Page 1

3 Hearing promotes

4 Cancer radiation

6 Don’t sugar-coat

cognitive function

facility opens in Northfield

your diet




N o r t h f i e l d H o s p i ta l & C l i n i c s

FamilyHealth Summer 2011 • Vol. 16, No. 3


Emergency Department nearby and convenient for victim of horseplay Jim Christian will one day give his horse, Cowboy, a second chance. And should he ever experience another bone rattling “involuntary dismount,” courtesy of Cowboy, he would definitely go a second time to Northfield Hospital’s Emergency Department. That was Jim’s first choice last May after he and his spirited, chestnut quarter horse had a difference of opinion. Jim was intent on practicing gait changes; Cowboy wanted to connect with another horse across the meadow. Jim hung on for two defiant bucks, but on the third, he was launched into the air before landing hard on his right flank. Back at his home in Webster, six miles east of New Prague, Jim was experiencing excruciating pain through his pelvic region, and he was slipping into shock. He needed to see a physician. When you’re hurting, it’s all about connecting quickly with medical professionals. Northfield Hospital was nearby and familiar to Jim and his family. It was a short drive from Cedar Lake Township, and there was no wait. Jim arrived at 11 p.m., immediately saw an Emergency Department physician, had several imaging procedures performed, was admitted to a hospital room and was asleep by 3:30 a.m. For Jim, a financial planner who works out Continued, page 2

Jim Christian and “Cowboy”.

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O’Halloran offers nonsurgical cosmetic treatments Gerard O’Halloran, MD, is now providing nonsurgical cosmetic treatments at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic in Lakeville. The clinic treatments include Botox and dermal filler injections. Dr. O’Halloran, an otolaryngology specialist with more than 20 years of experience, also performs rhinoplasty at Northfield Hospital in Northfield. Botox and dermal filler injections are noninvasive methods of softening facial creases and wrinkles and of restoring volume to the shallow contours of the face. Most patients require a Botox treatment about twice a year after the initial treatment. Derma fillers treatments are usually performed about once a year. Many patients prefer these approaches to a more complex surgical restoration, Dr. O’Halloran said. Both the initial consultation and treatments are an outof-pocket expense not covered by insurance. Rhinoplasty procedures to correct damage done by injury are Dr. O’Halloran covered by insurance, but elective rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons is not covered. Dr. O’Halloran sees both adults and children at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic for a wide variety of issues, ranging from nose and sinus problems, recurrent ear infections, and sleep related breathing problems including sleep apnea and snoring.  He specializes in chronic sinus problems and “sinus” headaches. A graduate of Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic ENT residency, Dr. O’Halloran is certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. He is also trained in noninvasive facial rejuvenation and minimally invasive neck liposuction. You can make an appointment with Dr. O’Halloran by calling 952-469-0500.

ER: Care was high-quality and prompt From page 1

of Lakeville, the decision to come to Northfield Hospital Emergency Department was a matter of trust and convenience. He and his family were already patients at the hospital’s FamilyHealth Medical Clinics. They were already familiar and Northfield Hospital was nearby. Jim was impressed with the care he received that night in


Northfield. It was high quality and prompt, he said. He was equally impressed with the bedside manner of the three physicians he saw during his visit – Jennifer Fischer, MD, in the Emergency Department; Adam Ailabouni, MD, a primary care physician; and general surgeon Chris Nielsen, MD – good listeners, knowledgeable and direct.

After the physicians determined that there were no broken bones or damaged organs, just deep bruising, Jim was discharged from the hospital. Jim’s not yet ready to ride, but he and Cowboy share a long history, and one day, Cowboy, no doubt, will get a second chance.


Dr. Flannery joins FamilyHealth Ben Flannery, MD, has joined the pediatric practice at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic in Northfield. He will see a full range of pediatric patients from infants to 21-year olds and will be heavily involved in the pediatric and delivery call rotation. His physician services are provided by Mayo Clinic Health System. Dr. Flannery comes to Northfield from Des Moines, IA, where he performed his residency at Blank Children’s Hospital. He received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of

Medicine and an undergraduate degree from Saint John’s University. His areas of professional interest include childhood immunizations, diagnosis and pharmacological management of children with attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder and parental counsel for the normal development and growth of children. Dr. Flannery and his wife, Ali, have one son and live in Northfield.

Dr. Flannery

Hearing promotes cognitive function The research is consistent. Hearing loss can contribute to the slide in cognitive function in older adults. Dr. Miriam Attias, a licensed audiologist at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic, explains that a significant portion of the brain is used to process auditory stimuli. “The brain needs input from the ears to help it interpret and comprehend the world around us,” she says. “An untreated hearing loss can starve the brain of the stimulation it needs to remain vital and healthy.” Studies reveal a strong cor-

relation between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s. Even mild hearing loss can contribute to depression, anxiety and isolation, Dr. Attias says. Conversation exercises the brain. Even active listening stimulates large areas of the brain optimizing auditory and language processes. Individuals with hearing loss can dramatically improve their quality of life by using hearing aids.       “It is important to keep the ears connected to the hearing areas of the brain,” Dr. Attias says. “With untreated hearing

loss, this connection weakens and it becomes more difficult for a hearing impaired individual to process and understand what is heard even when using hearing aids.” Dr. Attias provides audiology services in the region and keeps regular office hours Dr. Attias at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic both in Northfield and Lakeville.

Therapist to speak on grief and loss Patricia Richardson, MSW, LICSW, LMFT, a Northfield clinical social worker and family therapist, will be the featured speaker at a bereavement informational meeting sponsored by Northfield Hospice Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Northfield Hospital Conference Center. Richardson has been in private practice in Northfield for more than 30 years. She will draw upon a wide range of experience working with grief and loss issues for her talk, titled “Weaving in the Threads of Loss.” Richardson’s presentation will serve as a prelude to an optional six-week bereavement support group

offered by Northfield Hospice. The group, facilitated by Katie Jacobi, MSW, a Northfield Hospice social worker, will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the hospital’s Meeting Room A and then will meet every Wednesday through October 26. Both the presentation and the group are free and open to the public. You need not have had a family member in hospice to join the group. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information about the group, or to register, contact Katie Jacobi at 507-646-1037 or People may also register the night of the event.



Radiation therapy facility op Radiation oncologists are now treating cancer patients in Northfield at the new Mayo Clinic Radiation Therapy Facility. The $10 million facility mirrors the technology and capability of the radiation oncology department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. It includes a state-of-the art linear accelerator that delivers the external beam radiation that is used in 90 percent of radiation oncology cases. It is commonly used to treat lung cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Administrators say the presence of this service in Northfield will be a great convenience to patients who live in Northfield and surrounding communities. Radiation treatment regimens require multiple visits that can extend over several weeks. The logistics can be exhausting for patients and their families who are already under a great deal of stress. Tim McKone, MD, a radiation oncologist, leads a staff of 12 at the therapy facility. He said they expect to treat 200 patients a year and will see 20 to 30 patients each day. Mark Henke, president and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics, said this facility complements the medical oncology offered at Northfield Hospital, expanding the cancer care available locally. In addition, Northfield Hospital has initiated a $2.3 million clinical expansion to enhance the delivery of chemotherapy and other infusion services. The project is expected to be completed next spring.

At the helm

Tim McKone, MD, a radiation oncologist, is the director of the Mayo Clinic Radiation Therapy Facility. He has 16 years of experience in radiation oncology. Prior to that, he practiced as a general surgeon. Dr. McKone and his wife, Marian, live in Northfield. One of their three children is a graduate of St. Olaf College.

Dr. Tim McKone


The linear accelerator at right is the same as the one used at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.


pens in Northfield PET/CT aids in detection of cancer

Photo: Mayo Clinic

Northfield Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department has added PET/CT scanning to its repertoire of diagnostic modalities. It is an important tool in the detection and monitoring of cancer. PET/CT technology integrates Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography into a single device, making it possible to collect and correlate both anatomical and biological information during a single examination. PET/CT measures the body’s metabolic activity and then converts those measurements to digital images to help physicians detect many of the most of the common forms of cancer. The scans are simple, quick and painless, providing physicians with enhanced capability to detect and diagnose diseases early. It is also an important tool for monitoring how cancer patients are responding to their treatment. Sandy Mulford, director of Diagnostic Imaging at Northfield Hospital & Clinics, said the addition of this modality will be a benefit to the patients in this community, especially for those being treated at Northfield Hospital’s chemotherapy clinic and Mayo Clinic’s new radiation therapy facility. She said data from PET/CTs performed at Northfield Hospital can be sent directly to the radiation therapy equipment at the Radiation Therapy Facility to ensure precise treatment planning and monitoring without the patient ever needing to leave town. “It’s wonderful that cancer patients can now stay near their homes and loved ones while receiving the highest quality diagnostic and treatment exams available anywhere,” Mulford said. “It means one less thing to worry about on their journey to recovery.”



Don’t sugar-coat your diet Sugar is sugar. It doesn’t matter if its white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar or honey, for that matter; the calories from each are virtually the same. We need sugar. Sugar and starches are our bodies’ main source of energy. But according to Kristi Von Ruden, RD, LD, a nutrition therapist at Northfield Hospital & Clinics, too much sugar in your diet over an extended period of time can compromise your health. Health problems associated with high sugar intake include: Type 2 diabetes mellitus with all of its associated health risks, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Extra sugar also crowds out more nutritional foods, depriving a person of important vitamins, minerals and fiber. The recommended number of calories each day from added sugar is 100 for women and 150 for men. But research suggests that the average American consumes some 400 How to steer clear of added sugar: calories a day of added sugar. –[ eliminate or reduce sugar-laden, non-diet sodas “It’s the equivalent of eating a –[ limit the candy, gum and desserts you eat side dish of 22 teaspoons of white –[ avoid the frosted breakfast cereals sugar every day,” said Von Ruden. –[ have fresh fruit instead of cakes, cookies and pies “I can’t imagine anyone finds that –[ eat fewer added-sugar processed foods image very appetizing.” –[ avoid sugar-sweetened tea and blended coffee drinks The added sugar comes largely flavored with syrup, sugar and sweet toppings from our penchant for soda and soft drinks, including most fruit juices and sports drinks, but it lurks in all kinds of processed foods, including jellies, candy, Von Ruden ready-to-eat cereals and products such as honey-nut waffles and microwaveable meals. If you want to talk about sugar or other food-related issues, contact Kristi Von Ruden or Courtney Eby, RD,LD, at 507-646-1410.

What was the reasoning for developing the new MyPlate symbol?


MyPlate was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to promote healthy eating to consumers. The MyPlate icon replaces the previous MyPyramid graphic, which most found difficult to interpret. MyPlate is easy to understand and it helps to promote messages based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new MyPlate icon builds on a familiar image – a plate – and is accompanied by messages to encourage consumers to make healthy choices. For much more information, visit:



EMS department sponsors Explorer post Northfield Hospital & Clinics’ Emergency Medicine Services (EMS) is sponsoring an Explorer Post that gives participating youth an introduction to the world of first responders. Jim Ingham, a paramedic with Northfield Hospital EMS and a leader of the post, said the experience allows members to learn more about careers in emergency services as well as gain valuable training in assessment and life-saving protocols. The Explorer Post is affiliated with Learning for Life’s career education program for young men and women who are 14 and have completed the eighth grade or 15 to 20 years old. The EMS post now numbers 13. They meet every other week for three-hour sessions. Members become certified as First Responders and ben-

The EMS Explorer Post assisted at Northfield’s Healthy Kids Day last May.

efit from more advanced training. They also acquire job skills a long the way, Ingham says. The Explorers assist EMS at summer events and will help

with the aid station during Defeat of Jesse James Days. then will meet every Wednesday through October 26.

CSMR offers new running evaluation The Center for Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation in Lakeville will soon be using advanced technology to help runners overcome or avoid injury by developing better running technique. Physical therapists will use a new specialized software program to perform lower extremity analysis and evaluate a runner’s gait. The program allows the therapist to view the running pattern in

slow motion to more easily identify biomechanical problems. They can then offer corrective exercises, manual treatments, shoe inserts and advice on shoe selection to prevent further pain and injury as the miles add up. If you would like to know more about this program, contact Kevin Johnson, at the Center for Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation at 952-985-2020.

Make your own medication list Studies show that the greatest harm to patients is often the result of medication errors. Incomplete information is often the culprit. Forms that allow you to create your own portable medication list are available on Northfield Hospital & Clinics website: http://www.northfieldhospital.

org/health/resources.htm. There is space for you to list your prescription medications and any herbal products or over-thecounter medications that you take on a regular basis. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a healthcare provider.


Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Northfield, MN Permit No. 171

FAMILYHEALTH is published as a community service for households served by Northfield Hospital & Clinics. Additional copies are available by calling Community Relations, 507-646-1034.

Mark Henke President and CEO

Dixon Bond Chair, Board of Trustees

Randy Reister, MD Clinic Medical Director

Scott Richardson Editor

2000 North Avenue Northfield, MN 55057

Information in FAMILYHEALTH comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your health care provider. Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved.


Northfield Hospital Roundup

2010 Annual Report available online Clinic office hours Northfield Hospital & Clinics Annual Report for 2010 is now available on the hospital & clinics website. The report features a review of 2010 and a look ahead to 2011 by Mark Henke, President and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics. It also contains statistical comparisons over the last several years in selected service areas, a breakdown of revenues and expenses during the year, and a report on “community benefits” provided by the organization. To find the report on line, go to, click on “News” and then on “Annual Report.” Annual Report 2010

FamilyHealth offers recipe for ‘good health’ at Riverwalk If you visit Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair any Saturday this summer and into the fall, look for our “Recipe for Good Health.” Each week, Northfield Hospital & Clinics is offering visitors a healthy recipe to support their search for nutritious eating. Nutrition therapists from Northfield Hospital & Clinics provide the recipes with an eye to available seasonal produce. The recipes can be found in the main Riverwalk booth, which sits near the Fourth Street Bridge. Northfield Hospital & Clinics is also sponsoring self-guided walks each Saturday morning. Walking loops of varying distances are provided on a map. Walkers are invited to make this a part of their weekly fitness program. Now in its second season, Riverwalk Market Fair is a festive, outdoor market for artists and farmers spread out along Northfield’s picturesque Cannon River. It runs each Saturday through September from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FamilyHealth Medical Clinic – Northfield 507-646-1494 2000 North Avenue Northfield, Minn. 55057 8 to 8, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 to 5, Wednesday and Friday 9 to 12, Saturday FamilyHealth Medical Clinic – Lonsdale 507-744-3245 103 15th SE Lonsdale, Minn. 8:30 to 5, Monday through Friday FamilyHealth Medical Clinic – Farmington 651-460-2300 4645 Knutsen Drive Farmington, Minn. 55024 7:30 to 6, Monday and Wednesday 7:30 to 5, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday FamilyHealth Medical Clinic – Lakeville 952-469-0500 9974 214th St. West Lakeville, Minn. 55044 8:30 to 5, Monday through Friday 8 to noon, Saturdays Women’s Health Center 507-646-1498 2000 North Avenue Northfield, Minn. 55057 8 to 4:30, Monday through Friday Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic 507-646-8900 1381 Jefferson Drive Northfield, Minn. 55057 8:30 to 5, Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 4, Friday Northfield Eye Physicians & Surgeons 507-645-9202 2019 Jefferson Road Northfield, Minn. 55057 8 to 4, Tuesday and Thursday

Our focus is to provide a positive and healing environment that is patient centered. If you are interested in becoming a member of our highly-skilled and compassionate staff, please view our employment opportunities at

FamilyHealth Summer 2011-Farmington Edition  

The quarterly newsletter of Northfield Hospital & Clinics. Summer 2011.

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