Hospital approves donation to city

Northfield Hospital & Clinics is offering to fund the City of Northfield’s recreation program for the next four years.

The Board of Directors approved its intent to make the donation at its February meeting and approved a formal document outlining the terms of the donation March 21.

The board said it will guarantee $107,000 for 2013 and 2014 and increase that to $110,315 for 2015 and 2016, based on the hospital’s financial performance. The board said it would honor the donation in years three and four, if the hospital’s net operating income is $2 million or more.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics underwrote the city’s recreation program in 2012 and wanted to provide the city some certainty of its commitment going forward.

Gina Franklin, board chair, said the plan is a responsible way to support a community wellness initiative without eroding the hospital’s ability to adequately fund its medical services, its primary mission.

“This basically aligns with the priorities we talk about in our mission statement,” said Franklin. “Our first order of business is to provide quality health care services. Our second is to promote health improvement in the communities we serve.”

The city’s recreation program is administered and coordinated by Northfield Public School’s Community Services Division.

Dr. P.J. Flynn receives national honor

The Association of Community Cancer Centers recently recognized Patrick J. Flynn, MD, a hematologist-oncologist with Minnesota Oncology and a longtime medical provider at Northfield Hospital, for his leadership in clinical cancer research.

Dr. Flynn received the David King Community Clinical Scientist Award at the 39th national meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers in Washington, DC March 8. Award winners are physicians who have demonstrated leadership in the development, participation and evaluation of clinical studies and/or are active in developing new screening, risk assessment, treatment or supportive care programs for cancer patients. 

Dr. Flynn has been vigorously engaged in clinical research for many years, having served as principal investigator for many Metro-Minnesota CCOP and NCI clinical trials.  Clinical trial accruals have risen from 50-500 patients per year under Dr. Flynn’s leadership, achieving success through a consortium of physicians, clinics and hospitals that cover the entire metropolitan Twin Cities and beyond.

 “My goal has been to take the research to where people live rather than expect people to travel to the research,” said Dr. Flynn. “I plan to continue my efforts to promote cooperative research by playing a direct role at the national groups.”  

 Dr. Flynn is familiar to many families in the Northfield area. He has been seeing patients in Northfield since 1986. He currently sees patients in clinic at Northfield Hospital’s Cancer Care & Infusion Center each week.

Long Term Care to participate in learning collaborative

Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center has joined Stratis Health in a campaign to ensure every nursing home resident receives the highest quality care.

The Long Term Care Center will be a collaborative partner in a campaign called Acting Together to Achieve Excellence (ATTAX). Its aim is to introduce Minnesota nursing homes to quality and performance improvement practices designed to attack and eliminate healthcare acquired conditions and to improve resident satisfaction.

Supporting the development of strategies for overall quality will be at the heart of this work, as well as specific emphasis and resources for improving dementia care and preventing pressure ulcers, falls and urinary tract infections. Successes and best practices from the group will be shared with the Minnesota nursing home community over the next few years.

Tammy Hayes, Division Administrator for Nursing and Long Term Care Center administrator for Northfield Hospital & Clinics, says participation in this campaign reflects the organization’s commitment to continuous improvement.

“We are very proud of the quality of care we provide our residents,” she said. “We have a long history of providing excellent care, but we are always looking for new ways to improve.”

Jane Pederson, MD, director, medical affairs for Stratis Health, said the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid have made transformational quality improvement a priority across this country.

“This is such exciting work that we are able to continue as the quality improvement organization with nursing homes in Minnesota,” Dr. Pederson said.

The work is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and is being led by Stratis Hewalth, Minnesota’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.


Resolving joint pain: The latest options

Erik Stroemer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, will be presenting “Resolving Joint Pain: The latest options” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Village Common Senior Apartments in Elko New Market. 

Dr. Stroemer, who sees patients at the FamilyHealth Medical Clinic in Lakeville and performs surgeries at Northfield Hospital, will address the wide range of treatments available for people who suffer from joint pain. He will speak about available medications, supplements, injections, rehabilitation and the critical factors that point to a total joint replacement.

The presentation is free of charge. Refreshments will be served. 

For information call FamilyHealth Medical Clinic at 952-469-0500.

Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic and FamilyHealth Medical Clinic are owned and operated by Northfield Hospital & Clinics.


Flu outbreak requires caution

Healthcare providers are seeing a widespread outbreak of influenza in our communities. We have individuals admitted to our hospital and being treated for the flu. FamilyHealth Medical Clinics and the Emergency Department are seeing many  patients with flu symptoms, which include fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches, it is important to note Influenza symptoms come on quickly. These symptoms can be severe and put you in bed for several days 

Community members are advised not to visit friends or relatives in the hospital if you have a fever or a cough.

  • 1)   Stay home when ill.
  • 2)   Cover your cough
  • 3)   Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • 4)   Treat symptoms with over the counter medications.
  • 5)   Only individuals at high risk of complications (over age 65, under age 2, pregnant women or those with chronic diseases)  should seek prescribed medication treatment such as antiviral (Tamiflu).


 All healthy visitors are reminded to:

  • 1) Clean your hands after arriving and before departing;
  • 2) Use a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze;
  • 3) Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.


It is not too late to be vaccinated for the seasonal flu. Appointments can be made at any of our clinics for a flu vaccination.

New home care, hospice director named

Kathy Blomquist, RN, BSN, MA, has been named director of Northfield Home Care and Northfield Hospice, services of Northfield Hospital & Clinics (NH&C).

Blomquist comes to NH&C with an extensive background in home care and hospice services, oncology nursing and end-of-life care. She has worked in hospice related services in Albert Lea, Owatonna and Faribault. Most recently, she served as a parish nurse in Owatonna. Read more »

Holiday Donation Station fuels holiday spirit

Northfield Hospital & Clinics’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) gave Santa a helping hand last week with its first annual Holiday Donation Station.

EMS staff invited community members to donate toys, non-perishable food items, books, outerwear and cash at a special open house on November 24.  During a five-hour period, community members donated 93 clothing items (coats, gloves, clothes, hats); 165 toys; 80 food items; and $55 worth of gift cards.

Brian Edwards, EMS manager, said two-thirds of the toys will be donated to Toys for Tots; all other items will go to Christmas Sharing or the Northfield Food Shelf.

Edwards thanked KYMN radio, Northfield News, Ace hardware, and, as well as the employees of Northfield Hospital EMS, Northfield Police Department, and Northfield Fire Department for their help in staging this event.

“Most importantly, I want to thank the people who donated,” Edwards said. “Their generosity will make the holidays brighter for our neighbors who are facing financial challenges this year.”

EMS will also be accepting donations in downtown Northfield on Thursday, Dec. 6, during Winter Walk. 

Pictured left to right back row:

Josh Hall – Northfield Hospital EMT and Northfield Fire Department firefighter,  Santa, Rich Bailey-Northfield Police Department, Nick Londowski-Northfield Hospital paramedic.

Pictured let to right front row:

Bennett Edwards (son of Brian Edwards-EMS Manager), Gabe Schoephoerster, Jazmin Brown (daughter of Norfield Hospital paramedic Amy Brown), Gunnar Johnson (son of Northfield Hospital paramedic Joe Johnson), Roman Schoephoerster (Roman & Gabe are sons of Northifeld Hospital EMT Rebecca Schoephoerster)

City Council affirms city ownership model

The Northfield City Council adopted a resolution November 13 affirming the city’s continued ownership of Northfield Hospital & Clinics.

The declaration was based on a recommendation from the joint City-Hospital Task Force after several months of study. The task force said in its recommendation that a formal declaration of its finding is important to provide stability and clarity to both NH&C and the community. Read more »

Hospital contacting patients about suspect medications

Northfield Hospital & Clinics is actively contacting patients who may have received either of two medications manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC), a Massachusetts pharmaceutical firm linked to a recent outbreak of fungal meningitis.

The medications, Nubain 10 mg/ml injectable, and Lidocaine/Epinephrine/Tetracaine Gel, have been used at Northfield Hospital & Clinics since June of 2012. Hospital officials say fewer than 125 patients received either of the medications in question.

The two medications have not been linked directly to the fungal meningitis outbreak, but following an inspection of the NECC, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) said the sterility of any injectable drugs produced by the firm is of significant concern. The FDA said: “out of an abundance of caution, patients who received these products should be alerted to the potential risk of infection.”

Fungal infections are difficult to diagnose. They often take many months to produce signs of infection. Patients who have received the medications are asked to watch for these signs:

  •        Fever greater than 100 Degrees Fahrenheit
  •         Fatigue
  •         Malaise
  •         Localized redness, swelling or warmth at injection
  •         Neck stiffness.

If patients exhibit these symptoms, they are advised to see their medical provider.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics has never used the steroid medication linked to the fungal meningitis  outbreak. All products made by NECC have been recalled and pulled from the shelves at Northfield Hospital & Clinics.

If you have any concerns regarding these medications, please call Northfield Hospital at 507-646-1000.

Suspect steroid not used at Northfield Hospital

Northfield Hospital & Clinics has never purchased or administered the steroid medication linked to a recent outbreak of fungal meningitis.

One hundred five cases of the disease and eight related deaths have been reported in nine states as of earlier this week. Three cases have been reported in Minnesota. None has resulted in a death

All of these cases are associated with a specific steroid medication produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Mass. Public health officials fear the medication — methylprednisolone acetate — is contaminated and may be the cause of the fungal meningitis outbreak.

Medical officials at Northfield Hospital & Clinics said they do not use the steroid medication produced by NECC.

The Centers for Disease Control and state public health departments are actively coordinating outreach to patients who have been exposed to this potentially contaminated medication. NECC has voluntarily recalled the three lots of the medicine linked to the infections. Public health officials say there is no evidence, at this time, that the infections are related to other NECC products.

If patients have questions about this matter, they are advised to contact their primary care provider.


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