Essentia Health Opens a New Clinic in Emily

{Taken from Essentia Health press release}
Emily Clinic_Stainedsm
Essentia Health Opens a New Clinic in Emily
Open Date September 29, Community Open House September 22
To bring health care closer to home, Essentia Health is opening a new clinic in Emily, Minn. located at 20918 County Road 1.
The clinic, which opens Monday, September 29, will provide primary care to adults and children as well as low-risk obstetrics. Lab services and X-rays will also be offered. Common urgent prescriptions will be available through a special automated dispenser.

Essenta Health
Essentia Health
The new clinic offers family medicine and low-risk obstetric care up to 36 weeks from Dr. Sara Lokstad and Physician Assistant Lance Fisher as well as two nurses. Services include a lab, X-rays and an Insty Med prescription dispenser.
Dr. Sara Lokstad, a family medicine physician who recently returned from her second deployment as an Army Major, will see patients at the clinic. She currently works at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Crosslake Clinic. She will be joined by experienced Physician Assistant Lance Fisher who lives in the area and has been caring for patients at UrgentCare and ConvenientCare in Baxter over the past year. We are also proud to share that we have hired nursing and receptionist staff from the community who include: Arianne Sizenbach, LPN, of Emily; LaSandra Biermaier, LPN; Lindsey Paulsen of Outing; and Jennifer Jacobson of Emily.
“Our mission is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives,” says Bill Palmer, the regional clinic administrator. “We already serve a number of patients from Emily and Outing at our Crosslake Clinic. A new clinic in Emily is more convenient and makes it easier for people to access care.”
“We heard from community members that extended hours are important,” continued Palmer, “So we are pleased to share that the clinic will be open from 8a.m.-6p.m. four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday) and 8a.m.-4:30p.m.on Thursdays.”
“A lot of our citizens are retired and older so having a clinic in town means they’ll have better access to health care,” says George Pepek, Emily’s mayor. “That’s important.”
“A lot of older residents don’t drive and they don’t like to ask for a ride,” explains his wife, Priscilla Pepek. “With the clinic being in town, they won’t be so hesitant to call for a ride.”
The Pepeks bought their home on Ruth Lake in 1993. They retired and began living there year-round nine years ago.
“One of my greatest fears in moving here was finding a decent doctor and starting all over again,” Priscilla says. She’s pleased that her physician, Dr. Lokstad, will now have appointments in Emily as well as Crosslake.
“Dr. Lokstad is genuine and she genuinely cares about you,” Priscilla says. “It’s not ‘get you in one door and out the other.’ I just love her.”
George, a Vietnam veteran, gets his care from the Veterans Administration. He says the community is excited about the new clinic and new business.
“This is an excellent opportunity for a new business that the community will greatly benefit from,” he says.
The clinic has been built in a vacant office that served a log home builder. Essentia Health invested in the conversion of the vacant office space into a beautiful clinic that is nearly complete with the help of a local contractor and many local subcontractors.The community is invited to an Open House on Monday, September 22 from 4-6:30p.m. Attendees are welcome to tour the clinic, meet the staff, enjoy appetizers and enter into prize drawings.
To schedule an appointment for your annual physical or any follow-up care or immediate health needs you can call 218-763-4800.



Back To School Money Save-How to Shop for Back to School Clothes

The clock is ticking. The days are slipping away and many of us are taking note of how many days left until school begins in the Brainerd Lakes area and beyond.

Back to school shopping can often take a big bite out of the family budget; especially clothing. But there are ways to shave precious dollars off the expense and get by somewhat reasonably.  It might be tempting to buy clothes for all weather scenarios that might arise during the school year. If you did that, though, it would be a mistake. You’ll just end up spending more money. Try these tips for Back To School Money Save-How to Shop for Back to School Clothes for effective ways to score back to school clothes for the new school year.

How to Shop for  Back to School Clothes

How to Shop for Back to School Clothes

1. Only get one or two special outfits for the first day of school. The rest of the clothes can be “basics” or staples of their wardrobe like regular jeans, t-shirts and even sweats.

2. Make a clothing buying calendar. Figure out what is absolutely necessary for clothing and figure out the best times to buy. Sweaters are best purchased after the season because they’ll be cheaper that way. You can split up your purchases to use them as gifts for birthdays and holidays. This way it will help fill out your gift giving and you’ll also save money by not buying everything all at once.

3. Utilize consignment shops for buying and even selling clothing that your children have outgrown. I would suggest having a garage sale to sell your child’s outgrown clothes, or use the local Facebook Garage Sale Groups, and use the money towards

4. Resist the Urge to Stock Up: Remember, the kids are going to keep growing. Buying for the whole year could leave you with clothes never worn because your child had a growth spurt you were not anticipating.

5. Swap clothes. If you have friends with kids a little older and a little younger than your own, then work out a clothing swap with them. You can do this at the change of each season even, to keep rotating the clothes out of the house.

6. Wait until after Labor Day to shop. Those back to school sales aren’t as great as they might seem. It’s great for school supplies, if you need to stock up on glue and crayons, but clothes not so much. So wait until after Labor Day to get the savings.

7. Buy clothes that can be worn during many seasons. A nice polo shirt can be worn over a long sleeve shirt in the colder months. A summer dress paired with some leggings will get extra wears.

8. Numerous mix ‘n match outfits can take one outfit and turn it into ten different looks. This will ultimately save you money while helping your kids remain in style and fresh so they aren’t perceived as wearing the same clothes every day.

9. Shop those clearance racks. Snatch up that out-of-season sweater in a size up from what your child is currently wearing to make sure you get extra wears out of it.

10. Don’t forget about the thrift shops. You can get some nice high end items very cheaply, to help fill in any wardrobe to make it through the entire year in style.

Back to school shopping is often a cause for anxiety and can really break the piggy bank if not done right. But if you plan things out and shop sales and shop the seasons instead of buying all at once, then you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and money.


Need to Save Money? Need to Make Money? Here are Some Ideas & Links

I am always on the hunt for ways to not only trim the family budget, but generate extra cash as well like my latest project which is selling items on the local Facebook Garage Sale Sites. I love the challenge of finding ways to make extra jing and also save some in the process.

So in my weekly Internet travels I usually find some truly good stuff that covers both of these bases. This week was exceptionally good so I thought I would compile some of my top picks and share them with you; my beloved readers:


One Weird Trick Saves Me $125/m in Groceries -


Sarah Titus

This is totally “do-able” and we’ve done it. There needs to be some planning involved (especially if you have kids) because obviously you don’t want to go a week without milk, fruit, bread, eggs and some of your main staples. But it does work and is indeed a way to save some $$.

save on groceries

Seven Tips to Make a Living on eBay

THIS one really tickled my fancy. As an eBay seller since 2002 I know first-hand what a great source of income it can be for families…IF you know what you are doing. This article from Sarah at really had some good tips and I learned a thing or two.

7 Tips to Making a Living on eBay

Love Me Some BARTER

Not too long ago, I bartered with a friend and it was a win/win all the way around. I have a notorious black thumb when it comes to gardening :( BUT my friend Lisa is a whiz. I had some oddball leftover office supply/business-type items that were perfect for her business and of no use to me anymore. SO, we bartered. She got some great items for her biz and my family enjoyed her fresh garden-grown Kale, lettuce and beans for a week. SCORE :)

Here are a few great articles on using barter to get what you want and save money in the process.

How to Barter Anything at RealSimple

How to Barter for Goods & Services – Tips and Methods to Trade at MoneyCrashers


My parents always used to preach to me to keep enough money in the bank to get by for two months at all times and to try to live as if there was only one income in the family. In a nutshell; live below your means, not above it.

Unfortunately I wasted too many years NOT listening to their advice and though it never came back to bite me, I now wish we would have saved more money during those “fat and happy” years when we were childless, the economy was good and we were making a combined six-figure income.

Now later in life I truly see the value of living like a one-income family. I found a great article from Sisters Shopping on a ShoeString that talked about preparing to live on one income (hypothetical or actual). Enjoy

Getting By on a Single Income

single income

What great tips, links and resources have you found lately?


Essentia Health is Celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Shared from Essentia Health’s August 4, 2014 press release
Family benefits from breastfeeding support
Celebrating August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Kendra and Dave Hutchison were like most first time parents excited and learning as they went. “The main thing I wanted was for everyone to be healthy,” recalls Dave.
In preparation for baby Kara’s arrival they were taking classes and Kendra was chatting in forums with other expecting moms. She had already been planning to breastfeed because of her allergies to pollen, dairy, perfumes and many other things. “I knew there were allergy prevention benefits, but after we took the Breastfeeding Class at Essentia Health I learned about so many more benefits including the cost savings.”
The Department of Health and Human Services’ reinforces the importance of breastfeeding as one of the most effective measures that a mother can take to improve health outcomes for herself and her baby. Babies who breastfeed have a lower risk of ear infections, lower risk of respiratory  infections, and lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For mothers, breastfeeding is linked to a lowered risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.Labor and delivery went quickly for the Hutchison’s and after an unplanned c-section they finally got to meet Kara. “We spent our first moments with Kara just looking at her and determining who she looked like. The dark brown hair was a big surprise,” said Kendra.
Another surprise was the difficulties experienced with breastfeeding, “Kara just didn’t want to latch”, recalls Kendra.
Most women need some assistance with breastfeeding, explains Missy Lake, RN, CLC, ICCE, Lactation Services Coordinator at Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “There’s a misunderstanding that because breastfeeding is natural, you don’t need help. But birth is also natural and we know that mothers need help and support with that,” she says.
Breastfeeding Kendra 005
IMAGE: Kendra Hutchison received support from Essentia Health lactation counselors when she found herself struggling to breastfeed her daughter, Kara, now age 14 months.
Missy and other lactation counselors help mothers get off to a good start and encourage them to continue breastfeeding. They offer breastfeeding education during pregnancy, breastfeeding support while mom is in the hospital, a Mom’s Morning Out support group post-partum, one-on-one appointments, and a free community resource, the Infant Feeding Support Line – (2229).
Kendra said the first few months were hard. Everything was new and frustrating at times when Kara wasn’t latching on or having colic symptoms. This is when I turned to Missy for help. We had a few appointments and used MyHealth messaging a lot. ”This was a great way to communicate and get quick answers,” said Kendra.
Missy shared “Kendra struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning, but made short term goals…day to day, 1 month, 3 months, then 6 months. Their daughter, Kara, is now over a year old and still breastfeeding!”
Even with both her and Dave’s families nearby in Staples, Kendra found that online forums and birth boards offered encouragement from other moms experiencing similar challenges.
According to The Department of Health and Human Services’ more moms are choosing to breastfeed. In 2010, 77 percent of all babies in the U.S. were ever breastfed, up from 70 percent in 2000. In the Brainerd Lakes Area this percentage is even higher with more than 80 percent of mothers choosing to breastfeed.
Dave shared that breastfeeding was convenient from his perspective and he didn’t feel left out. “I was able to help in other ways, like taking Kara for walks around our neighborhood in Brainerd, helping with meals, and making sure Kendra’s water glass was always full.”
For Kendra, going back to work meant establishing a new schedule, pumping three times a day and continuing to bond with Kara by breastfeeding in the morning, evening and at night. “I love the quiet time we spend sitting together. I also feel breastfeeding helped Kara recover more quickly when she has had illness,” shared Kendra.
The best advice Kendra said she received was not to get discouraged. Now, 14 months old Kara is a happy healthy girl full of smiles.
Kendra is grateful for the support she received from Missy and the staff at Essentia.
“The feeling is mutual,” said Missy. “At Essentia we are here for moms, babies and their loved ones to support them in good health.”  If you want to learn more about breastfeeding resources and benefits now is a great time to ask as August is breastfeeding awareness month and  August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. A time when organizations and communities bring attention to the benefits of breastfeeding and offer moms support and encouragement to be successful at breastfeeding.
Infant Feeding Support Line
Call: (2229)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Monday-Friday
Specially trained registered nurses and nurse practitioners at Essentia Health answer questions and provide support to moms, dads, grandparents or anyone caring for an infant. Talk to these experts about breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. They can get mothers off to a good start, help with any challenges and ease their transition back to work or school. The free service is open to anyone.



The Scoop on Brainerd Online Garage Sale Sites

I love going to garage sales, however I am not a fan of HAVING a garage sale. That is a task I usually reserve for my hubby who, for whatever reason, seems to like hanging out all day selling out stuff.

Garage Sale

Needless to say I was not bummed this year when the annual Flansburg Garage Sale was cancel due to lack of time, interest and stuff. Having no big-ticket items to sell to offset the cost of running an ad etc, we opted to try our hand at selling some of excess stuff via the many Facebook Brainerd Online Garage Sale Sites. Though not without a hiccup now and then, using these sites has been immensely beneficial and one that I would recommend to others. Here are some facts you should know about these sites:

Cash is King: Cash is the only acceptable form of payment, unless the seller you are working with agrees to something else. I now always have change in the form of ones and fives on me at all times. Which brings me to another point:

Bring Exact Change: Just out of sheer respect for those you are doing business with, bring exact change whenever possible. Don’t hit someone with a twenty for a three dollar item.

Meet in a Public Place: Target, Hardees, Gander Mountain and McDonalds East are all favored places for buyer and seller to meet.

Group your Meets Together: Whether you are a buyer or a seller, try to group your “meets” together so you are doing more than one at a time or in conjunction with other errands you are running so you don’t find yourself making special trips and eating up your profits.

Reveal and Disclose: If something has a rip, tell the buyer that. If something has slight damage, reveal that. I once bought a coat that the buyer claimed was “in great shape,” but when I met with her I discovered (once I got home) that both sleeves were shredded. Nice. I opted to chalk it up to a lesson learned rather than raise a stink about it. Non-smoking homes is another biggee these days since so many people are sensitive to cigarette smoke.

Don’t Expect Refunds: Unless something is truly defective, don’t be requesting or expecting refunds. This is not Wal-Mart folks. If you agree to buy to purchase a medium-sized shirt from me (and I disclose that it is medium) but you are an XL, that falls into the “not my problem category” if you get it home and discover it doesn’t fit.

Pictures are a MUST: Not only do all of these sites require a photo with every listing, quality and clear pictures will work wonders for getting your item sold. I just use my iPhone to take pictures, but I usually include 2-3 photos for each items I am selling. If you are selling clothes (or anything for that matter) try to present your item in the best light possible. You wouldn’t buy items that are wrinkled, faded or dirty, why would you expect someone else to?

garage sale site1

OBO: Sometimes, to move your item to a quicker sale you may want to include “or best offer.” This is especially true on bigger ticket items.

ISO: “In Search of.” Not too long ago I was in need of an extra hand-held recorder for my freelance work, but was too cheap to spend the $40 at a retail store. I posted an ISO on one of the sites ( along with a picture so people knew what I meant) and within an hour had a gorgeous $10 recorder in my hot little hand. And someone was $10 richer :)

PM: “PM me” means that someone will private message you via Facebook for more details about the transaction. Please note that, if you are not connected as friends on facebook, the message may end up in your “other” message box. PM is a great way to work out details, share addresses etc. without the world seeing.

Stellar Descriptions: Create a listing description as if you were selling something one eBay. “Purple jeans, size 12″ may not get a sale but “Like new purple Abercrombie Skinny jeans with adjustable waistband and zip/button closure. Size 12, 100% cotton, comes from smoke-free home, multiple sites, must meet in ___(town)” may garner a quicker response.

Delete Pictures of Sold Items: Just out of respect for the site and other buyers, type your name in the search box, locate the sold items and “delete” to keep the feed filled with only viable items for sale.

Garage Sale Site

Sellers, Send an Reminder: After being stuck several times with “no-shows” due to the fact they “forgot” (It happens. Life moves fast) I now try to remind them before our meet time. This also give people a chance to reschedule if they need to. I also highly encourage everyone, whether you are a buyer or seller, to make a list of your meets that include details like place of the meet, the item in question, the buyer/seller’s name and also what sort of vehicle they will be driving. This prevents “forgotten” meets and confusing situations.

First to Respond, Wins: Anyone who is wanting what you are selling will respond in the comments something along the lines of “want” or “interested.” If you are slow on the keyboard, but still want to get in line in case the first buyer falls through, many will respond “In Line.” “@” tagging a friend does not constitute committing to the item or holding your place in line. Read all of the groups rules and guidelines before listing your items.

Be Polite and Respectful at All Times, But Stand Firm: This would be my #1 piece of advice. Treat people as you wish to be treated. Know when to be flexible, but also be firm. It should go without saying that buyers should NOT ask for a cheaper price AFTER they’ve committed and especially not at pick-up time. These sites are a huge benefit for buyers and sellers and operate on the respect and honor system. Yes, occasionally a turd gets into the pool, but I’ve noted that Admins from other groups will work together to weed out or block spammers or those who can’t seem to behave properly.

Commit and FOLLOW THROUGH: For those of us who sell, there are two main issue that are highly irritating: 1) No-shows 2) Those who commit or say “want” and then disappear. As a buyer commit, set a day and pick-up time and show up. As a seller, if this happens to you simply wait for 12 hours for the person to surface, then move on to the next person.

Hold it For Me? From my personal experience, “holds” rarely work out. If you chose to “hold” an item for someone longer than a week, just know there’s a 90% it won’t work out (again, this is based on personal experience) so save yourself the time and aggravation by having your meets and pick-ups within a week’s time. This applies to people who repeatedly need to “reschedule” and drag out the transaction for weeks. Know when to stand your ground, politely cancel the transaction and move on to the next buyer.


Here are the four sites I currently use and have had great luck with:

Brainerd Area Men’s & Women’s Online Garage Sales This site is for adult items only please. NO infant, toddler or children items allowed!! There are other sites for those items.

Drama Free Brainerd online garage sale site: This one is my absolute favorite and it run very well and very professionally by the three Admins. The rules are strict, but necessary and this group runs a tight ship. This group also has over 4,000 member which is like GOLD. No drama at the Drama Free site and the Admins are on top of all problems or issue. LOVE.

Plus Sized Girl Clothes: Specifically for women looking for nice clothes in larger sizes. Great group and well run as well.

Brainerd Area Kids, Babies and MOMS: Great site for those of us who are selling or looking for baby or kids items.


Good luck and happy selling!

Essential Health Offers Reach Out & Read Program

Earlier this week, Essentia Health announced it was excited and proud to offer Lakes Area kids a new program called Reach Out & Read. This new program shares the importance of reading books to children highlighted during well-child check-up at Essentia Health, Reach Out & Read program brought to the Lakes Area through collaboration.

From their official Press Release:

Importance of reading books to children highlighted during well-child check-up at Essentia Health
Reach Out and Read program brought to the Lakes Area through collaboration

Last month the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy specifically emphasizing that early literacy promotion – beginning in infancy should be an “essential” component of primary care. In the same month, infants and children in the Lakes Area began benefiting from the Reach Out and Read program; thanks to a unique collaboration.

Reach Out and Read is a national early literacy organization that reinforces the parent’s role as the first and most important teacher, and gives parents the tools and techniques to help their children succeed. The proven Reach Out and Read program introduces and reinforces the value of reading to both parents and children by a trusted authority, their primary care physician, who gifts a child age 6 months through 5 years with a book at each well-child visit.

Caption: Essentia Health Pediatrician Jane Winter is looking at a book with Abigail  Salonus, age 4 of Longville, that she received during her well-child visit at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Baxter Clinic through the Reach Out and Read program. This book is a gift from the Essentia Health Care Team provided through collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Foundation, United Way, Initiative Foundation, ISD 181, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition, and Reach Out and Read.

Caption: Essentia Health Pediatrician Jane Winter is looking at a book with Abigail Salonus, age 4 of Longville, that she received during her well-child visit at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Baxter Clinic through the Reach Out and Read program. This book is a gift from the Essentia Health Care Team provided through collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Foundation, United Way, Initiative Foundation, ISD 181, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition, and Reach Out and Read.

This will be done verbally as well as through modeling during the well-child check-ups with Pediatric and Family Medicine physicians and advanced practice clinicians at the Essentia Health Clinics throughout the Lakes Area. “As a partner with parents in caring for the children in our community, through more than 4,000 well child visits annually, we were excited to bring this resource to our families,” said Wendy Frosile, RN & Operations Manager for Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Women’s Specialty Clinics at Essentia Health.

To ensure that Reach Out and Read has the greatest community impact and avoids duplicating other programs, a unique collaboration of partners came together including: United Way of Crow Wing & Southern Cass Counties, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition (BLAECC), ISD 181, Initiative Foundation, St. Joseph’s Foundation, Reach Out and Read Minnesota, and Essentia Health.

Tammy Filippi, Early Childhood Associate at the Initiative Foundation states “we have been committed to early childhood literacy for over ten years and Reach Out And Read is a perfect example of an early literacy model that works. It not only is exciting for the child to receive a book but the physician also engages and models to the caregiver the importance of reading to their child.”

A natural partner for bringing Reach Out and Read to the community was the United Way of Crow Wing & Southern Cass Counties. Jennifer Smith, Executive Director of United Way, brings the knowledge and expertise on the functionality and strengths of the Imagination Library program, which is similar in nature to Reach Out and Read. She also helps ensure that the two programs avoid duplication and rather complement each other to meet the needs of those in our community. Imagination Library, currently serving 1,600 children in Crow Wing and Cass County, will be able to focus its efforts on targeting children who would not otherwise be able to afford a mini-library of their own books by enrolling them through referrals from collaborative workers in schools, county human services, and other organizations.

“By participating in Reach Out and Read we will be able to expand the number of children and families who are receiving books and emphasizing the importance of reading,” said Smith.

The content of the books selected to be given to each child was determined by partnering with the Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition (BLAECC). In 2013, the Coalition’s research revealed similarities in what students coming into kindergarten lacked and what area businesses were lacking in the workforce. The overlap identified was social emotional skills or soft skills.

“Research tells us that our children aren’t learning how to cooperate with others, share, or self-regulate by the time they are entering kindergarten and weren’t always learning these skills by the time they enter the workforce,” explained Shannon Wheeler, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition (BLAECC) Coordinator. “This means area businesses have a difficult time finding people that show up on time, know how to communicate with customers or let their boss know if they can’t make it in to work that day.”

“I was excited to apply what we learned from recent community research in identifying books that teach about social and emotional skills. The variety of topics these books cover include: Being a Friend, Feelings, Accepting Others, Problem Solving, Self Confidence, Good Behavior and Relationships,” said Wheeler.

Understanding the impact of Reach Out and Read’s mission locally was critical to the group as well as funders which include: Initiative Foundation, St. Joseph’s Foundation, United Way, and Reach Out and Read Minnesota. ISD181 early childhood screening measures literacy and social emotional skills of each child. The annual summary report of these measures will serve as the baseline and be tracked over the next three years to understand the impact in both literacy and social development the Reach Out and Read program is having in the Lakes Area.

ulie Salonus shares a book with her son Hayden, age 2 from Longville, that was received during his well-child visit at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Baxter Clinic through the Reach Out and Read program. This book is a gift from the Essentia Health Pediatrics Care Team provided through collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Foundation, United Way, Initiative Foundation, ISD 181, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition, and Reach Out and Read.

ulie Salonus shares a book with her son Hayden, age 2 from Longville, that was received during his well-child visit at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Baxter Clinic through the Reach Out and Read program. This book is a gift from the Essentia Health Pediatrics Care Team provided through collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Foundation, United Way, Initiative Foundation, ISD 181, Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition, and Reach Out and Read.

“Efforts to develop a community-based solution to implement and sustain Reach Out and Read will shape the state-wide program for years to come,” said Lynne Burke, State Director, Reach Out and Read Minnesota. “The Reach Out and Read National Center is also keenly observing this collaborative as a possible model for program expansion nation-wide.”

Reach Out and Read was founded in 1989 at Boston Medical Center by a group of pediatricians and educators who recognized the profound significance of infancy and toddlerhood in setting the stage for achievement, given that 90% of brain development occurs between birth and age 5. In Minnesota, 150 hospitals, health care centers, and clinics implement the Reach Out and Read model, with more than 92,500 children participating statewide. However, there was a void in the Brainerd Lakes Area, until recently. To make an appointment for a well-child visit at Essentia Health call 218-828-2880.

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