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SilverSneakers: Fitness, friends and fun for active older adults

VIRGINIA – I stopped by the Mesabi Family YMCA in Virginia on Thursday to check out the SilverSneakers class scheduled that morning. I had the opportunity to visit with four ladies waiting for the start of the class. More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

Minnesota ranks 4th in U.S. in overall health

In the country’s annual health checkup, Minnesota ranks 4th this year when compared with other states – according to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings ® Annual Report. More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

Senior fitness Mall walking, mall talking

I cringed when Jean Cole suggested I write something about physical fitness. What if I get fat tomorrow? It could happen. Okay, maybe not tomorrow, but what about when I retire? More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

Katherine’s House

Safe harbor in a turbulent sea

EVELETH – Katherine’s House, a new licensed board and lodge facility specializing in supporting women who are in the recovery process for their mental health and/or chemical dependency struggles, opened its doors three months ago to great More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:34 PM

10 tips for understanding someone with PTSD

#1 – Knowledge is power. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Do I have a problem with alcohol?

Twelve questions only you can answer

Answer YES or NO to the following questions.   More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Chemical dependency treatment centers

The Pioneer Recovery Center is located in Cloquet, MN. Office hours are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Patient appreciates cancer care at Fairview Range Radiation Therapy Center

HIBBING – Roger Sundberg of Swatara is the kind of guy who likes to know what he’s getting into.  “He’s a little bit of a control freak,” joked his wife Susan, of 53 years.  “I just like to know what&rsqu More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Operation Round Up® gives more than $35,000 to community programs

GRAND RAPIDS – Through the assistance of Lake Country Power’s participating members, the Operation Round Up® Trust Board recently approved $35,725 in contributions to local community programs during its quarterly meeting.  The cooper More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

DNR receives award for providing job opportunities to individuals with disabilities

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources received the Large Employer of the Year award from the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association during a banquet held Oct. 22 at the Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter.  More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM


Nine years as a breast cancer survivor

It's October 25, technically October 26, as it's after midnight. I'm proactively starting my breast cancer survivor story. I will email Jean Cole, and ask her if she'd like me to write a story for the Hometown Focus. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Luoma expands her role as she continues to care for women

VIRGINIA – Sara Luoma has always wanted to care for women, and she’s followed her passion while serving her hometown. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

My introduction to yoga

I was always skeptical about participating in yoga because my concept of it was that I had to be very flexible, which I am not, and that it required a certain mood or aura of peacefulness to meditate, which I wasn’t sure I had. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Yoga class offerings in the area

BIWABIK –Yoga classes are offered at the United in Christ Community Church at 1 Main St., in Biwabik. Classes are held on Mondays from 9 – 10:30 a.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 – 7:30 p.m. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

When your health is affected by environment toxins

Finding safe, non-toxic products for my home and family

FAYAL TOWNSHIP – My name is Kimberly (Harvey) Koebensky. I grew up in Virginia, MN. I am married with two kids. My hope in sharing my journey is to be able to help other people. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Toning tables offer healthy benefits

Isometric exercises improve circulation, increase flexibility and mobility

VIRGINIA – Living a healthy lifestyle is not optional. It is necessary for one to be able to make the most out of their existence here on earth. Everything you are, and ever will be, is the result of your choices and decisions. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:36 PM

Basic knowledge and common sense will help keep athletes safe

Hindsight is always better than foresight, of course. If I had children in any organized youth or school sports program today, I would be more aware of the possibility of injuries and what to do to prevent them than I was 15 years ago. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Sports and recreation safety fact sheet (2015)

Fatalities Between 2004 and 2009, there were 24 sports-related deaths in high school athletes. There areno reliable statistics on the number of fatalities involving sports among younger children. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Ely doctors trained in Duluth residency program

ELY – Dr. Joe Schwinghamer remembers his first few hours as a medical resident: overwhelming. “My first hour at the hospital, I delivered two babies and had two cardiac arrest patients,” Dr. Schwinghamer recalled. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Making Medicare make sense

Answers to some of the most commonly asked Medicare questions

Q: I’m going to turn 65 in a few months and will be signing up for Medicare. Are there any go-to resources I should look at to find enrollment information and learn more about program benefits?   More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Five summer tips to prevent asthma attacks

Summer break in Minnesota is a great time for children to recharge and play outdoors. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Essentia Health’s colon cancer screening saves lives

DULUTH – Essentia Health patients will live an additional 18,525 years thanks to the organization’s efforts to increase the number of patients being screened for colon cancer. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Going forward in reverse Surgery option provides relief to arthritis sufferers

DULUTH – Switching surgical parts around is something no surgeon would ever intentionally do unless, perhaps, they’re performing a cutting-edge option for patients who have arthritis in the shoulders. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Life coaching

Break through barriers to the life you desire

EMBARRASS – Have you ever wished you could simply sit down with an impartial friend and discuss the state of your life and relationships in a clear, honest, forward-thinking manner? In an ideal world, everyone would have such a friend. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Many not ready for long-term health care costs

A large percentage of Minnesotans continue to be unsure about how they would pay for long-term care expenses as they age, but many are interested in financial products that could help them pay for that care.  More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

A woman’s perspective

40-something but 20-something at heart

My name is Dana and I am a fabulous 44-years old. The past four years have been an interesting journey of different challenges, changes and self-discovery. I can say I am at a point of feeling fabulous now, but this did not happen overnight. More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

Who gets cataracts? We all do (they’re age related)

Cataract is a very popular word in the eye community, likely because cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. Even with this staggering fact, cataracts are a commonly misunderstood ocular condition. So, who gets them? More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the benefit held on my behalf on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Virginia Elks Club. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity, love and support that you have given to me.  More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:59 PM

One woman’s PTSD story:

Trauma follows terroristic threat, assault

I recently met with a local woman and her husband to hear her story about being the victim of a crime, and the resulting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) she has suffered. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

About Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

General overview of PTSD   More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Alcohol addiction: My take

Addiction is politically correct. It embraces all socio-economic levels and knows no boundaries when it comes to a person’s skin color, profession, gender, or religious beliefs. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

10 Signs of Alcohol Abuse: When Drinking Becomes a Problem

From:  1. Temporary memory loss and blackouts. 2. Drinking to cheer up. 3. You’ve tried to quit drinking but can’t. 4. You drink to be “normal” or “fit in”. 5. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Back to school with brain injuries

Back to school. Back to old friends and making new ones. Learning new things. New teachers. New students for some schools. New schools for some students.  And new challenges for students returning to school after injuries to their brains.  More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

New measures evaluate rates of obesity counseling for kids, depression screening for teens

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and MN Community Measurement (MNCM) released first-time results from two new clinic measures that found most clinics are successfully providing lifestyle counseling to obese children, but less than half are sc More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Chisholm business helps those with disabilities

With a vision toward opportunities, improving quality of life

CHISHOLM – They came together from different backgrounds, but with a united purpose: to provide services to people with disabilities. That was in 1989. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Live Fearless:

A Blue Cross employee’s personal testament

VIRGINIA – My name is Dana Sanders and I am proud to say that I have been employed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for the past 13 years. I work out of the Virginia and Eagan offices. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Jack’s Girls run in memory of their father

EVELETH – As the three daughters of a former Virginia, MN resident, Jack Gentilini, we found the perfect opportunity to honor our dad’s memory. Jack Gentilini spent the final seven months of his life in hospice care at St. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Preventing holiday weight gain with hypnosis

As we will be soon moving into the holiday season, it is a good time to re-evaluate our relationships to our bodies and the food that we eat. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Efforts underway to reduce state’s most-reported infectious disease

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has awarded $56,500 to each of three nonprofit agencies for innovative ways to reduce the epidemic levels of chlamydia in Minnesota. The grants run Oct. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017.  More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

Minnesota’s cutting-edge innovation in medical research highlighted

Last week U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell highlighted the cuttingedge medical research underway in Minnesota during visits to the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

My food journey, and an amazing Brussels sprouts recipe

Julie Asbach asked me to write an article for Hometown Focus on health, but I had no idea what to write. I am not a writer – in fact, English was by far my least favorite subject in school! More...

Posted 10/29/2015 09:35 PM

FOCUS: Taking care of athletes

Soon school will be back in session and parents, student athletes, coaches and officials are gearing up for another year of competitive athletics. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Physical therapist and coach Rick Flatley:

Year-round cross-training is key to injury prevention

Rick Flatley is a physical therapist with Iron Range Rehabilitation Center in Virginia, where he’s worked for 16 years. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Concussions a health concern in school sports

Minnesota high school students suffered nearly 3,000 sports-related concussions during the 2013-14 school year, according to estimates based on voluntary reports from schools in the Twin Cities. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Multiple chemical sensitivity

Do fragrances and scented products make you sick?

AURORA - Perfume. Scented baby diapers. Laundry products. Candles. Air fresheners. Other people’s joys, my nemeses. These are just some of the items that I need to avoid in the stores or risk becoming sick.  More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Medicare & Medicaid: keeping us healthy for 50 years

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Telehealth appointments help reach rural families

Essentia Health psychiatrist works with children and teens

INTERNATIONAL FALLS – As a psychiatrist who works with children and adolescents, Dr. Tim Smith could have set up a practice almost anywhere. His commitment to serving families who live in rural areas brought him to International Falls.  More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

ACL test ensures high schoolers are truly ready to get back in the game

DULUTH – Any high school athlete will tell you there’s nothing worse than being sidelined with a knee injury while their friends play. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Patients can now see caregiver notes in medical record

DULUTH – Sometimes it can be difficult to remember everything you hear during your doctor appointment. It can be even more daunting to decipher that information second-hand as the caretaker for an elderly relative. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

Essentia Health-Virginia Foundation receives historic donation

VIRGINIA – The Essentia Health-Virginia Foundation recently received the largest single donation in its history. The $25,000 gift was given by Jeanette Knabe, wife of the late Dr. George Knabe. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 08:40 PM

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