Helping Our Growing Area Grow Healthier
Pages 4 & 5
No. 1 in Overall Patient Satisfaction
No. 1 in Obstetrics Patient Satisfaction
No. 3 in Imaging Patient Satisfaction
The Presidentʼs Perspective
We are thankful for an abundance of gifts
As we enter the holiday season and 2007 comes to a While we are appreciative of our many gifts and have
close, it provides us with a great opportunity to reflect on reason to celebrate our successes, our healthcare team con-
the many gifts and blessings of this past year. At the same tinues to work hard to do great things as you will discover
time, the New Year brings excitement as we envision the in this issue of the HealthLine. Dr. Dan Smith has added a
future of healthcare for the patients we serve. new service to The Center for Weight Management by
One of the many things to be thankful for has been the offering the LAP-BAND® procedure. Dr. Smith has now
gifts and talents of our health care team. Our physicians, done approximately 1,700 bariatric surgeries with excellent
employees, volunteers, and other members of our medical results, making the program at St. Joseph’s one of the best
staff have done an outstanding job of providing high quali- and most respected in the entire region.
ty services as evidenced by our #1 ranking in patient satis- Our new “At Your Service” program is now being
faction within Catholic Health Initiatives for both inpatient offered by our nutrition services staff. This room service
and maternity care. In addition, our radiology staff cele- program for patient meals gives patients the option to use a
brated a #3 ranking for their dedication to patient satisfac- menu to select a meal that they would prefer. Good nutri-
tion. It is a privilege to be part of a team that is so dedicat- tion is an important part of the healing process and another
ed and committed to providing such a high level of service example of our commitment to creating a good healing
every day. environment and a positive experience for our patients.
We continue to be very excited about the new addition You will also read about the importance of having an
and renovations taking place at the hospital which will Advance Directive in place (formerly referred to as a
include a number of improvements. Most notably a new “Living Will”). Consider this as a gift to your family in the
clinic that is being constructed in partnership with Dakota event that anything should happen and you are unable to let
Clinic, a new entrance and lobby area, expanded emer- them know your healthcare desires. This gift from you
gency, outpatient and surgery services, and a newly remod- relieves them of the burden of having to decide for you.
eled inpatient unit. This work is progressing well with visu- Get inspired by the story of eighth graders who led a
al changes now taking place on the south side of the build- campaign to address childhood obesity through a grant
ing as steel continues to be erected. We anticipate full received by St. Joseph’s Community Health. They were
enclosure of the building by the end of February, which will asked to share their experience during the State Community
coincide fairly closely to the completion of the first of Health Convention and did a wonderful job representing
many phases of hospital remodeling that will take place the community of Park Rapids.
over the next 18 months. Finally, I would like to congratulate Sharon Mortrud. I
We are grateful for all of the generous financial gifts had the privilege of attending her installation as the new
from our supporters to help make our vision a reality. In President of Health Care Auxiliary of Minnesota. She
particular, I need to express our gratitude to our Foundation recently finished her term as President of St. Joseph’s
Board, Capital Campaign Committee members, and St. Auxiliary and did a great job providing leadership and sup-
Joseph’s Auxiliary who have committed countless hours to port to that group.
ensuring the success of our fundraising efforts. As 2007 Thank you for allowing us to serve you this past year.
comes to an end, we continue to invite area residents to We look forward to caring for you and your family in 2008.
consider giving a tax deductible gift that On behalf of St. Joseph’s Area Health Services, I wish you
will continue to benefit friends and a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
family for generations to come.
“Helping our growing area grow healthier”
St. Joseph ’s Ar ea Health Ser vices
600 Pleasant Ave.
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Jo int Co m m issio n
Go ld Seal o f Ap p ro val
American Society for Bariatric
Ben Koppelman, Surgery Center of Excellence
Newsletter contact: Cynthia Rooney, Communication/Development Manager
Bariatrics expands to include LAP-BAND ®
With training and certification com-
plete, St. Joseph’s Area Health Services
and Dakota Clinic surgeon, Dr. Dan
Smith, now offers the LAP-BAND®
System procedure as an option for
Patients at The Center for Weight
Management (named a Center of
Excellence by the American Society for
Bariatric Surgery) already have a range For more information,
Dr. Dan Smith
of choices when dealing with obesity please call 218-237-
issues. They include the Roux en-Y 5757 or 1-800-566-
gastric bypass surgery, considered the 3311.
gold standard bariatric industry and is
one in which Dr. Smith stands out with
success rates above the national average,
the non-surgical LEARN Program, and a
weight management program geared for youth called, such as Dr. Smith to change the stoma size by adding or
“Healthy ’n Fit Kids.” subtracting saline. The diameter of the band can be modi-
Advantages for the LAP-BAND® surgery, for which fied to meet individual needs.
patients must be screened to qualify, include: The procedure is reversible with the stomach and other
� It is the least invasive surgical option. anatomy generally being restored to their original forms
� There is no intestinal re-routing, cutting or stapling and functions. The LAP-BAND® is to be used as a tool to
of the stomach wall or bowel. help patients achieve their weight-loss goals.
� Reduced pain, length of hospital stay, and recovery The Center for Weight Management has support groups
period. and services in place to help patients adhere to wise eating
The LAP-BAND® System uses an adjustable gastric habits and exercise routines.
band placed around the upper part of the stomach which is
then filled with saline. This creates a new, smaller stom-
ach pouch that holds only a small amount of food.
Once in place, an access port fixed beneath the skin of
the abdomen allows LAP-BAND®-certified physicians
’Tis the season to give before changes Sharon Mortrud
to IRA, charitable giving take effect installed as Minnesota’s
Time is running out. Protection Act can make outright gifts
Individuals, Ages 70 and a half or using IRA funds without tax complica- After handing
older can make a charitable donation of tions so long as they transfer the dona- over the reigns of St.
$100,000 or less by transferring their tion directly from the IRA to the chari- Joseph’s Hospital
gifts directly from an IRA or Rollover ty. Donors may not personally take pos- Auxiliary to Joyce
IRA on or before Dec. 31, 2007. session of the withdrawn funds and Cowman, Sharon
They can do so without paying then make the donation to a charity at a Mortrud of Park
income tax on that amount under the different time. In that instance, they Rapids immediately
Pension Protection Act of 2006. would no longer qualify for the tax-free stepped into a role as Sharon
Cynthia Rooney, St. Joseph’s benefit. president of Health Mortrud
Communication/Development The law remains in effect until the Care Auxiliary of Minnesota
Manager, reminds anyone wishing to Dec. 31 date, so talk with your financial (HCAM), a post formerly held by
make a donation on behalf of the reno- advisor or Rooney at 218-237-5711 to Pat Light. During her term,
vation and building project currently learn more about giving opportunities Mortrud will help give HCAM’s
underway can benefit by getting their through St. Joseph’s Foundation and members support as they work to
contributions in before the year’s end. Building Campaign. enhance healthcare facilities
Those who qualify under the Pension across the state.
St. Joseph’s puts patien
It’s not always the big things that make the difference,
it’s the small ones, says Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph’s
Area Health Services President/CEO.
When it comes to patient satisfaction, St. Joseph’s
Area Health Services surely made enough of those small
touches in a big enough way. St. Joseph’s once again
earned national first-place honors for its award-winning
care this year.
Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) named St. Joseph’s a
Top Ten Hospital within its system. The designation goes
to hospitals with the highest ranking in inpatient care,
obstetrics, emergency, same-day surgery, and imaging
Further, St. Joseph’s placed first in the nation for both
inpatient and obstetrics patient satisfaction. Services pro-
vided through the imaging department also took a third In addition, Haagenson says St. Joseph’s pays a lot of
place for patient satisfaction. The awards are based on the attention to quality care and improved patient safety and
fiscal year care provided from July 1, 2006 through June outcome for patients.
30, 2007. “One of the things that impressed me about St.
(Earlier this year, St. Joseph’s learned it placed first in Joseph’s when I came to work here two years ago was the
the country for Overall Inpatient Satisfaction as well as emphasis placed around quality initiatives,” she says.
Overall Employee Satisfaction by HealthStream (Many of these initiatives are endorsed by the “100K
Research.) Lives Saved” campaign in which St. Joseph’s partici-
Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph’s President/CEO, gives pates.) “There are a number of initiatives being imple-
high praise to staff who worked to provide that award- mented throughout the country, and St. Joseph’s partici-
winning care. pates in just about every one of them.”
“Consistently doing the little things for our patients on These efforts back St. Joseph’s choice to implement
a daily basis, that personal touch, is what separates us “evidence-based” practice around quality care, she notes.
from others. Our staff takes pride in their work,” he con- “Another thing I really appreciate about working at St.
tinues. “It’s easy to provide a high level of patient care Joseph’s is that everybody cares that the patient experi-
when it’s convenient or when there’s time to do so. Our ence is a positive one,” Haagenson says.
staff does so consistently. They take a step back and do
their very best to give the patient the time and care they Inpatient satisfaction
need.” The term “inpatient” as it is discussed here, refers to
Physician care is also a part of that equation, he adds. the intensive care unit, medical / surgery / pediatrics /
St. Joseph’s is fortunate to have a great medical staff bariatrics (2nd floor), and obstetrics. The inpatient satis-
committed to patient satisfaction. faction first place honors in the CHI system as well as
In fact, the entire staff plays a role in this success, HealthStream’s national top ranking indicates the bar has
even the ones that may not necessarily experience patient been set high for patient satisfaction standards.
interaction. Sonda Tolle, Med./Surg. Manager, thinks a culture has
“We view patient satisfaction in our organization as been created and nurtured within St. Joseph’s organiza-
the role of every single employee,” he says. “It takes a tion that is centered around its core values: excellence,
complete effort by all of our staff. Everybody. Without integrity, reverence and compassion.
them we wouldn’t be able to get top results.” “All of the staff from every department really embrace
those core values and implement them on a daily basis,”
Quality care Tolle says. “I think that’s why our patients receive such
Deb Haagenson, St. Joseph’s Patient Care Vice excellent care.”
President, believes St. Joseph’s standout performance in She also believes the efforts by staff in regard to quali-
patient satisfaction can be partially attributed to concen- ty initiatives and patient safety goals contribute to
trated initiatives directed towards service excellence and patients’ satisfaction.
work from department teams to keep patient survey “My staff is a great group of people that work well
scores strong and improve on them when possible. together and with a collaborative spirit,” Tolle says. “Not
nts first, patients agree
only do they work well amongst themselves, they really
work well with every department that touches the
patient.” That includes dietary, lab, imaging, surgery,
housekeeping, maintenance, and etc.
“The reason we are number one in inpatient satisfac-
tion is because we value teamwork,” she says. “Working
together really makes a difference, and the staff has
embraced this philosophy.”
Janine Brostrom, Obstetrics Manager, wasn’t all that
surprised that the maternity care provided at St. Joseph’s
took first place in the CHI system.
“There are a lot of hospitals that we are compared
against, but our patient satisfaction numbers have been
consistently high,” she says. In addition, she tries to meet
with every parent prior to their discharge or gives them a
follow-up call by phone to make sure they are satisfied
St. Joseph’s also carries the optimum nurse/patient
by the care received. She expects all patients and babies
ratio for expectant mothers. They receive one-on-one care
to get excellent care.
during labor and the first few hours after delivery. This
“I feel as though the patients are recognizing we do
exceeds industry standards.
have a really good staff here, and our practice is good,”
In addition, a core group of physicians have indicated
Brostrom says. “It feels like we’ve met their needs;
a special desire to practice in the obstetrics field and are
maybe even exceeded them.”
very engaged in that process.
One area Brostrom especially looks at with obstetrics
Looking at the bigger picture, Brostrom says it takes a
patients is their satisfaction with pain control -- a tough
team effort to be able “to provide the excellent maternity
thing in labor and delivery since pain is a given while
care that we give.”
giving birth. Her desire is that patients are educated about
“I really feel like the entire hospital contributes to the
what they can expect and know their plan.
total patient experience,” Brostrom says.
Labor and delivery staff comprise a big part of the
obstetrics equation. Patients can feel even better knowing Imaging
the high level of training that is expected of staff in order Technology is the giant in the room when a patient
to carry out their jobs successfully. enters the radiology department. Staying current with
Neonatal resuscitation courses, advanced fetal moni- advances in medicine is certainly a goal at St. Joseph’s,
toring education, workshops and continuing education but there is more to it, says Joel Danielson, Imaging
keep obstetric nurses at a high skill set. Manager.
“A patient can’t tell if a test is going well, but they can
tell how the staff responds to them and how well they
feel welcomed by the staff,” he says.
That personal touch (or “the small things” that mean
so much) can help put patients at ease during tests or pro-
cedures being conducted. That kind of service brought
them third place honors within the CHI system.
“It’s the friendliness of the staff, their willingness to
put themselves in the place of the patients and understand
where the patient is coming from that has set us apart,”
Danielson says. “And it’s happening all of the time.”
“Our staff has made the extra effort, and it really
shows,” he says. “I'm proud of them. It’s been a team
effort, everyone wants to do well and is interested in
(from left) Julie
At Your Service
St. Josephʼs implements room service program
Choices, choices. The hot beef sandwich and gravy foods they like or hear any concerns they may have.
sounds good, but so does pizza. Mostly what they hear from patients is how much they
For a sick patient who is having trouble with their appreciate the new service and are grateful for having
appetite, sometimes having a choice from a menu, been given the choice.
depending on how they’re feeling, can make the differ- One woman went so far as to tease the food service
ence in getting them to eat and restoring their energy. employees that she wasn’t going to leave. She was rather
St. Joseph’s Area Health Services brought a room pleased by the extra attention and care.
service style approach to hungry patients July 1. “That’s why we’re in this business,” Foster adds. “To
Depending on particular diet needs, patients can now care for patients.”
order room service from their beds and have a menu With the former system, food staff wouldn’t have like-
from which they can select their meals. ly gotten this kind of feedback.
For instance, instead of a one-size-fits-all meal con- “On the tray line they never saw the faces of the
sisting of soup and a sandwich for lunch, patients can patients they were cooking for, they never really knew if
now specify which soup they would prefer from the the patient liked it or what they could do to improve the
menu and what type of sandwich to go with it. service,” she says.
Patients on special diets get to make choices as well Today they hear. Patient response has been “fabulous,
depending on their medical needs. Diabetics can order unbelievable,” Foster says. They have been more than
from a color-coded menu called the “Consistent grateful for having the choice.
Carbohydrate” diet. Monica Foster, Nutrition Services The new “At Your Service” program at St. Joseph’s
Manager, says this menu also serves as a good teaching was modeled after a similar service offered in
tool for patients. Breckenridge. Foster took staff there to see the operation
For those with heart-related conditions, there’s also a in action. St. Joseph’s kitchen was later revamped so staff
cardiac diet menu with selection that include low-choles- could increase efficiency and get orders to patients as
terol and low-salt options. quickly as possible. It may not be easier for staff, but the
The new program has been overwhelmingly success- rewards are greater and create an energetic sense of team-
ful; both for patients and staff. The personal, added touch work in the kitchen. That, along with the smiles of appre-
enhances patient satisfaction and allows interaction ciation from patients, makes the extra effort worthwhile.
between the patient and food service team. So, the choice is up to the patients now. If you’re like
Nurses no longer deliver the meals for the most part the woman in her 90’s who ordered the strawberry short-
which means they have more time to attend to nursing cake and ice cream for all of her meals, you should prob-
duties, while food service employees get to interact with ably expect a visit from a nutritionist, otherwise what you
patients, get to know them, and find out what kinds of want is what you get. Bon appetite!
Advanced directives give you a voice in the event
you are unable to let your healthcare choices be heard
A hot pink envelope in the hands of local healthcare
providers sends a clear message. It contains contents of
your clearly-stated wishes and directives as to the level of
lifesaving measures you would want your healthcare agents
to take in the event you become unable to let them know
The pink envelopes alert St. Joseph’s Area Health
Services and area healthcare providers of your Code Status
Directive which denotes the levels of lifesaving treatment
you are willing to have them perform when an emergency
If your choice is to institute a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
order, it would be contained in the directive. If you would
like active treatment up to the point of starting Cardio
Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), that would be included as of letting family know where you keep your copy (inside
well. The whole point of the form is to let your specific the bright pink envelope).
instructions, prepared in advance, clearly state the direction St. Joseph’s Ethics Committee worked with area health-
of medical care you wish to receive. care providers to insure a consistent approach and imple-
“Having this document in place is a gift to those loved mentation especially when patients are being transferred
ones who would otherwise be called on to make this deci- from one facility to another or back to their homes. A com-
sion for you,” says Chaplain Randall Hachfeld, BCC. “It is pleted DNR order in a private home will be honored.
also a gift to oneself.” Letting others The state of Minnesota also has another
know of your preferences can help to “Having this document in form for people to consider. It is called
reduce personal worry, relieve your the Minnesota Health Care Directive.
loved ones of unnecessary burdens of place is a gift to those The difference between the two forms is
helplessness or guilt, and lessen the loved ones who would oth- that the Code Status Directive is treated
sense of futility you may have in regard as an order from a physician. The
to costly, specialized interventions you erwise be called on to Minnesota Health Care Directive helps a
may not have wanted in the first place. make this decision for you. patient sort out healthcare preferences
Without the document in place, and is used as a guide for physicians and
Hachfeld states, medical professionals It is also a gift to oneself.” healthcare workers to follow. What is
including rescue personnel and para- legally binding with this particular form,
medics are committed to saving lives Chaplain Randall Hachfeld however, is the person(s) you designate
whenever possible. as your “healthcare agent(s).” Your
In times of severe illness or chronic healthcare agent is the person you would
disease, there may be a time when aggressive medical treat- want to have make decisions for you when you can’t make
ment may not be desired or appropriate. them yourself. This could be your spouse, adult child, a
In such cases, the “burden of treatment becomes greater close neighbor, or friend as an example. Their names must
than the benefit,” Hachfeld explains. In those instances, a be on the form for them to be considered valid and binding.
Code Status Directive when in place and signed by a physi- Filling out these forms can be overwhelming, Hachfeld
cian, equates to a doctor’s order with treatment as pre- says, and he considers it a part of his ministry to help
scribed on the form should be followed. patients sort through the issues. He says it’s a goal to have
Recently St. Joseph’s has worked with other providers in these documents available to individuals, to get them com-
the community to develop a standardized approach to the pleted and to distribute copies to appropriate providers if
DNR form and packaging. North Ambulance, Walker that is the individual’s wishes.
Ambulance, first responders, nursing homes, and assisted “When one puts his or her wishes down in writing, it is as
living facilities are all on the same page when it comes to if they are then able to speak from their bed to indicate what
implementing Code Status Directives. Individuals can feel it is they would like to have happen,” he says. It gives hos-
more at ease knowing their wishes are being carried out. It pital personnel and family members a sense of direction
is also a good idea to let family members and loved ones regarding medical care to be provided, and a greater piece
know about the directives and the decisions reached of mind.
between oneself and your physician. Make a special point
� Childbirth Preparation
Classes: All classes meet at
Northwoods Bank Community
Room on Thursdays from 6:30-
9:30 p.m. Designed for 7th, 8th,
and 9th month of pregnancy.
Session I, Jan. 24-Feb. 14; Park Rapids students who presented their program at the 2007 State Community
Session II, March 20-April 10. Health Convention were (from left) Paula Guajardo, Michelle Ford, Jessica
Call 218-237-5730 to register. Dennis, Leah Meinert, MariJo Lohmeier, advisor, Carson Christianson, Megan
�Bariatric “Y-Weight” Support Alden, and Zach Lohmeier. Not pictured is Molly Preiner.
Group: Meetings held from 4:30-
5:30 p.m. in Third Floor Meeting
Room. Jan. 10-“New Year/New
Students represent Park Rapids at 2007
Habits;” Jan. 24-“You Want Me to
Enjoy Exercise;” Feb. 14-“Taking
State Community Health Convention
the Mystery out of Nutrition
“Kids for Hire.” A help-wanted ad They then sought to engage middle
Labels;” Feb. 28-“Ask the
Professional;” March 13- piqued the interest of Century Middle school students in a marketing campaign
Discussion/Clothing Exchange; & School’s eighth graders last year. and provide increased opportunities for
March 20-Protein Taste. MariJo Lohmeier, with St. Joseph’s students to become active.
Community Health Youth Division, In an effort to engage the middle
� Staying On Track: Support distributed the notice in search of school, a survey was conducted to
group for those more than one year energetic, creative youth to gauge the top 20 activities pre-
post gastric bypass surgery intent
tackle the issue of childhood ferred by students. Then they
on maintaining weight loss. Meets
second Thursday of the month from obesity. She was able to do began to cover the walls at
4:30-5:30 p.m. on Third Floor. Jan. so through an obesity pre- school with puzzle pieces
10-“Personal Accountability;” Feb. vention grant secured depicting those favorite activ-
14-“Success Habits;” & March 13- through the Minnesota ities.
“Portion Control.” Department of Health. “At first, all of the students
The students’ job was to devel- were confused, wondering what
� Diabetes Support Group:
op and implement a physical activity was going on with the puzzle pieces,”
Meetings held second Tuesday of
the month from 10-11 a.m. at St. campaign to get kids at Century moving said student Jessica Dennis. “After that
Josephʼs Home Care Meeting and making healthy food choices. they got curious and excited to find out
Room. Jan. 8-“Diabetes and It was because of the successful pro- what it was all about.”
Effects on Your Kidneys,” by Dr. gram engineered by eight outstanding Later they performed a lunchroom skit
Leadbetter; Feb. 12-“Management youth hired that Park Rapids was repre- over the noon hour to further spread the
of Diabetes during a Disaster,” Gen sented during the 2007 State Community word, let the school in on their campaign
Kernanen, RN, CDE. Health Convention in September. slogan and clued them in on how the
� Health Assessment Clinics: These youth gave a presentation of puzzle pieces fit.
Jan. 2, Noon-3 p.m. at Park Villa; their findings and program, “Everything Some changes that came about
Jan. 7, 1-3:30 p.m. at Hubbard Fits When You Exercise.” because of the grant include: a stream-
Methodist; Jan. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Lohmeier said the point of letting stu- lined approach to weighing and measur-
at Court Apartments; Jan. 23, 1- dents take charge of the campaign was ing infants and children; expanded 8th
2:30 p.m. Lake George Sr. Center; due to the notion that kids tend to listen Hour time to allow access to dance pads
Feb. 6, Noon-3 p.m. at to their peers. and other activities; a nutritional pro-
Summerfield; Feb. 11, 9:30-10:30 “This team of students took their role gram implemented at 8th Hour; a reduc-
a.m. at Nevis Sr. Center. very seriously,” she says. “They were tion in pop being sold at school.
�“Look Good, Feel Better” for certainly organized, motivated, and “I can’t promise you that every single
cancer patients: Meetings held at worked well together.” one of those kids got away from the
10 a.m. the first Tuesday of the The students looked at the causes and video games and TV, but I can promise
month at St. Josephʼs. Trained cos- consequences of childhood obesity and you that every one of those kids noticed
metologists help women look, feel sought to increase healthy lifestyle the message we were trying to get
their best. Feb. 5 & March 4. choices among youth. across,” student Leah Meinert said.
Sessions area free. Call Cindy at
237-5711 to register.