Archive for Montrose

Hutchinson Health to study diabetes

SPONSORED POST – Hutchinson Health and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) are teaming up to conduct a study in Hutchinson to help people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers hope to determine whether diabetes care that uses registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) for medication management may be able to help individuals with diabetes achieve recommendations for healthful lifestyles – and whether doing so will ultimately help them improve their “D5” measures.

These five measures are blood glucose, statin use, blood pressure, tobacco use, and aspirin use, and they are a large part of the ongoing care required to manage diabetes.

The goal of the study is to determine whether patients who receive education and phone coaching that includes medication management from a RDN with diabetes expertise, in addition to care from their primary care physician, make greater improvements in their D5 outcomes than those who don’t receive the additional support.

Researchers chose Hutchinson for the study in part because, according to Minnesota Community Measurement statistics, only 30 percent of people with type 2 diabetes in the community have optimal D5 levels, compared with a statewide average of 53 percent.

About the study

For the study, a group of 144 residents age 40-75 who have type 2 diabetes will be randomly divided into a control group and an intervention group.

Both groups will receive regular clinical care from their primary care physicians, but the intervention group will also receive supplemental care from registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to actively address the D5 measures. RDNs will provide health management and education involving nutrition, physical activity, and medication adherence, and may also prescribe medications for blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose to meet diabetes care goals in coordination with primary care.

Researchers will conduct baseline tests at the beginning of the study and then repeat the tests in one year to determine how the intervention group compares to the control group in the management of their D5 measures.

“Our team at Hutchinson Health considers it critical to continue providing innovative services and a vast array of care options to our patients,” said Steve Mulder, MD, president and CEO of Hutchinson Health. “We recently began offering mental health services through the exciting new format of telemedicine, and now are pleased to be able to partner with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation on this study to explore the effectiveness of adding telemedicine as a complement to our diabetes care.”

Success in other locations

From 2010-2014, MHIF and Allina Health experienced success with a similar phone coaching program in New Ulm called Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project.

Nearly 1,100 patients participated in coaching and demonstrated outcomes included significant reductions in smoking rates and LDL cholesterol. Participants also made significant improvements in lifestyle behaviors, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, being more physically active, and lowered perceived stress rates.

About Hutchinson Health

One of the largest independent health care providers in Minnesota, Hutchinson Health includes primary and specialty care clinics, emergency services and specialty programs.

Hutchinson Health has a state-of-the-art intensive care unit featuring eICU technology, as well as a full-range of advanced diagnostic imaging services. Hutchinson Health has more than 30 full-time physicians, 35 specialty care providers, and 650 staff.

Wright County enacts emergency moratorium on solar projects

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – What began as a discussion about an amendment to allow solar projects on restricted land with no building entitlements resulted in the Wright County Board voting unanimously to enact an emergency moratorium on new solar project applications in the county during its Tuesday morning meeting.

“Applications currently filed with planning and zoning will still be processed,” Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer said. “The resolution you’re adopting is for staf to deny any applications presented after this resolution.”

Four weeks earlier, the board had tabled discussion on the amendment and directed Kryzer to outline the county’s options regarding solar projects.

Those options included approving the amendment, denying the amendment, adopting a different amendment or overlay district to further restrict where solar projects could be developed, or enacting an emergency moratorium on solar projects in the county. The emergency moratorium will be in effect until a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, to consider a moratorium to be in place for up to one year.

“If you’re looking at doing an overlay district or substantial changes to the ordinance, our office is recommending a moratorium,” Kryzer said.

Had the board begun the process of amending the county’s solar ordinance without a moratorium, “you’ll have applications coming in during the process of trying to make amendments, and you’ll be treating different people differently,” Kryzer added. “I think it’s best, if you’re going to recommend changes such as an overlay district, put a freeze on it right now, go through it, and study it. You can always cancel a moratorium.”

Township officials from Buffalo, Clearwater, Franklin, Monticello, and Southside townships expressed support for a moratorium.

Franklin Township Supervisor DeWayne Bauman referenced the eight-megawatt solar project that the Public Utilities Commission approved, which is currently being developed in Buffalo Township.

“It’s a disaster out there,” Bauman said. “They cleared 60 acres of trees. They’re moving in 215,000 cubic yards of soil.”

“We need to slow this down,” Buffalo Township Supervisor Don Schmidt added. “People are appalled at what happened to us. We need to look at the effect on the county and the townships. Maybe we can avoid mistakes and make it workable so it suits more people.”

Monticello Township Supervisor Brett Holker encouraged the commissioners to “get together with the industry and try to understand how the logistics of where the substations are and how the engineering and technical piece works and make that part of, if you do an overlay district, make that a part of it.”

Gordy Simanton, of SolarStone, said he would be willing to participate in a workshop with commissioners to bring them up to speed.

He said his company targets marginal land such as decommissioned wastewater treatment facilities and gravel pits for solar projects, with prime agricultural land at the bottom of their list due to cost. A project SolarStone proposed in Cokato Township was one of three confirmed proposals for solar projects on restricted land.

Commissioner Charlie Borrell said Cokato Township supervisors had indicated to him that it was an ideal site.

He spoke in favor of allowing solar projects on restricted land, but also said he understood the rational behind a moratorium.

“I’m not opposed to (the moratorium),” Borrell said. “I hope we can look at the zoning ordinance change at the same time.”

He referenced concerns raised at the April 14 Wright County Planning Commission meeting, as did Planning Administrator Shawn Riley.

“One item that came up was the odd nature of 20 to 25 power poles clustered together that was done by Xcel, as well as putting poles in the right of way, and land alteration,” Riley said. “The transition area (for city expansion into townships) was also a pretty debated topic.”

Steve Nisbet, of Wright-Hennepin Electric Co-op, said a solar project his company has proposed would be located on restricted land in Maple Lake Township, would not have any “strange interconnection” such as extra poles, and would consist of 10 to 15 acres of low-laying land surrounded by land that is farmed regularly.

Laura Caspari, of SoCore Energy, is working with Wright-Hennepin to plan that project and another in Middleville Township. She spoke against a moratorium.

“You’re at risk of throwing out these cooperative projects,” Caspari said. “The call for a moratorium for a year is concerning.”

She added that a moratorium could also jeopardize Xcel-related projects.

“There’s a timeline with Xcel,” Caspari said. “If they don’t get a permit in a timely manner, those projects won’t happen.

“I can’t speak to what Xcel would do in this exact situation, but in other locations in the past, they have not given any extensions,” she added when asked about that possibility.

Commissioner Mark Daleiden suggested that Xcel might be forced to do grant extensions in order to fulfill the state mandate for solar energy.

That mandate calls for Xcel to produce 1.5 percent of its energy load from solar sources by 2020, Simanton said. He said that amounts to 450 megawatts, which he estimated would require between 2,200 and 2,300 acres of solar panels.

Regarding allowing solar projects on restricted land, an issue the county will address during the moratorium, Commissioner Christine Husom voiced her concern.

“My overriding concern is we’re not allowing, currently, other industries on restricted ag land,” Husom said. “To throw that out, it just opens it to other industries. How can we deny anything else coming in?”

Borrell disagreed.

“I think it makes sense to change this,” Borrell said. “If we make this so solar panels are exempt on restricted land, it does not open up a can of worms. You’re not going to be able to say, ‘I want a gravel pit on there.’ You’re still going to have to come back, and we’d have to change the ordinance again.”

For now, the board voted unanimously to deny the ordinance change, with the possibility of reintroducing it after studying the issue during the moratorium.

For more Wright County Board coverage, see the April 25 edition of the Herald Journal.

PHOTO: Carver County’s 2016-17 dairy princesses

CARVER COUNTY, MN – Five young women were crowned 2016-17 Carver County Dairy Princesses April 9. Pictured are Katelyn Hesse, Carley Buetow, Laura Grimm, Clare Stuewe, and Madison Schochenmaier.

Other awards included:

• Carver County Milk Pitcher 2016, Juliene Klaustermeier, Waconia
• Farm Bureau High Herd DHIA Award, Jopp’s Century Farm, New Germany
• Theresa Hoen Feist Memorial Scholarship winners, Carley Buetow, Cologne, and Madison Schochenmaier, Waconia.
• Senior Dairy Man 2016, Rodney Domjahn of Montrose
• Carver County Farm Family 2016, Paul and Sue Stuewe, Daniel, and Clare, plaque presented by Carver/Scott Extension agent, Abby Neu

Look for more photos from the banquet in the Monday, April 25 edition of the Herald Journal.

Carver County Dairy Princesses

Carver County Dairy Princesses

Hutchinson Health is a lung cancer screening center

SPONSORED POST – Hutchinson Health has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.

In order to receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.

Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. In December 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer – taking the lives of more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

The ACR, founded in 1924, is one of the largest and most influential medical associations in the United States. The ACR devotes its resources to making imaging and radiation therapy safe, effective and accessible to those who need it. Its 36,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine.

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Center designation, visit:

‘Help A Horse Day’ April 24 – Winsted ranch encourages public to attend

WINSTED, MN – Truhaven Ranch, an equine rescue based in Winsted, has big plans to celebrate the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Help A Horse Day Sunday, April 24 – and everyone is invited.

Help A Horse Day in Falcon Heights Sunday, April 24 will include an opportunity to see rescued horses of all types.

Help A Horse Day in Falcon Heights Sunday, April 24 will include an opportunity to see rescued horses of all types.

Second chances are important to the people at Truhaven Ranch. Not only do they rescue unwanted horses, but they also offer a riding program for troubled youth. Education is one of their biggest goals, so Help A Horse Day is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness.

The ASPCA was founded 150 years ago, and to celebrate, the organization is offering grant prizes to equine rescues that participate in Help a Horse Day across the nation.

“This year, they are putting on a contest where they give cash prizes to whoever puts on the best event. One of the things we’re judged on is how many people actually come,” said Candy Phillips, founder and executive director of Truhaven Ranch.  “So, we need people to come, watch, meet the horses and trainers, shop, and sign our roster to help us win this prize.”

There will be more than 20 horses on site. From minis to ponies to big draft crosses, these are all rescue animals that are being trained and prepared for adoption. The trainers, who have volunteered their time and care, will present them.

There will be a two-hour educational portion from noon to 2 p.m. with various speakers. Hear from a humane officer, equine dentist, massage therapist, and an equine lawyer. There will be informational booths and vendors, plus a large tack sale.

“People can come and meet these horses,”  Phillips said. “They were unwanted horses that are getting a second chance.”

If you’re going . . .
Truhaven Ranch is partnering with Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF) to bring Help A Horse Day to the Twin Cities.

What:  Help A Horse Day

Where: Leatherdale Equine Center, 1801 W. Dudley Avenue, Falcon Heights, MN, 55113

When:  Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost:  Free admission. Please bring a packaged food item to donate.

(Content sponsored by Truhaven Ranch.)

Truhaven Ranch in Winsted is participating in Help A Horse Day in Falcon Heights Sunday, April 24. The more people who attend, the better chance Truhaven and the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF) have of winning a cash prize.

Truhaven Ranch in Winsted is participating in Help A Horse Day in Falcon Heights Sunday, April 24. The more people who attend, the better chance Truhaven and the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF) have of winning a cash prize.

Grass fire extinguished near Howard Lake

HOWARD LAKE, MN – What started as a recreational burn in rural Howard Lake Sunday afternoon (April 3) quickly turned into a big swamp fire, the Howard Lake Fire Department reported.

Firefighters were called to the fire near 85th Street at about 3:05 p.m., and cleared the area about 2.5 hours later. There was no loss of property and no injuries, according to Fire Chief Daryl Drush.

“We estimate that the fire covered 20 to 25 acres,” Drush said.

Also responding to the scene were the fire departments of Waverly, Montrose, and Cokato, along with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

Drush noted that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) currently has a burning ban in place, and anytime there is less than 3 inches of snow cover, a permit is required for any fire that isn’t contained in a 3-foot fire pit.

Spring burning restrictions took effect March 21 for several counties, including  Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Carlton, Cass (that portion south of the Chippewa National Forest boundary), Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington, and Wright.

The mild temperatures and sparse snow cover this winter have resulted in an early snow melt, fire prevention supervisor Linda Gormanson noted in a March 17 press release from the Minnesota DNR. The warmer weather and spring winds dry the dead standing grass and brush, allowing them to ignite and spread fire quickly, she said.

Spring open burning restrictions mean residents are not allowed to burn brush or yard waste. Restrictions typically begin about two weeks after the snow leaves and remain in place until summer green-up occurs. This usually lasts four to six weeks.

In Minnesota, most wildfires occur during April and May, and more than 95 percent are caused by people. The DNR places restrictions on open burning during this time to reduce the number of wildfires during the spring fire season.

These spring restrictions have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number and size of fires the DNR responds to each year.

Check for updated DNR restriction info here:

Firefighters responded to a 20 to 25 acre grass fire near Howard Lake April 3.

Firefighters responded to a 20 to 25 acre grass fire near Howard Lake April 3.