Archive for December, 2009

New surgeon joins Northfield practice

General surgeon Christopher Nielsen, MD, FACS, is joining Surgical Care Consultants, P.A., and Jose Fulco, MD, in a general surgery practice that will provide services to both Northfield Hospital & Clinics and Allina Medical Clinic.

Dr. Nielsen comes to Northfield from the Twin Cities, where he has been practicing since 2006 with HealthPartners. Prior to that, he spent 10 years practicing in Stevens Point, Wis.

Certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Nielsen provides a full range of general surgery services, including advanced laparoscopic procedures. He will see patients at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic and perform surgeries at Northfield Hospital. Dr. Fulco will now see patients at both FamilyHealth and Allina Medical Clinic and do surgeries at Northfield Hospital.

“We are delighted to attract a surgeon of Dr. Nielsen’s caliber to Northfield,” said David Oliver, clinic operations administrator with Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “He will be a great complement to Dr. Fulco and provide greater access for patients in our service area.”

A native of Iowa, Dr. Nielsen graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Zoology. He received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He performed his residency in general surgery at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Dr. Nielsen recently completed a fellowship in “surgical critical care” at the University of Minnesota.

New hospital CEO selected

Mark Henke will be the next president and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics.

The hospital board of directors, on a unanimous vote, offered Henke the position December 22. He accepted the next day.

“We are delighted Mark has accepted the position,” said John Lundblad, chair of the board of directors and chair of the executive search committee. “He is an excellent fit based on the criteria the search committee developed for this position. We look forward to working with him to continue the work of providing quality healthcare services to the communities we serve.”

Henke is currently the chief executive officer for Sanford Hospital Luverne in Luverne, Minn. Prior to that he was chief operating officer for Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa (2001-2006), chief clinic administrator for Mayo Health System and a regional administrator for the Mayo-affiliated medical center in LaCrosse. He is a 1981 graduate of St. Olaf College and received an MBA from Northern Illinois University in 1986.

He is expected to assume his new responsibilities around April 1. He succeeds longtime president and CEO Ken Bank, who plans to retire in 2010.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics selects new CEO

    Mark Henke, a hospital administrator for Sanford Hospital Luverne in Luverne, Minn., is the choice of the Northfield Hospital & Clinics Board of Directors to be the next president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the organization.

    Acting on the recommendation of the executive search committee, the board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to extend an offer to Henke.

    “We were impressed with Mark’s background and prior experience and the degree to which he met our criteria for the position,” said John Lundblad, board chair and also chair of the search committee. “He has a broad background in health care administration, an understanding of the special relationships the hospital and clinics have with the communities they serve, and an appreciation for the unique culture of both Northfield and the hospital organization.”

    Henke has been the chief executive officer for Luverne’s 25-bed hospital since 2006. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer for Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa (2001-2006), chief clinic administrator for Mayo Health System and a regional administrator for the Mayo-affiliated medical center in LaCrosse. He is a 1981 graduate of St. Olaf College and received an MBA from Northern Illinois University in 1986.
    If he accepts the position, Henke will succeed longtime president and CEO Ken Bank, who is planning to retire in 2010. Henke would assume his new responsibilities around April 1.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics vaccine not included in the recall

   H1N1 vaccine administered by Northfield Hospital & Clinics this fall is not part of the 800,000 pediatric doses being voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer due to a loss of potency after packaging.

    Public health officials say safety is not an issue in this case. There is concern that stored vaccine from the identified doses — four batches of pre-filled syringes intended for children 6 to 35 months — may not provide the desired protection.

     The manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, discovered a marginal loss of potency as part of its ongoing testing and reported the results to the government last week. Officials say the vaccine provides good protection to children who have already received it. The issue was whether the vaccine inventory from the identified batches would continue to lose potency.
     Children who received the recalled vaccine do not need to be revaccinated, but parents are reminded that all children under 10 years should get the recommended two doses of vaccine with a month interval.

   “The vaccine we received and administered is not the subject of the recall,” said Mary Quinn Crow, vice president and chief operating officer for Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “We will continue to monitor these developments closely, and we encourage people to get the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations when they are available.”

     For more information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/syringes_qa.htm.

    

 

    

     

 

Hospital expands visiting hours

   Northfield Hospital is returning to its standard visiting hours in response to a decline in the number of new H1N1 cases being tracked locally, state-wide and nationally.

   Visiting hours have now returned to the standard 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in all medical areas of the hospital and the Long Term Care Center. Visitors should still use good judgment and stay away if they have cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever or sore throat.

    Public health officials caution that there could be a third wave of H1N1 flu after the holidays. They ask that people remain vigilant in taking precautionary measures to minimize the spread of flu or colds. They advise people to cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow and teach those around you to do the same. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Don’t touch your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

    They also encourage people to get their seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations when they are available to them.

Hospital CEO field narrowed to two

    The two finalists for the position of president and chief executive officer of Northfield Hospital & Clinics will return to Northfield next week for a final round of interviews.

    Mark Henke, a hospital administrator for Sanford Hospital Luverne in Luverne, Minn., and David Graebner, a vice president for Western Wisconsin Services for Regions Hospital/HealthPartners Medical Group in St. Paul, Minn., are scheduled to meet for a second time with the executive search committee appointed by the hospital board of directors. They will also meet the hospital board members, medical staff, hospital staff, the hospital management team, the Northfield City Council and community members during their time here.

      The two are being considered for the position currently held by longtime president and CEO Ken Bank; he is planning to retire in 2010. The search committee invited five candidates from a pool of nearly 60 applicants for interviews in November. Henke and Graebner were selected for return visits.

     The search committee timetable calls for a recommendation to be in front of the board of directors for its consideration on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The new CEO would begin work with Northfield Hospital & Clinics around April 1.

    Each of the two candidates will meet with the hospital board and Northfield City Council for introductions and dialogue during their visits. These are public meetings, and the public is invited to attend.

    The schedule for the Hospital Board – City Council meetings is:

Mark Henke, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Conference Center, Northfield Hospital and

David Graebner, Thursday, Dec. 17, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Conference Center, Northfield Hospital.

    Mark Henke has been the chief executive officer for Luverne’s 25-bed hospital since 2006. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer for Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa (2001-2006), chief clinic administrator for Mayo Health System and a regional administrator for the Mayo-affiliated medical center in LaCrosse. He is a 1981 graduate of St. Olaf College and received an MBA from Northern Illinois University in 1986.

David Graebner has worked for Regions Hospital/HealthPartners Medical Group since 1999. Until June of this year, he served as Vice President of Operations (Regions Hospital) and of the Neuroscience, Orthopaedics, Pathology Division (HealthPartners Medical Group) where he had oversight over a number of hospital ambulatory services as well as physician practices and clinic services. In June of this year, he assumed responsibility for leading service integration between newly acquired Hudson Hospital and Westfields Hospital into HealthPartners/Regions Hospital.

Prior to his work at Regions Hospital and HealthPartners, Graebner worked for Fairview Health System. He is a 1982 graduate of the College of St. Scholastica and received an MBA in 1991 from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.

Dr. Suchomel joins FamilyHealth

   Alice Suchomel, MD,  a Family Medicine physician, started her practice at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic in Farmington in early December.

    Dr. Suchomel comes to FamilyHealth Medical Clinic from Cannon Falls Medical Center – Mayo Health System, where she has practiced for the past 10 years. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. She performed her residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester. In addition, she holds a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

     Dr. Suchomel sees patients of all ages. Her professional interests are in the areas of chronic disease management, preventive care and emergency care.

    “I really enjoy being a family physician,” she said. “It makes my job extremely rewarding to be able to ‘walk’ through time with my patients as I manage their healthcare.”

    She joins a practice that includes Dan Faber, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics; April Fitzloff, PA; Family Medicine; and Mary Wild Crea, MD; Pediatrics. Visiting specialists include: Deb Suppes, MD, and Christine Braun, OB/GYN specialists; and Robert Shepley, MD, and Brad Wille, MD, orthopaedic surgeons.

     For an appointment call, 651-460-2300.

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