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Archives for 2014

Winterfest 2015

Heart of Hutch is an active participant with McLeod for Tomorrow’s Winterfest event.  Don’t miss out on the new additions for 2015.



Frostbite Symptoms

Dr. Kathleen Byron, Family Medicine Physician at Hutchinson Health, has some advice for frostbite now that the temperatures have dropped.

Areas that are not well protected are the most susceptible: hands, feet, nose, ears. Anything that in…creases the heat loss from your body, such as exposure to wind or water, will increase your risk for frostbite.


  • sensation of extreme cold
  • numbness
  • white or gray colored skin
  • waxy appearance to skin
  • clumsiness or difficulty with coordination of affected digits
  • blisters may form after rewarming

Patients who suspect that they may have frostbite should be seen right away at the clinic or Emergency Room.

kbyronportraitTry to keep the tissue warm (but not hot) and dry. It is important not to warm the frostbitten tissue and then allow it to refreeze because this can cause more damage. It is also important not to rub frostbitten tissue to try to warm it up. This may increase damage to the tissue as well.

Conditions such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease may make it more difficult for people to recognize symptoms of frostbite. Alcohol use is also a major factor because it decreases patients’ ability to recognize and respond appropriately to the cold.

Frostbite can occur very quickly so limit your exposure with these sub arctic temperatures.


McLeod County Toy Drive

A very heartfelt thank you to all who participated in this year’s 2014 McLeod County Social Services Toys for Kids Drive! Without YOU this would not be possible……Thank you so much!

Hutchinson Health was provided with 100 wishes of children …in our county who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the feeling of receiving Christmas gifts and YOU provided! Hutchinson Health delivered 6 ½ large and very filled boxes of 100 (+) gifts to the toy drive. Families were able to come shop for their children who may not have had gifts this year.


Visitor Restrictions Enforced Due to Flu throughout Minnesota

Hutchinson Health Hospital has elected to place Visitor Restrictions for our hospitalized patients due to the widespread influenza throughout Minnesota.

Hutchinson Health enforces these restrictions to help keep our patients and staff healthy. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms like coughing or running nose, please ask for a mask for the health of all our patients and employees.

Visitor Restrictions mean that:

  • All visitors with influenza-like illness symptoms may not visit until 24 hours after fever resolves.
  • Spouse/parents/primary caregiver with mild respiratory symptoms must wear a mask.
  • No children under the age of five may visit the hospital.
  • Large groups of visitors are discouraged from congregating.
  • Specific Birth Care procedures for newborns.

Thank you for your help in preventing the spread of influenza.





Dr. Allen Celebrating 25 Years

allenDr. James Allen will conclude his 25 years of full-time practice at Hutchinson Health later this month when we join him in celebrating his retirement. Dr. Allen is looking forward to transitioning to a part-time capacity. He will be assisting with patients in Urgent Care a couple days a week. He will also be seeing patients through the Travel Clinic for those needing travel preparation vaccines and information. He will also perform Department of Transportation physicals for truck drivers.

In reflecting on his time helping patients, Dr. Allen is appreciative of his opportunity to serve at Hutchinson Health. “I feel I have received way more from my patients than I have given. I have been fortunate to be able to do this for the last 31 years.”

It is with deep appreciation we thank Dr. Allen for his 25 years of caring service at Hutchinson Health!

The Flu is Here

Seasonal Influenza is HERE!

What can you do to protect yourself and others?

#1 Get vaccinated! Even though the vaccine may not be a direct match to this year’s drifted virus, the vaccine still provides cross protection for you  and your family.

#2 Practice respiratory protection and cough etiquette.  Hutchinson Health would like patients that are experiencing respiratory symptoms to ask for a mask.  Masking protects everyone from contamination.

#3 Hand Hygiene! Hand Hygiene! Hand Hygiene!
#4 Avoid touching your “T” zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
#5  Wipe down surfaces frequently with disinfectant.

Stay Healthy!


Winter Health and Safety Tips

Together, we can keep ourselves and our neighbors as healthy and safe as possible throughout the winter months.

Take a moment to read through these tips and formulate a plan for these situations, so you and your family are prepared.


Personal Health

  • washing handsFlu Vaccine: It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine. Hutchinson Health’s vaccine is one of the only quadravalent vaccines in the area. Which means it covers all 4 strains of the virus. Walk-ins welcome, appointments appreciated.  320-234-3290
  • Protect your skin: Sunscreen is not just for summer. In fact, the sun is very intense in the winter and reflects off the snow making sunscreen application a necessity. Prior to spending a day on the slopes or sledding with the kids, apply sunscreen and protect your skin.
  • Wash your hands: Keeping your hands clean is a critical step toward staying healthy and avoiding the spread of germs. Be sure to wash your hands with soap, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds under running water. Help young children to adequately wash and dry their hands.


  • carbon monoxide detectorCarbon monoxide detector:  While carbon monoxide poisoning can happen anytime, most accidental poisonings happen in the winter months. People close up their homes to keep the cold air out and turn up the heat. Gas furnaces can accidently leak CO into the home. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home and have your furnace regularly inspected. Call 911 if you suspect carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Heating: Never leave children alone in a room with a fireplace or space heater. Read more information on fire injuries and prevention from the CDC.
  • Check on neighbors: Check in with elderly neighbors, vulnerable adults, and/or families with young children in winter storms, extremely cold temperatures, and power outages. It’s imperative that people have enough food, water, adequate heat, and medications.


  • shoveling snowFrostbite and Hypothermia: It takes a lot of energy to be outside for prolonged periods of time. Exposure to the cold will burn up your stored energy and can result in hypothermia. Prolonged exposure of body or skin to freezing cold weather will cause an injury often referred to as frostbite. Dress warmly and in layers, limit your time outside during cold weather, and consult medical assistance immediately if you suspect you or someone else could be experiencing hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Shoveling: Shoveling snow and being outside in cold weather puts an extra strain on your heart and your back. Your body has to work hard just to stay warm. Take extra care to dress warmly, work for short periods of time, rest, and listen to your body. Lift with your legs, limit the weight/snow on the shovel at a time, be careful not to strain your back, and avoid shoveling in unnatural positions or motions.
  • Slips/Falls: Many cold weather injuries result from falls on slippery, ice-covered surfaces. It’s best to try to keep your front steps, walkways, and sidewalks as free of ice and snow build-up as possible. Use salt and sand to reduce the risk of slipping, and take great care to assist those who could use assistance with walking and balance.


  • baby buckled upSeatbelts: It is imperative you wear your seat belt at all times, and children are properly secured in safety seats. Winter road conditions change rapidly, and even a short, two minute commute can turn treacherous with unexpected slippery spots and intersections.
  • Winter Survival Kits: It is essential that you keep warm winter gear, blankets, and survival items in your car throughout the winter months. For a complete list of items recommended by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, print off this checklist

Wellness with a kick

Hutchinson Mall offers a well-lit, comfortable indoor atmosphere with convenient hours making this a great place to walk year round.

Click Mall Walking Brochure to check out the measure walking route.


Mall Walking Brochure

The Resolutions We Make (and Break!)

new years

OK, it’s time to create those 2105 New Year resolutions. But before you start here’s a few things to think about.

Hutchinson Health Earns ‘Top Performer’ Recognition from The Joint Commission

Joint Commission Award We are pleased to announce The Joint Commission has recognized Hutchinson Health as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®. Hutchinson Health has been recognized for its excellence in accountability measure performance shown to improve care for certain conditions and is one of only 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the distinction as a 2013 Top Performer.

keyHutchinson Health has been recognized for its achievement on the following accountability measures pneumonia and surgical care.

“At Hutchinson Health, we have made it a top priority to address patient safety and quality health care by improving upon our evidence-based care processes,” said Steve Mulder, MD, president and CEO, Hutchinson Health.

We are proud to be named a Top Performer and thank our entire hospital staff for its knowledge, teamwork and dedication to improve Hutchinson Health’s performance.

Read more information here about the Top Performer program, including eligibility criteria.