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Live Well Fitness will be re-opening on June 15 with limited hours. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the gym.

Now that more people are wearing masks in public, it is important to know the proper way to wear face masks. Some may place the face mask under the nose to help them breathe better or prevent eye wear from fogging up. Face masks should cover the nose and mouth to be the most effective. To learn more about the proper wearing of a face mask, check out this video from the MN Department of Health.

The St .Peter Police Department, Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department, St. Peter Fire Department, North Mankato Police Department, North Mankato Fire Department, River’s Edge Hospital and Allina EMS, Minnesota State Patrol and Freedom Homecare honored healthcare workers in St. Peter on Thursday, May 13 in recognition of National Hospital Week and National Skilled Nursing Care Week.

On Friday, April 24, the Governor’s COVID-19 website added a screening tool to help Minnesotans determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. To access the resource, visit this link: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/get-tested/

It is OK and SAFE for you to come to River’s Edge to seek medical care. If you are feeling sick, get injured, or are having symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, do not delay medical treatment because of COVID-19. River’s Edge Hospital’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care are open for you. We have increased our already high cleaning and disinfection protocols, along with making sure staff and patients are kept safe from any type of exposure to the virus.

River’s Edge Hospital Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Cardiac Rehabilitation resume outpatient care

Individuals needing in-person physical therapy, occupational therapy, or cardiac rehabilitation can start making appointments at River’s Edge Hospital starting immediately.

Last month, River’s Edge Hospital made the decision to temporarily suspend new outpatient appointments in the three departments listed.  During that time staff worked on a plan to ensure patient safety as it applies to social distancing and the number of patients allowed in the treatment areas at one time.


There is so much to know about COVID-19, how it’s spread, and how you can keep yourself and loved ones healthy. The video below has some great advice to help us all!



UPDATED: APRIL 6, 2020

To our valued community members, patients, and guests 

Last week a portion of our Emergency Department and Urgent Care was converted in preparation to care for patients coming to River’s Edge Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.  For the safety of our staff, and to help preserve our personal protective equipment, the provider may not completely enter the exam room at the initial assessment of the patient.  If the condition is severe, then staff will be in the room, at the bedside providing the necessary care.  The link below is a copy of the letter that will be provided to patients upon arrival to the Emergency Department and Urgent Care.

Threshold Patient Letter_

Also, effective immediately, the Direct Access Lab Testing services is suspended indefinitely. 

We know these restrictions are difficult for patients and loved ones. These steps are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our staff and patients healthy.

If you are having a cough, shortness of breath, and fever, please call ahead of your arrival at 507-931-2200 so staff can prepare for your visit.

UPDATED: MARCH 31, 2020

River’s Hospital tightens visitor restrictions

To our valued community members, patients, and guests,

To protect the health and safety of River’s Edge Hospital staff and patients in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, and Hospital, patients will no longer be allowed to have visitors effective April 1, 2020.

Exceptions to the NO VISITOR policy include:
Pediatric patients are allowed one parent/guardian while in the building. Parents/guardians will not be allowed to switch places during the time of the visit.

In an end of life situation, exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Visitors who have been granted an exception will be screened prior to entry into the patient care areas.

Visitor restrictions will be in place for an undetermined amount of time. We encourage people to keep in touch with their loved ones via phone, email, or other devices.

We know these restrictions are difficult for patients and loved ones. These steps are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our staff and patients healthy.

UPDATED: MARCH 27, 2020

If you are a patient coming to River’s Edge Hospital for your surgical,  physical therapy, occupational therapy, outpatient infusion therapy, lab, or imaging appointment, we are requesting you take your temperature the night before your appointment and morning of your appointment.  If you have a fever of 100o or higher, please contact us at 507-931-2200 to reschedule your appointment.

Upon arrival for your appointment you will be asked the following screening questions about your current symptoms and if you have a fever. 

  • Do you have a fever ?
  • Do you have any of the following?  Shortness of breath, lightheadedness, sore throat, or cough?
  • Have you had close contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19?

UPDATED: March 23, 2020

At River’s Edge Hospital, the care and health of our employees, patients and their families is our highest priority at all times.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.

The Minnesota Department of Health believes that COVID-19 is spreading broadly across Minnesota. As testing capacity increases, we know that the number of confirmed cases in our area will increase. This is why we need to take seriously our role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

  • All Minnesotans are encouraged to limit time spent in locations that do not allow for social distancing of six feet per person.
  • By making health choices and practicing social distancing, we each can help break the chain of transmission.
  • Community mitigation efforts – including staying home – will buy hospitals time to prepare for a future surge of COVID-19 patients. Staying home will slow the spread of infection.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you can call your primary care provider or River’s Edge Hospital at 507-931-2200 prior to your arrival. The staff will work with you to determine if you should be tested. Due to testing capacity limits, you may not be given a test.

As always, practice good hygiene habits to prevent illness.

  • Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.

Q.  Can I visit my friend/family member at River’s Edge Hospital?

A.  For the safety of our patients and employees, we are CLOSING visitor hours for inpatients at River’s Edge Hospital.  All patients –  inpatients, Emergency Department, Urgent Care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Laboratory, Imaging, Outpatient Surgery,  Infusion Therapy, and Cardiac Rehab patients will be allowed ONE support person to be in the hospital room during this time.

If the support person has any respiratory symptoms, have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, we ask that they refrain from visiting in the hospital.  We would encourage family and friends to continue communicating with patients by video chat, phone, text and email.

Q.  What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

COVID-19 Actions:

River’s Edge Hospital will not be doing routine screening or patient requested COVID-19 (the illness caused by coronavirus) test in its Urgent Care or Emergency Department. 

We would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive.  Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.


  • River’s Edge Hospital has paused routine screening mammogram appointments until restrictions have lifted. Diagnostic appointments will continue.
  • Live Well Fitness Center is closed by order of the Governor. It will reopen when restrictions are lifted. Updates are posted on the Live Well Facebook page.
  • Starting this week, all staff, patients, visitors, providers, and vendors will be screened prior to entering the building.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness in people caused by a new virus. It can spread from person to person. Since this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, but are learning more about COVID-19 each day. The Minnesota Department of Health and River’s Edge Hospital is taking this seriously and planning for cases.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should stay home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

You can call River’s Edge at 931-2200 if you need to seek medical care (see FAQ below).

The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to do the same things you do to protect yourself from colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.

Q. What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

A. River’s Edge Hospital has a long-standing history of managing health care concerns. At the present time we are actively following our established protocols for infection control, continually training on these protocols and staying nimble to adjust as needed should new prevention and containment measures be identified.

COVID-19 Actions:

  • We have a dedicated team of interdisciplinary experts including some with many years of experience in emergency management and response, infection control and prevention, as well as clinicians and other health care professionals.
  • We continue to monitor and follow the guidelines specific to COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and our local and state health agencies.
  • We have heightened our cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • We continue to actively monitor and report respiratory illnesses across our organization.
  • We have instituted monitoring of employees who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent.
  • We will be posting signs asking individuals who are sick, who have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or who may have been in contact with someone that has been infected by or exposed to COVID-19, to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.
  • We are asking all visitors to wash their hands.
  • We are sharing updated information on COVID-19 with our patients, families, and employees.
  • We have an emergency operation plan that will be put into place should we need to implement it.

Q. Should I call ahead if I feel like I need to be seen for my symptoms?

A. If you have a fever or cough AND have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent within 14 days, we would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive. Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.

Q. How will I know if there is an occurrence of COVID-19 at River’s Edge Hospital?

A. We are committed to communicating any incidence of the virus in our facility. We will notify our employees and volunteers. We will also be in close communication with our local and state health agencies. To protect the privacy of our patients, any public notification would come from state health agencies.

Q. Do you have adequate staff and equipment to care for patients if there is an outbreak for COVID-19?

A. At this time, we have the appropriate staffing and supplies to care for our patients and we have strategies in place should this become an issue of concern. We will ensure both adequate protective equipment and consistent care for our patients.


We encourage you to refer to trusted resources for the most recent official updates on COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions that you might have.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

The St .Peter Police Department, Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department, St. Peter Fire Department, North Mankato Police Department, North Mankato Fire Department, River’s Edge Hospital and Allina EMS, Minnesota State Patrol and Freedom Homecare honored healthcare workers in St. Peter on Thursday, May 13 in recognition of National Hospital Week and National Skilled Nursing Care Week.

April is Occupational Therapy Month. River’s Edge Hospital has three experienced occupational therapists to help you maximize your independence and quality of life. Read more about them in the Services section on our website.

What do Occupational Therapists do? Some of the common diagnoses the OTs work with are:

  • Shoulder, hip, or knee replacements
  • Hand, wrist, and elbow fractures
  • Overuse/repetitive injuries of the upper extremity
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Parkinson’s Disease (LSVT BIG program)
  • Stoke
  • Lymphedema/Edema
  • Breast Cancer

The occupational therapists at River’s Edge can also assist with employee ergonomic screenings and community mobility assessments.

To make an appointment call 507-934-7638.


At the end of a year or the beginning of a new one, many people resolve to make changes in their lives.  For some it’s to save more money, be more organized, exercise more, or lose those last 10 pounds.  For others it’s about numbers (not picking the right lottery numbers), the numbers that indicate pre-diabetes that warrants a change.

Vicki and Mark Kennedy of rural Kasota had the right numbers.  Vicki learned through her primary care provider that her glucose numbers were going up and should be concerned about it.  Her provider gave her a flyer on the I CAN Prevent Diabetes program at River’s Edge Hospital.  Vicki was interested in learning more and joined the class.

Mark received the same news from his primary care provider.  “But I ignored it,” he said. It was not until he saw his wife have success that he decided to start the program too.

The I CAN Prevent Diabetes program is a community-based lifestyle change program that offers diabetes prevention education and support for people with pre-diabetes.   At River’s Edge Hospital, the program is led by Jen Donkin, a registered and licensed dietician and certified diabetes educator, and Nicole Boelter, an exercise physiologist.  Together they teach group members how to create a healthier lifestyle by learning to eat healthier and increase physical activity.  The class meets weekly for 16 weeks then once a month for 8 months. 

Mark and Vicki said Jen and Nicole are teaching individuals how to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle.  “They know their program and keep it fresh,” said Mark. Vicki added, “Without these two as good as they are, then success would be tough.”

Vicki recently completed the program and Mark had one more meeting to go.  When Vicki started the program she missed the first meeting but was determined to do the program.  “I focused on the 16 weeks first,” she said about the time commitment of the program.  After that, she said, she’d take on the rest of the meetings.

When Mark started the program, he knew what he was getting in to because of Vicki’s experience.  “The 16 weeks is difficult,” he said.” It is a transition. You start to change your eating habits.”

During their time in the program the Kennedys experienced other health-related benefits.  Mark lost 20 pounds during the course of the program. Weight loss is common for those in the I CAN Prevent Diabetes program.  Typical weight loss can range between 10 and 15 pounds. 

“If you buy into the program, you’re going to lose weight,” Mark said.

Mark had an unexpected benefit as well.  “My acid reflux disappeared.”  Mark explained that he has had acid reflux for a number of years and was taking medication for it.  “I took the class and it went away.” 

Both agreed that one of biggest takeaways from the program was learning how to journal – keeping track of what they are eating and how much they are exercising.  It was hard, they said to start journaling.  They both use the My Fitness Pal app to track food and exercise.  “It makes life so easy,” Mark said.

“I don’t know if I’d be as successful without using it,” Vicki added.

Their success is shown in the lifestyle changes they have made.  They eat more fruits and vegetables, measure portions, and look closer at nutrition labels. 

“We still go out to eat but are more cautious of what we order,” Mark said.

Now that both have gone through the I CAN Prevent Diabetes program they have sage advice for those considering the program: “Do it and commit to it,” said Vicki.  “It’s hard but how much do you want to take care of you?”  Mark added, “Do this knowing you will backslide and you have the tools to recover.”


Pre-diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes – What’s the difference?

Pre-diabetes involves blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diabetes.

An individual with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes.

Diet and moderate exercise resulting in a 5-7% weight loss (usually about 10 -15 pounds) often work to bring blood sugar levels back down to a healthy range.


The I CAN Prevent Diabetes program at River’s Edge Hospital is accredited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  A doctor’s note is not required for participation.

The program is offered bi-annually in February and August. Groups meet Wednesday evenings.  For more information on the program and the next class session, contact Jen Donkin, RD, LD, CDE at 507-934-7694.

River’s Edge Hospital is the first critical access hospital in southern Minnesota to offer robotic-arm assisted total knee replacements with Stryker’s Mako System.  This highly advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv]

The use Mako System at River’s Edge is part of OrthoEdge, the total joint replacement program offered by The Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic in Mankato and River’s Edge Hospital in St. Peter.  Since the formation of the program and partnership in 2014, more than 4,000 joint replacement procedures have been performed  and River’s Edge Hospital has earned the designation of an Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Dr. Kyle Swanson of The Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic. “Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements.”

The Mako Total Knee application is a knee replacement treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako System also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.

“We are proud to be the first critical access hospital in southern Minnesota to offer this highly advanced robotic technology in our area,” said Lori Zook, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of River’s Edge Hospital . “The addition of Mako to our orthopaedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”

# # #

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides a wide range of healthcare services, combining state-of-the-art technology with compassionate care, collaboration, integrity and stewardship. 


[i] Nawabi DH, Conditt MA, Ranawat AS, Dunbar NJ et al. Haptically guided robotic technology in total hip arthroplasty: a cadaveric investigation. J Engineering in Medicine. 2012;227(3):302-309.

[ii] Illgen R. Robotic assisted total hip arthroplasty improves accuracy and clinical outcome compared with manual technique. 44th Annual Advances in Arthroplasty Course. October 7-10, 2014, Cambridge, MA.

[iii] Anthony I, Bell SW, Blyth M, Jones B et al. Improved accuracy of component positioning with robotic-assisted unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016;98-A(8):627-35.

[iv] Hampp EL, Scholl LY, Prieto M, Chang T et al. Robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty demonstrated greater accuracy to plan compared to manual technique. MAKTKA-AJA-9_12509

The River’s Edge Hospital Commission approved the selection of Joseph Stratton as the new Chief Executive Officer of the hospital at its November 27, 2019 meeting. The St. Peter City Council concurred with the selection at the December 9, 2019 meeting. Stratton will assume the role on March 2, 2020. Lori Zook, Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim CEO until that time.

Joseph Stratton most recently served as CEO at Geary Community Hospital in Junction City, Kansas from 2013 to September 2019. During his tenure, Stratton developed several strategic partnerships in the Junction City area to enhance pediatric services, organize educational opportunities for students at the University of Kansas Medical school and Manhattan Area Technical School, and developed new service lines.  Stratton led a team of approximately 300 employees at Geary to improve patient experience, employee engagement, community relations and strategic planning.

The holiday season was made a little brighter for three local organizations.

The St. Peter Area Food Shelf, The Kitchen, and the St. Peter Children’s Weekend Backpack Program received donations from River’s Edge Hospital at the end of November.  The Food Shelf and The Kitchen received $5,000 each.  The funds will be used to purchase food items to fill the shelves and provide meals.  The Children’s Weekend BackpackProgram provides food for school-aged children on weekends and helps fund the Snack Cart program at South and North Elementary schools.  The program received $3,000 that will be used to help continue the Snack Cart program.

“Food is medicine,” George Rohrich, CEO at River’s Edge said.  “Food security is something River’s Edge will always support.

River’s Edge Hospital announces CEO finalists

ST. PETER, MN  River’s Edge Hospital will welcome four finalists for the position of Chief Executive Officer.  The candidates will arrive on November 19 and will go through interviews with the Hospital Commission, City Council and executive team.  On November 20 the finalists will have the opportunity to meet with community members from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at River’s Edge Hospital in the atrium.

The four finalists will be coming to St. Peter from Kansas, New Mexico, California and Minnesota.  

Joseph Stratton

Joseph Stratton most recently served as CEO at Geary Community Hospital in Junction City, Kansas from 2013 to September 2019. During his tenure, Stratton developed several strategic partnerships in the Junction City area to enhance pediatric services, organize educational opportunities for students at the University of Kansas Medical school and Manhattan Area Technical School, and developed new service lines.  Stratton led a team of approximately 300 employees at Geary to improve patient experience, employee engagement, community relations and strategic planning.

Dennis Goebel

Dennis Goebel currently resides in Slayton, Minnesota.  He has 20 years of experience as a senior healthcare executive.  Most recently Goebel was the Administrator at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in Sitka, Alaska.   Goebel has also served as CEO at hospitals in Minnesota and North Dakota.  In previous roles Goebel has overseen building projects, led financial turnaround, and developed new service lines.

Eugene Suksi

Eugene Suksi is the CEO at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare in Bakersfield, California.  Suksi has also served as a CEO and Chief Operating Officer at critical access and acute care hospitals in California and Washington.  Suksi has broad experience in Lean process improvement, strategic planning, project management, and financial improvement.  In his career Suksi has overseen construction projects and has led several patient experience improvement projects.

Vincent DiFranco

Vincent DiFranco previously served as interim CEO at South Bighorn County Hospital District in Basin, Wyoming and currently resides in New Mexico.  DiFranco has extensive experience in leading healthcare systems, behavioral health, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and medical offices.  In his tenure as an administrator, DiFranco has developed strategic partnerships, led construction projects, demonstrated service excellence, and improved service line growth.

The Hospital Commission and City Council will be interviewing candidates on Thursday, November 21.  

River’s Edge Hospital is seeking 12-15 volunteers to provide patient and guest support on weekdays starting November 21, 2019. Applications are available now and will be accepted through November 6.

Volunteer duties include (but are not limited to), wayfinding assistance through the facility, escorting patients and family members to rooms after check-in, assisting with transport to patient’s vehicle at discharge, and support to staff as needed. As the construction project continues and departments are completed, volunteer duties will expand.

The volunteer schedule will be Mondays-Fridays, 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. with shifts set up in 2-hour blocks to provide consistent, yet flexible scheduling. Volunteers will not be required to work holidays.

To apply for a volunteer position, print out the application below and mail it to River’s Edge Hospital, attn: Stephanie Holden, 1900 North Sunrise Drive, St. Peter , MN 56082. Or, pick up the application at the main hospital desk or at Live Well Fitness Center.

For questions, or to receive an application by mail, contact Stephanie Holden at 507-934-7645 or sholden@rehc.org