November is National Caregivers Month, and Mille Lacs Health System has some tips for you if you are one of the 600,000 people in Minnesota who care for parents, siblings, spouses or other family members either in your home or theirs. According to the CDC, unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the long-term care for those needing either full-time or part-time assistance. Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self, managing emotional and physical stress, and balancing work and family responsibilities. The stress becomes even more acute when a loved one is coming home from a health event that has put them in the hospital. But in January of 2017, a new law to help caregivers will be taking effect in the state.

Targeted violence isn’t a topic that’s pleasant to discuss, but it’s a reality in the world we live in, and it can happen anywhere. Being prepared, in case it does happen, was the presentation Special Agent Joseph Malhoit from the F.B.I. gave to 65 community members on Oct. 12th on the Mille Lacs Health System Onamia campus.

Malhoit began by saying that his whole presentation is based on the main concept of situational awareness, and then mental preparation for the “what if” that might ensue.  “If you take away nothing else today, remember to trust your instincts if you think someone is acting ‘off,’ and then ask yourself what you would do if a situation ‘breaks bad?’”

FluSafe is a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) program that recognizes Minnesota hospitals and nursing homes for high influenza (flu) vaccination rates among their health care personnel.

Mille Lacs Health System received a red ribbon from the MDH for being a hospital with an 86% flu vaccination rate amongst all employees for 2015/16, showing a commitment to protecting patient health.

Mille Lacs Health System will be holding flu shot clinics in the month of October. Appointments are recommended for efficiency, but walk-ins are also welcome. Call 320-532-3154 to schedule.

9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)
Mon., Oct. 3
Fri., Oct. 14
Tues., Oct. 18
Fri., Oct. 28

Wed., Oct. 5
Mon., Oct. 10
Fri., Oct. 21
Mon., Oct. 24

Tues., Oct. 4 (1-4:30)
Thurs., Oct. 20 (9-11:45)

Tues., Oct. 4 (9-11:45)
Thurs., Oct. 20 (1-4:30)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s a time where women should be thinking about how to decrease their risks and get their mammograms. There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., which proves that early diagnosis and better treatments are helping more women to survive. Still, the statistics are there to show that it’s the second most common cancer among women.  One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes.

Men can get breast cancer, too. Approximately 2,100 cases will be diagnosed each year. But because men don’t think they can get breast cancer, their survival chances are lower, due to the fact that they wait so long to get it checked out.

Underwire bras and compression garments do not cause breast cancer.

by Mary Rains
Mille Lacs Health System

Mille Lacs Health System will be holding a fall wellness event called “Healthy Me-The Mind/Body Connection,” on Oct. 1, from 10-2 p.m. at the Holy Cross Center on the MLHS campus in Onamia. The event will put its focus on how to care take of ourselves when life gets challenging. Whether you’re looking for some new ways to de-stress, advice about being a caregiver, news about trending mental and emotional health issues, information and education about dementia and Alzheimer’s, engaging facts about healthy eating and moving, or just want to come learn and lunch with us, you’re welcome to join.

by Kari Collett, RDN, LDN, CLT
Mille Lacs Health System

As our kids head back to school, it’s a good time think about child nutrition. The obesity epidemic in our county affects 1 in 6 children, according to the CDC. Obesity in children is of great concern because it can have many serious medical consequences; children wouldn’t normally experience many of these until adulthood. This compromises their quality of life before they ever really get a chance at life.

Mille Lacs Health System has installed a new, updated, state-of-the-art radiographic (X-ray) system on their Onamia campus. Aligning with its Mission Statement to be “the best place to give and receive care,” the Radiology Department will now have digital radiology available to patients who need radiographic imaging.

Radiology is one of the main diagnostic tools used in health care today. MLHS experiences approximately 177,000 patient encounters in one year. Some of those occur in the neighborhood clinics, and over nine thousand of those occur in the ER or Urgent Care. Of those, over six thousand patients will end up needing an X-ray.

Mille Lacs Health System will be sponsoring a Community Lakes College class for those wishing to receive training to become Certified Nursing Assistants. The class will be taught by CLC instructor Kathy Boser, R.N.  Classes will be held Tues., Wed. and Thursdays, beginning Sept. 6 and ending Oct. 5, from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and will be held at MLHS.

The class is free, for a maximum of eight people, and one year of employment is required. Contact Lonna Kovarik at 320-532-2606 or You can also click here to link to the informational listing under that name.