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Tobacco treatment free for many in Minnesota starting in 2016

Keeping that New Year’s resolution to quit smoking may be easier in 2016, since tobacco treatment medication for Minnesotans on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare are completely free starting Jan. 1, 2016.  More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:00 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 08:35 PM

About Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

General overview of PTSD   More...

Posted 10/29/2015 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:36 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 PM

Heart program gives patients peace of mind and independence

HIBBING – Hibbing resident and retired teacher Bill Schleppegrell, 91, has a personalized mini-medical check-up every morning, right from the comfort of his own home. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 07:40 PM

MDH study yields estimate of potentially preventable health care events

ST. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 07:41 PM

MN lauded as leader in mental health reform

Minnesota was one of only two states recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as a national leader for mental health reform for the second year in a row. More...

Posted 1/28/2016 11:00 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 08:34 PM

10 tips for understanding someone with PTSD

#1 – Knowledge is power. More...

Posted 10/29/2015 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 08:35 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 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 07:40 PM

Essentia Health, HealthPartners work together to prevent diabetes

DULUTH – Nine out of ten people who have it, don’t know it  More...

Posted 7/30/2015 07:41 PM

Northern Pines Care Center receives highest rating in care

AURORA – Essentia Health-Northern Pines Care Center in Aurora recently celebrated its five-star rating from, the federal government website managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 07:41 PM

Report highlights healthcare delivery issues in MN’s rural communities

MINNESOTA – U.S. Sen. More...

Posted 7/30/2015 07:41 PM

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