Tricounty News

Meeker Memorial Hospital begins visitor restrictions

Meeker Memorial Hospital will implement visitor restrictions Tuesday, Jan. 21. Because of the prevalence of influenza (FLU) already this season and to further protect patients, staff and the community from its spread, it has been decided to implement visitor restrictions at MMH; the following are in effect until further notice:

• It is recommended that no children visit hospital patients.

• Birth Center: No one under 18 is allowed to visit at this time, with the exception of siblings.

• For anyone with symptoms like scratchy throat, fever, cough, body aches, etc., a mask is required to visit patients.


Jan. 7 Blood Drive at St. Anne’s

The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in Kimball 1-7 p.m. Jan. 7, at St. Anne’s Church.

If you are able to donate and have not been contacted to schedule an appointment, you may call Joann at (320) 398-2691. If you are unsure of your time schedule, you may come in any time and we will get you in as soon as possible. All donors should bring in a photo ID or your blood donation card.

The importance of a diverse blood supply

While many people share similar blood types, there are some with more rare types. It’s important for donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of the population in order to help meet the needs of as many patients as possible.

• Some blood types are unique to ethnic groups, making it essential that the donor’s and patient’s types are a match beyond their ABO blood type for some health conditions.

• Certain blood types are more common in some ethnic groups than others. For instance, about 70 percent of African Americans have type O or B blood, the types that are typically the first to run out during a shortage.


Intervention workshop available

Monthly workshop helps friends and family create an intervention plan

Does a loved one suffer from alcohol or drug addiction? Come to a free intervention workshop facilitated by trained specialists. Workshops are scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon the first Saturday of each month at Recovery Plus,
713 Anderson Ave., St. Cloud. 

Learn to use “care-frontation,” avoid enabling, and learn how to develop and implement an intervention plan. The next sessions will be Jan. 4, and
Feb. 1. No registration required. For more information, visit, call (320)
229-3760, or (800) 742-4357.

New Yorker smells the roses

In October, I invited readers to pen their own column for publishing here. The first reply came from Virginia Mariani, who reads this column in the Grand Island (NY) Dispatch. I edited her piece for space and clarity. Here is what she wrote:

“Do you remember the old Tim Conway (comedy) skits where he did everything in slow motion? That’s how I feel my life is, but it’s not so funny now. I have myotonic muscular dystrophy. It takes me two hours every morning to shower, dress and coif. I mentioned that to a friend with arthritis who walks slowly, and she said that at least in slow motion we had time to stop and smell the roses, unlike some people who move so fast life passes them by. I think that is a great way of looking at life.

“I was diagnosed with myotonic muscular dystrophy in my fifties. The diagnosis stunned me. I was ashamed to tell anyone outside my immediate family and I feared the future. Eventually, I had to give up singing in the choir. My husband and I could no longer take long walks, care for a garden, or go to the zoo with grandchildren. My diagnosis was my husband’s diagnosis, too. It changed his life almost as much as mine. I use a walker or a scooter now and need help getting in and out of a car.


Great American Smokeout Nov. 21

Thursday, Nov. 21, is the 38th annual Great American Smokeout and the perfect time to remind Minnesotans of the benefits of quitting the tobacco habit. Despite the increase in the price of tobacco earlier this year, nearly 16 percent of Minnesotans still smoke. Many of them are considering how they can kick their smoking habit for good. To help them, QUITPLAN Services suggests making a plan and see the benefits.

Make a plan to quit

Step 1 – Choose a plan. Choose a scientifically proven way to quit and make a plan to quit. Free help to develop a customized plan is available at, or (888) 354-PLAN (7526).

Step 2 – Breathe it in. Within 48 hours of quitting, your sense of taste and smell improves.

Step 3 – Connect. Find others going through the same thing to stay motivated and keep quit. One place to try is the QUITPLAN® Services Facebook page.

Step 4 – Count your money. After quitting for a year, a pack-a-day smoker will have saved more than $2,700 and added 56 days to his or her life.

Step 5 – Live. Stay quit, live longer, live healthier.