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Flu Fighters

Protect your family, get your flu shot today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting your flu shot before the flu begins spreading in our community. After receiving your vaccination it takes about two weeks to build up antibodies that help protect you from the flu. Getting a shot after the influenza season starts is still helpful, but getting it early provides the most benefit.

There will be 3 Flu Shot Clinics in the coming weeks:

  • Saturday, 9/26  9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Saturday, 10/3 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Saturday, 10/10 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, appointments will be needed. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

The flu shot is offered at Hutchinson Health. The flu mist will not be available this year.

Learn more about the CDC’s projections for the 2020-2021 influenza season and the vaccination available.

Make an appointment to get your flu shot soon!

COVID-19 and childhood vaccinations: Is it safe to take my kid to the clinic for their shots?

Source: HealthPartners

Just like you, new mom Alexis Thompson is raising a child during a pandemic. And while dozens of to-dos may cross her mind every day, whether to take her baby boy in for his routine immunizations during COVID-19 was a big question mark.

Understandably, Alexis – who co-hosts “Jason and Alexis in the Morning” on local radio station myTalk 107.1 – was extremely anxious. She knew her son was due for his 4-month-old shots. She knew the importance of staying on track with his vaccination schedule. But she didn’t know if it was safe to go to a health care clinic right now.

She made the decision to bring her son in. And when she arrived at her local HealthPartners clinic, her anxiety melted away.

“I was so anxious. But once I got to the clinic, I felt a lot better,” Alexis said. “The clinicians kept everyone a safe distance apart, and things went much smoother than expected. I’m so glad my son was able to get the care he needed.”

Our goal is to make every well-child visit and immunization-only appointment go as smoothly as Alexis’s experience – pandemic or no pandemic. Learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep you and your child as safe as possible when you come into one of our clinics.

You don’t need to delay your child’s immunizations

Vaccination schedules are designed for kids’ young immune systems, helping to protect them from preventable diseases like tetanus, HPV, polio, measles, meningitis and whooping cough as early and as safely as possible. That’s why it’s so important to stay on schedule – even during COVID-19.

But we know that you may feel a lot like Alexis did. We hear you and we’re here for you.

You don’t need to delay care. Now and always, the health and well-being of our patients is our top priority.

What you can expect when you walk into one of our clinics

We’ve taken steps to implement several additional safety measures to help reduce the chances of COVID-19 spreading and make it safer for everyone to get care.

Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols at our clinics are just the beginning. We’ve also:

  • Added video visits for a range of services, including pediatric care to help ensure kids have access to the care and support they need, while reducing the number of visitors to our clinics. For example, through pediatric video visits we’re able to treat a variety of conditions, including ear pain, allergies, rashes, mental health concerns and more.
  • Opened kids-only appointment hours on Saturdays at several clinics to help make visits both immunization-only appointments and well-child visits easy, fast and as safe as possible.
  • Implemented wellness screenings as patients schedule their appointments and as soon as they arrive at the clinic.
  • Updated clinic layouts and traffic flows to allow for better social distancing.
  • Mandated the wearing of masks for all staff, patients and visitors – we even provide you with a mask if you don’t have one.

Our team of infectious disease experts have been working tirelessly to help guide our work and ensure we’re following the best, most up-to-date safety protocols at all of our locations. Learn more about the COVID-19 clinic and hospital safety measures we have in place.

Are there any reasons for my child not to get routine vaccinations during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic on its own shouldn’t prevent your child from getting the immunizations and care they need – unless of course you, your child or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. However, if you have questions and concerns, talk with your child’s doctor. They’re here for you.

When we talk about vaccinations in general, the answer is yes – there are times when some children should not get certain vaccines or they should wait to get vaccinated.

For example, if your child has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of certain vaccines or if they have any severe, life-threatening allergy, your child’s doctor may recommend not getting or postponing a specific vaccination. Or if your child is moderately or severely ill – with a high fever and a cough, for example – your child’s doctor will likely advise you to wait on vaccinations until they recover.

It’s also important to note that recommendations on when to forgo or delay a vaccination is unique to each vaccine; every vaccine has its own guidelines. So, if you have questions about whether your child should or shouldn’t have specific vaccines, we strongly encourage you to talk with your child’s doctor. They can talk with you about your child’s medical and immunization history, give you more information on specific vaccines and why they’re recommended, and listen to any concerns and answer any questions you may have.

Don’t delay: Easy, fast and safe care for your child is here

The health and well-being of you, your child and all patients is our top priority. And in the face of COVID-19 we’ve added additional safety measures and appointment scheduling options to help ensure getting important care like immunizations is as easy, fast and as safe as possible.

You don’t need to delay important care. Now and always, we’re here for you. Learn more about our well-child visit and immunization-only appointment options during COVID-19.

Pediatric Appointments: Don’t Delay

COVID 19 has brought forth many delays in our routine lives.

Preventative healthcare is not and should not be one of them. The pediatric patient population is a unique population that needs more routine management than other patient populations. Here at Hutchinson Health, our Pediatric department delayed for a very brief timeframe, routine non-urgent care, until the clinic was able to put in place many safeguards for your children to be able to continue with their care with us.

Now that these measures are in place, our Pediatricians strongly encourage you to call and schedule your well-child appointments, sports physicals, and immunizations. It is imperative we keep children on track for these visits to keep them safe, healthy, and prepared for what the fall should bring.

Please call us at 320-234-3290 to schedule your child’s important appointments.

Staying Safe from COVID-19

Child in mask . Protection against virus, infection. Health. Medical virus poster design.

What your care team is doing and how you can help.

Keeping safety first.

We plan ahead and take steps every day to keep our clinics, hospitals and other buildings safe. Many of those steps are below. Here is what guides us:

  • All of our sites have policies to prevent the spread of infections. We have strengthened these policies and taken further action to protect you.
  • We follow all guidelines from our state and national public health agencies.
  • Our experts in infectious disease prevention guide us on the best ways to keep you, your care team and the community safe.


We know that this can be an unsettling time. It can be common to be worried about COVID-19 when you are visiting your clinic, especially if you are there to get care for a reason other than the virus. Please be aware that keeping you safe and healthy is our top priority. Use this information to learn more about why it’s important for you to continue to receive care, what we are doing to protect you and how you can help.

Why is it important to get care at my clinic? Shouldn’t I put it off?
What we are doing
What you can do to stay safe


Many hospitals are treating people who are infected with COVID-19 now. If you’re in the hospital for another reason, this may be an unsettling time. It’s common to be worried about COVID-19. Please be aware that keeping you safe and healthy is our top priority. Use this information to learn more about what your hospital is doing to protect you—and how you can help.

What we are doing
What you can do to stay safe

New Patient Masking Guidelines

Starting Thursday, April 9, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are encouraging you to bring and wear an alternative mask if you are coming into one of our clinics for an in-person appointment.  We can provide a mask if you don’t have one.

Masks can be purchased from local retailers, online retailers, or you can make your own mask from fabric. The CDC has guidelines for making cloth face coverings here.

Masks should be worn over your mouth and nose for the duration of your appointment. Members of your care team will also wear masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.   We are providing masks for patients that need one at their appointments.

We appreciate your efforts to help protect yourself, our care teams, and our entire community.

Drive-up COVID-19 Testing

We’re here to support our community with safe, convenient COVID-19 testing. If you’re experiencing symptoms go to or you can call the clinic at 320-234-3290 to determine if you qualify for a COVID-19 test at our drive-up testing site.

When is Testing available?

Phone screening and drive-up testing will begin starting Monday, May 4.

  • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

How to Get Tested

Testing will be done by appointment only. Call the clinic at 320-234-3290  or you can visit us at, and you will be asked screening questions. Your answers are very important to help us make the process go smoothly, so please be patient with our team as they go through these questions.

If it’s determined you qualify for a test, you will then be given an appointment time for drive-up testing.

PLEASE NOTE: We will not accept walk-ups. Everyone must be screened in advance and scheduled for an appointment. Those who arrive without an appointment will be asked to leave and call to complete the phone screening process.

What kind of Testing is being done?

Hutchinson Health will be collecting a nasopharyngeal swab (a deep nasal swab) for PCR testing. This will test for CURRENT infection only. Nasal swab testing is effective only if you are experiencing symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or new loss of taste or smell).

Blood tests, also known as antibody testing, are what show a history of infection. The blood test is NOT available at this time.

Your Test Results

Results will be available within 3 – 5 days on your Online Health Account only. If you do not have an Online Health Account, you can create one here.

After your screening, you should self-isolate at home until you receive your results.

Your Mental Health is Important and asking for help can be difficult

You’re not alone if you feel like the current situation with COVID-19 has been disruptive to your life. It has altered almost everyone’s daily schedules and routines, and it has created a lot of uncertainty. We want to help you and your loved ones plan, prepare, and cope with stress related to this rapidly changing situation. Hutchinson Health remains committed to providing mental health services and continuity of care.

Telehealth Appointments

Our Outpatient Mental Health Clinic has been conducting telehealth visits for both existing patients and new patients. Telehealth has provided an opportunity for continuation of care, to best target and treat mental and emotional health difficulties during this stressful time.

Here is some feedback we’re getting from patients, families, and providers that’s been positive!

  • “I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to meet with you, I’m so happy to have this as an option!”
  • “This is such a relief to be able to continue to talk!”
  • “This is awesome!”
  • “I am so happy you are doing this.”

Make an appointment today by calling 320-484-4610

Mental Health Resources for COVID-19

General Resources about Behavioral and Mental Health:


Parenting in the time of COVID-19:

Parents of children with disabilities during COVID-19:

Working from home:

Hutchinson Health Celebrates Certified Nurses Day on March 19

Hutchinson Health Celebrates Certified Nurses Day on March 19 by Honoring the 19 Board Certified Nurses on its Staff

Certified Nurses DayHutchinson Health is celebrating Certified Nurses Day, on March 19, by honoring its board-certified nurses. The following nurses are being recognized for their professionalism, leadership, and commitment to excellence in patient care:

  • Janet Filzen, CNOR: Certified Operating Room Nurse
  • Maureen Lowden, RNC: Inpatient Obstetrical Nurse
  • Nicole Kuttner, IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Janelle Walter, IBCLS: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Lee Krenik, IBCLS: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Lindsey Vacek, IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Teresa Smith, ACNS-BS: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Holly Oestreich, CDE: Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Cassie Carlson, CEN: Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Renee Kurth, CAN: Certified Anticoagulation Nurse
  • Deidra Jeseritz, CAN: Certified Anticoagulation Nurse
  • Alyssa Kurth, CAN: Certified Anticoagulation Nurse
  • Angie Thoennes, CAN: Certified Anticoagulation Nurse
  • Stephanie Whalen, CAN: Certified Anticoagulation Nurse
  • Heidi Nelson, RN-BC: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification
  • Kris Peterson, RN-BC: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification
  • Penny Wachlarowicz, RN-BC: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification
  • Sue Alrick, ONC: Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Susan Karnitz, NEA-BC: Nurse Executive Advanced

Board Certification of nurses plays an increasingly important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like health care in general, has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse.

Hutchinson Health encourages national board certification for all its nurses. Patients are encouraged to inquire whether there are certified nurses on staff when they visit a hospital or their primary care provider. There are many nursing certification specialties such as medical-surgical, pediatric, pain management, cardiac vascular, oncology, hospice, case management, emergency nursing, critical care and many others. Many nursing certification bodies exist to serve the full range of specialized nursing care offered in the contemporary health care system; national nurse-certifying bodies should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) or the National Organization for Competence Assurance (NOCA).

Please join Hutchinson Health and the nation’s national nursing certification organizations in honoring those hardworking, dedicated nurses for their professionalism, and a job well done!

Hutchinson Health Cancer Center Receives Press Ganey Award

Hutchinson Health Cancer Center team holding the Press Ganey plaque received for Outstanding Patient ExperienceHutchinson Health is pleased to share that our Cancer Center has been awarded the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for Outstanding Patient Experience. This honor highlights those who strive to improve the patient experience and raise the bar on performance each year.

Honoring the Top 5%

This award honors those practices who have reached the 95th percentile and maintained that level for an entire year. It is an impressive accomplishment to break into the top 5%, but to sustain that level for an entire year is truly incredible.


We want to commend our staff for their teamwork and support, as each patient experience is impacted by every area doing their part and working together. Please join us in celebrating the Hutchinson Health Cancer Center staff on this incredible accomplishment.

PowerUp November Newsletter

Ways to PowerUp in November

  • PowerUp Action team meeting

    • We will be helping pack bags for the Backpack program from 2-3pm on November 18th at Common Cup Ministries
  • Parkview Dental Candy Buyback

    • Bring your leftover candy to Parkview Dental Nov 1-5 and receive $1 for every pound. Candy will be sent to service members overseas.
  • Wheel and Cog $2 Tuesdays

    • 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
  • Rec center indoor playground

    • 9:30-11:30am Monday-Thursday and Saturdays 10am-noon

November is Peanut Butter Lovers Month!

Pros of Peanut Butter

  • It is a great source of protein
  • It contains lots of healthy fats
  • It is very versatile and can be used in sweet or savory dishes
  • It is very nutrient-dense
  • It does not need to be refrigerated so is easy to pack for on the go
  • It is delicious!

Wondering what kind to buy?

Be on the lookout for hydrogenated oils and sugar in your peanut butter. Check the ingredients list- the best peanut butter should contain just peanuts and salt!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine oats and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, oil, and vanilla. Microwave for 30-45 seconds or until peanut butter is melted. Stir together then pour over oats. Stir to combine then spread in an even layer on baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before enjoying!

Have a Healthy Holiday

For many people November is a time to reflect on all of the things they are thankful for. It is also a time for stuffing, pie, and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. Many people struggle finding a balance between maintaining healthy habits while still enjoying the holiday traditions..

Tips for enjoying a healthy Thanksgiving


Healthy Holiday Recipes

Balsamic Blue Cheese Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup craisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Balsamic glaze

  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey

To make the glaze, place vinegar and honey in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut Brussel sprouts in half and toss in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread out on baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, craisins, and nuts and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2 servings)

  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats

Combine all ingredients except oats in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir in oats and let sit for 1 minute. Top with pumpkin seeds or chopped pecans for a little crunch!

Recipe from food and Health Communications

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