Page 1

Thanks to the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center

“I had my angiogram and stents done right here and went home the next day. Now I feel terrific!” - Cheryl, Brainerd

Over the years, Cheryl has been instrumental in fundraising efforts that made the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center a reality. So when she experienced warning signs for a heart attack, she knew exactly where to go for expert care. Cheryl chose to tell her story to inspire others to visit Essentia for a healthy heart, just like she did.

Read Cheryl’s story at or snap the smartphone QR code to find out more. Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in partnership with CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center

Thought into every written word. Visuals attract. Words convict. Thankfully, at RedHouseMedia, we create


The written word is only as powerful as you make it. Let’s work together in creating an effective message fit for the masses.

both. Allow us to assist your business, school or non-profit in making the most of every press release, every headline, every written word. Learn more by calling 218-454-3210 or visiting

Unconventional by design.


IQ Magazine

Contents SPRING 2012

Initiative Quarterly Magazine Volume 11, Spring 2012





i n i t i a t i v e f ou n d a t i o n President | Kathy Gaalswyk Vice President for External Relations | Matt Kilian Grants & Communications Specialist | Anita Hollenhorst EDITO R IA L Managing Editor | Elizabeth Foy Larsen Writer | Laura Billings Coleman Writer | Sara Mohs

f e at u r e s

Writer | John Reinan Writer | Maria Surma Manka ART Creative Services Coordinator | Eric Rittmann Art Director | Andrea Baumann Lead Photographer | John Linn ADVE RTI S IN G / S U B S C R I P TION S Advertising Director | Brian Lehman Advertising Manager | Lois Head Advertiser Services | Eric Rittmann


Initiative Foundation 2011 Annual Report

18 Health Wanted

As other sectors recover, the healthcare industry propels economic stability, growth and jobs in Central Minnesota.

22 Moving the Needle

Injections of insight into the case for better health.

Subscriber Services | Katie Riitters

405 First Street SE Little Falls, MN 56345 320.632.9255 |

Published in partnership with Range, IQ Magazine unlocks the power of central Minnesota leaders to understand and take action on regional issues. Printed with Soy-Based Ink on Recycled Paper w Range, Inc.

24 Rx for Success

Big investments deliver big returns for these health-inspired companies.

32 Entry Level

Ground-floor opportunities to improve health, happiness and the bottom line.

34 Double Vision

When it comes to healthcare, divergent views can lead to higher costs.

departments On the Job足足 46 The Safety Czar In the world of manufacturing, health-related costs are riveted to employee safety.

Resources 50 Charting a Course Resources that affect savings, scales and salaries.

Sign of the Times 48 Mind Your Business Mental health disorders are a silent menace for families, firms alike.

Brainiac 56 An IQ & A With... Bush Foundation director of engagement C. Scott Cooper

About the cover:

Health Wanted: Design by Eric Rittmann

engineering ENGINEERI

land surveying LAND SURVEY environmental services architecture ENVIRONMEN ARCHITEC

Let’s discuss your next project.

Widseth smith | 218-829-5117

alexandria | baxter | bemidji | crookston | east grand forks | grand forks | red wing | rochester

A community-driven, university-assisted partnership to create a plan that integrates housing, transportation, land use, and economic development. The process develops strategies to provide opportunities for the region and improve the quality of life for all residents in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties. Championing regional resilience in economic and environmental vitality. Schedule for the 2 year project all meetings are held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the lodge in Baxter.

round 3 ........................... June 12, 2012 finalization meeting........ August 14, 2012

For more inFormAtion or the work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. the substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. the author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.

Spring 12


Dear Friends,

This year, and for the past 25 years, our Trustees and staff have been proud to call Central Minnesota home. Although many areas are still recovering from the recession, an early spring seemed to bring a fresh scent of hope to our regional economy. We finally see businesses hiring, manufacturers humming, local governments investing, nonprofits thriving, and yes, even buildings rising. Hovering under the modest growth numbers, there’s a cautious confidence in the air. At the Initiative Foundation, we believe that a quality job is the most essential element of a stable family and a thriving community. Simply put, if you don’t have a good job, your singular goal is to get one. You are also less likely to buy, build, give, vote or volunteer. That’s why our five-year plan is focused on quality job creation and economic growth, because they ignite our communities.

At the Initiative Foundation, we believe that a quality job is the most essential element of a stable family and a thriving community.

Powered by 1,900 generous donors, committed staff, and outstanding board and volunteer leadership, we have achieved remarkable success this year, as outlined in this annual report. Together, we have financed business expansions, promoted the promise of international exporting, invested in the financial health of critical nonprofits, and helped business and community leaders unite to take local action on economic development. Our grants have supported workforce development, children and families, and uncommon partnerships that advance common-sense solutions. We have also helped families and organizations establish “Turn Key Funds” that leave a permanent legacy for communities while maximizing tax advantages for donors. Following our annual report, this special IQ Magazine explores the important industry and issue of healthcare. It is a powerful engine for the regional economy and a primary concern for small businesses searching for ways to promote wellness and curb costs. Through local stories, we offer insight, ideas and information to improve the bottom line for everyone. Enjoy the magazine! All the Best,

Linda Eich DesJardins Board of Trustees Chair

4 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Kathy Gaalswyk President

Linda Eich DesJardins

Kathy Gaalswyk

2011 Annual Report For the period 1/1/11 – 12/31/11

Mission Unlock the power of central Minnesota people to build and sustain thriving communities.

Who We Are Created in 1986 by local leaders and The McKnight Foundation, we are one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations. Through leadership programs, grants and business investments powered by local generosity, we work to strengthen our hometowns and regional economy. Five-year (2012-2017) Strategic Priorities 1. Resilient Businesses

• Invest in economic drivers like technology and manufacturing




• Secure 1,500 quality jobs that pay at least $35,000 per year

Thriving Communities

• Build a world-class workforce, starting with early childhood and youth

• Enhance quality of life, natural resources & recreational amenities

Effective Organizations

• Strengthen nonprofit ability to reduce employment barriers

• Improve fiscal health of nonprofits that provide critical safety nets

Local Philanthropy

• Create community, agency and donor funds that benefit local projects

• Raise $14.6 million in endowment and external funding Service Area

We are proud to serve the 14 counties and 160 cities of Central Minnesota.

Spring 12


Our Results

25 Years of Impact in Central Minnesota (1986-2011)

QUICK FACTS Invested $39.68 million through 868 loans and investments in locally owned businesses

Created or secured 11,219 living-wage jobs

Made 3,663 grants totaling $22.4 million

Awarded 661 scholarships totaling $529,072

Trained 1,936 leaders from 94 communities to plan and achieve a brighter future

Trained 1,587 leaders to improve the water quality of 224 lakes and rivers

Trained 1,410 leaders from 280 nonprofits to manage more effective organizations

Trained 994 leaders from 18 communities to prepare young children for lifetime success

Trained 248 leaders from 8 groups to improve the lives of children with incarcerated parents

Return on Investment Initiative Foundation Investments** in County


Resident Donations* to Initiative Foundation













Crow Wing












Mille Lacs




































*Rounded numbers include individual, business, government, and utility donations. **Rounded numbers include nonprofit grants, business financing investments, and scholarships.

6 Initiative Quarterly Magazine


Every donated dollar is matched by The McKnight Foundation and returns an average of $5.19 in grants, loans and scholarships to Central Minnesota communities.

Financial Summary 2011



Local Ownership, Quality Jobs • Manufacturing 54%..............$845,142 • Technology 41%..............$640,000

Unlocking the Power of People • Innovation Fund • Organizational Effectiveness

• Environment/Agriculture 4%................$65,000 • Service 1%................$17,500 TOTAL...........$1,567,642

23%......... $312,475 21%......... $286,346

20%......... $273,031 • Community & Donor Funds 11%......... $145,000 • Children, Youth & Families 10%......... $130,930 • Hometown Improvement Economic Opportunity 8%......... $105,000 • • Natural Resources Preservation 5%........... $67,100 • Scholarships 3%........... $39,951 TOTAL...... $1,359,833

Sources of Funds: $9,045,197 Grants & Contributions $ 4,782,987 | 53% Business Financing Revenue & Repayments $ 2,424,478 | 27% Investment Income $ 1,729,152 | 19% Other Operating Revenue $ 108,580 | 1%

Uses of Funds: $6,840,182 Business Investments Grants, Scholarships & Training Programs Foundation Operations Fund Development Special Projects & Other

$ 3,013,215 $ 2,603,109 $ 825,572 $ 319,270 $ 79,016

| 44% | 38% | 12% | 5% | 1%

Training Programs Expenses Incurred * Total Endowment Value: $32.9 million Total Assets: $47.8 million

Healthy Organizations Partnership Volunteers in Service to America Healthy Communities Partnership Early Childhood & Youth Engagement Healthy Lakes and Rivers Partnership Early Childhood Mental Health

$ 454,673 $ 353,841 $ 178,987 $ 132,736 $ 105,290 $ 17,749 Total $1,243,276 *Excluding Grants

A complete audit report prepared by CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP is available upon request.

Spring 12


Work Smarter, Not\ Harder Feel like business shouldn’t be this difficult?

Are you working harder than you need to? We can help you be more productive by organizing your business documents, information, and processes. With a document management system from Marco, we can save your staff time, improve your workflow, and eliminate redundancy. That means you’ll work smarter, not harder, to improve your bottom line.

Not sure where to begin? Start by talking to us about your current business processes and systems. We’re all ears. Learn about an easy and affordable solution for managing your organization’s documents. Visit

Improving the Way You Look at Life

Dr. David Pelowski

Dr. Michael Marvin

Comprehensive Eye Examinations, Complete Contact Lens Care, Children’s Vision Care, Diagnosis & Treatment of Eye Diseases, The Best in Eyewear

Brainerd, 218-829-1789, 1-888-420-2015 Nisswa, 218-963-2020, 1-877-963-2010 Pine River, 218-587-2020, 1-888-970-3937

8 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

ApplyInG ClASSroom leArnInG To lIfe experIenCeS

SAmAnTHA Ivey,

Student Government president rogers, minn. law school bound

At St. Cloud State, applied learning is among the backbone principles that help shape students’ education. Samantha Ivey has built her college career around one premise — involvement. Her political science and communications studies have taken her beyond the classroom. As president of the Student Government she’s had to apply her learning to real world challenges. And those challenges have helped her take her leadership and problem-solving skills to a completely different level. She’s also used her lessons learned in her political science and communication studies courses to serve on the executive committee of her social sorority, to chair committees and to confront student issues with maturity and logic. To learn more about what St. Cloud State has to offer, visit

GoodSam_IQRuth_7.75x4.625_Layout 1 5/1/12 12:59 PM Page 1 11_SCSU_IQ_EMG_Ivey2_final.indd 1

1/3/12 10:09 AM

SENIOR APARTMENTS Please call (218) 829-1429 for more information. All faiths or beliefs are welcome. Spring 12


2011 was a special year for the Initiative Foundation, the confluence of its 25th Anniversary and the final year of a successful campaign that raised more than $13.8 million to build thriving communities and a strong economy in central Minnesota. To celebrate both milestones, we commissioned a Commemorative Wall that depicts a classic downtown and 25 symbols of regional impact. A river of donor names will unite the Foundation with the generosity of its donors. With great appreciation, we recognize the following donors for their investments of $1,000 or more, between 2007 and 2011. Keymaster $25,000 and greater Anderson Brothers Construction Company Benton County Betty Ford Menzel Scholarship Fund Blandin Foundation Bob Wright Memorial IFPA Scholarship Fund Bremer Bank Bush Foundation Cass County Center for Rural Policy & Development Gloria MacMillan Cessna City of Little Falls Communications Alternatives, Inc. Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque Connexus Energy Corporation for National & Community Service Crow Wing County Department of Health & Human Services East Central Energy Eich Motor Company Emma B. Howe Memorial Foundation Granite Equity Partners Isanti County The Jay & Rose Phillips Foundation Jane & Patrick Mitchell Foundation Arnold & JoAnn Johnson Little Falls Scholarship Fund Loren & Kathy Morey Family Fund Manufacturing Fund of Central Minnesota Mark Wood Foundation The McKnight Foundation Medica Foundation The Minneapolis Foundation Minnesota Community Foundation Minnesota Power Minnesota Public Radio Morgan Family Foundation Morrison County Otto Bremer Foundation Gladys & Leonard Paulson Pine County John & Bonnie Schlagel Schlagel, Inc. Shawn Grittner Memorial Scholarship Fund Sherburne County 10 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

State of Minnesota, Department of Commerce Stearns County Stearns Electric Association Jack & Betty Thomas U.S. Bancorp Foundation USDA Rural Development U.S. Department of the Treasury Fran & Mil Voelker West Central Telephone Association William & Ethel Nelson-Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund Wright County Xcel Energy Foundation Portal $10,000 to $24,999 AgStar Financial Services Arvig Benton Telecommunications Foundation Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation Bob & Marsha Bunger Endowment Fund Chisago County City of Milaca City of Mora City of St. Cloud City of St. Michael City of Sartell City of Sauk Rapids City of Wadena Consolidated Telecommunications Company First National Bank of Milaca Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities Kathy & Neal Gaalswyk Hanowski Family Fund Julius & Tracy Kurpius Fund Kuepers, Inc. Architects & Builders The Laura Jane Musser Fund Mel & Jeanette Beaudry Fund MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union Northwest Area Foundation Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation SPEDCO Economic Development Foundation Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council Eugene & Bernadine Waldorf

Gateway $5,000 to $9,999 American Heritage National Bank Bank of the West BlackRidgeBANK Cambridge Medical Center CentraCare Health Foundation Central MN Jobs & Training Services Chuck & Barb Christian Citizens State Bank of Waverly City of Baxter City of Big Lake City of Cambridge City of Lindstrom City of Long Prairie City of Maple Lake City of Melrose City of Pierz City of Pine City City of Staples CliftonLarsonAllen, St. Cloud Clow Stamping Company Deerwood Bank Donald & Deanna Engen Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center GNP Company (Gold’n Plump) Gray Plant Mooty Lee & Jan Hanson Kanabec County Lakeland Mold Company, Inc. Larson Boats, LLC Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Marco, Inc. Mardag Foundation Mille Lacs County Minnesota National Bank & Agency NOR-SON, Inc. Peoples Bank of Commerce Pequot Tool & Mfg, Inc. Pine Country Bank Schlenner Wenner & Co. Stephen & Gwyn Shelley Everett & Rita Sobania The Sheltering Arms Foundation Sundance Pay It Forward Foundation Todd County

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative Viking Label & Packaging, Inc. Wadena County Widseth Smith Nolting and Assoc., Inc. Sharla & Warren Williams Woodland Bank Corridor $3,000 to $4,999 City of Annandale City of Clarissa City of Cokato City of Crosslake City of Lake Shore City of Monticello City of Nisswa City of Paynesville City of Princeton City of Sandstone City of St. Joseph DeZURIK, Inc. Donlar Construction Curt & Mary Beth Hanson HBH Consultants Don Hickman & Sandra Kaplan Matt & Jeanne Kilian Jo & Larry Korf LINDAR Corporation Bill & Diane Scarince Shelley Funeral Chapels, Inc. Thelen Heating & Roofing, Inc. Venture Allies Passage $1,000 to $2,999 Advance Design & Systems Anakkala, Berns & Company Duane & Barb Anderson Keith H. Anderson Atomic Learning, Inc. Mayuli & James Bales BankVista Joe & Mary Bauer Steven & Ann Benda Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation

See your name on the

25th Anniversary Commemorative Wall Visit us from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in Little Falls.

Dan & Marie Bullert Lynn & Darren Bushinger Central Minnesota Community Foundation City of Albany City of Albertville City of Avon City of Backus City of Becker City of Belgrade City of Bertha City of Braham City of Brainerd City of Breezy Point City of Cass Lake City of Chickamaw Beach City of Cold Spring City of Eagle Bend City of East Gull Lake City of Eden Valley City of Emily City of Fifty Lakes City of Foley City of Garrison City of Hinckley City of Holdingford City of Isanti City of Isle City of Menahga City of Montrose

City of Motley City of Ogilvie City of Onamia City of Pequot Lakes City of Randall City of Rice City of Rock Creek City of Rockford City of Rockville City of Royalton City of Rush City City of Sebeka City of South Haven City of Swanville City of Taylors Falls City of Upsala City of Verndale City of Waite Park City of Walker City of Waverly City of Wyoming Christopher & Amber Close Family Fund CliftonLarsonAllen, Brainerd Close-Converse, Inc. Gloria L. Contreras-Edin Crow Wing Power D.J.Bitzan Jewelers DeGraaf Financial, Inc. Richard & Kerwin Donat

Linda Eich DesJardins & Joseph DesJardins Falcon National Bank Farmers & Merchants State Bank Chris Fastner & Kathy Hakes-Fastner First National Bank of Walker First State Bank of Wyoming Bruce & Mary Fogle Dan & Annette Frank Glenn Metalcraft, Inc. Pat & Carmel Gorham Grand View Lodge & Cote Family Companies Great River Energy David Gruenes Happy Dancing Turtle Cathy Hartle & Doug Larsen Anita & Brad Hollenhorst Linda Holliday Kaufmann Tricia & John Holig Hunt Utilities Group IPEX, Inc. John Kaliszewski Kennedy, Nervig, Carlson & VanBruggen Paul & Shirley Kleinwachter Kristine & Kenneth Kowalzek Kraus Anderson Construction Company Lakeland Incorporated Lakes Printing Little Falls Machine Little Falls Orthopedics

Larry Lundblad Mahowald Insurance Agency McDowall Company Minnesota Business Finance Corporation MINPACK, Inc. MN Elementary School Principals’ Association The Moran Family Fund North American State Bank Northern Technology Initiative Northway Group, Inc. Northwest Minnesota Foundation Robert & Marilyn Obermiller Glen Palm & Jane Ellison Park Industries, Inc. Fund Plaza Park Bank Earl & Christine Potter Randall State Bank David & Judie Rose Rotochopper, Inc. Julie Schueller & Brian Pederson Dorothy & Mike Simpson State Bank of Cold Spring State Bank of Kimball St. Gabriel’s Hospital David Toeben Sandy Voigt Wadena State Bank Dr. George & Raquel Wallin The Whitney Foundation Spring 12


Giving to and through The Foundation

The Initiative Foundation hosts 60 Turn Key Funds, local endowments and other vehicles through which donors create legacies of charitable support for current and future generations. DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS


Anderson Brothers Family Fund Bob & Marsha Bunger Endowment Fund Bruce & Diane Gohman Fund Gaalswyk Family Fund Granite Equity Partners Fund Hanowski Family Fund Jane & Patrick Mitchell Foundation John & Bonnie Schlagel Endowment Julius & Tracy Kurpius Fund Loren & Kathy Morey Family Fund Mark Wood Foundation Mel & Jeanette Beaudry Fund

Alternative Sources of Energy Fund Archie & Isabelle Powell Family Memorial Scholarship Fund Betty Ford Menzel Scholarship Fund Beverly M. Pantzke Scholarship Fund Bob & Pauline Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund Bob Wright Memorial IFPA Scholarship Fund Little Falls Scholarship Fund Shawn Grittner Memorial Scholarship Fund Staples Knights of Columbus-Lloyd & Marion Giddings Scholarship Fund Staples-Motley Dollars for Scholars Fund William & Ethel Nelson-Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund ZES Scholarship Fund

NorthwayConstruction_IQYachtClub2012:Layout 1 5/21/12 1:55 PM Page 1



Greater Pine Area Endowment Isle Area Community Foundation Longville Area Community Foundation Endowment Morrison County Area Foundation Rum River Community Foundation Staples Community Foundation Three Rivers Community Foundation

Children, Youth & Families Fund Crow Wing Environment Protection Advised Fund Family Farm Fund Josh Richardson Youth Arts Fund Planning & Preservation Fund Thrive Fund

AGENCY FUNDS Big Fish Lake Association Fund Conservancy Fund of Roosevelt & Lawrence Area Lakes Association Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Fund Gull Chain Preservation Endowment Fund Horizon Health Partnership in Life Fund Lake Region Conservation Club Fund Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation Minnesota Pioneer Park Endowment Fund Paws & Claws Animal Shelter Sacred Heart-Knights of Columbus Fund Wright County Historical Society Fund

SPECIAL PROJECTS Musser Partnership Fund Trees for Wadena Fund Veteran’s Art Project Fund Wadena Regional Wellness Center Fund Wadena Tornado Relief Fund

BUSINESS LOAN FUNDS Menahga Loan Fund Princeton Economic Development Loan Fund St. Cloud State University Microlending Fund Todd-Wadena Economic Development Loan Fund Wadena Tornado Relief Loan Fund

EDUCATION FUNDS Cuyuna Lakes Education Foundation Sauk Rapids-Rice Education Foundation

For more information about our Turn Key Fund program, call us at (877) 632-9255 or visit

2011 Contractor of the Year NARI - Minnesota Chapter

Building to a higher standard. Yours.


Serving all of central Minnesota with offices in Baxter.

218-824-2040 or toll free 877-824-2040 MN Lic. #BC630593


“Community Banking Since 1897”

MILACA - ISLE - GILMAN 190 2nd Ave SW, P.O. Box 38 Milaca, MN 56353 (320) 983 - 3101

“Our goal is financing to help our communities grow” 14 Initiative Quarterly Magazine


Linda Eich DesJardins Eich Motor Company

Board of Trustees

Board & Staff



Larry Korf DeZURIK

Ismail Ali St. Cloud Schools

Barbara Anderson Essentia Health

John E. Babcock The Bank of Elk River Our heartfelt gratitude to trustees whose terms ended in 2011:

Mayuli Bales Casa Guadalupe & Catholic Charities

Reggie Clow Clow Stamping

Charles Black Lance Central Lakes College

Pat Gorham Gorham Companies

Chris Close Close-Converse Properties

Arnie Johnson Johnson Enterprises

Lee Hanson Gray Plant Mooty

Earl Potter St. Cloud State University

Kathy Gaalswyk President

Mary Sam Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

MaryAnn Lindell Executive Assistant

Sharon Gottwalt Business Finance Assistant

Linda Holliday Vice President for Organizational Development

Katie Riitters External Relations Assistant

Cathy Hartle Senior Program Manager for Organizational Development

Jolene Howard Program Assistant for Grants & Training

Sara Dahlquist Children Youth & Families Specialist

Don Hickman Vice President for Community & Economic Development

Lois Kallsen Office & Facilities Coordinator

Chris Fastner Program Manager for VISTA & Organizational Development

Tricia Holig Program Assistant for Organizational Development

Dan Bullert Business Finance Officer Lynn Bushinger Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Dan Frank Senior Program Manager for Community & Economic Development

Gene Waldorf Retired, 3M Former Minnesota Legislator

Anita Hollenhorst Grants & Communications Specialist

Mary Bauer Development Officer


JR Spalj Spalj Construction Company

Matt Kilian Vice President for External Relations Kris Kowalzek Finance Assistant

Eric Rittmann Creative Services Coordinator Julie Schueller Finance Assistant Sandy Voigt Development Officer

405 First Street SE Little Falls, MN 56345 877-632-9255

Spring 12


Banking at its peak.

With a Total Connect Security System, you can: • Mind your store • Protect your business • Arm and disarm the system

For all your banking needs,

• Watch for shoplifters

just look to the twin peaks.

• Control employee theft over the Internet, with cell phones, or other web-enabled devices.

It’s your mark of membership at BlackRidgeBANK.

People’s Security offers basic security systems, Closed Circuit TV and a variety of commercial options.

Put our team to work for your business M i n n e s o tA l o C At i o n s

AlexAndriA CArlos MiltonA BrAinerd/BAxter CrosslAke nisswA n o r t h dA ko tA l o C At i o n s

BisMArCk FArgo

Bremer Bank has built its reputation on delivering personalized solutions. And when our clients prosper and entrust us with their business, we’re able to strengthen communities too. We’re the only financial services provider owned by its employees and a charitable foundation. We do it all with one goal in mind: building healthy communities where people and businesses can thrive. Brainerd 829-8781 • Baxter 828-5191 • Aitkin 927-3794 1-800-908-BANK (2265) •


Member FDIC

16 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

IQMagazine512.indd 1

4/27/12 1:50 PM



Matt Bullard, Presiding Super intendent at the Students of Excellence Banquet and Recognition Ceremony on Apr il 25.

AlbAny Kristen Loecken Gage Sachs Anthony Schoenberg Rachel Waletzko

CAthedrAl, St. Cloud Greta Danielson Madeleine Pesch Erin Peterson Jenna Schmitz

foley Anne Gapinski Nicole Gapinski Amy Lezer Suzanne Timm

mAple lAke Brooke Decker Brady Gagnon Lexis Pingel Alexandra Schonnesen

Apollo, St. Cloud Rebecca Humbert Joshua Loso Amanda MaricleRoberts Rebecca Miller

ChiSAgo lAkeS Kailee Carlson Mary Cross Jamie Dobosenski Zoe Hansen

melroSe Jacquelin Blomker Hailey Brinkman Jenna Friedrichs Allison Maleska

beCker Jocelyn Johnson Ashley Kangas Hannah Pursley Jaydee Toedter

dASSel-CokAto Caroline Kivisto Kimberly Moy Renata Raisanen Lucas Salfer

hinCkley-finlAySon Michael Gerard Lenzen Sadie Klar Zachary McEachran Shannon Summerland

belgrAde-brooten elroSA Kelly Reller Erin Reps Michelle Sanders Rachel Tengwall

delAno Brooke Jaunich Nicholas Meyerson Kara Oja Matthew Stevens

big lAke Justin Benker Lauren DeZelar Emmaleigh Muehlberg Rachel Zigler brAhAm Cameron Lee Braund Rachel DeGray Alysha Newsom Brianna Stickles buffAlo-hAnovermontroSe Emily Bengtson Michael Burgdorf Kirsten Olson Samantha Paripovich


eASt CentrAl Rowan Hilty Stuart Lourey Cailyn Ludwig Danielle Yaste eden vAlley-WAtkinS Travis Eisenbacher Molly Hesse Jennifer Notch Alexandra Theis elk river Dylan Berger Laura Crepeau Alex Lawrence Blake Thompson

holdingford Alicia Fiedler Samantha Hellmann Teia Koopmeiners Sarina Sandstrom hoWArd lAkeWAverly-WinSted Ava Broscoff Jared Gailey Jackson Houston Katelyn Kamann Heather Lehner iSle Alanah Boser Maja Coomes Ashley Tramm Emily Young kimbAll Erin Dingmann Maria Donnay Cora Gohmann Chelsey Maus litChfield Asha Kopp Jared Negaard Lorien Rusch Mitchell John Wollin

pine City Elizabeth Anderson Joshua Monson Renee Schminkey Adam Stolt Kyle Webster prinCeton Stephanie Kent Karen Pelletier Erica Preister Bailey Stottrup

montiCello Cassandra Hulburt Travis Kasper Thomas Ley Samantha Pitts

roCkford Amanda Hudinsky Mary Nelson Phoebe O’Brien Stormy Sorvaag

morA Alexis Good Emma Johnson Paige Thielen Samantha Weaver

roCori Stephanie Eswine Jordan Hemmesch Samuel Kuss Tanner Rothstein

north brAnCh Samantha Brannick Branden Heidelberger Patrick Mork Melinda Richard

rogerS Kelly Brenny Madeline Schaeffer Trevor Springer Joelle Stangler

ogilvie Tavia Holland Adam Munsterteiger Robert Palmer Katie Steffen pAyneSville Josh Andersen Matthew Anderson Josh Bungum Dan Weidner

ruSh City Marissa Belau Samuel Melin John Roerig Trista Sarago Matthew Strenke SArtell-St. Stephen Rachel Bachman Lydia Grace Dullinger Joshua Hill Joseph Michael Lawson

SArtell-St. Stephen (cont.) Sally LeFran Traut Kiley Sullivan Abbie Whitney SAuk Centre Jacob Gerhartz Alexandra Miller Christine Reitsma Carissa Rodenbiker Karla Schneider SAuk rApidS-riCe Kaitlyn Brown Elizabeth Rogers Christopher Rothstein Anna Viere St. miChAelAlbertville Michael Bruner Kevin Caron Cory Rothstein Marshall Smith teChniCAl high SChool, St. Cloud Zoe Bohnen Brandon Cash Samuel Eggers Brooke Katzmarek WAtertoWn-mAyer Samuel Husman Emily Tschida Aaron Vraspir Afton Windsperger ZimmermAn Jeffry Anderson Adam Fordahl Matthew Onarheim Emily Timinski to view photos from our 25th annual recognition event. (888) 447-7032. 4150 2nd Street South, Suite 550. St. Cloud, MN 56301.

18 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

As other sectors recover, the healthcare industry propels economic stability, growth & jobs in Central Minnesota.


ric Hylen was on the road to a deadend career. After more than a decade as a short-haul trucker, the Sartell resident was bored and unfulfilled by his job. So when he was laid off in 2009, the father of two was shocked, but didn’t panic. “I looked at it as the kick in the butt to get me to do what I needed to do, which was change careers,” said Hylen, now 45. “I knew that I wanted to get into a job that I could enjoy.” The day after his layoff, Hylen got behind the wheel of his own vehicle and drove straight to the Minnesota WorkForce Center in St. Cloud. There, he took the first step toward a new career in a field that’s providing an outsized share of job growth, opportunity and income in central Minnesota and throughout the state: the healthcare industry. The healthcare business is the largest industry in Minnesota, employing about 427,000 people—or 16.3 percent of total statewide employment. In central Minnesota, there are 45,500 healthcare jobs, representing 17.5 percent of total employment. And those numbers are expected to climb still higher. Over the coming decade, healthcare is estimated to provide about 103,000 new jobs statewide and about 14,500 new jobs in central Minnesota. That’s growth of 25.5 percent statewide and 33.6 percent in central Minnesota.

Spring 12


Over the coming decade, healthcare is estimated to provide about 14,500 new jobs in central Minnesota. That’s growth of 33.6 percent.

Healthy Opportunities For people looking for long-term, gainful employment, healthcare is an excellent choice. “If you want to steer someone to a career, healthcare is a great place,” said Cameron Macht, a regional analyst in the Willmar office of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “From the perspective of the labor market, there’s not much bad to say about it.” Macht should know. His job is studying the economy and employment prospects in the Initiative Foundation region. A query to his office uncorks a geyser of facts and statistics highlighting the positive impact of the healthcare business on the local economy. And in most cases, the impact is even more positive in central Minnesota than in the state as a whole. That’s because on average, healthcare jobs in central Minnesota pay $5,000 to $6,000 more annually than the overall average for all other jobs in the region. In addition, the multiplier effect of healthcare jobs is higher than almost any other industry. “You can’t discount the technology, food service, hospitality, construction and other jobs that are produced in our region as a result of the healthcare industry,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation president. “In addition to the partnerships between those sectors, the industry is poised for growth because our area has such outstanding educational opportunities and stellar human resources.” Eric Hylen: “I’ve always been a people person, and now I help people every day.”

Macht points out another benefit: The typical healthcare job isn’t an end, but a beginning.“Healthcare provides a really good career ladder,” he said. “You can start off as a certified nursing assistant, then move up to an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or RN (registered nurse). The higher your training level, the higher your wages go. If you go from $10.50 an hour as a certified nursing assistant to $28 for an RN, that can change a person’s life.”

Positive Prognosis When Eric Hylen arrived at the WorkForce Center, he met the person who would guide him on his journey. Kathy Frank is a career planner for the Stearns-Benton Employment and Training Council. The program Frank leads her clients through is geared toward getting them into careers that promise growth. For many, healthcare is a fairly easy choice. “In healthcare, they know they’re going to get a job and keep it,” Frank said. Career planning at the WorkForce Center begins with a program called Career Trek. Students explore their interests, skills and personalities, and take several different assessment and aptitude tests. For Hylen, every one of the half-dozen tests he took suggested nursing as one of his top career choices. Even then, he had doubts about whether he could make such a dramatic change, going

David Borgert: “I’ve been told there are a number of blocks in Sartell where there are ten houses on the block and eight of them have someone working for CentraCare.”

from a macho, male-dominated job to a nurturing, female-dominated field. Hylen began as a nurse’s aide, a required step for all nursing students. “It kind of tells you whether you’ve got the stomach for the work,” he said. Within three months, he had a job as an aide at St. Benedict’s, a senior community in St. Cloud. He took to the job immediately.

The Mayo Effect St. Benedict’s is part of CentraCare Health System, based in St. Cloud, which employs 6,500 people in facilities serving 14 central Minnesota counties. Using conservative multipliers, CentraCare’s $800 million annual budget translates into an overall economic impact of about $1.3 billion a year, making it the largest economic engine in the St. Cloud area. “Anecdotally, I’ve been told there are a number of blocks in Sartell where there are 10 houses on the block and eight of them have someone working for CentraCare,” said David Borgert, CentraCare’s director of community and government relations. CentraCare is finishing a $225 million expansion of its flagship facility, St. Cloud Hospital—a project that gives further insight into how the economic impact of healthcare goes far beyond people in medical professions. “We had 100 subcontractors on this project, and 80 percent of them came from within 30 miles of St. Cloud,” Borgert said. “We had

nearly 1,500 individuals working on this at some point —usually about 225 tradespeople on site on any given day.” Healthcare also creates retail and hospitality jobs to serve patients and their families. “Look at Rochester,” Borgert said. “Without Mayo, it’s a sleepy little town.”

Digital Diagnosis Healthcare is creating new jobs that didn’t even exist just a few years ago. Essentia Health employs nearly 13,000 people across its fourstate system, many in central Minnesota, especially the Brainerd area. It’s among the many healthcare systems that are on the verge of a new industry boom. “You’re going to see an explosion in telemedicine,” said Rebecca

Radcliffe, Essentia’s workforce planning and development manager, referring to video and other electronic connections that allow healthcare providers and patients to meet without being physically together. “We’ll need people to build, design, program and install these instruments. So there may be a job called a telemedicine technician in the future—that’s something we don’t have right now.” In fact, Radcliffe said, computer-focused healthcare jobs are increasingly important and will become even more so. Skilled workers are needed to enter electronic records, update systems and create software that will allow different medical systems to communicate with one another. “Students might not be thinking of that as a healthcare skill, but we need it actively,” she said. Continued on page 39

In central Minnesota, there are 45,500 healthcare jobs, representing 17.5 percent of total employment. Spring 12


Injections of insight into the case for better health

Return on Investment


Amount a comprehensive worksite health program saves each year on healthcare costs and time away from work, per employee. Estimated percentage

of healthcare claims that result from an individual’s lifestyle.


Estimated savings on absenteeism for every $1 spent on workplace wellness.



Average excess medical expenditures per smoker per year.


Additional annual healthcare costs for body mass index of 40 or higher. Percent of obese adults with diabetes,

hypertension, coronary disease, gallbladder disease, high cholesterol, and/or osteoarthritis.


First year all states had obesity rates of 20 percent or higher.


Percentage rise in work-based health insurance premiums between 1999 and 2009.


Sources: American Institute for Preventive Medicine; U.S. Workplace Wellness Alliance; American Diabetes Association; Indiana University-Purdue University; United Health Foundation; Kaiser Family Foundation.

Risk Factors

suffer from stress

use alcohol excessively

For every


have high blood pressure

Employees: don’t exercise

don’t wear seatbelts

22 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

22 16 13 12 10

16 15 12 11 6

are overweight

have high cholesterol

have cardiovascular disease


are asthmatic Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

How Well Are We? CASS



Diet and exercise, sure. But, education and income levels? Researchers dissect data related to health behaviors, clinical care, the physical environment,


and even socioeconomic factors in order to determine these county health rankings. Minnesota is naturally above average, but it all adds up to improving our quality of life.



To learn more, visit









Aitkin Anoka Becker Beltrami Big Stone Blue Earth Brown Carlton Carver Chippewa Clay Clearwater Cook Cottonwood Dakota Dodge Douglas Faribault Fillmore Freeborn Goodhue Grant Hennepin Houston Hubbard















75 51 67 84 6 42 27 44 2 57 22 83 28 26 8 31 15 68 40 70 24 41 30 18 60

Itasca Jackson Kandiyohi Kittson Koochiching Lac qui Parle Lake Lake of the Woods Le Sueur Lincoln Lyon McLeod Mahnomen Marshall Martin Meeker Mower Murray Nicollet Nobles Norman Olmsted Otter Tail Pennington

61 7 55 NR 73 21 35 NR 49 39 33 25 82 46 36 43 58 13 4 54 62 1 56 38

Pipestone Polk Pope Ramsey Red Lake Redwood Renville Rice Rock Roseau St. Louis Scott Sibley Steele Stevens Swift Traverse Wabasha Waseca Washington Watonwan Wilkin Winona Yellow Medicine

23 71 10 69 74 34 65 17 11 32 64 5 52 29 12 53 NR 9 47 3 72 14 37 19

Source: University of Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

% increase in obesity % increase in diabetes

Adult Diabetes & Obesity (2004-2009)



Chisago Crow Wing


Kanabec Mille Lacs Morrison


Sherburne Stearns

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




24 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Big investments deliver big returns for these healthinspired companies. By Laura Billings Coleman | Photography by John Linn


hether it’s a weight loss contest or offering on-site medical services, investing in employee wellness is a growth business, even in the wake of a recession. Estimates suggest that every dollar invested in employee wellness returns between $3 and $6 in reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and avoided medical costs. Yet, as a recent survey from the global human resources consulting company Towers Watson discovered, more than a third of employees with access to wellness programs choose not to participate, while 60 percent believe their company is only moderately-to-not-supportive when it comes to their efforts to be healthy. That’s too bad, especially when you consider what’s at stake. “Finding solutions to get and keep people healthy should really be everyone’s concern,” said Jason Bernick, the director of corporate affairs at Bernick’s Beverages and Vending in St. Cloud and the co-chair of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation’s wellness initiative. “If new employers choose to locate to this region because they know they’ll have healthy people to employ, we’ll all benefit.” Today, companies across the country are reshaping their employees’ attitudes about wellness while also controlling healthcare costs. Here are three central Minnesota companies that are leading the way to a healthier future. Spring 12


“My idea was that if you take care of your employees, they’ll have more energy, work harder, and like working for you.” ­­— Doug Huseby

26 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Becker Furniture World Becker

Worker Wellness: Employees at Becker Furniture World make the most of the workout center and Huseby’s custom-designed training programs.


or wellness programs to work, research says it’s critical to have the support of top managers. Few bosses may be more committed than Doug Huseby, the owner of Becker Furniture World and a true believer in the benefits of investing in employee health. “We feel our employees are our most important assets, but most of the time, you do more maintenance on your trucks, furnace and air conditioning,” said Huseby, who started Becker Furniture World with two employees back in 1978 and now employes 287. “My idea was that if you take care of your employees, they’ll have more energy, work harder, and like working for you because they know you care about them.” Huseby sketched the outlines of his own employee wellness initiative nearly 25 years ago, while sitting at his mother’s bedside in an intensive care unit. Overwhelmed by the chronic illnesses and catastrophic costs he witnessed, he asked his doctor why modern medicine didn’t focus more on preventive

Fancy Food: On-site chefs offer alternatives to burgers and fries.

training and the lost institutional knowledge measures. “He said, ‘We wait until you come and productivity a high-performing team here and then we work on you,’” Huseby said. member brings to his stores everyday. “I thought what a dumb system.” Back at work, Huseby installed air puriHuseby’s approach to employee health fiers, filtered water, and hired a cook to create fresh fruit and vegetable juices for employees, encouraging them to take breaks to exercise. The company’s health insurance costs went down almost immediately, according Huseby, who has since spun off another business, The Ultimate Wellness Center, aimed at sharing his cost-saving interventions with other companies. While Huseby clearly has a passion for health—adding on-site fitness centers, biometric testing, chiropractic services, and Back on Track: When visual merchandiser even vitamin recommendations for all of Kay Johnson’s back went out, she got same-day his employees—he admits that most of his treatment from the store’s on-call chiropractor. employees don’t share his enthusiasm until has kept health insurance premiums flat, drasthey have a problem. Case in point: Kay tically cut workers’ compensation costs, and Johnson, a visual merchandiser who arranges created a culture of health that’s quite a few furniture vignettes throughout 300,000 square steps ahead of most Minnesota companies. feet of retail space. “I was moving a table and something in my back just went wrong,” she said. When it didn’t improve on its own, Johnson made a same-day appointment with the store’s on-call chiropractor. Through a series of adjustments and microcurrent massages she was back at full strength cess by the end of r suc o f n the month, able ptio escri elect r P e. S to return to her e t t i your comm stand regular mornr lness e l ce d e n w y u suran rm a reall of in ing workouts in o t 1. Fo h s w o t is he c yees hat i ts, t w Becker’s fitness emplo fi e g n n e i b do ny’s y is center. compa y. ompan c e ealth h hy t tay h The money s s e and w f ploye dar o his company saves lp em calen a to he e t ea when a 13-year eople r. Cr get p egula t r a l h t t i employee like ke evera nts thy s 2. Ma s eve l s a e e n h l l Johnson doesn’t have e ng fun w stayi about to spend weeks recovyear. d e t t the exci u o h g u ering is “just the tip . thro ivate times on pr of the iceberg,” said i t a pate m nfor rtici i a p h t o l Huseby. “Those are the t a want ep he think 3. Ke don’t 25 percent of costs you s they e e tion f y i o l s p t m condi r E o “ h f t f l e can see and measure, but s hea y. llnes heir Huseb in we out t underneath there’s the b a n said o i ” t , a d m share 75 percent that costs you infor to be g n i o g even more”—expenses like is hiring temps, providing

“You see people working out together during their breaks, so from an esprit de corps standpoint it’s definitely improved morale.” ­­— Brian Myres 28 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

ING Direct

wellness resources after seeing a companysponsored screening of the documentary film “Food, Inc.” Blum consulted with wellness team leader Martin Hackenmueller for exercise and nutrition tips, and worked with her manager to create a schedule that could include an hour-long workout lunch. Since then, she’s lost more than 50 pounds, and her success story has been featured on the company’s intranet, where employees also share healthy recipes and fitness tips.

St. Cloud


ast November, while most office workers’ waistlines were expanding with the caloric surge of holiday parties and boxed chocolates, 122 employees at ING Direct in St. Cloud took their fitness to the next level. For the last two months of the year, teams of six competed to track the most mileage during their workouts, all for a chance at the grand prize—wearing jeans through the month of January. Thirty days of casual Fridays might not be enough to get most employees moving, but almost any contest puts the thrift bank’s staff into a fighting frame of mind, according to Dongho Baag, M.D., the company’s director of wellness. “Being a financial institution, our culture is that everyone is very competitive.” Since 2004, Dr. Baag has been in charge of an extensive corporate wellness program that serves ING Direct’s nearly 2,600 employees in St. Cloud,

On the Ball: ING Direct staffers hold a meeting while seated on stability balls, which help posture and improve core strength.

Minnesota and Wilmington, Delaware, with comprehensive health assessments, ergonomic interventions, on-site fitness centers and clinics where employees can go for a quick consult without having to see their doctors. Two years ago, the company created an even more comprehensive plan to leverage some of their employees’ competitive edge by inviting them to complete a Health Risk Assessment, and then offered financial incentives for healthy lifestyle decisions like going to the gym. To earn the same perks in subsequent years, employees must Prescr iption meet or exceed the for su 1. Go ccess team. previous year’s bio“ Busin chance metric benchmarks, for lo esses that have t ng ran that i he ge mp including blood presdo wit roving wellb success rec best h peop e i n g sure and Body Mass is som ognize le not Hacken ething to peo mu you Index (BMI). ple,” wellne ller, ING Di s aid Ma ss tea r e ct’s h r m lead tin A little over e a l t er in h and 2. Thi St. Cl nk lon half of ING Direct’s o u d g and . employ shortemployees take part in ees re t e r m. Hel du develo ping ping d ce their li the effort, which cost f ia esave m oney i betes or oth time risk o $140,000 to implen f e Myres r dise the lo sa ases c ng ter ment and which Baag an m, but stress ys encouragi -r Brian ng exe estimates has saved rcise immedi educing effo a ate pa n r d othe t s can y-off, r $564,000 in healthcare good a h a v e too: “ re goi People a more ng to expenses and lost producd w o h o feel 3. Ret a good hink s job at tivity. Magdalena Blum, a i c k d work.” days t o paid ays. Switchi 41-year-old account interng fro time o employ m sick ff may ee est and IRA specialist, encour seriou s to take p a revent sl decided it was time to take ive me ge our flu y, said Dr. asures Baag. shot p more advantage of her employer’s “We ad rogram ‘Why giv ve every year b rtise when y e up 7 days y ou cou o saying f PTO fo ld use , r the it on flu vacati on?’”

Success Story: IRA specialist Magdalena Blum lost more than 50 pounds working with ING Direct’s wellness team leader.

“You see people working out together during their breaks, so from an esprit de corps standpoint it’s definitely improved morale,” said Brian Myres, ING Direct’s head of sales in St. Cloud, who now takes part in community and company-sponsored 5K races and proudly displays the trophies ING’s employees win. “My name is on one of those trophies, so I’m happy about that.”

Bike at Work: An ING Direct employee makes use of a state-of-the art workstation.

Spring 12


“The more you can do to keep healthy employees healthy, the less you’ll pay over time.” ­­— Reggie Clow

30 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Clow Stamping Merrifield

Built-in Safety: A wrist strap automatically pulls an employee’s hand away when a machine starts cutting.


V’s “Biggest Loser” has spawned countless corporate health spinoffs, including a popular weight loss competition last year at Clow Stamping, a family-owned metal and fabricating firm that offered a cash prize to the company’s weight loss champ. Unfortunately, that kind of contest doesn’t do anything to reward the employees who are already fit and taking care of themselves. “We need to give them kudos, too, so that healthy people feel rewarded for staying healthy,” said Tara Moghadam, one of Clow’s owners.

Healthy Business: Clow Stamping converted an unused space into an employee fitness center.

Clow’s “defacto health czar,” Moghadam takes some of this inspiration from Zero Trends, a book from researchers at the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center that proposes a simple strategy for

keeping health costs from spiraling: Don’t get worse. “The more you can do to keep healthy employees healthy, the less you’ll pay over time,” said Reggie Clow, Clow Stamping owner and Initiative Foundation trustee. Two years ago, the company decided to convert an unused space into an employee fitness center where Moghadam herself teaches yoga. Clow also restructured its healthcare package, raising deductibles from $100 to $1,200, a jump it offset by creating Health Savings Accounts for every employee. Clow contributed the first $600 in the account, then offered to match the first $200 employees contributed on their own. “That money is yours, so when you’re paying that first dollar Leading by Example: Clow Stamping coyourself, you pay more attention to how you’re owner Tara Moghadam is the company’s health using healthcare,” said Twyla Flaws, Clow’s czar and yoga teacher. personnel manager. “We’ve seen some claim lot of wellness programs are based on people savings because of that.” like me who are way overweight and make To keep employees enthusiastic about improvements, but this way rewards people their health, Clow turned to a fitness celebrity who don’t get worse. That’s a nice simple closer to home—Gary Walters, a Brainerd message to remind people man who’s made headlines and raised thouabout health.” IQ sands of dollars with his “Walters Wacky Adventures,” a partnership with the Brainerd Lakes-based mentoring nonprofit Kinship Partners. Past stunts have included extended stays on water tows ers and walkcces r su o f oston ing across be c start ipti r t c o s n Pre t to Minnesota. In migh panies and “It m pen o . o c p May, Walters l g l e n l ce,” h i a t choi lub sit t sm c s y e o s h c m a t announced his spa n e ave Heal ive for d a as a don’t h 1. ct e ha so it w plans to lose w t e a l effe t u litt lth s th m, b ment 100 pounds by anie n a a p i e a gy d equip m h o g “C in es’ te kick dam. November 16. loye dona a r p h e m g d e Mo nsi ir said t co ard the Clow employees migh w ric o t t a gene ating th nth ” s who are inspired by o . e m s r p i y educ equ rshi ever an r me time his efforts can folembe l een m p b so betw new clu t e r n c u e n O p e low along with their “ s “A er ric. o we diff aws. gene ions, s ost d Fl hey own fitness plan, earnc i t o a G e s h t 2. muc rip t th s,” c u c w s o i o e b r h r ing cash for the weight p s a ze gene oyee eali and empl they drop. ’t r mes n o a d n i d ng t e d bran tryi nes, eopl “The nice twist p n e f e o b chi lot ng.” have ding ma is that even if you don’t if payi “We n cry e . v d d were o n e o a h o f t e need to lose, employees hu in , wh unk e a adam he j r foods b h es t g g d o n k l who maintain their weight cha Jun wou id M thie a l l e s l ly. a r 3. a e e ” h easi w sm in six months can earn a k th ything, e e get n f r i o h m I t ver th a down but prize, too,” said Walters. “A ed e ting wi s go plac e ar on we r ends st opti m ier m h o t c l re hea ake to m

32 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Ground-floor opportunities to improve health, happiness and the bottom line. By Laura Billings Coleman | Illustration by Chris McAllister

When it comes to a company’s balance sheet, an investment in

employee wellness pays off. Multiple studies suggest that creating any kind of an employee wellness program can return up to $6 in health savings for every dollar invested. If your small business isn’t quite ready for a state-of-the-art fitness center or on-call chiropractor, try some of these low-cost/highyield health strategies:

Step it up Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans work in sedentary jobs, and less than half have employers who encourage them to be active. One $4 solution: the pedometer. This spring, employees at Becker Furniture World were given inexpensive pedometers to log the miles they pace around the 300,000 square foot store at the headquarters in Becker. “I’ve increased my average daily steps by 4,500 steps, and everyone else is wearing them, too,” said Phil Knutson, director of operations. Employees who meet the recommended 10,000 steps a day goal get a chance to win prizes, “but mostly it’s a friendly competition that gets more activity in your life.”

Rent a movie Last year, ING Direct arranged showings of “Food, Inc.” and “SuperSize Me,” documentaries about the health consequences of fast food and factory farming, at their St. Cloud office. “We had several people who were really affected by those movies,” said Dr. Dongho Baag, the company’s head of health and wellness. Other titles to check out: “Food Matters,” “Fresh,” “Hungry for Change,” “The Future of Food” and “Forks Over Knives.”

Decorate with fruit Less than a quarter of Minnesota workers have access to low or reasonably priced fruits or vegetables at an on-site food service. If you swap the fresh flowers in your lobby with a basket of fresh fruit, you can improve the food landscape for the 85 percent of Minnesotans who don’t get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

Revamp a vending machine Only 11 percent of on-site vending machines in Minnesota offer affordable fruit and other healthy alternatives, making it a little too easy to opt for the soda and candy bar combo during the afternoon lull. Consider working with your vending machine provider to offer low-fat pretzels, air-popped popcorn, baby carrots, nuts and other more nutritional offerings. Replacing that 12-ounce soda with water could save an employee more than 51,000 calories over a year—the equivalent of 14 pounds.

Swap recipes ING Direct recently sponsored a recipe contest, inviting employees to submit a healthy dinner for four for just $15. Employees got to test recipes and vote among the three finalists, who competed for a chance to win two weeks worth of groceries for dinner. “People had a lot of fun, but it was an intentional effort to dispel the myth that you can’t afford to eat well,” said Martin Hackenmueller, health and wellness team leader at the St. Cloud office.

Banish the birthday cake With more than 300 calories a slice and nearly no nutritional value, does anyone really need another sheet cake in the conference room? If sugary treats are what bonds you, try building morale and celebrating successes with healthier traditions, like knocking off early for a game of softball.

Stand up to meetings Treadmill and stand-up desks have been gaining traction as a way to combat computer slump. If you can’t afford new office furniture, try conducting some meetings with everyone standing. Not only are the meetings less likely to drag on, you and your employees will burn three times the calories you would sitting down.

Throw ‘em a bone A recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that workplaces that welcome dogs have workers who are less stressed as the day goes on—a pet-driven perk that can cut down on absenteeism and boost morale. To make the case to management, the next annual “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” is June 22. IQ Spring 12


By Laura Billings Coleman Photography by John Linn


mployers and employees gaze at healthcare from vastly different vantage points. The employer sees a cost to be contained. The employee sees an expensive benefit to be maximized. Education, transparency and mutual benefit is often the way to bring savings into focus. The message: When employees are healthier, everyone’s bottom lines are improved. The Mills Family of Companies, an iconic Brainerd-based company that includes 31 Fleet Farm stores across the upper Midwest, found a solution for a familiar challenge. “We’re a little heavier than we should be, we don’t eat all of our fruits and vegetables, and we don’t exercise enough,” said Jon Schloemer, the company’s benefits administrator. In fact, the company’s 6,000 employees offer a fairly accurate reflection of Minnesota’s own health profile, where two-thirds of adults are employed in sedentary jobs, six in ten are overweight or obese, one-third don’t get enough exercise, and only 15 percent eat their recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables. Several years ago, the company began to see a healthcare trend that was also very typical — double-digit annual premium increases that spurred Mills to start looking for cost-containing solutions. In 2005, the company shifted to a more consumer-directed health plan, encouraging employees to take more responsibility for premiums and co-pays with a well-funded Health Reimbursement Account. In 2008

34 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

they took the approach several steps further, partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to create a program that would give employees more incentive to make lifestyle choices that could improve their health and—and Mills’ management hoped—the bottom line. Employees were invited to take part in a series of on-site clinics that offered biometric tests and preventive health screenings, making employees aware of everything from their blood pressure to Body Mass Index (BMI). Since participation was voluntary, the company dangled an especially appealing carrot, offering a “buy down” on the monthly premiums of employees who earned a “passing” grade for their good health and habits, and offering incentive points for healthy behaviors like eating well and exercising. A year later, half of the employees who had “failed” the first health measurement test passed with flying colors. By improving the health of those at-risk employees, BlueCross and Mills management estimate the company avoided more than $1.8 million in medical costs in a single year. Since the program began, the company’s premiums have remained flat and they haven’t had to reduce any benefits to their employees. With healthcare expenditures consuming nearly 16 percent of the country’s gross national product, containing costs has become everyone’s business. In order to make lasting changes that improve everyone’s bottom line, employers and employees must share a common vision of healthcare.

Healthy Choices: The Mills Family of Companies created a highly successful healthcare program that offers employees more incentives to make positive lifestyle decisions.

Spring 12


“The biggest challenge is getting people to understand their choices have a direct impact not just on their own health, but on the healthcare costs imposed on their coworkers as well.” —Jon Schloemer, The Mills Family of Companies

“My health is my business, not my employer’s.”

“I admit that I’m overweight, but I still feel good.”

Fresh FOCUS :

Fresh FOCUS :

It’s true that employees have taken on a larger share of their own health insurance premiums, paying an annual average of $1,354 more for family coverage than they did in 2000. But with healthcare costs more than doubling in the last decade, employers now pay an average of $13,700 to provide family coverage—premiums that cut deep into every cost center. In a recent survey from Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, two-thirds of companies reported that the biggest hurdle to keeping benefits affordable was their employees’ poor health habits. So, while many employers are dangling cash rewards, premium cuts and other “carrots” aimed at encouraging employees to make healthy choices, 20 percent of 248 major American companies have adopted a “stick” approach, charging penalties and higher premiums to employees with such risks as smoking and obesity.

36 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Obesity actually outweighs smoking when it comes to excess healthcare costs. A recent Mayo Clinic study of 30,000 employees found that smokers racked up about $1,275 annually in additional healthcare costs over non-smokers, but obese employees cost even more. While a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered “normal,” having a BMI of 30 or higher resulted in average annual excess cost of $1,850, while employees with a BMI of 40 or more cost $5,500 every year. Obesity is the number-one risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, a preventable disease that now affects 269,000 adults in the state. Even if a person doesn’t have diabetes, she may see its rise reflected in her annual premiums. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost of diabetes in Minnesota exceeds $2.7 billion per year and while two-thirds is a direct result of medical bills, the remaining third stems from indirect costs such as lost work productivity. Walking regularly and losing just 5 to 7 percent body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in 58 percent of people with pre-diabetes.

“I’ve been smoking for years, so why quit now? The damage is done.” Fresh FOCUS :

The number of adults who smoke in Minnesota has dropped by nearly 5 percent in the past decade, but there still nearly 600,000 adults who haven’t kicked the habit. If an employer offers a smoking cessation plan and a person is ready to quit, the health benefits will start to kick in quickly. Within just 20 minutes of the last cigarette, a person’s heart rate will slow, and within 24 hours the carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream will return to normal. After a year of being smoke-free, a person’s risk of heart disease will be cut in half, and within five years, that person’s stroke risk will be the same as any nonsmoker. After 15 years, heart disease risk will drop to that of someone who’s never smoked at all.

half of 1,200 healthy middle-aged men and women had received screening tests for heart disease that posed risks that outweighed the potential benefits. Procedures like these are the reason why nine medical specialties combined forces to create the “Choose Wisely” campaign, encouraging physicians and patients to question potentially unnecessary orders like stress imaging tests at annual check-ups and antibiotics for sinusitis. To see their list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question,” visit

“It doesn’t matter where you go. All healthcare costs are basically the same.”

Fresh FOCUS : The price tags for medical procedures can vary widely in the same city. According to, one of a growing number of medical price comparison tools on the Internet, the cost of a colonoscopy in Central Minnesota can range between $2,250 and $6,600 depending on the provider. Prescription medications can also be worth pricing ahead of time. Though many healthcare plans now mandate generic drugs when they’re available, a recent ABC News investigation found that a generic prescription antidepressant filled for $14 at one pharmacy cost $267 at a pharmacy in the same city. “Inappropriate emergency room use is also very expenFresh FOCUS : Though it’s important to see a doctor when you need care, estimates from the sive,” said Marc Manley, M.D., M.P.H., vice president National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey sugand chief prevention officer for Blue Cross and gest that nearly a third of the more than 956 Blue Shield of Minnesota. In fact, a 2010 survey million doctor visits Americans made in 2008 found that more than half of the 124 million weren’t necessary, resulting in nearly $60 visits to the ER were for non-emergency care, million in wasted healthcare dollars. costing an average of $788 a visit. “The biggest challenge is getting people Having a trusting relationship with a to understand their choices have a direct doctor who knows her patient well and coorimpact not just on their own health, but on dinates his care can cut health costs over the the healthcare costs imposed on their coworklong term, but consumers still have the right ers as well,” said Jon Schloemer, of The Mills to ask questions about their treatment and Family of Companies. After switching to its potential costs. A recent survey in the their more consumer-directed plan, he added, Archives of Internal Medicine found that 80 Two-thirds of “a lot of our employees told us they had no percent of physicians admit to having ordered companies reported idea what it cost to go to the doctor because unnecessary tests for a patient, mostly to they had never looked.” avoid malpractice suits. that the biggest hurdle In fact, up to one-third of the $2 trilThe shift toward Flexible Spending to keeping benefits lion of annual healthcare costs in the United Accounts and Health Savings Accounts is affordable was States each year is spent on drugs and devices making those fees more transparent to conthat don’t work, ineffective end-of-life care sumers. “When employees have a little skin their employees’ and tests patients don’t need. A 2010 study in the game, that can encourage them to price health habits. for Consumer Reports found that more than things out,” said Manley. IQ

“Since I’m paying a lot for health insurance, I make sure I use it.”

Spring 12


Care. After 48 years of steady support and growth, millions of community hours and an infinite supply of Cuyuna “Can-do” spirit, our mission statement comes down to one simple word: Care.

Simplifying Lending Micro-loan Fund $1,000 – $35,000 Revolving Loan Fund $35,000 – $100,000 Septic System & Water Well Loans available to rural land owners Contact Joe Schulte Region Five Business & Loan Developer 218.894.3233 x2

38 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Telemedic ine: Essent ia employee healthcare pr s practice us ofessions an ing video tech d patients to nology that meet withou allows t being phys ically togeth er.

Healthcare also creates retail and hospitality jobs to serve patients and their families. One study credited CentraCare with a $50 million annual impact on St. Cloud’s hospitality business.

Nurses Needed Next on the list is nursing, an area that will continue to be in high demand as nurses are asked to take greater leadership roles in patient wellness initiatives and care management. “Nursing leadership is a huge and expanding area,” Radcliffe said. “We’re going to want those students who start with a twoyear degree to continue on for a four-year degree and maybe even a master’s.” Many of those nurses will begin their training at schools like Brainerd-based Central Lakes College, where Connie Frisch is director of nursing. Frisch said the nursing profession parallels healthcare in offer-

ing many possible career paths from a single starting point. “I started as a staff nurse in a big hospital,” she said. “Then I was an OB/ GYN nurse practitioner, then I worked in an emergency room. I went into education and now I’m a director. And I never left nursing.” Central Minnesota has a strong demand for nurses and other healthcare workers, she said, in part because of the retirees who flock to the area’s many lakes. To meet the needs of that older population, Central Lakes College offers a gerontological nursing course, one of the few LPN nursing programs in the state to do so.

For more inFormation 320.281.3167 | Wednesday–Saturday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. 2801 WeSt St. GeRMAiN StReet St. Cloud

Continued on page 43 Spring 12


I used to take 20 different medications; now I take less than half that amount. —Jody Jody Kuyava, Medical Home Participant

The healthcare REVOLUTION is here. Medical Home is a new, innovative way to deliver healthcare and is designed for anyone—children, adults, or seniors—with chronic or multiple conditions. For participants like Jody, Medical Home is not just revolutionary, it’s life-changing.

Medical Home


Lakewood is a pioneer in the Medical Home movement and was one of the first in Minnesota to receive Medical Home Certification.

218-894-1515 •

N Tuit ow enro l ion awa ling for rds a fall. vaila ble!

Some people have careers. Others have callings. Earn your B.A. in Social Work. Empower others and advocate for their well-being. Prepare yourself for a rewarding career with a program grounded in professional and Benedictine values.

Learn more at or call 877-418-1765

Duluth • Brainerd • Cloquet • Twin Cities

P28-3216 P28-3216 IQ Magazine print ad 3.23 insertion Social Work 4C Careers 041612.indd 1

40 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

4/16/12 1:30 PM

60432 IQ Chuck_2.417x9_Layout 1 12/1/11 10:07 AM

The Rural Pulse Healthcare is critical to hometown economics. By Elizabeth Foy Larsen

Ask any resident of a central Minnesota town why they live there and they’ll inevitably talk about the sense of family that one can only get by living in a small town. Those same close relationships are a primary benefit of being a rural doctor or healthcare worker. “Rural healthcare is like taking care of your neighbor,” said Tim Rice, the president and CEO of Lakewood Health System in Staples. “Our patients are all like family.” A robust healthcare system also provides critical life support to local economies. That includes St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, which has an annual payroll of $30 million. “A strong medical community is always part and parcel of a strong broader community,” said Chad Cooper, the president of St. Gabriel’s. “It provides jobs and a basis to support infrastructure that might not be sustainable without that economic foundation.” Even smaller clinics can make a substantial impact on a community. Rice estimates that for every physician hired, an additional ten jobs are created—from a nurse to an X-ray technician to a physical therapist and even someone to handle billing. “Our healthcare system is very physician-driven,” said Cooper. “There is very little that occurs in our system that isn’t the result of a physician’s orders.” While 12 percent of Minnesota residents live in its most rural areas, the Minnesota

Department of Health estimates that fewer than 5 percent of doctors practice in those communities. The shortage is expected to get even worse in the upcoming decade, especially in family medicine, as the Baby Boomers retire and our population ages. While it used to take Lakewood one year to successfully recruit a physician, it is now taking two to three years—a situation Rice calls a serious challenge. While there are a number of challenges when it comes to recruiting physicians to rural healthcare facilities —including spousal employment opportunities, a heavier call burden and the challenge of selling a home in a nationally weak housing market—both Cooper and Rice agree that the quality of life in central Minnesota is a huge selling point. Access to the area’s lakes and outdoor sporting activities are a draw, as is the region’s close proximity to the Twin Cities, Fargo and Duluth. In addition, many small communities have highly developed technological infrastructures, making it easier for a spouse to telecommute and families to stay in touch with the larger world. And for those who appreciate what central Minnesota has to offer, a healthcare job can be a perfect opportunity. “If we look at our physicians in this community, a number have ties to the immediate area,” said Cooper. “We need to appeal to folks who have a vested interest in all the great things that rural communities have to offer.”

Rural healthcare is like taking care of your neighbor, our patients are all like family.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY! Alexandria | Baxter Brainerd | Crosby | Little Falls Pequot Lakes | Staples

(218) 829-0371 of and CEO : President in Staples. Tim Rice tem Health Sys Lakewood Spring 12


IQ Ad Summer 2012.pdf 1 5/16/2012 2:46:37 PM

Challenge yourself. Challenge your organization. C





Visit our website at for forum dates and locations, to meet our Discussion Leaders, and to learn more about how the Anderson Center can be used to develop and strengthen leaders and create value in your organization.




Experience it.

A Decade of DemwithaExpnectded Healthcare Jobs High Demand by 2020


Average annual wage in Minnesota

Home health aide e Physical therapist aid Nursing aide n Pharmacy technicia

$23,260 $25,430 $26,670 $31,140

$32,340 Paramedic $33,180 Medical assistant hnician $38,390 Health information tec (coding and billing) l 320.251.3215

rse Licensed practical nu Dental assistant tant Physical therapy assis

$38,920 $41,170 $42,540 $42,680

lor Mental health counse unselor $45,170 Substance abuse co worker $51,050 Public health social $59,000 n Radiologic technicia $63,610 Clinical psychologist $70,560 Dental hygienist $73,770 Registered nurse $112,680 Pharmacist ent of Source: U.S. Departm rvices, 2010 Health & Human Se

Turn to page 52 for a list of area colleges with healthcare related programs, certificates and degrees.

42 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

On average, healthcare jobs in central Minnesota pay $5,000 to $6,000 more annually than the overall average for all other jobs in the region. The college is also increasing its training emphasis on long-term home care, anticipating an increased demand for in-home elder care as the Baby Boom generation ages. The nursing profession itself, in fact, is heading for a big generational shift. By some estimates, a third or more of the nurses currently working in central Minnesota will start to retire within the next five years. That will open up spots for people like ex-truck driver Eric Hylen, who now has his LPN license and expects to be licensed as an RN about a year from now. Hylen already makes more money as an LPN than he did as a trucker, and when he gets his RN license, he can expect to see his pay jump $20,000 a year or more. Just as important as the money is the satisfaction of an important job done well. “Caring about people, caring about doing a good job, taking pride in my work—those are things I think about every day,” Hylen said. “I’ve always been a people person, and now I help people every day. IQ

Every donor has a dream. We have the privilege of bringing it to life. Your legacy begins here. Help people to help themselves through the Initiative Foundation endowment, or create a fund to nourish the local causes that nourish you. We make it easy. You make it possible.

Donor-advised funds Corporate giving funds Community funds Agency/association funds Scholarship funds Memorial funds

877-632-9255 |

Simply doing good isn’t good enough anymore. Strategy makes all the difference in attracting the resources you need to carry out your mission. Contact us for your nonprofit’s next board planning session.


Spring 12



Problem Parts?


We have been providing cost effective metal spinning solutions for over 60 years. Our exclusive capability to spin metal up to 1.375â&#x20AC;? thick is supported by a superior commitment to product quality, highly empowered employees, and commitment to being the number one U.S. source for close toleranced heavy gauge CNC spinnings.

to learn more: for assistance with production orders:

call direct [800] 388-5355 or e-mail

44 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

CityNisswa.IQ.W12.ad_Layout 1 1/13/12 10:32 AM Page 1

,OCALSSECRETs6ISITORSFAVORITE Ye Old Pickle Factory | 963-0085

Downtown Nisswa | Open Daily |

Spirits of Nisswa | 963-7488

Across from Schaefer’s Grocery |

Nisswa Community Center | 218-963-0085 22x40 dance floor | 299 occ. cap. | smoke-free bar rental | kitchen | clean-up | tables and chairs all included


B usiness DocToR • Marketing & Advertising • Business Reviews & Assessments • Business Planning & Development • Management Services & Strategizing • Public Relations & Communications

l ehman & assoCiates

Consulting, inC.

Keeping Your Business Healthy

Brian Lehman cell. 218.838.4158 •

Spring 12


On the Job­­

Safety Czar In the world of manufacturing, health-related costs are riveted to employee safety. Protect and serve — ­ it’s all in a day’s work for Cary Simon.

By Maria Surma Manka | Photography by John Linn

Cary Simon: Strives for a “... trifecta of success: safer employees, lower costs for DeZURIK and the numbers to prove it.”


s the human resources director at DeZURIK, the Sartell-based global manufacturer of industrial valves, Cary Simon makes sure that employees go home in the same condition they were in when they got to work. His laser-like focus on worker safety protects not just DeZURIK employees, but also the company’s bottom line. That’s because worker’s compensation insurance rates are determined by a manufacturer’s safety record. We asked Simon to give us a peek into how jobs get done without any aches or breaks. My doctor knows best. DeZURIK works with an occupational doctor who has an intimate understanding of the company’s operations and job functions. Thanks to this relationship, I can more accurately evaluate whether an injury is job-related and when the employee can return to work. If manual labor isn’t possible, the doctor can recommend temporary administrative jobs. This saves on workers’ compensation costs and helps the employee regain productivity more quickly. The numbers don’t lie. When a new eye protection policy was instituted, I tracked the number of incidents before and after its implementation and found a drop in injuries and workers’ comp claims. It was my trifecta of success: safer employees, lower costs for DeZURIK and the numbers to prove it. 46 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Listening saves the most money. I value employee input, even if it’s a criticism. Take the eye protection example: Because many workers’ comp claims were eye injuries from particulate matter, a new policy required employees to wear a face shield even during menial tasks. But some employees were concerned about efficiency and taking time to put on a cumbersome shield. I found safety glasses that were easier and faster to use than a shield, yet provided the necessary protection. Employees could work efficiently and more safely, and the number of claims decreased. Stretching isn’t always a good thing. Making sure employees aren’t continually overreaching or stretching is one way to prevent injury from repetitive tasks. I work with an insurance adjuster who assesses the ergonomic layout of a workstation and identifies high-risk areas, like jobs that require constant straining. Sometimes a simple retrofit is all that is needed to decrease the likelihood of an incident. I take my work on vacation. I make sure my children are tuned in to the safety hazards around them, even when we are on vacation. Whether I’m pointing out a street light whose wires are going into the ground without a conduit or workers riding down the highway in the back of a pick-up truck, I live, breathe and even relax with safety on my mind. IQ

Anytime. Anywhere. Any day … ®

That’s when you can count on State Farm . I know life doesn’t come with a schedule. That’s why at State Farm you can always count on me for whatever you need – 24 / 7, 365. GET TO A BETTER STATE™. CALL ME OR VISIT US ONLINE TODAY.

Paul Gazelka Ins Agcy Inc Paul Gazelka, Agent 15229 Edgewood Drive, Suite 100 Baxter, MN 56401 Bus: 218-829-9694 Toll Free: 800-269-9694


State Farm, Home Office, Bloomington, IL


u Washed sand and rock

u Landscape rock

u Pre-cast concrete

u Concrete sealer

u Ready-mix concrete

u Concrete pumping and conveying

Skilled medical care for total peace of mind. For complete home health services, including skilled medical care, trust the people who’ve been here helping your neighbors since 1984. Remember, there is a difference.

We’ll be there. (218) 829-9238 | (888) 221-5785

(218) 829-4726 | (800) 450-4726 Baxter | Pine River | Crosslake | Deerwood | Staples Spring 12


Signs of the Times

Mind Your Business

Mental health disorders are a silent menace for families, firms alike. By Sara Mohs & Elizabeth Foy Larsen | Illustration by Chris McAllister


y the time he was in first grade, Max W.’s parents noticed their son was acting out in school and isolating himself from other kids. When his behavior started to impact both his social life and schoolwork, they consulted with school officials, doctors and specialists. Max, it turned out, suffered from an anxiety disorder. If arriving at a diagnosis felt like an ordeal, finding treatment presented its own challenges. Mary W., Max’s Mom, missed many hours of work and had to constantly reshuffle her schedule to get Max to his appointments at the Lakeland Mental Health Clinic in Fergus Falls, 25 miles from their home. “If I was working a normal nine-to-five job, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” she said. “I was lucky to have a job that allowed me the flexibility to get away two or three times a week.” Max’s family isn’t alone. Twenty-five percent of our nation’s youth struggle with anxiety, 11 percent from depression, and 14 percent from mood disorders, according to Dr. Joe Spalding, medical director of child and adolescent psychiatry at St. Cloud Hospital. Those percentages increase in adults: 20 percent of adults experience at least one depressive episode in a lifetime; one in six suffer from an anxiety disorder each year. In addition to being physically and emotionally debilitating for the sufferers and their families, mental health issues can be a major strain on a company’s morale and bottom line. According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, mental illness causes 217 million missed work days each year, more than diabetes and asthma. Given their prevalence and impact on the economy, why are mental illnesses still shrouded in so much mystery? “The media gives a lot of attention to very sensationalized incidents where somebody with a mental illness becomes violent Dr. Read Sulik and hurts people,” said Dr. Read Sulik, psychiatrist and senior vice president of behavioral health services at Sanford Health in Fargo, ND. “In reality, that’s extraordinarily rare.” People also believe that mental illness is a choice. Actually, Sulik says people with mental illness have no more control over their

anxiety or depression than someone with a chronic disease. Unfortunately, getting help can be costly, even if insurance pays for treatment. “Insurance doesn’t cover the gas and the time,” said Max’s mom, Mary. Even more difficult is the fact that there is a shortage of mental health providers in central Minnesota. “It can take many months for someone to get in to see a psychiatrist,” said Dr. Jon Bowar, adult psychiatrist at St. Cloud Hospital. “It’s difficult to set up new programs when we don’t have the resources to meet the needs of those already waiting to be seen.” Fortunately, employers can help. Corporations across the country have reported that educating employees about mental health has resulted in reduced health expenses and other financial benefits, according to Mental Health America, a Virginia-based nonprofit that advocates for mental health issues. Companies can also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is a set of services that are designed to help employees meet life’s challenges, from depression to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, businesses see a return of anywhere from $5 to $16 for every dollar invested in an EAP. Even if a company doesn’t feel that it can invest in an EAP, it’s crucial for employers to encourage employees to seek help for mental health issues that are impacting them or their families. Resources like the Minnesota Thrive Initiative, a project started by the Minnesota Initiative Foundations in 2007, helps families, especially those with children affected by mental health issues, by gathering community resources, increasing awareness and providing support. Max’s treatment included anxiety counseling, play therapy, and medication, which helped him learn to recognize his feelings of anxiety and develop coping skills. Now 9, he has transitioned from his special education reading group back into the regular classroom. On his first reading test, he scored the highest grade in his class. “He was very proud,” said Max’s mom. “And, so were we.” IQ

Mental illness causes 217 million missed work days each year, more than diabetes and asthma.

48 Initiative Quarterly Magazine


11:26 AM

Page 1

Catholic Charities serves people across the heart of our state: • Housing Services • Mental Health Services • Senior Health & Wellness • Food & Clothing Shelf • Family Services We are a nonprofit organization supported by generous individuals, foundations, businesses and faith communities. Call us today: 320.650.1550 • 800.830.8254 or visit

Spring 12


Resources th at affe ct savings, scales and salaries. General resource directory Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota

Health Force Minnesota

The Alliance is made up of several Minnesotabased corporations, who collectively employ more than 800,000 people. Working with the Minnesota Department of Health, the Alliance works to engage community members in fun and informative programs in order to help Minnesotans get and stay healthy.

HealthForce Minnesota is a collaborative partnership of education, industry and community that was created to increase the number and expand the diversity of healthcare workers; to integrate health science education practice and research; and to enhance patient care.

American Institute for Preventive Medicine

HealthyMinnesota NGAtoolkit/toolkit.html

AIPM develops and implement health promotions, wellness programs, medical self-care, and disease management programs and publications. AIPM helps organizations reduce health care costs and absenteeism, while helping employees or members improve their health and well being.

Developed by the Minnesota Department of Health, this toolkit guides employers through the design, implementation and evaluation of worksite wellness initiatives. Recommendations are based on the most current health promotion literature, national guidelines and first-hand experience from MDH staff coordinating the department’s own worksite wellness program.

Citizens Solutions Program engagement/citizen-solutions-healthcare Between April and July 2012, Minnesotans will come together in more than 40 community conversations ( to share their concerns about and ideas for fixing health care in the state. Supported by the Bush Foundation, the results of the meeting and ongoing conversations will guide the ultimate policy proposals of the Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force.

iSeek is a career, education, and job resource that makes it easier for Minnesotans to research, organize and understand successful paths to the careers, education and jobs of their choosing. iSeek works with the state’s workforce development and education authorities to develop career planning, education, and workforce development policies and resources.

Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health & Primary Care

County Health Rankings With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of Wisconsin compiles these County Health Rankings based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play. (See page 23 for Minnesota’s county rankings.)

50 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care promotes access to quality health care for rural and under served urban Minnesotans. The website includes a variety of reports and briefs regarding workforce needs and shortages, health care assessments and examples of successful rural health delivery projects.

Mental Health Association of Minnesota MHAM works to enhance mental health, promote individual empowerment and increase access to treatment and services for persons with mental illnesses. The website provides a variety of resources and support, including a free anonymous screening tool for mood and anxiety disorders.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce wellness.cfm The Chamber provides a list of healthcare and insurance providers in Minnesota (including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Partners and Medica) that provide worksite incentive and wellness programs as well as a comprehensive list of wellness sources, specifically for businesses.

Minnesota Department of Health Facility and Provider Database directory/providerselect.cfm The database offers contact information and state registration or licensure status for Minnesota health care providers. Provider types include boarding care homes, home health agencies, home care providers, hospices, hospitals, housing with services, nursing homes and supervised living facilities and other non-long term care providers and can be filtered by type, location or name.

Wellness Council of America WELCOA is a respected resource for workplace wellness in America; with a membership in excess of 3,200 organizations, they are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all working Americans. Continued on page 52


– UCare member


iscover UCare for Seniors , the simple, affordable health plan that provides great benefits at a great price — just what you’d expect from health care that starts with you. SM

Visit: to access rates, plan details, and more.

Call: (toll free) 1-877-523-1518 (TTY) 1-800-688-2534, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

UCare Minnesota and UCare Wisconsin, Inc. are health plans with Medicare contracts. © 2011, UCare H2459 H4270_081211_4 CMS File & Use (08172011) UC503_UFS_IQM_7.75x4.625.indd 1

4/24/12 11:15 AM

Spring 12


Local Colleges and their health-related fields of study. Alexandria Technical & Community College, Alexandria

College of St. Benedict’s , St. Joseph / St. John’s University , Collegeville

St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud

• Health & Fitness Specialist • Medical Coding Specialist / Administrative Specialist / Laboratory Technician / Transcriptionist • Nursing • Nursing Assistant • Phlebotomy Technician • Practical Nursing

• Dietetics • Nursing • Nutritional Science

• Biomedical Sciences • Biotechnology • Community Health • Medical Laboratory Science • Nursing • Radiologic Technology

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Cambridge • Biomedical Care / Technician / Technologist • Clinical Research Professional • Community Health • Fitness Specialist • Holistic Geriatric Health / Hospice and Palliative Care • Integrative Health and Healing • Nursing

Anoka Technical College, Anoka • Emergency Medical Services • Health Technology • Medical Assistant • Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide • Practical Nursing • Surgical Technology

Central Lakes College, Brainerd / Staples • Dental Assistant • Medical Assistant • Nursing • Nursing Assistant • Practical Nursing

52 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Wadena • Medical Administrative Assistant / Coding and Insurance / Receptionist / Transcriptionist • Nursing • Pharmacy Technology • Practical Nursing

Pine Technical College, Pine City • Health Sciences • Long-Term Care Assistant • Medical Assistant / Laboratory Technician • Nursing • Nursing Assistant • Phlebotomy • Practical Nursing

Ridgewater College, Willmar & Hutchinson • Biological Sciences • Emergency Medical Technician • Health Information Technician • Healthcare Administrative Assistant • Medical Assistant / Coding Specialist • Nursing • Nursing Assistant • Paramedic

St. Cloud Technical & Community College, St. Cloud • Cardiovascular Technology • Dental Assistant / Hygienist • Health Care Technician • Health Data Specialist / Information Technology • Nursing • Nursing Assistant • Paramedicine • Sonography • Surgical Technology

University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota has five campuses located throughout the state (Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester) and each one has their own healthcare-related programs and fields of study.

Spring 12



A discussion of new strategies for the economic realities facing America’s towns.

Brainerd | Baxter

MinnesoTA’s 4 Th of July CAPiTAl Arts in the Park

Wednesday July 4th

The American Celebration

Gregory Park, Brainerd, MN

Sunday, July 1, 2012

4 pm — paradE Beginning at Clearwater rd. & Golf Course rd., Baxter, MN

Celebrating 38 Years of Handmade Art in the Brainerd Lakes Area!

6 pm — EntErtainmEnt in the lot between target and the BodyWorks, Baxter, MN Bill Musel — MC Wayne renn & People Mania — featured entertainment

140 Artists

EntErtainmEnt: Pat surface – Folk singer Paul imholt – Dulcimer Mike the Banjo Man

10 pm — thE LEgacy choraLE singing the National Anthem

10:15 pm — WorLd cLaSS firEWorkS Best seating for the fireworks is in the entertainment area

parking at thE arb — $5 A fundraiser for the Northland Arboretum

please call brainerd community action at 218-829-5278 Visit our website for more information


lady dog


de s i g n

that retrieves GREAT RESULTS. Graphic Design



54 Initiative Quarterly Magazine




get to



National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA) is a Member-driven service cooperative with a Membership now exceeding 35,000. NJPA offers a multitude of programs, contracted products, equipment and service opportunities to local education, government and other nonprofit entities. Visit our website to learn how we can help you. Happy to call Staples home...Proud to serve the region. 202 12th Street NE • P.O. Box 219 • Staples, MN 56479 • 888-894-1930

Customized Training for all Occasions

Providing programs for Leadership Seminars, Retreats & Workshops, Keynote Presentations, and Team Building Activities. Celebrating 17 years serving Central Minnesota!

Contact us today



MidwestEye_IQspr2012_Layout 1 5/17/12 1:40 PM Pa Spring 12



IQ&A with Elizabeth Foy Larsen

IQ talks to Bush Foundation director of engagement C. Scott Cooper about Citizen Solutions, a nonpartisan effort to get Minnesotans involved in the future of health and health care in our state.

IQ: Healthcare isn’t a topic that your organization has tackled before, why now? CSC: Back in 2008, Governor Dayton’s administration created the bipartisan Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force, which is charged with developing an action plan to improve access to health care, lower health care costs and improve the health of all Minnesotans. So they approached us about our past work, including our initiative that tackled last year’s state budget challenges. They liked our approach so we made the commitment, partnering with the Citizen’s League and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. IQ: Why should people, especially business owners and community leaders, care? CSC: Most approaches to difficult community problems leave out the fact that regular people are the experts in their own lives. We want to talk to people—including small business owners and people who are selfemployed—about their health first. And then figure out what that tells us about what needs to be changed. If the experts aren’t talking to people whose lives are affected, you just won’t get the best solutions. IQ: What are people thinking as they walk in and out of those conversations? CSC: When people enter the room, they’re often convinced that they don’t know very much. They might have a philosophy— “I don’t want government involved” or “I want a single payer plan.” When the meeting is over, people walk away saying “I understand what the major factors are” or “I can see the challenges about where to put our resources.” And then they are able to take these new ideas and have more thoughtful conversations with their neighbors, coworkers, family and the wider world. 56 Initiative Quarterly Magazine

IQ: What about key themes – anything that’s being talked about over and over again? CSC: Improving health behaviors. In part, this is about the responsibility people have to make healthy choices in their lives. But it’s also about the challenges, like the difficulty of accessing healthy food in some communities. IQ: All right now… the elephant in the room… Why should people get involved given that the ruling on the new federal law could change everything? CSC: Talking about health care is important… regardless of the legislation. We have a silver tsunami of a rapidly aging population that is going to change health care needs. And we have a health care system that, from a cost perspective, is spiraling out of control. We have to deal with this as a society. IQ: How can people in central MN participate? CSC: Go to There is a calendar of the more than 40 meetings throughout the state. And there are opportunities to participate in conversations online, including Tele-Town Halls, which are a tech-age version of conference calls where you listen in and respond. IQ

C. Scott Cooper C. Scott came to the Bush Foundation to lead its communication and outreach efforts in 2009, bringing with him more than two decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, public affairs advocacy and political and community organizing. In addition to being a 2007 Bush Leadership Fellow, he also completed a Humphrey Policy Fellowship in 2005-2006. His current board service includes roles with the Sierra Club,, the Center for Victims of Torture and the Blue-Green Alliance.

CHANGE IS COMING RANGEDELIVERS.COM/REVEAL Here at Range, our ideals and high standards have stayed the same and always will, but our ideas and philosophies are continuing to evolve. Go online to catch a glimpse of where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re headed and see what we have to reveal as we turn a new page here at Range.

eel , st d o wo

a a n d s t o n e r e o u r m at e r


, bu t

Š2012 Nor-Son, Inc. All rights reserved. ND Lic. #25361 MN Lic. #BC001969

comfort is ou r bu siness.

Homes I

Hospitality I

We make it welcoming. You make it home.

Create a comforting experience for every guest.

see all we Do at nor-son.Com

Healthcare I

Healing environments with a touch of home.

Co n su lti n g

D e sign /bu i lD

Commercial I

g enera l C ont raC t ing

Function and comfort arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mutually exclusive.

C ons t r u C t ion m a nag em e n t

Nor-Son, Inc. An Integrated Consulting, Design & Construction Services Firm




IQ Magazine - Spring 2012  

Published by the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls, Minnesota, IQ Magazine boils down regional leadership issues to their very essence....

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you