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.


Hospital receives award of excellence

Northfield Hospital & Clinics (NH&C) has been recognized with a Path To Excellence award by National Research Corporation, a national leader in the study and measurement of patient experience.

NH&C was recognized for Most Improved Facilities in the category of hospitals with fewer than 100 beds based on patient surveys returned this past year. The percentage increase of medical, surgical and childbirth patients who ranked NH&C among the best hospitals was one of the highest in this category.     Read more »

Quinn Crow to serve as interim hospital CEO

The Northfield Hospital & Clinics has hired Mary Quinn Crow, its former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, to serve as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer until a permanent replacement for Mark Henke is found.

 Henke died August 31 during surgery related to his renal cancer. Tim Gronseth, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has been serving as the Acting President and CEO. The board said Quinn Crow’s knowledge of the organization and understanding of its mission made her a logical choice. Her hiring will allow Gronseth to concentrate on his duties as chief financial officer.

 Quinn Crow retired in May after 32 years with Northfield Hospital & Clinics, the last 17 in an executive administrative role. She will begin her work on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

 The board also approved plans to begin the process of selecting a permanent President and CEO. They expect it will take about six months

Personal loss sparks fundraiser

Annette Frandrup’s sudden death due to cardiac arrest left her family devastated. At 53, this vibrant, mother, grandmother and professional businesswoman had a lot of living to do.

Nine months later, her husband, Jim Frie, wants to do something in her memory that might spare another family a similar tragedy. He is launching a campaign in her honor to purchase a Lucas automatic CPR device for Northfield Hospital & Clinics. It costs $15,000, but he considers it an investment in life. Read more »

Hospital’s Breast Care Center offers spa experience

Northfield Hospital’s Breast Care Center is offering a “mini-spa experience” with every mammogram scheduled on10 dedicated days in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Those scheduling mammograms October 1,2, 9,10,16,17,25,26, 29 and 30 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. will be treated to a mini-massage, complimentary specialty beverages and treats, and a parting gift. Read more »

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