April is Occupational Therapy Month!

Each year in April, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students in practice, education, research, and science host a month long celebration showcasing the importance of Occupational Therapy. It’s the time of year when everyone in the profession goes out of their way to tell the world about what we do. But promoting our profession is not just an April job.

Book sale donations begin April 6

The Northfield Hospital Auxiliary will hold its 53rd annual Great Northfield, Minnesota Book Raid Tuesday, April 22, through Saturday, April 26, at the Northfield Ice Arena, and it needs your books.

Donations of books, DVDs and CDs can be made at the ice arena, beginning Sunday, April 6. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6; 9 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 7-11; 10 to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12; 9 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 14-18; and 9 to noon Saturday, April 19.

The sale, itself, begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. Sale hours will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 23 – April 25; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Friday all books are 50 percent off. Saturday morning is the bag sale ($5 per bag) from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. all remaining books are free.

Over the years the book fair has raised more than three quarters of a million dollars. It is used to support projects at Northfield Hospital & Clinics and other community health initiatives. This year, the hospital auxiliary is dedicating funds raised from the book fair to the expanded Cancer Care & Infusion Center at Northfield Hospital.

Restore, Replenish, Renew service April 6

A service of inspiration and renewal for caregivers, featuring music, prayer and music meditation, will be Sunday, April 6, 4 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield.

Called “Restore, Replenish, Renew,” the service is designed for anyone who is providing care or services to persons in need. This includes family caregivers, nurses, physicians, healthcare workers, therapists, clergy and volunteers.

The service will include a litany for healing, hymn singing, harp music, and readings. Lois Lindbloom, a spiritual director and licensed psychologist (L.P.M.A.), will offer the meditation. Local musicians John Ferguson, Elinor Niemisto and Jenny Pelletier will provide music and accompaniment.

Anointing of hands will be included in the service.  Anointing is an age-old tradition of the Christian church. Historically oil or myrrh was used to make the sign of the cross (or nowadays a heart or the Star of David) on the person‘s forehead, hands, or both. Words of blessing and healing are spoken.

Following the service there will be refreshments and a time for fellowship.  Hand or back massage will be offered free of charge by local practitioners.  A limited number of prayer shawls will be available for caregivers.

“Restore, Replenish, Renew” was initiated in 2000 by a local network of parish nurses, who wanted to offer a worship service that would reinvigorate the spiritual side of those who provided prolonged care-giving.

Northfield Retirement Community, Three Links, Northfield Area Interfaith Association and Northfield Hospital & Clinics are sponsoring the service.

Northfield Hospital recognized for reducing early elective deliveries

Northfield Hospital’s First Touch Birth Center was recently recognized by the March of Dimes and Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for its commitment to reducing early elective deliveries.

Research shows that important development takes place for a baby’s brain and lungs during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Yet according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), early elective deliveries — which include inductions and planned Cesarean sections that are not medically necessary — still account for 10 to 15 percent of all deliveries nationally.

Hospitals in Minnesota and across the nation are working to end elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation. Minnesota passed a law in 2012 requiring hospitals to implement policies and processes to minimize non-medically necessary early inductions. Northfield Hospital was one of 35 Minnesota hospitals recognized by MHA’s Partnership for Patients program for reducing the rate of early elective deliveries to 5 percent or less in 2013.

Annette Sheldon, RN, director of First Touch Birth at Northfield Hospital, said the birth center has had such a policy in place for almost 10 years.

Last year, 548 babies were delivered at Northfield Hospital. None of these were scheduled for an induction or Cesarean birth before 39 weeks without a medical indication.

“Occasionally women may request early elective deliveries for social reasons or because they are uncomfortable,” Sheldon said. “However, we find that when they are made aware of the data showing that babies have fewer complications when they are born after 39 weeks, they are usually happy to wait.”

Sheldon said babies born electively before 39 weeks are more likely to have breathing issues, difficulty feeding, and jaundice, and they may have a longer hospital stay.

Through its Partnership for Patients program, Minnesota Hospital Association provides education and technical assistance for members to improve on quality health care initiatives and foster a culture of safety in Minnesota hospitals.

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This is ‘congenital heart defect’ awareness week

A congenital heart defect (CHD) seems like an exotic, anomalous medical condition. Yet, each year it claims more children’s lives than all childhood cancers combined. And CHD remains the leading cause of all birth-defect related deaths

Forty thousand babies are born with CHD each year. The cost of care is staggering. Approximately 25 percent of those born with CHD will need surgery or other complex interventions to survive.

In 2009, roughly $1.5 billion was spent in the United States alone on 27,000 hospital stays for children treated primarily for CHD. The hospital cost for roughly 12,000 adults with CHD was at least $280 million.

Because of improvements in early diagnosis and care, more CHD patients are surviving. Advocacy groups estimate between two and three million people in the United States are living with this condition.

To raise more awareness about CHD and its cost to families and society , the week of February 7-14 has been declared Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Gov. Mark Dayton lent his support to the campaign by signing a state proclamation acknowledging this initiative. In the proclamation, he said it provides an opportunity for families to share their experiences and knowledge of CHD and to build awareness.

 Ben Flannery, MD, a pediatrician and medical director for FamilyHealth Medical Clinics, says early diagnosis is critical to improving outcomes for those born with heart defects. For the past eight years, Northfield Hospital’s First Touch Birth Center has been testing infants’ oxygenation, a key indicator of the heart’s performance, at the mother’s bedside. If readings are consistently below a threshold an echocardiogram is performed in the nursery.

 “Early identification of congenital heart defects is the key to avoiding severe and life threatening medical complications in these newborn babies,” said Dr. Flannery. “At Northfield Hospital, we use pulse oximetry testing on all newborns to help identify abnormalities that may not otherwise be apparent on a standard newborn physical exam.”

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Reading to kids has many benefits

Reading to children — even infants — is a great way to increase their brain development, enhance their language skills and put them on a path to academic success.

Kelly Meyer, DO, a pediatrician with FamilyHealth Medical Clinic, says reading is a great way to support children’s intellectual and emotional development.

“Reading has so many benefits,” she said. “It strengthens the parent-child bond while aiding the cognitive development that will serve them for a lifetime.”

When parents read to their children, Dr. Meyer says, they are building pathways in the brain that are critical to successful reading experiences. Reading also helps children develop auditory perception that allows them to think about how words sound.  It increases their attention spans and their ability to focus to what is being said. And, reading makes children more curious.

So much of the intelligence children will ultimately have is developed before they even get to kindergarten. By the time babies reach their first birthday, they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk.

According to Dr. Meyer, hearing words helps to build a rich network of words in a baby’s brain. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.

When parents read to their children, they hear many different emotions and expressive sounds, which foster social and emotional development. Reading also invites infants to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. Infants improve language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words.

Reading to young children is one of the very best things parents can do for them, Dr. Meyer said.

“The touch, the voice recognition, all the love and attention packaged in the act of reading is a big plus for kids,” she said.

EMT Initital Training Course begins in February

Northfield Hospital & Clinics Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is offering Part Two of the Emergency Medical Technician Initial Training course this winter and spring.  Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians practical and written exams.

The course begins Tuesday, Feb. 18. Classes will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings and some Saturday afternoons throughout the late winter and spring at EMS base headquarters, 1600 Riverview Drive, Northfield.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 4. Registration information is available at The cost is $1,050. The full amount is due at the time of registration.

For more information, contact Brian Edwards, manager of Northfield Hospital & Clinics EMS department, at 507-646-1444.


New Family Physician Coming to Lakeville

Dr Alice MannDr. Alice Mann joins FamilyHealth

 Alice Mann, MD, a Family Medicine physician, has joined FamilyHealth Medical Clinic, a service of Northfield Hospital & Clinics.

Beginning January 27, Dr. Mann will see a full range of patients at FamilyHealth’s Lakeville clinic. Her physician services are provided by Mayo Clinic Health System.

Dr. Mann is board certified in Family Medicine. She received her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and performed her residency with Mayo Clinic Health System in LaCrosse, Wis. She has a special interest in women’s health, geriatrics, pediatric and adolescent care, management of chronic diseases, and sports medicine

Dr. Mann says she went into medicine to make a difference in the lives of people. A solid relationship built on trust and mutual respect is the foundation of good medical care, she says.

International health is one of her passions. She has spent time providing medical care in under-served populations around the world.

FamilyHealth Medical Clinic provides both primary and specialty healthcare through partnerships with a variety of premier providers. Specialties include pediatrics; orthopedics; OB/GYN; ear, nose and throat; and general surgery. It also offers Urgent Care at its Lakeville clinic.

For an appointment with Dr. Mann, call FamilyHealth Medical Clinic at 952-469-0500.

Emergency Medical Technician Class


Initial Certification Course:

Emergency Medical Technician (Completion Course).   This is PART TWO of the EMT Initial course.

Students must already be a Nationally Registered EMR; orhave successfully completed NH&C EMS – EMR refresher (and possess a current EMSRB registration as a FR/EMR);  or have successfully completed NH&C EMS – EMR Initial course flyer 6037-14-2


New Year’s Baby born

 Ashleigh James Madson, daughter of Christy and Greg Madson of Farmington, is Northfield Hospital’s 2014 New Year’s Baby. She arrived at 12:28 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 21 inches. Ashleigh is the Madsons’ first child.

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