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.

Free program for those interested in kicking the smoking habit begins April 5

Lynn Sprain, MS, RT, RCEP, smoking cessation program facilitator

Spring is in the air. This FREE program will make it even better

Winona Health’s next smoking cessation program begins Thursday, April 5, 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.

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.

Free information and assistance with Healthcare Directives

“I want to make things easier for my kids.”
-comment from a Healthcare Directives program attendee

Winona Health Volunteers invite community members to a free informational program about Healthcare Directives (also called Advance Directives) on Monday, March 19, 2018 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Parkview Conference Room on the hospital first floor at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.

The program provides information about the benefits of having a Healthcare Directive. A properly completed Healthcare Directive, also called an Advance Directive, is a legal document, but completing a directive does not require a lawyer.

The primary purpose of a Healthcare Directive is to allow individuals to stay in control of their care, even if they lose the ability to communicate. Winona Health Volunteers certified to facilitate this program will provide the authorized forms. Sessions cover Healthcare Directives for residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

A follow-up session will be held Monday, April 2, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the same location for those who have attended a Healthcare Directives Informational Session but have questions or would like assistance in completing their directive or to have a facilitator review their directive.

For those looking for an evening program, the next evening Healthcare Directives session will be Monday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Parkview Conference Room at Winona Health with a follow-up session two weeks later.

There is no cost to complete a Healthcare Directive and the program is open to all. No advanced registration is required. Everyone age 18 and older is encouraged to complete a Healthcare Directive.

Certified Healthcare Directives volunteers are also available to give presentations to community groups. For more information, call the Winona Health Volunteer Services office at 507.457.4342.

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.




Winona Health Community Report now available

Winona Health Community Report goes digital.

Winona Health’s community report is now available digitally.

Those interested can find stories about community members and how Winona Health played a role in their lives, along with messages from Winona Health leaders, organizational highlights, new healthcare providers and financial and community benefit reports.

“With a focus on providing a report to the community and an eye on financial stewardship, we decided to go digital with our community report this year,” said Betsy Midthun, vice president of community engagement. “We are grateful to those who have chosen Winona Health and especially grateful to be able to share stories from some of the individuals in our community who have shared their experience with us. We hope readers will be touched and inspired.”

Those who are interested are encouraged to read the publication online and share their own stories or feedback through Winona Health’s website contact form.

Winona Health’s community report can be found at

2017 Community Report


Tickets now available for Winona Health Volunteers “USO Salute to the Troops”

Winona Health Volunteer President, Bernadette Thicke, sells American Legion Commander, Sam Sasser, one of the first tickets to “Salute to the Troops.”

Tickets are now available for the Winona Health Volunteers USO Salute to the Troops, a variety show fundraiser that takes audiences back to the days of Bob Hope’s USO variety shows, with singing, dancing and comedy skits.

Tickets are now available at Merchants Bank downtown Winona, Winona HyVee and Midtown Foods, the Winona Health Gift Shop, and Winona Health’s Rushford Clinic at 109 W. Jessie Street in Rushford. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Performance dates are Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The show will be at the Winona Middle School, 1570 Homer Road, Winona, where there is plenty of parking.

General admission is $15 and for Veterans, $10. Proceeds will go toward projects to benefit Winona Health patients and residents.

If questions about the show or for more information about the Winona Health Volunteers, contact Volunteer Services at 507.457.4342 or email



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.


# # #

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