Team approach to Stroke Care makes a difference in treatment and recovery #Essentia

**Shared with permission from Essentia Health press release.

Team approach to Stroke Care makes a difference in treatment and recovery: Learning more about stroke at free community dinner at The Center on June 12th.

Howard Cronquist understood that his wife was asking him if he wanted to head outside to mow the lawn. But he couldn’t answer her, no matter how he tried.

“I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t say it,” the 75-year-old rural Brainerd man recalls.

Essentia Stroke Health

Howard and Sharon Cronquist, of Brainerd, a nearly a year after Howard recovered from a stoke.

Sharon Cronquist found it unusual that her husband wouldn’t reply, despite her repeated questions. She realized he might be having a stroke, even though he didn’t have any other symptoms. She promptly called their son, Darren, who agreed that Howard needed to get to the hospital.

“My son Darren said, ‘We’re going to the hospital’ and I couldn’t argue with him,” Howard remembers of May 19, 2016.

Registered Nurse Deb Blower called a stroke alert just minutes after Howard arrived in the Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. A specially trained stroke team led by Dr. Nathan Laposky quickly assembled to care for Howard and expedite the tests needed to diagnosis a stroke. They also connected via video with Dr. Sheetal Patel, a consulting stroke neurologist at United Hospital in St. Paul.

When CAT scans showed several blood clots in a major artery on the right side of Howard’s brain, the Stroke Code team began treatment with a powerful clot-busting drug called alteplase. Prompt action by the team meant Howard got the drug within 36 minutes of arriving at the hospital. The national benchmark is 60 minutes.

“Time is brain,” Dr. Laposky explains. “The faster we can treat and open a blocked blood vessel, the better the outcome for the patient.”

Dr. Laposky says the partnership with United Hospital brings specially trained stroke neurologists to the patient’s bedside via high-tech video. “The stroke neurologists can recommend treatment based on what they’re seeing and they see strokes every day,” Dr. Laposky says. “They can see the subtle symptoms and know exactly where the problem is in the brain. They’re invaluable.”

Sharon says the team kept her and her son well informed. “I felt Howard was in good hands,” she says. “I trusted them and their judgments.”

Speech and Language Pathologist Kari Johnson visited Howard in the Intensive Care Unit the day after the stroke. “He was so frustrated that he couldn’t communicate,” she recalls. “I told him, ‘I promise this will get better.’ We looked at each other and I knew we were going to work together.”

Since she works in both the hospital and clinic, Kari was Howard’s only speech therapist. “Every day he was gaining ground, doing something he couldn’t do before,” she says. “I’m honored to be able to see him all the way through this therapy. He worked hard and graduated from therapy. He still comes to our monthly support group.”

Howard spent just four days in the hospital and returned home under Sharon’s care. He spent about a month doing speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. “When I speak now, nobody knows the difference,” he says.

As he recovered, Howard faced challenges like getting dressed or remembering which way a nut screwed on to a bolt. “Sharon put a T-shirt on the bed and I did not know how to put it on,” he remembers. “It took me three days to figure it out and it was a pretty happy day when I did.”

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center stroke team members surround patients and families with expert care (L to R): stroke coordinator Nicole Anderson, RN, BSN; patient Howard Cronquist; Emergency Department Nathan Laposky, MD; Howard’s wife Sharon; and Intensive Care Unit Gina Kampen, RN, BSN.

Howard was able to return to chores on his cattle farm and work in his shop. At first, he needed to make some adaptations. For a short time, he had problems perceiving distance on his left side so he figured out a way to bale hay using only his right side. He asked his twin brother, Homer, to drive his 1926 Roadster pickup truck for their Thursday morning breakfast club. Later Howard asked a member of the color guard take his place pulling the American Legion float in the Fourth of July parade because Howard didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt if his reaction time faltered.

The Cronquists say they are grateful that Howard could receive all his care close to home. “We were happy to be here and to stay here,” Sharon says. “That meant a lot.”

Learn more about strokes on June 12.

The Center, in partnership with Essentia Health, is hosting a free dinner and stroke awareness education event on Monday, June 12 beginning at 5pm at The Center, 803 Kingwood Street, Brainerd.

The Minnesota Department of Health identified the Brainerd Lakes Area as a community that has a high rate of people ignoring initial symptoms of a stroke or not getting immediate care by calling 9-1-1. Time is brain when a stroke occurs, so minutes can make a difference in recovery. Essentia Health–St. Joseph’s Medical Center Stroke Program Coordinator Nicole Anderson, RN, BSN, will share the symptoms of a stroke and what should be done to help someone or yourself if they occur.

A delicious dinner will be provided with seating limited to 100 people, so early registration is suggested. For more information about this free event for all generations and to register, call The Center at (218) 829-9345.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE_ Working together for solutions to emergency dental care – rebeccaflansburg@gmail.com – Gmail

**Mom Squad was not compensated for sharing this information.

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Tell Fat to Fork Off-3 Steps to Creating New Habits

Tell Fat to Fork Off

3 Steps to Creating New Habits

Let’s talk about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be work related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits.

Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.

Let’s break it down into a three step process that makes it easy to follow until we’ve internalized the new behavior and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.

Decide What You Want To Do

The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead say something like “I will go for a 30 minute walk every single day”. Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.

Remind Yourself To Get It Done

The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.

Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.

Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit

Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.

Make that daily walk part of your after dinner routine, or change from grabbing a snack at the vending machine at work at 10:00 in the morning to packing a healthy snack.

Congratulations! Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.

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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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Free meals for kids in the #Brainerd Lakes Area this summer! #OperationSandwich

FREE MEALS FOR KIDS IN THE BRAINERD AREA THIS SUMMER!

The generosity and kindness of this area never ceases to amaze me. I learn about Operation Sandwich back in 2015 and, for the record, I am very grateful that this area offers such a service for our youngest community members.

Operation Sandwich.

Operation Sandwich

“Operation Sandwich is a grassroots program that exists to end childhood hunger by feeding kids during the summer months when free and reduced meals are not available through the school system.”

Operation Sandwhich

Summer might be much-anticipated for kids, but it’s also a time of hungry bellies and boredom. This poses a serious problem when school is not in session and many families are struggling to make ends meet.  Operation Sandwich is run with the support of volunteers and the support of the United Way and ISD 181.

Volunteers get together at First Lutheran Church to create simple bag lunches for kids in need in the community  four times a week: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The simple meals will consist of  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and granola bars. Thursday’s bag will contain a few more items to bridge the weekend.

The thought of Littles being hungry pains me and volunteering for this organization is something that has been on my Bucket List for a while. I was also thrilled to learn that there is a book component; The Book Wagon. I have already signed up as a book wagon wrangler and will be calling out to my Multicultural Children’s Book Day authors to fire some books my way!

Did you know that 42% of total school population is on free and reduced meal program? Read more stats HERE.

 

Operation sandwich
I tip my hat to Brainerd Public Schools, United Way and all the volunteers who help make this program a success. pass the word! To learn more go here or go here to see how you can volunteer.
A word about volunteering (something I plan to do this summer)
How Can I Volunteer?
Operation Sandwich relies on volunteers to both MAKE sandwiches and DELIVER lunches to our various sites throughout the community. Whether you have just a short time to volunteer or are able to give more of your day, we have the opportunity for you!Here is what a typical day looks like:
Making Lunches:
10:30 to 11:30 am- Your group meets the Operation Sandwich Coordinator at First Lutheran Church (424 S. 8th Street, Brainerd, MN) to make the sandwiches and assemble the bag lunches that will be delivered that day.Delivering Lunches:
11:15 am to 1:30 pm –
You will arrive at First Lutheran Church to be pick up the lunches and given directions and instructions on where you will be going and everything you will need to know to deliver lunches.
Once you have your instructions and supplies, you will leave First Lutheran to head to your delivery sites.  (We run an East Route, a West Route and a South Route simultaneously requiring 3 vehicles/adult drivers per day. Your family needs to provide a minimum of 1 vehicle/adult driver. Groups may need to provide 1-3 vehicles depending on the number of volunteers you are bringing.)
When you have completed your route, you will return to First Lutheran Church to turn in all supplies and be on your way!

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