Northfield Hospice seeks volunteers

This fall, Northfield Hospice is offering a Hospice Volunteer Training to community members who are interested in becoming hospice volunteers. The one-on-one orientation and training are free and open to those who can commit to at least one year of volunteering and are 18 years of age or older.

“As a hospice volunteer, you will join a tight-knit group of committed individuals who serve our community in a very special way,” said Sara Lippert, Northfield Hospice volunteer coordinator. Read more »

Respiratory illnesses are circulating

Hand washing hygiene is the best protection from a variety of respiratory illnesses that are circulating in the community, according to Carol Nassif, Infection Prevention Coordinator for Northfield Hospital & Clinics, including the more virulent Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) that has public health officials concerned.

“In most cases the EV-D68 virus will be self limiting,” Nassif said. “For those who are ill, staying away from others, washing hands frequently, covering their cough, drinking lots of fluids and getting rest will be important.” Read more »

Hospital building projects approved

2014 Hsp Project 1

2014 Hsp Project 2







The Northfield Hospital & Clinics Board of Directors approved $6.7 million in building projects at its regular August meeting, $6.3 million for an endoscopy center and $400,000 for remodeling of Northfield’s FamilyHealth Medical Clinic.

The endoscopy center will require expanding the hospital footprint on the north side by 9,000 square feet. It will provide two endoscopy rooms, another procedure room and additional pre and post-operative room for both endoscopy and surgery. It will also create a common registration and waiting area for endoscopy procedures and surgery. The new space will sit above another 8,000 square feet of unfinished space that will be used for future needs.

The clinic remodeling will provide four additional patient exam rooms, space for a sound booth and offices for referral specialists to meet with patients. The call center will be moved and the waiting area for the lab will be remodeled to address patient privacy issues.

Work is scheduled to begin on both projects this fall. The endoscopy project is expected to be completed in August of 2015, the clinic remodeling by January of 2015.


Grief counselor to talk about ‘reclaiming hope’

Chris Dooley-Harrington, a grief counselor with Fairview Home Care and Hospice, will be the featured speaker at a bereavement informational meeting Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Northfield Hospital Conference Center.

Dooley-Harrington’s talk, “Living after a Loss: Reclaiming hope, joy, and resilience,” is a prelude to an optional six-week grief support group offered by Northfield Hospice. Both events are free and open to the public.

A licensed social worker, Dooley-Harrington works with children, adolescents, and adults who have lost a loved one to death. In addition to individual counseling, she runs support groups, grief education workshops, and mind-body-spirit grief retreats. Read more »

Northfield Hospital & Clinics recognized for staff vaccination rates

Northfield Hospital & Clinics was recognized recently by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high staff vaccination rates for influenza during the 2013-14 flu season.

Eighty-three percent of staff at Northfield Hospital & Clinics was vaccinated last year, earning it a “Red” rating. Ninety-two percent of Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center was vaccinated, earning it a “Blue” rating.

FluSafe program’s goal is to vaccinate all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota against influenza each flue season, except those with medical exemptions. State health officials are concerned that unvaccinated health care workers can pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Carol Nassif, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”

Of the 213 facilities participating in FluSafe this year, 60 reached vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater, 63 reached levels greater than 80 percent, and 57 facilities reached vaccination rates of between 70 and 80 percent. There are approximately 145 hospitals and about 375 nursing homes in the state.

“Northfield Hospital & Clinics’ efforts to vaccinate their employees against flu highlights their dedication to keeping their staff and patients healthy,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control Division at MDH. “Facilities participating in FluSafe—whether they receive a ribbon or not—are key partners in preventing the spread of influenza by increasing health care worker vaccination.”

More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2013-14 facilities earning blue, red and white ribbons, can be found on the MDH website at

Pediatric pulmonology services available

Paolo Pianosi, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist from Mayo Clinic, now sees patients at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic in Northfield.

Dr. Pianosi offers expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and management of children with breathing disorders and lung diseases. His services are provided by Mayo Clinic Outreach.

Kathleen Meier, Clinic Services Administrator for Northfield Hospital & Clinics, said Dr. Pianosi’s practice expands the scope of services offered by FamilyHealth Medical Clinics.

“He will provide a higher level of service closer to home,” she said. “Our pediatric patients will not have to travel as far to get Mayo Clinic’s expert care.”

Dr. Pianosi earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Following his Pediatrics Internship and Residency at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, he completed a Respirology Fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Pianosi is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pediatric and Respiratory Medicine and is also certified in Pediatrics and Pediatrics Pulmonology by the American Board of Pediatrics. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Mayo Clinic.

To request an appointment, contact your primary care provider or call 507-646-1494.




Sixteen from rollover treated at Northfield Hospital

At final count, 16 victims from Wednesday’s single vehicle rollover near Dennison, Minn. were treated at Northfield Hospital Emergency Department yesterday.

Nine were treated and transferred, seven to Hennepin County Medical Center and two to Regions Hospital. One was admitted to Northfield Hospital and six were treated and released.


Northfield Hospital on Orange Alert

Northfield Hospital is on Orange Alert as of 2 p.m. Wednesday in anticipation of receiving 15 patients from a traffic accident.

2:45 p.m.

Patients, all adults, are coming from a single vehicle rollover that occurred in Warsaw Township near Dennison, Minn.



New surgeon joins Northfield Hospital

Dr Katya Ericson 2014General surgeon Katya Ericson, MD, is joining Surgical Care Consultants, P.A., a general surgery practice that serves both Northfield Hospital & Clinics and Allina Medical Clinic.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Ericson comes to Northfield from Hennepin County Medical Center, where she recently completed a five-year residency in general surgery. She will work closely with Jose Fulco, MD, and Chris Nielsen, MD. Read more »

Hospital offers room service dining

Patients at Northfield Hospital now have the option of ordering meals from a restaurant-style menu anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Hot, freshly-prepared food is delivered to their rooms within 45 minutes.

This new program provides a more patient-centered experience for those who stay at Northfield Hospital. Patients will be able to choose from a wide variety of items and not be bound by standard meal times. Specially trained Nutrition Services personnel will assist patients with menu selections to ensure meals comply with physician diet orders.

Patients have breakfast, lunch or dinner available to them any time during the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. window. Breakfast options include scrambled eggs, omelets to order, cereals, fruit, bread and pastries. Lunch and dinner options include salads, soups, build-a-sandwich, hamburgers, turkey burgers and other grill items, roast pork, roast turkey, stir-fry or an herbed chicken breast. There are also provisions for low sodium, heart healthy, diabetic and liquid diets.

Elizabeth Berry, director of Nutrition Services at Northfield Hospital & Clinics, says room service dining puts patients’ needs first and honors their individual circumstances and preferences.

 “When you are hospitalized and not feeling well, you aren’t always hungry at traditional meal times,” Berry said. “This gives patients an element of control and allows them to eat when they are hungry, on their own time table.”


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