Mille Lacs Health System is proud to announce its fourth year in a row as a hospital that has garnered the Women’s Choice Award for Best Emergency Care.

This 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 that they want from a hospital.

Mille Lacs Health System has been recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for superior performance in patient safety as part of its Hospital Engagement Network 2.0. The MHA Hospital Engagement Network 2.0 is working to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent.

MLHS was honored with a Patient Safety Excellence Award. The award is given to hospitals that reach benchmark safety criteria on six or more topics, relating to measures that include falls, pressure injuries, delirium, infections, and violence prevention.

“MLHS is helping to further strengthen patient safety in Minnesota and contributing to the state’s well-deserved reputation for high-quality health care,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO.

by Tammy Hall RN, MSN, Diabetes Educator

Prediabetes (insulin resistance) is a significant health issue affecting one in three American adults. Most people with prediabetes do not know they have it.

Who is at risk?

Prediabetes and diabetes used to be considered a disease that affected older adults only; however, prediabetes is becoming more prevalent in the adolescent and young adult populations who are overweight. The most significant risk factors in the development of prediabetes are being overweight or obese and sedentary lifestyle habits. Artificial sweeteners and preservatives and inflammation also play a significant role in the development of prediabetes/type 2 diabetes.

Ask questions, be informed

by Mary Rains
Mille Lacs Health System

Just a simple twenty seconds could save a person a couple weeks in bed this winter. Cold and flu season has begun and the best way to decrease the chances of being bedridden with a bad virus or bacterial infection is to practice good handwashing. Dec. 4-10 is National Handwashing Awareness Week.

Sixty five percent of all adults and children don’t wash their hands regularly. Those are the people touching grocery carts, doorknobs, and various other surfaces. And if they are sick, others will be too if a little time isn’t spent washing hands frequently during the day.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 4-10 and it’s time to get real about the flu and the flu shot. If you get your news from around the Internet, you know there are many theories (and some not true) about the topic. If you want solid information, visit reliable news sources and do your homework.

For instance, just because flu has already started appearing in the state does not mean it’s too late for a flu shot. And just because a person is healthy and isn’t typically bothered by illness or viruses doesn’t mean that’s a reason not to get the vaccination.

Here are some myths (and facts) about flu and flu shots.

Myth: I don’t need the flu vaccine. I’m a healthy person and I hardly ever get sick.

Willis Schlegel, 82, from Pierz, is in the Mille Lacs Health System ambulance garage, getting fake blood applied to his shirt and mouth. Halloween is over and this isn’t for fun. Schlegel  ̶  acting as a patient with an unnamed, possible highly infectious disease  ̶  is helping MLHS with their regional disaster drill.

On Nov. 1, MLHS participated in the drill, held on the Onamia campus and in conjunction with 19 other regional hospitals, local public health, and county emergency managers. The drill was in real-time and involved an “unplanned” situation needing an emergency disaster response.

Mille Lacs Health System held its Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on Thurs., Nov. 10. At the meeting, Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Tom Bracken gave the medical affairs and staff report. New providers Kathy Halbert, C.N.P., and Beth Twite, P.A., were introduced. Dr. Bracken also noted that MLHS has a new visiting Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Michelle Kimman.

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?’”