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Health Matters 09/18/13

Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:00 am

ADDED MONITORING: Critically ill patients are benefiting from a new program designed to improve care and shorten hospital stays. Mayo Clinic's Enhanced Critical Care program offers 24/7 remote monitoring of the sickest patients at six Mayo Clinic Health System hospitals in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Patients will continue to receive care from the local care team, but physicians and nurses in an operations center in Rochester, Minn., will monitor patients' vital signs and other health data on a computerized system able to detect subtle changes in a patient's condition. High definition video cameras and computer screens will allow operations center staff to communicate with patients, their families and the care team.

Enhanced Critical Care is available at Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Eau Claire and La Crosse, Wis., and Austin, Albert Lea, Fairmont and Mankato, Minn.

AMONG THE GREEN: Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire has been named among the 50 "greenest" health care organizations in the country by Becker's Hospital Review magazine.

According to Becker's Hospital Review, many forward-thinking organizations have put ecological health, green initiatives and environmental stewardship as foundational pieces of their mission - some for as long as two decades. The hospitals on this year's "green" list lead by example through mass-scale and local carbon-cutting efforts, and demonstrate how environmental sustainability is everyone's responsibility.

To develop this list, the Becker's Hospital Review team conducted research and analyzed sustainability information from sources such as Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, Healthier Hospitals Initiative, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, the EPA and other healthcare sustainability organizations and experts.

In fiscal year 2012, Sacred Heart Hospital recycled 40 percent of its waste and decreased water usage by 1.2 million gallons. The hospital, part of Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System, also reduced its fossil fuel use by 5 percent through other energy savings and alternative energy initiatives.

VOLUNTEER SEARCH: Interested in meeting new people and helping others? Volunteers are needed at Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland in Barron to assist with Link to Life, a personal emergency response system service.

Link to Life meets the needs of those wanting to enjoy the freedom of independent living and peace of mind knowing help is available at the push of a button.

Several volunteers 18 and older and within a 30-mile radius of Barron are needed to help with in-home installations, service calls and office help. Hours are flexible, and training will be provided. Reimbursement for mileage also is available.

The units plug into a phone jack and an electrical outlet, so installation is rather simple, said Rhonda Spiess, Link to Life coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie, where the service has been in place for several years.

For more information about this or other volunteer opportunities at Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland, call volunteer supervisor Sarha Baumgard at 715-537-6766 or go to mayoclinichealthsystem.org.

NEW LOCATION: Northwoods Therapy Associates moved from its location in Eau Claire to 1200 N. 10th St. W., Altoona, in August.

The new location allows larger gym space, more private treatment space and a therapeutic pool with a treadmill and space for aquatic therapy intervention.

Northwoods now has 13 professional staff to provide orthopedic, spine, sports and hand therapy, industrial rehabilitation and women's health services.

From staff reports

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