Looking back at 2021

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Looking back at 2021 leads to thoughts of joy and moments of reflection. Tri-County Health Care endured many challenges throughout the year but came out on top! Please look at some of the milestones, events and changes that came to our longstanding healthcare system.

 

Looking back at 2021 involves the Kelderman family.

January 4 – First baby of 2021

Tri-County Health Care prides itself on bringing new life into the world. Sawyer Jay Kelderman was the first baby to grace our OB department in 2021.

 

David Fjeldheim

David Fjeldheim

 

 

February 3 – MHA trustee certification

David Fjeldheim is a Tri-County Health Care board member and superintendent of the Sebeka Public School System. In early 2021,  he completed advanced leadership training designed for healthcare board members.

 

March 30 – More vaccines

At the end of March, the COVID-19 vaccine was made available to all Minnesotans, 16 and older.

 

April 6 – Donate Life flag raising

This annual event honors organ and tissue donors. This year, Sarah Fisher shared the story of her son’s passing and his organ donation.

Vaccines must be apart of looking back at 2021.

 

May 20 – Vaccine available for 12 and over

The COVID-19 vaccine was made available to individuals 12 and over.

 

March 16 – EMS Night

This year, EMS personnel gathered once again for an evening of training. EMS Night 2021 featured Brain L. Bardsley, who shared procedures associated with being a battlefield medic.

 

Groundbreaking was a huge achievement for TCHC.

May 21 – Groundbreaking

After months of planning, groundbreaking on the new building arrived! The event drew a small crowd of staff, administrators, board members, community leaders and state representatives.

Carissa Mitchell, DC

Carissa Mitchell, DC

 

June 14 – Chiro kicks off

Carissa Mitchell, DC, joined the Tri-County family in mid-June. With this new addition came the Chiropractic department, which has continued to grow into a bustling care offering.

 

Alyssa Jackson, FNP

Alyssa Jackson, FNP

 

 

July 26 – Alyssa Jackson, FNP, joins the team!

Alyssa Jackson started at Tri-County Health Care in July 2021. She primarily works at the Sebeka Clinic.

 

July 28 – Lown Institute accolades

The Lown Institute recognized Tri-County Health Care as the #1 hospital in Minnesota for charity care and community benefit.

Brock Spandl, DC

Brock Spandl, DC

 

 

August 16 – Brock Spandl, DC

Brock Spandl joined the quickly growing chiropractic department and works with Carissa Mitchell, DC. The duo helps people with aches, pains and issues stemming from the spinal cord.

 

August 19 – Rebranding

During the annual employee picnic, Tri-County Health Care announced it would begin a rebranding process to Astera Health. Looking back at 2021, Tri-County had many high points, and this one may be the highest.

Jody Ruthermond, PA-C

Jody Ruthermond, PA-C

 

 

September 7 – Jody Ruthermond, PA-C

Orthopedics at Tri-County has been growing rapidly. Due to the growth and success, Jody Ruthermond joined the team to help with ongoing operations in September 2021.

John Lindblom, DO

John Lindblom, DO

 

 

October 22 – John Lindblom, DO

John Lindblom joined Tri-County Health Care in late October. Dr. Lindblom specializes in osteopathic medicine and focuses heavily on the mind, body and spirit.

 

November 2 – Mammogram paddles

Several technology upgrades were introduced in 2021In the fall, Tri-County Health Care began using new mammogram paddles. The paddles’ design makes mammograms more comfortable.

 

November 10 – Pediatric vaccination

In November, vaccination finally opened up for children 5-11.

 

November 17 – Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor

Tammy Suchy, director of quality and risk management at Tri-County Health Care, was selected as a national Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor. A mentor reports and uses data to support rural hospitals.

 

November 23 – Third doses

Due to waning immunity, health officials approved third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Shortly after the announcement, Tri-County Health Care began offering the booster.

 

Looking back at 2021 is definitely the year of metamorphosis.

December 1 – Marketing awards

In December, the Marketing Department at Tri-County Health Care received two awards for 2021. Primary care marketing advertisements and a rebranding video received special distinctions.

 

December 6 – 500th Joint Replacement

The orthopedics team completed their 500th Joint replacement in December. The milestone set off an organization-wide celebration complete with cake pops and t-shirts.

 

December 20 – The last piece of steel

On a cold day before the Christmas holiday, a select group of Tri-County Health Care employees attended a topping-off ceremony at the new building site. The group watched as the final piece of steel hoisted into the air and fitted into place.

 

Looking back at 2021 is necessary for setting goals for 2022. At Tri-County Health Care, we took a moment to look at all the progress made while we continue to push forward. Happy new year, and please enjoy the holiday responsibly.


2021: A new year, a new you!

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2021 is a new year for growth and reflection. 2020 is drawing to a close and many are looking back on how much our society has changed in just one year. 2020 was a time of division and turmoil while a pandemic ravaged the world. We have to look forward and continue to live our lives but maybe 2021 can be a little safer. Let’s use the struggles of the previous year as a catalyst of change.

The vaccine is here

After months of Netflix binging and Zoom calls, we have a glimmer of hope. Just before the end of 2020, a vaccine arrived. Some people are scared of the vaccine; some are indifferent and some are fighting to be first in line. The medical community is in agreement; the best way out of the pandemic is the vaccine. Taking the vaccine is a personal choice but statistically and scientifically, a vaccine is the best way to safeguard yourself from COVID-19. As the vaccine becomes available to the general public, please educate yourself and make the best decision, but remember your choice could affect countless others.

Ring in the new year with a healthier routine

Cleanliness and caring

Months ago, the lady wiping her shopping cart with alcohol wipes may have seemed a bit odd. Still, now it’s routine to spray them with an antibacterial solution before carefully toweling them down. Things have changed, and it might seem like we’re living in a bizarre alternate dimension dominated by hand sanitizer and colorful cloth masks, but perhaps some changes are for the best. Disease is no joke. Germs are everywhere and no amount of cleaning supplies will ever change that.

However, taking a stronger stance on reducing virus transmission could help society and the health care industry. When the day comes that COVID-19 has been defeated, we shouldn’t go back to openly coughing on each other. We should use this opportunity to educate ourselves and keep some COVID era changes, like washing our hands regularly. Something as simple as washing your hands could stop the spread of an infectious disease. 2021 should be a new year of cleanliness and kindness.

Embracing technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we communicate. The last several months have shown the world that technology is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted. During past pandemics, people didn’t have a smartphone loaded with instant messaging software and video chat. They were left alone, isolated from others. We live in an unprecedented time where a person can speak to a small crowd without ever leaving the comfort of their living room. Every day we are surrounded by smart TVs, smartphones, computers and the internet. We often take these things for granted. Let’s appreciate the technology that has enhanced our life and use it to its fullest extent. When this pandemic is done and over, remember that our friends and family are only a few button presses away.

New year health goals

It isn’t uncommon to hear others exclaim how this will be the year they drop that pesky 20 pounds. Unfortunately, that doesn’t tend to happen. Many start strong, going to the gym, eating fruit smoothies and running in the morning, but it never sticks. This year, try setting attainable goals. Attainable goals are devised with reasonable expectations. They set you up for success instead of disappointment. Grand goals often seem too big and intimidating. They are so insurmountable that it discourages even attempting to meet them. This year, try not placing numeric values on weight loss or going to the gym. Set bite-sized goals and try to meet them in a reasonable time frame. When you meet those goals, make more. Instead of losing 20 pounds in a year, challenge yourself to go for a walk every other day. Minor lifestyle changes can lead to massive improvements in time.

Use the new year of 2021 as a launchpad of success. Reflect, learn and grow. Tri-County Health Care is dedicated to your health and wellbeing. For more information about COVID-19, please visit our information page.


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 and her mom

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.