Mille Lacs Health System is celebrating 60 years of service in the Mille Lacs area communities. In April of 1956, the Community Mercy Hospital opened its doors. With help from community service groups, individuals, families, churches, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, the Crosiers, and the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, people in the Mille Lacs area finally were able to receive medical care close to home.

Kathy Halbert, Certified Nurse Practitioner, is Mille Lacs Health System’s newest medical provider.
Halbert began her medical career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), worked as a Home Health Aide (HHA), and then continued her education at Central Lakes College in their L.P.N. program. After that, she went on to further her skills by attending The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.,  to become an R.N., and then finally got a Master’s Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the same college.

Mille Lacs Health System is greeting a new member of their family of care, Beth Twite, PA.

Twite came to the Mille Lacs area when she was still in junior high. Her family wanted to be closer to a grandfather, who had suffered a massive stroke. Twite says she remembers watching his medical team  ̶  from ER staff to PT/OT – and how integral they were in helping him maintain a good quality of life for many years. “I knew then that I wanted to be that person for families; to listen, to help, and to support them in their healthcare and in their lives,” she said.

by Dawn Huffman
National Brain Awareness Week is March 14 - 21. Mille Lacs Health System wants parents of students who play sports to know a program is in place to deal with concussions.

The 12th annual Adverse Events Health Report, put out by the Minnesota Hospital Association, (MHA) was released on Fri., Feb. 19. Initiated by the MHA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and created through state legislation in 2003, the system is the first in the nation to be built on the National Quality Forum's list of reportable adverse events. The MDH and MHA produce an annual report of adverse events that have occurred in Minnesota hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and regional treatment centers. Statewide adverse events have a wide range - from surgical errors to medications to pressure ulcers.

The annual Mille Lacs Health System St. Francis Award, given to a nominated employee, was awarded on Jan. 22 to John Unzen, CFO at MLHS.

Mille Lacs Health System supports and encourages all employees to create a caring and compassionate healing environment for those served. The annual St. Francis Award was established in 1989 to identify fellow employees who are both role models and an inspiration to others. It is given at the January Holiday Party for employees.

“I know she still loves me.”

The Reinholz couple.Dan Reinholz sits at the dinner table with his wife, Brenda, in Mille Lacs Health System’s Long Term Care community dining room, urging her to take another bite of the shrimp and rice the nursing assistant is trying to get her to eat. Dan has been coming to visit his wife nearly every day for the last two years, ever since she had two strokes just after their 50th wedding anniversary.

Becky Fossand is Mille Lacs Health System’s new Vice President of Human Resources. With over 10 years of Human Resource experience, she has been the director of Human Resources at Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota in Bemidji, and director of Human Resources at Johanneson’s Inc., in Bemidji.

Fossand was drawn to MLHS because it is a small, independent hospital and not connected to corporate-run health systems. She said, “That is amazing to me because there is a much more personable feel and it leaves more room to be family and community-oriented.”

Mille Lacs Health System’s Emergency Department has received the 2016 Women’s Choice Award® as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care. This is the third year in a row the hospital has received the commendation. The evidence-based designation is the only Emergency Care award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women state they want from a hospital. The Emergency Department is located on the Onamia campus of MLHS.