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Dental pain ruining your weekend? Essentia Health to partner with area Dentists for pain relief

Essentia Health and Brainerd Lakes Area Dental Offices are Working together for solutions to emergency dental care.

The Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center can now offer patients with emergency dental problems more than antibiotics and pain medications. Patients can also get a referral to a local dentist to treat the underlying problem.

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center

The Brainerd hospital is partnering with seven local dental offices and the United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties in a project called “Help Crow Wing County Smile.”  The community collaboration is aimed at helping patients who lack the ability to pay for dental care or who rely on state or federal medical insurance to get connected to the place the patient can receive the care they need – a dentist office.

“Many people on Medical Assistance can’t get dental care so we become their only resource,” explains Terry Wurtzberger, director of St. Joseph’s Emergency Department. She estimates 25-35 patients visit the department each month due to dental emergencies. Another 10-20 patients go to Urgent Care in the Baxter Clinic.

Dr. Kevin Dens, a Baxter dentist, began researching the problem when he served on the hospital’s board and also on the board of the Minnesota Dental Association, where he now serves as president.

“The emergency department is not equipped to deal with dental problems,” Dr. Dens explains. “They can’t address the underlying problem. By the time people have pain, the decay is so deep into the teeth that it is a major problem.”

Dr. Dens helped recruit six other dental offices to treat patients who come to the Emergency Department and don’t have their own dentist. Those patients are referred to a participating dentist and make their own appointments.

Low reimbursement rates have prompted some dentists to quit accepting patients on government programs, which has reduced access to dental care. That has contributed to the number of people seeking emergency dental care at hospitals, Dr. Dens says.

To help launch the program, the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation contributed $15,000 to a pilot project in which the United Way partially reimburses the participating dentists for their services when they accept these patients. In addition to Dr. Dens and his son, Dr. Chris Dens, at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, the participating dental offices are Dr. Paul Perpich, Lakes Country Dental, Design Dental, Edgewood Dental, Lakes Dental Care and Winegar Dental.

Patients that are referred for emergency dental care through “Help Crow Wing County Smile” are asked to given back to the community an hour of volunteer time in exchange for each $25 worth of dental care they receive. The United Way coordinates the giving back part of the program through their online volunteer hub, Get Connected?, at volunteer.unitedwaynow.org.

“We want to offer the best solution for the patient, the hospital and the dentist,” says Dr. Dens. “We want to make a difference and help people cope with dental problems.”

 

“We’re trying to help people connect with the right care at the right time with a dentist,” says Jessica Martensen, the Essentia Health-Baxter Clinic manager who also worked on the project. “We’ve come together with dentists to see how we can help our community.”

 

 

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No Need to Cry-Let’s Celebrate the Onion

Guest Post By Bonnie Brost, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.

onion recipe

The onion is a hardy vegetable that can be planted right now. It does well in cool climates and can be planted five to six weeks before the final spring frost date, which is early June here in the Northland. You can plant seeds or small starter bulbs.

Onions are the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States, according to the National Onion Association. Per person consumption is about 20 pounds per year, which translates to more than 450 semi-truck loads of onions used each day.

There are two main kinds of onions, fresh and dry. Fresh onions include green onions, also known as scallions, and sweet onions, such as Vidalia, that are availablein spring. Dry onions, also known as storage onions, can be yellow, white or red. Dry onions usually have a stronger, more pungent flavor.

The onion’s strong flavor and odor come from sulfuric compounds. These compounds cause our eyes to tear. To keep tearing to a minimum, refrigerate an onion for 30 minutes before cutting and leave the root end on as long as possible, which reduces the release of the sulfuric compounds.

Onions provide a little vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium. Onions are high in flavonoids, the antioxidants that can neutralize harmful free radicals and suppress inflammation in our bodies. One flavonoid is quercetin, which has been linked to protection from lung cancer and asthma.

For some people, onions can increase the symptoms of gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome. Onions, especially when eaten raw, can bring on symptoms of GERD or heartburn because the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not to close well, allowing the acid from the stomach to come up into the esophagus. Some people can tolerate cooked onions or onion powder better than raw onions.

For those with irritable bowel syndrome, onions are a source of fructans that need to be broken apart by an enzyme in the small intestine. If they don’t have enough of this enzyme, the fructans continue into the large intestine where they ferment and result in gas, bloating and/or diarrhea. Avoiding all types of onion is best. Try adding onion flavor by sautéing large pieces of onion in oil, removing them and then only using the flavored oil.  This doesn’t work with soup because fructans are soluble in water and remain in the soup.

Here are two recipes featuring onions.

Marinated onions are a great addition to sandwiches and salads. Try different onions, such Vadalia onions for something sweeter or red onions to add some color.

Marinated Onions

1 medium onion

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup rice vinegar or red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Peel and thinly slice onion. Separate into rings. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended. Add onions. Shake to coat onions. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Nutrition facts

Serving:  About 6

Calories:  40

Total fat: 2 grams

Saturated fat: 0 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol:  0 milligrams

Sodium: 1 milligram

Potassium: 35 milligrams

Carbohydrate:  6 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Protein: 0 grams

French onion soup is usually very high in saturated fat and sodium but this one is more heart-healthy.

The traditional soup uses toasted French bread but whole-grain bread makes it more nutritious.

 

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups thinly sliced sweet Vidalia onions

4 cups thinly sliced red onions

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

1½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

6 cups unsalted beef stock (140 milligrams sodium or less per cup)

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

3 slices whole-grain bread, toasted and cubed

¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese

Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, pepper and salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, broth and thyme, bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a pan. Add 1 cup of soup to each bowl. Add ½ slice of toast cut into cubes and then top with 2 tablespoons of Swiss cheese. Broil for 3 minutes until cheese begins to brown.

Nutrition facts

Servings: 6

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 195

Total fat: 7 grams

Saturated fat: 3 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 13 milligrams

Sodium: 250 milligrams

Potassium: 150 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 21 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Protein: 10 grams

Bonnie Brost is a licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.

Hooked? Fishhook Removal Tips that won’t Spoil your Summer Fun

{Shared with permission from Essentia Health press release}

The lakes draw many to live and vacation in our beautiful area. However, a common injury for those who fish or just hang out near docks and boats is becoming “hooked” when the intended catch was a fish.

Fish hook removal

The medical team at Essentia Health recommends removing the fish hook from your finger using the String Yank Technique:

 Remove hook from lure by cutting at attachment ring.

  1. Tape any additional free hooks to prevent the hooks from also getting embedded.
  2. First, wash your hands with soap and water, or disinfecting solution, and then wash the area surrounding the hook.
  3. Tie off a loop with some fishing line. Place the loop over the hook’s shank and lightly pull it against the bend of the hook.
  4. With your other hand, press down and back on the hook’s eye.
  5. Continue pressing down on the hook’s eye. Quickly and firmly jerk the fishing line backward, ensuring that the line is parallel to the shank. Don’t worry; only a tiny bit of skin is behind the barb.
  6. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply a bandage.
  7. Watch the area for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pain, or drainage.

fish hook removal

We do not recommend pushing the hook through your skin and cutting the barb as this introduces another potential wound for infection. Also, do not try to remove a fish hook that is deeply embedded in the skin, lodged within a joint or tendon, or located in or near an eye or artery. If you are at all unsure, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Essentia offers four convenient locations for walk-in care 7 days-a-week when the unexpected happens:

Convenient Care located at both the Baxter and Brainerd Cub Foods, respectively located at 417 8th Avenue NE in Brainerd and 14133 Edgewood Drive in Baxter. These locations are open 8am-8pm.

 Urgent Care, located at the Essentia Health Baxter Clinic 13060 Isle Drive in Baxter, is open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and on weekends from 9am-4pm.

Emergency care is available 24 hours a day at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, located at 523 North Third Street in Brainerd. Wait times for Convenient Care clinics, Urgent Care, and Emergency Department can be viewed at EssentiaHealth.org.

If fishing is a favorite past time, we recommend your tackle box contain an electrician’s pliers with a wire-cutting blade and disinfecting solution. Additionally, don’t forget to receive a Tetanus immunization every 10 years. If needed, it may be done any time in the 72 hours following the injury.

 

Measles Cases in Minnesota-Advice from Essentia Health of Brainerd {*Please Read*}

{Shared with permission from an Essentia Health press release}

Essentia Health encourages vaccination for measles

Measles

Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. While no longer common in the United States, Minnesota is experiencing an increase in cases with 32 children under age 5 having measles as of April. The Minnesota Department of Health states that a majority of these children were not vaccinated.

The best way to prevent measles is to be fully vaccinated. Minnesota Department of Health recommends vaccinations for:

  • children age 12 months and older who have not received a MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The first dose of the MMR vaccine is at 12-15 months old and the second dose is usually given between 4 and 6 years of age, but may be given as soon as one month after the first dose.
  • adults who have not had measles or a measles vaccination should also receive the MMR vaccine.

Immunization records are a part of your electronic medical record. If you are uncertain of your vaccination history, Essentia Health patients can check your MyHealth account by logging into EssentiaMyHealth.org or call your clinic. The state has an information system called the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) that can provide immunization records as well.

Measles spreads in the air through coughing and sneezing and can live for up to two hours on surfaces or in an airspace where an infected person has coughed or sneezed. Measles is a very serious illness. For that reason, please seek medical care right away if your child has these symptoms:

  • A mild to moderate fever along with a cough, runny nose or watery/mattering eyes.
  • Tiny red spots with bluish-white centers inside the mouth on the cheek linings
  • High fever and a red, blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads down the body

If you suspect someone in your family has been exposed to measles be sure to stay home and avoid having visitors until you have talked with your doctor or clinic. Your doctor or clinic will tell you if you should come in for a visit. If you have not been vaccinated, getting an MMR shot within three days of being exposed may prevent you from getting measles.

To schedule an immunization at an Essentia Health clinic please call (218)828-7100. The Minnesota Vaccines for Children (MnVFC) program offers free or low cost shots for children 18 years of age and younger, so cost should not be a barrier to protecting the ones you love.

 

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