vicky Haines and Dr. Crystal Lumi, and our team will take great care of you. Call the General Surgery department at 507.457.7670 and our staff will help you with the next step.




Visitor restrictions lifted due to decreased influenza activity

Winona Health’s Infection Control Committee has lifted visitor restrictions for the hospital due to decreased influenza activity effective Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Even though visitor restrictions will no longer be in effect, all visitors to the hospital are still encouraged to follow good hand-washing techniques and cover their coughs. Visitors experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to stay home until they have recovered from their illness.

Winona Health continues to encourage everyone to adopt these simple, everyday practices to help limit spread of colds and flu:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then throw away the tissue. 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.

When you’re not feeling well, a same-day appointment is available at Winona Health. Call 507.454.3650.


Not sure about what’s the flu and what’s not? Denver Brown, PA-C, clears up the confusion.


Winona Health holiday hours April 2018

The Winona Health Urgent Care clinic at 420 E. Sarnia in Winona will be closed for the holiday Sunday, April 1, 2018.

The Emergency Department at Winona Health, 859 Mankato Avenue in Winona is always open. In an emergency, call 911.

For more information about Winona Health, visit or call 507.454.3650.

Check Urgent Care estimated wait times when the Urgent Care Clinic is open.

Six-week Grief Support Group

Anyone who is dealing with grief is invited to a free, six-week, Grief Support Group beginning Thursday, April 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The group will meet in Watkins Manor House adjacent to Senior Living at Watkins, 175 E. Wabasha in Winona, Minn.

This Grief Support Group is offered by Winona Health Hospice and is open to anyone who is experiencing grief, no matter when their loss occurred. This small-group setting makes it a comfortable place for people to share their experience with others who are dealing with a loss.

Topics include coping strategies and tips for finding moments of joy. Attendees are encouraged to bring their thoughts, questions and challenges.

The Grief Support Group is free, but RSVP is requested. Those who have questions or would like to RSVP are invited to call 507.457.4468.

Volunteers to host Collective Goods book and gift sale

Collective Goods sale (formerly known as Books Are Fun) April 25 and 26, 2018

Winona Health Volunteers will host a new book fair through Collective Goods, formerly known as Books Are Fun, Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26 from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue, Winona. Please use the hospital entrance to attend this event.

The sale features a wide variety of high-quality new books and gifts that inform, enrich, entertain and inspire people of all ages. The Collective Goods selection includes New York Times bestsellers; children’s storybooks; classics and educational books; general interest books such as cooking, sports, gardening, reference and multicultural titles; and stationery and gift items. This is a wonderful opportunity to stock up on fun and educational gifts at reasonable prices.

All proceeds from the event will go towards Volunteer projects to benefit patients and their families at Winona Health.

If attending the sale, please kindly use the hospital parking lot and hospital entrance so that clinic parking is available for those who have appointments.

For more information, please contact the Winona Health Volunteer Office at 507.457.4342.

HealthyFit programs begin Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Winona Health’s HealthyFit: Adult Weight Management and HealthyFit: Living Your Best Life programs are designed to help those who are interested in healthy weight loss and maintaining that weight loss.

HealthyFit: Adult Weight Management is a 12-week program for those who want to lose a little or a lot—or just want to develop a healthier lifestyle. The program is led by Winona Health dietitian Theresa Hoyles and features information from exercise specialists and behavioral health coaches to help people with all aspects of weight loss and weight management.

The next HealthyFit: Adult Weight Management program begins April 4 and meets Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. through June 20, 2018. The Cost for the 12-week program is $175 and is nonrefundable. Financial assistance is available to those who meet specific criteria. The cost includes an instructional guide, and participants who complete the program may attend monthly HealthyFit Alumni weigh-in and discussion sessions for ongoing support.

Winona Health’s HealthyFit: Living Your Best 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: Living Your Best Life is taught by certified health coach Tina Smith. The program begins April 4 and meets Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. through May 9. The program costs $90.

Class sizes are limited. Registration for either program is requested by Friday, March 30.

For more information about either of these HealthyFit programs visit To register, call 507.457.4329.