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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

River’s Edge Hospital is excited to offer Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exams, developed  by Hologic, Inc., a worldwide leader inWomen’s Health. [i] Utilizing advanced breast tomosynthesis technology, Genius exams are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, and also decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing.1-7 To learn more watch the video on the River’s Edge Hospital YouTube channel

In conventional 2D Mammography, overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary callbacks. A Genius exam includes a three-dimensional method of imaging that can greatly reduce the tissue overlap effect.

“ The Mammography staff at River’s Edge is excited to be able to offer the best breast cancer screening tool available.  3D mammograms will not only allow us to find early cancers quickly, but will also decrease the likelihood that a women would have to come back for additional imaging,” said Kim Henze, Imaging Services Manager at River’s Edge Hospital.

A Genius exam includes both 2D images and tomosynthesis scans. During the tomosynthesis-DIMENSIONAL portion of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. A computer then converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing the radiologist to review the breast tissue one layer at a time. A Genius exam requires no additional compression and takes just a few seconds longer than a conventional 2D breast cancer screening exam.

Our Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam, available on the 3Dimensions™ and Selenia® Dimensions® systems from Hologic, are revolutionizing how breast cancer is detected by providing a better option for women of all breast densities compared to 2D alone.1-2  Researchers have found that:

  • The Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam finds 20-65% more invasive breast cancers compared to 2D alone, an average increase of 41%.3
  • Only the Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam is FDA approved as superior for women with dense breasts compared to 2D alone.1-2
  • The Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam reduces callbacks by up to 40% compared to 2D alone.2,4

River’s Edge Hospital is committed to the fight against breast cancer. In offering the Genius exam, River’s Edge Hospital provides a more accurate tool for breast cancer screening.1

If you would like to schedule a Genius 3D Mammography™ exam, or have questions about this important breast health procedure, please contact us at 507-931-2200.

About Genius™ 3D Mammography™ Exams

The breast is a three-dimensional object composed of different structures located at different heights within the breast. These structures can overlap and cause confusion when viewed as a flat two-dimensional image. This confusion of overlapping of tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary callbacks. Using breast tomosynthesis technology, the Hologic system creates a 3-dimensional image of the breast structure, which enables radiologists to more clearly see through overlapping tissue to detect cancers, often at an earlier stage.

The Hologic system is the first FDA-approved breast tomosynthesis system in the U.S. Hologic Genius 3D Mammography™ exams are now available in all 50 states and over 50 countries. To date, more than 8 million women have been screened with this advanced screening system.


The Genius™ 3D Mammography™ (a.k.a. Genius™ exam) is acquired on the Hologic® 3D Mammography™ system and consists of a 2D and 3D™ image set, where the 2D image can be either an acquired 2D image or a 2D image generated from the 3D™ image set. The Genius™ exam is only available on the Hologic 3D Mammography™ system.

References:

1) FDA submissions P080003, P080003/S001, P080003/S004, P080003/S005

2) Friedewald SM, Rafferty EA, Rose SL, et al. Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography. JAMA. 2014 Jun 25;311(24):2499-507.

3) Results from Friedewald, SM, et al. “Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography.” JAMA 311.24 (2014): 2499 2507; a multi-site (13), non-randomized, historical control study of 454,000 screening mammograms investigating the initial impact the introduction of the Hologic Selenia® Dimensions ® on screening outcomes. Individual results may vary. The study found an average 41% (95% CI: 20-65%) increase and that 1.2 (95% CI: 0.8-1.6) additional invasive breast cancers per 1000 screening exams were found in women receiving combined 2D FFDM and 3D™ mammograms acquired with the Hologic 3D Mammography™ System versus women receiving 2D FFDM mammograms only.

4) Bernardi D, Macaskill P, Pellegrini M, et. al. Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis (3D mammography) with acquired or synthetic 2D mammography compared with 2D mammography alone (STORM-2): a population-based prospective study. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Aug;17(8):1105-13.

5) Bernardi D, Macaskill P, Pellegrini M, et. al. Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis(3D mammography) with acquired or synthetic 2D mammography compared with 2D mammography alone (STORM-2): a population-based prospective study. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Aug;17(8):1105-13.

6) McDonald ES, Oustimov A, Weinstein SP, et al. Effectiveness of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Compared With Digital Mammography: Outcomes Analysis From 3 Years of Breast Cancer Screening. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Jun 1;2(6):737-43.

7) Rafferty EA, Durand MA, Conant EF, et al Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis and Digital Mammography in Dense and Nondense Breasts. JAMA. 2016 Apr 26;315(16):1784-6.

MISC-05233 Rev 001 (5/18)

ST. PETER, MN— River’s Edge Hospital is leveraging Cloud-based technology to radically improve the governance process while saving staff time and taxpayer dollars. The remarkably easy-to-use service will allow the organization to maximize the effectiveness of their board meetings with increased transparency, providing a basis for better and more open communication with the public, while dramatically improving productivity and saving thousands of dollars annually.

The board management solution, called BoardDocsPro, is the fastest, easiest and most powerful paperless agenda solution on the market. BoardDocs Pro uses a structured, collaborative Workflow that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs and legal requirements of public school boards, county commissions, municipal governments and a wide variety of other types of governing bodies. Additionally, through the MetaSearch feature, members of the governing body will also have access to best practices from other organizations that are using the system, allowing them to gain important knowledge about initiatives other governing bodies have considered and implemented. 

Electronic distribution will not only save time and resources, but it will also provide unprecedented public access via the River’s Edge Hospital Web site to agenda items and other board-related information. This process will allow interested parties to review information prior to meetings. After the meeting, individuals can review the agenda items and see what action the board took, complete with voting results. All documents associated with the meeting are automatically archived and can be accessed by date or by using the system’s comprehensive Search feature.

The new board management features can be accessed via the organization’s Web site at https://go.boarddocs.com/mn/rehc/board.nsf/Public.

River’s Edge Hospital  was among 69 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among facility employees during the 2018-19 flu season.

For the 2018-19 season, 93 percent of River’s Edge Hospital employee, received influenza vaccinations. In addition to aiming for 90% or higher influenza vaccination rates among employees, participating FluSafe facilities also worked to address a barrier to vaccination during the past season. 

The FluSafe program aims to get all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Janelle Rauchman, RN, Chief Quality Officer of River’s Edge Hospital. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”

Of the 109 facilities that participated in FluSafe this year, 69 were recognized by MDH for achieving flu vaccination rates of 90% or higher among staff and reporting on a barrier to vaccination.

“We continue to be grateful for – and impressed by – the important steps participating facilities are taking to prevent flu through health care worker vaccination,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control at MDH.

 Health care facilities participating in the FluSafe program receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their influenza vaccination rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through the state’s immunization information system, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2018-19 facilities can be found on FluSafe Facilities (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/flu/hcp/vaccine/flusafefac.html).

ST. PETER, MN— River’s Edge Hospital CEO George Rohrich submitted his resignation to Hospital Commission Chairperson Margie Nelsen and St. Peter City Administrator Todd Prafke on Thursday, September 5.  A special meeting of the River’s Edge Hospital Commission will be held on Wednesday, September 11 at 12:30 p.m. at River’s Edge Hospital to set a timeline for the hiring process to replace Mr. Rohrich.  Mr. Rohrich’s last day at River’s Edge Hospital is December 4, 2019.

George Rohrich joined River’s Edge Hospital in 2013.  At the time, River’s Edge Hospital had experienced low growth and consecutive years of a budget deficit.  Through his insightful and visionary leadership, Rohrich transformed the organization by growing service lines through strategic partnerships, encouraging a change in the culture of the organization to put people and patient first and make strategic investments in services and equipment to strengthen the hospital’s bottom line.

The success of River’s Edge Hospital in the past six years is attributed to a team of more than 175 individuals who helped transform workplace culture and achieve the goals and objectives set by Mr. Rohrich and the Hospital Commission.

“Together we have accomplished incredible success,” Rohrich said in a message to the River’s Edge Staff.  “Being part of the River’s Edge team is one of the high points of my career.”

“We appreciate the skills and the approach that George has taken to develop an exceptional executive team and we applaud the accomplishments that have been made to position the hospital to where it is today,” said Margie Nelsen, Hospital Commission Chairperson.  “On behalf of the entire commission, we commend George’s service to the hospital and to the St. Peter community.  We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“The City Council has been fortunate to have George at the front of River’s Edge Hospital and a great team,” said Todd Prafke, Saint Peter City Administrator. “We are excited for him and his family and will continue to provide the high level of service people have come to expect from River’s Edge.”