Throwback Thursday: Looking back 90 years to Wesley Hospital

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Wadena was not completely without a hospital before 1925. For a short time, 1914-1915, Drs. Kenyon and McKinnon ran a hospital out of a home at 124 Second Street, Southeast. 

Dr. and Mrs. Coulter opened a hospital in a converted home at 321 Bryant Avenue, Southwest in 1912. In 1915 it was

Wesley Hospital - Founded in 1925

Wesley Hospital – Founded in 1925

passed on to Coulter’s successor, Dr. Luther A. Davis and renamed the Davis Hospital. Regardless of limited resources the doctor and his staff dedicated their talents to doing what they could. That was especially hard in 1918. 

“I was with you dear friends, through one of the saddest years that this town has ever known and will never forget – the year of the war and the flu,” said the Rev. C.H. Mocker at Wesley Hospital’s cornerstone laying ceremony November 15, 1923. A former Wadena pastor; he recalled how staff at the hospital had successfully restored health to his wife and son, and how a doctor had refused part payment for a surgery.

He also spoke about “how the hearse backed up to one door after another to claim the victims of the flu epidemic, how the doctors labored hard and long to do what they could for suffering humanity and how Dr. L.A. Davis had given his life because he persisted in ministering to the needs of the sick, long after his physical resources had been exhausted though hospital facilities were wholly inadequate during those days.” Dr. Davis dies in 1920 and his wife, Maie, continued to run the residence hospital. 

McCrea and others emphasized that a larger hospital in the community had the potential to provide more advanced health care. Dr. N.E. Davis, executive secretary of the Board of Hospitals and Homes of the Methodist Church reported that less than 5 percent of people in the hospitals died. 

“So a hospital is no place to go to die. If you want to go to heaven, stay away from the hospital,” he told the crowd in his speech at the cornerstone laying. “If you get sick and go to the hospital, be sure of this, that everyone there, every physician, every surgeon and every nurse in the hospital will try to keep you alive. We go to the hospital with the intention of finding out what is wrong with you. So we have the X-ray machines to look right straight through you. We examine your blood and every part of your body. If we cannot find out what is wrong with you, you haven’t got it. It is just above the collar.” 

With that kind of ideal optimism, leaders and residents accepted the mission to build a hospital. 

Healthy Times July 2015 Cover

Healthy Times July 2015 Cover

All they needed – they thought – was $50,000. 

*Excerpt out of the 75 Years Historical, heartwarming & humorous stories of Tri-County Hospital. 

Please join us on Tuesday, July 21st from 4-8 p.m. as we celebrate our 90th Year on the Wesley Hospital lawn right here in Wadena! There will be food, entertainment, games and giveaways! Click here for more details…


Health Care Opportunities for Young People

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There are a handful of different opportunities at Tri-County Health Care for young people interested in health care.

One of them is the summer internship program. This program gives students the opportunity to shadow 14 different

2015 Summer Interns

2015 Summer Interns

departments throughout the organization. Students must have just completed their junior year of high school to participate. The internship program has been highly competitive with more than 25 students applying this year and only eight being chosen.

One of those students is 16 year-old Marissa Geyer, an incoming senior at Henning High School. She’s been a part of the Tri-County Health Care’s VolunTEEN program three times. “I’m hoping if I know for sure what aspect I like of the medical field, it will help me select the specific college I want,” said Marissa. Although she has not decided where she would like to go to college, she has narrowed it down to a select three.

Marissa Geyer

Marissa Geyer

When asked about her future career goals she shared, “When I was really young I wanted to be a pediatrician, but then my dad suffered a stress fracture. I went with him to his appointment and his doctor was talking about the scans he received to make his prognosis. Observing this conversation peaked my interest in radiology.”

Janet Wiedewitsch, TCHC Staffing Coordinator said, “It’s fun to see the student transition throughout the internship. Someone could come in wanting to go into radiology, but after the program decide they want to give pharmacy a try.”

If students are interested in learning more about this paid internship opportunity, or other internship and shadowing opportunities available at Tri-County, click here.

Janet says the best things these young people walk away with is, “learning that one department is not more important than another. They also see how our organization works as a team.”


How my Mom taught me to be a good Care Coordinator

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By: Jenny Steinkopf, RN – Care Coordinator

Care Coordination is one of the newest programs at Tri-County Health Care. Our goal is to provide timely, patient-centered care, improve the quality of health care and encourage patient participation in this team approach to individualized care. As one of three coordinators, I work with the group to continue to find the best way to raise awareness and make this program successful for patients and staff.

A Care Coordinator partners with patients to better manage their health care needs. They are your “go to” person to help with various things such as understanding your condition(s), answering your questions, navigating the complex and sometimes confusing health care system, choosing a specialist, accessing services or resources and encouraging you to work on and reach your goals.

mom and vivLooking back, I had the perfect example of a care coordinator before I even knew what care coordination was. My mom, along with probably yours, has perfected this model of patient-centered, individualized, holistic care. Moms have that knack for knowing everything about anything. Who else can keep track of everyone’s schedules and know something is wrong before you even say a word? She’s just that good and knows you that well.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the summer before fourth grade. That summer, my mom could tell you my medication doses, last lab results, what dropped my blood sugars, signs I would show if my blood sugar levels were low and so much more. I remember going back to school that fall and she was the one to educate my teachers, bus driver and friends’ parents on this disease that turned our world upside down. She was my advocate and was willing to do whatever it took to ensure I was as healthy as possible. My mom knew the value of being proactive with this chronic disease. She knew by focusing on preventive care, we were preventing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and major complications down the road. My mom helped me, but it was still my body and I was always responsible for my choices. My health care team and my mom could set me up for success, give me the right tools and encourage me, but I was ultimately the one to determine my success in managing my diabetes.

Jenny's Mom & Her

Jenny’s Mom & Her

Jeffrey Brenner, a doctor in New Jersey who cares for his patients with a similar model, says it brilliantly, “People are people, and they get into situations they don’t necessarily plan on. My philosophy about primary care is that the only person who has changed anyone’s life is their mother. The reason is that she cares about them, and she says the same simple thing over and over and over.”

I don’t claim to have all the answers, or a magic wand to fix all your problems (I wish I did!), but I do know that being proactive and shifting our attitude to prevention can pay off in the long run. Let’s not wait to see the doctor until we’re sick, but do it to prevent the sickness. I want to know my patients and what motivates them to achieve their goals, whether it’s related to medications, diet, activity or simply showing up to an appointment.

Little things make big things happen! We often set lofty goals in regards to our health, although we all know that there is reality and sometimes, a really big gap between the two! I want to help you build a bridge and take small, simple steps to get closer and closer to your goal. As a care coordinator, I’m not your mother, but I do care and will tell you those simple things over and over and over in hopes that I can help you be the best you possible. You can thank my mom.

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