Health and Wellness News BriefsLocal health care news briefs
By: Staff reports, Grand Forks Herald
Healthcare Decisions Day
CROOKSTON — RiverView Health, along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making — an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). As a participating organization, RiverView Health is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written health care directives in accordance with Minnesota state laws.
Specifically, on April 16 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., RiverView Health is welcoming the public to come to Heritage Hallway off the main lobby at its Crookston campus for free information about advance care planning and health care directive forms. These same resources will be available on RiverView Health’s Web site at www.riverviewhealth.org before April 16.
There will be social services representatives, as well as staff from the medical records department who will be available to answer questions and assist in explaining forms and Minnesota state requirements for completion of a health care directive. Dawn Jackson, RiverView’s medical records director and a notary public, will be available throughout the afternoon event to notarize individual’s health care directive forms. Blank forms, along with directions on how to complete the forms, are available on the RiverView website, at the Golden Link Senior Center, and in the main lobby of RiverView Health. The public is welcome to come to the event with the forms completed or with questions about how to complete, distribute or store the forms. Hospice of the Red River Valley will also participate in the event and have staff and resources available that afternoon.
For more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, visit Riverview Health’s Web site or www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.
Autism Support Group
CROOKSTON — RiverView Health will hold its monthly Autism Support Group on April 16 at 7 p.m. in meeting room No. 1 on the Crookston campus. The program will include a panel discussion regarding the educational versus medical diagnosis of autism, and what that means to parents, with Kris MacGregor of the Area Special Education Cooperative and Dr. Jodi Boerger Wilder of the Northwest Mental Health Center.
Kris MacGregor has been a school psychologist for 16 years. She has worked for the Area Special Education Cooperative for the last 11 years and has been an autism consultant for the last three years. MacGregor works primarily with children in grades K – 8 and consults in many schools in Polk, Red Lake and Norman counties. As an autism consultant, she assists with the identification and evaluation of students and programming as well as the education of parents, staff and students about autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Jodi Boerger Wilder is a clinical child psychologist with specialized training in play therapy, early childhood mental health and neuropsychological testing. Currently she sees children aged 2 to 17 years of age at the Northwest Mental Health Center in Crookston.
The RiverView autism support group meets on the third Thursday of each month, September through November and January through April, and will be hosted by Andrea Reynolds, speech-language pathologist. The meetings are open to all families and caregivers of an individual with autism, as well as area professionals who work with families or individuals with autism.
For more information on the Autism Support Group, call the RiverView speech language pathology department at (218) 281-9747 or (800) 743-6551, extension 747.
‘We Need to Talk’ seminar
Parkwood Place will be host to AARP’s “We Need to Talk” seminar, presented by the North Dakota Highway Patrol Department, at 6:30 p.m. on April 21 in its community room. The event is free and open to the public.
The 90-minute seminar, led by North Dakota State Trooper Sundbe, provides discussions on topics such as appropriate times to speak to seniors about driving, who should be involved in those discussions, what the warning signs are that indicate a senior should limit or stop driving, and how to develop a transportation plan that still allows for independence and community involvement.
Statistics indicate that older adults are safe drivers. However, medical conditions, medication usage, and age-related changes in physical and mental function can increase the risk of crashes and injuries among older adults. Parkwood Place encourages independence and continued involvement in the community through the availability of a free shuttle service for all residents.
Parkwood Place is a senior community with independent, assisted living and basic care services. Located on the Altru Health System campus in Grand Forks, comprehensive healthcare and emergency services are conveniently available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
New breast MRI technology at Altru
Altru Health System recently announced that breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services will soon be available to patients.
Breast MRI is an important technology used in the management of breast cancer. Breast MRI allows physicians to better diagnose breast cancer in patients who are high risk and patients with a family history of breast cancer. This technology will also benefit patients with breast implant complications. “The breast MRI is excellent for patients because it gives their physicians another form of technology to use for the proper diagnosis and monitoring of breast cancer,” says Dr. Mark Siegel, medical director of Altru’s surgical services. “It will also give physicians the ability to more accurately treat breast cancer which provides better long-term results for the patient.”
“Although breast MRI is a great technology to use, mammography and breast ultrasound will still be used as the first step for screening patients who are coming in for their regular check ups,” notes Dr. Siegel. Breast MRI will be used for patients with specific situations. For example, the evaluation of high risk patients with genetic evidence of familial breast cancer, patients who have a previous treated breast cancer, and patients with breast cancer in one breast to evaluate the other breast.
Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, a large home care network, and a congregate living facility. It employs nearly 200 physicians and 3,800 staff and has annual net operating revenue of $372 million.