News & Events

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic recently completed a digital radiography upgrade to the x-ray equipment in the imaging department.

The switch from computed radiography (CR) to digital radiography (DR) means up to a 40 percent reduction in radiation exposure for patients and physicians receive images up to 10 minutes faster than before.

“We love it,” said Kim Henze, Imaging Services Manager at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic.  “The training was easy, the system is really user friendly.”

Prior to the upgrade, the radiologic technologists would position the patient and the area to be imaged onto a cassette and then would expose the cassette.  The cassette would then be removed from under the patient and placed into the machine that would create the digital image in about 90 seconds.   After making sure the image was okay, the technologist would have to reposition the patient for the next image, place a new cassette under the patient and repeat the process.

Now, with the new digital radiography system there is an imaging plate and not cassettes.  Once the plate is placed under the patient it does not have to be removed, this will greatly decrease the amount of discomfort the patient feels during the exam. Once the images have been taken the picture appears in under 6 seconds.

In addition to the digital radiography upgrade in the x-ray rooms, River’s Edge also upgraded its mobile units to digital radiography.  The technologists bring the machine into the surgery suite to take images needed by the surgeon.  Images appear within seconds and the technologist does not have to leave the surgical suite to take the cassette back to the machine that creates the image.  These mobile units are also used at the patient’s bedside, when needed, and the Hospitalist will be able to see the images in seconds as well.

Henze said the new digital radiography upgrade to the mobile equipment allows for decreased “in and out time” by the tech in surgery and it ultimately reduces surgical and anesthesia time for the patient.

bruns digital x rayThe digital radiography upgrade was retrofitted to the existing equipment in the two x-ray rooms, the existing mobile unit and the purchase of a second mobile unit.  The $194,000 upgrade was part of the hospital’s 2015 capital improvement plan.

Rivers Edge Hospital & Clinic

Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Outcomes and Patient Perspectives


St Peter, MN, November 19, 2015 – Rivers Edge Hospital & Clinic today announced it has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Outcomes and Patient Perspectives, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation.

“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said George Rohrich, CEO at River’s Edge. “The staff has been working to improve processes to achieve higher level of patient satisfaction and positive outcomes.  This recognition validates their hard work.”

The rankings have been designated by the Hospital Strength INDEX™, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX™ captures performance metrics for more than 4,000 acute care hospitals, including over 1,300 rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and 9 pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.

“These top quartile performers should take great pride in this recognition. It showcases their commitment to continuous performance analysis and improvement. On this occasion of National Rural Health Day, it’s an honor to celebrate their achievement as they continue to serve their communities despite the many market, regulatory and financial pressures they face.” said Michael Topchik, senior vice president of iVantage Health Analytics.


The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities

About iVantage Health Analytics

iVantage is a leading business analytic and advisory services company a unique combination of technology, content, and expert advisory services accelerates decision making for the new healthcare. For more information please visit

River’s Edge receives 4 stars for patient experience

Rivers Edge Hospital recently received a 4 star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Quality Initiative.   The rating is based on survey data on patient experience collected by CMS from all hospitals. The results are compared to others hospitals and each are given a star rating. The more stars, with 5 being the highest equals the better quality of care at the facility.

“The 4-star ranking confirms what our patients are telling us. They have a good experience at River’s Edge,” said George Rohrich, River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic CEO. “The results also show us opportunities to improve patient experience to even higher levels.”

When the star rankings were first released, rural hospitals like River’s Edge Hospital were not included in the rankings. Now all small and large hospitals are rated on the same 11 patient experience measures.

New Ulm Medical Center received 5 stars from CMS as did Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague. Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato received 3 stars.

River’s Edge Hospital was above or at the Minnesota average for 8 of the 11 measures that include highly recommending the hospital to room cleanliness and communication with doctors and nurses.

For more information on the Hospital Compare rankings visit

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.

Being active is something that is important to Debbie Behnke of Lake Crystal.   Exercise and a healthy lifestyle helped her lose more than 100 pounds.  And, at the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center she is the corporate manager, a water aerobics instructor and lifeguard.

Something happened to Debbie three years ago that altered her active lifestyle.  She was bringing a chair up from her basement when her leg suddenly got “stuck” and she fell forward.  She thought she pulled a muscle.

Debbie got to a point where she could not do the things she had been able to do.

“I had so much pain I would literally cry,” she said.

Not being able to exercise led to some weight gain.  Debbie said her husband suggested she see a chiropractor.  She also tried acupuncture but neither was providing any relief.

Debbie next went to The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in Mankato to see Dr. Steven Curtis.  An MRI showed arthritis in her hip.  Cortisone injections were done but Debbie still did not have any relief from the pain in her hip.

Dr. Stevens then referred Debbie to his colleague, Dr. Kyle Swanson.  After an exam he determined Debbie needed hip surgery.

Through the OrthoEdge program Debbie had her hip replacement surgery at River’s Edge Hospital in St. Peter in March 2015.  Debbie recalled something Dr. Swanson said to her husband post -surgery, “I can see why she was in so much pain.  The ball joint inside the socket was flat and was bone-on-bone.”    Debbie said this was not picked up on the MRI and was seen during her surgery.

Debbie had her surgery on a Tuesday and was discharged on Friday.   “It was awesome,” she said about her stay at River’s Edge Hospital.  “The staff communicated well to each other and was very caring.”

Debbie’s OrthoEdge care team consisted of Dr. Swanson, a physician’s assistant, the hospitalist, nurses and physical therapists.

“I speak highly of it,” Debbie says when asked about OrthoEdge, the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic and River’s Edge Hospital’s orthopedic program.

Today Debbie says she is at about 80 percent.  She is working, teaching water aerobics and lifeguarding.  While she knows there are some things she will not be able to do – like cross her legs or ankles when sitting and jogging, she is looking forward to continuing her healthy lifestyle without pain in her hip.





“I tell all my friends, ‘go to St. Peter,’” says Irene Lord of North Mankato.

Irene Lord’s first visit to River’s Edge Hospital was in 2008.  She was a swing bed patient following a knee replacement surgery at another local hospital.

She remembered the high level of care she received at River’s Edge so when it came time to have her other knee replaced in 2013 and Dr. Steven Curtis from the Orthopaedic  & Fracture Clinic suggested she have her surgery at River’s Edge she was thrilled.

“It was wonderful,” she said about having her knee replacement at River’s Edge Hospital and about the care she received.

“I was well taken care of,” Lord said.

Some of the things that stood out for Lord was how she was shown how to get in and out of the shower, the size of her private room and how kind and caring the nurses are.

Now, two years later, Lord and her husband are moving toward a healthier lifestyle.  “I feel more active with no pain in my knees,” she said.

They eat healthier and watch their calorie intake.  She is proud to say they have each lost more than 20 pounds.

When Irene Lord tells people about River’s Edge, she tells them how nice it is.

“I hope they would have the same experience I did.”



“What can I do to help you?”

These few words spoke volumes to Dennis, a patient from Mankato who recently had knee replacement surgery through the OrthoEdge program offered through River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic in St. Peter and the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in Mankato.

Dennis said the first step in his knee replacement progress was to find the best man to do his knee.  That man was OFC’s Dr. Kyle Swanson.   “I had never heard of River’s Edge,” Dennis said after he learned where the surgery would take place.

His was the last surgery of the day.  He said everything went smoothly and he had very personal care.

“There are people to mitigate the pain and make you feel better,” he said.  “They all have their own talents.  It was personal.  There was a real motivation to be part of the group.”

That motivation from the staff carried over to the care Dennis received.  “Some of this stuff you can’t teach,” he said of his care at River’s Edge.  “Everybody’s standing out.”

Dennis said River’s Edge is “a little jewel.”  From the patient rooms, the linens and the staff Dennis said his stay was very nice.

“They motivate you with care, kindness and information.”

When you were a kid did you run through your yard trying to catch butterflies?  It was such a joy to have a big, beautiful monarch perch on my hand, even if it was just for a second.

My kids don’t chase monarch butterflies in the yard because there are not that many around. Monarch numbers are falling because the plant on which monarchs lay their eggs and the caterpillars eat  – milkweed – is being eradicated from ditches and prairies and ag land because of pesticides and land development.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic is partnering with the Monarch Joint Venture, a group from the University of Minnesota, to create monarch habitats on the hospital campus and to encourage others in St. Peter to do the same.  The project is called Mission Monarch.

At River’s Edge we value care, collaboration, stewardship and integrity when it comes to the health and well-being of the people we care for.  Those values extend out to the community and that is one of the reasons why we are taking the steps to become good stewards in the conservation and restoration of the monarch population.

All of this starts with planting a few seeds.

A good monarch habitat should have milkweed plants along with other nectar plants that bloom from late spring in to fall.  Milkweed has gotten a bad rap the last few years because if it is not properly managed, it can be invasive.  Wendy Caldwell from the Monarch Joint Venture recommends 4-5 milkweed plants in the habitat area.

There are many varieties of milkweed but these are some of the best ones to plant in our area:

whorled milkweedWhorled milkweed – white to greenish flowers; plant in sandy, clayey or rocky soil.


swamp milkweedSwamp milkweed – bright pink flowers; river banks, flood plains of lakes, streams, ponds, marshes and other wetland prairie areas.


butterfly milkweedButterfly milkweed – bright orange flowers; best in pastures, prairies, roadsides, waste grounds.


sullivans milkweedSullivans or prairie milkweed – pinkish to purple flowers;  ideal for Minnesota, plant on prairies.


poke milkweedPoke milkweed – white flowers with lavender weep down; best along woodland edges and woodlands.


Add some nectar plants like blazing star (Liatris), coneflower or zinnias to the garden and you will see butterflies filling up for their migration back to Mexico.

So, where do you get milkweed?  Luckily Traverse Des Sioux Garden Center in St. Peter will have milkweed plants available in their store by May 1.  The plants will be growing in one gallon pots.

In the fall you can harvest the milkweed seeds to plant yourself or give to a friend.  Here’s how to harvest your own seeds:

  • Harvest in early fall
  • Get permission from landowner if harvesting pods from private land
  • Wear gloves! Milkweed sap can be harmful to your eyes
  • Seeds should be brown
  • To separate the seeds from the silks place in a clear container with a couple of coins. Cover then shake until the seeds are at the bottom and a fluff ball is on top.
  • Sow the seeds on bare soil before the first snowfall or place in a labeled container with air holes in a cool dry place.If you would like to participate in Mission Monarch contact Stephanie Hill, Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic at 934-7645 or Email photos of your butterfly gardens and butterflies and we will post them on the Mission Monarch Facebook page –

For more information on monarch conservation efforts visit or

Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.


There have been several stories in the news the last few weeks about location accuracy of 911 calls made from cell phones.   A recent story on KARE 11 stated that in more than half the 911 calls made from a cell phone did not show the correct location of the caller.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to tour the Nicollet County Sherriff’s 911 Dispatch center.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of calls that came in during that early afternoon time.

As the calls came in, the supervisor explained how they 911 system works and how emergency personnel are dispatched.  Then she demonstrated a 911 call with a cell phone while in the dispatch center.  The location that came on the screen was from a cell phone tower about a mile away.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 70 percent of 911 calls are made from a cell phone and that the first address to come up is a cell phone tower.

Here are some tips to help you help dispatchers find you faster in case you need to call 911 with your cell phone –

  • Tell the dispatcher your location right away.
  • If traveling in an unfamiliar area be observant of the mile markers along the highway, intersections, distinguishing landmarks, etc. This will help the dispatcher locate you faster.
  • Give the dispatcher your cell phone number in case you get disconnected.
  • Do NOT auto program 911 into your cell phone. Most phones now come with an “emergency call” option.
  • Create a call list on your phone called “In Case of Emergecy” or ICE with a list of people who should be called if you’re involved in an accident.


Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.