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Physicians join ER at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center

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■ Physicians join ER at Cuyuna

Regional Medical Center

CROSBY — Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) recently welcomed three emergency medicine physicians to the hospital’s emergency department in Crosby.

They are Dr. Tom Lorenz, Dr. Mohammad Chelehmalzadeh and Dr. Erik Vilen.

Lorenz joins CRMC with more than 30 years of emergency physician experience. Prior to joining CRMC he provided Emergency Medicine care in Perham and Primary Care in Onamia. Lorenz graduated from St. John’s University magna cum laude and attended the University Of North Dakota School Of Medicine. His internship was at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo.

Lorenz is board certified in emergency medicine. With a passion for medicine, Lorenz has also put his many years of experience to use as an educator teaching and was Instructor of the Year twice through NE Area Health Education Center at the University Of North Dakota School of Medicine. He is past president of the North Dakota Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and past medical director for Grand Itasca Emergency Department. During the years, he has received consistently high ratings for his care, honored in the top 1 percent for physician satisfaction.

Chelehmalzadeh completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, Canada, and after, worked on a master’s degree in cellular and molecular pathology. For four years, he attended Central America Health Sciences University in Belize City, Belize, where he completed his clinical rotations. His residency was at Montgomery Family Practice Residency Program in Norristown, Pa., where he covered the intensive care unit, coronary care unit, telemetry, pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery, emergency room (ER) and psychiatric ward.

In the past, Chelehmalzadeh had the position of medical director at facilities in Minnesota including Buffalo Lake, Renville County and Hector. Before his transition to CRMC he provided care at Renville County Hospital and Clinics in Olivia where he had a variety of leadership roles since 2009 as chief of emergency services, vice president of medical staff and interim hospice director.

Vilen is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology.

In 1998, Vilen joined the United States Army Reserve, Corps of Engineers where he was a staff sargeant, had a combat tour in Iraq from 2003-04 and was named non-commissioned officer of the year in 2001.

In August of 2004, Vilen started medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and then went on to complete his residency at Montana Family Medicine Residency. Before transitioning to CRMC, Vilen was a hospitalist and ER physician at Holy Rosary Healthcare in Montana. He has authored professional publications and presentations and is a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine and a Wilderness Medicine Society Fellow Candidate.

The Emergency Department at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center is a Level III Trauma Center that is physician staffed at all times and accompanied by advanced life support ambulance service. The Emergency Medicine team is guided by the leadership of Dr. Joe Walz, medical director of the emergency department.

■ Nexus announces merger with

Kindred Family Services

Nexus, a Minnesota-based nonprofit 501(C)3 organization and leader in child and adolescent treatment services for nearly 40 years, announced a merger with Kindred Family Services, a Minnesota-based private foster care provider, effective Dec. 19.

Nexus operates residential treatment, group homes, transitional living programs and educational and vocational services in Minnesota, Illinois and Maryland for children and adolescents experiencing severe emotional and behavioral problems, exhibiting harmful sexual behaviors and requiring special services for developmental disabilities. Additionally, Nexus operates hospital-based inpatient psychiatric services in Illinois, and foster care, specialized foster care, adoption, alternative to residential treatment and home-based counseling services in Minnesota.

Kindred Family Services manages about 110 Minnesota foster homes offering therapeutic foster care, permanency planning, family support programs and a crisis nursery from regional offices in Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Marshall, Monticello, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Warroad and Willmar. Combined with Family Focus’ 80 plus homes, the merger with Kindred Family Services puts Nexus’ foster care in 62 Minnesota counties.

The affiliation of Nexus and Kindred Family Services enables Nexus to expand its treatment area for foster care and makes it the largest private foster care provider in the state, serving more children with a seamless continuum of care provided closer to youths’ home communities. The merger benefits Kindred Family Services through affiliation with a large and financially sound organization that provides economy of scale and vision of growth headed by the Nexus’ CEO and board of directors.

“Nexus is committed to serving more youth in more areas. The merger with Kindred Family Services allows us to expand Nexus’ continuum of care and provide services closer to home for youth who are transitioning through service programs,” stated Nexus CEO, David Hutchinson in a news release. “This merger will provide efficiencies in care and, most importantly, better care for Minnesota youth and support for families. We are very happy to have Kindred Family Services join the Nexus Family of Treatment Programs.”

George Hendrickson, CEO of Kindred Family Services, said: “We strongly believe that placement options should be available for all Minnesota youths close to their home communities. As a member of the Nexus family, we will be able to strengthen and expand our programs and train more families to foster youth. This will increase our ability to provide healthy outcomes for more youth and families.”

Nexus currently operates five academies with onsite schools in three states, group homes, transitional living programs and two agencies with foster care, adoption and home-based counseling services. The company also manages two inpatient psychiatric units for adolescents:

■ Mille Lacs Academy (Onamia) – residential treatment for up to 88 boys ages 10-19 exhibiting harmful sexual behaviors; the academy also operates a group home for up to eight boys.

Other facilities include: Gerard Academy, Austin; Indian Oaks Academy, Manteno, Ill.; Onarga Academy, Illinois; Family Focus in greater Minnesota; Woodbourne Center, Baltimore; Kindred Family Services, greater Minnesota.

Nexus’ corporate headquarters is located in Plymouth.

■ Deadline approaches for sustainable ag grant  

Minnesota farmers have until Jan. 11 to apply for Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants that may help offset the costs of on-farm innovations and/or research.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will award grants of up to $25,000 for projects such as fruit and vegetable production, livestock production systems, conservation tillage and weed management, organic farming and alternative energy crop production. 

The MDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program promotes environmental stewardship and conservation of resources and strives to improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas. Many Minnesota farmers and researchers have been able to develop new concepts into viable production practices with the help of these grants.  Eligible recipients include Minnesota farmers, individuals at Minnesota educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and local natural resource agencies. Priority is given to projects that are farmer initiated. All non-farmer initiated projects must show significant collaboration with farmers.

Grant applications are available on the MDA website at or by contacting the Agricultural Marketing and Development Division at 651-201-6012. Completed applications must be received by MDA no later than Jan. 11. These and other grant projects are highlighted in the Greenbook, which is free and available at

■ Farmers’ market and artisan

alley to open at Butler Building

AITKIN — Starting in January, the Butler Building, 301 Minnesota Ave. N in Aitkin, will host an indoor farmers’ market and artisan’s alley.

The farmers’ market will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Applications are being taken for farmers selling eggs, honey, maple syrup, cheeses, homemade soaps, canned goods (jams, jellies, pickles, etc.), breads and other dairy products. Applications are available at The Beanery. For more information, call Lynne Jacobs at 218-820-8790 or email her at The resounding success of the arts and crafts show during the Aitkin Fishhouse Parade on Nov. 23 contributed to the decision to feature artisans at the Butler building on a regular basis, Butler building owner Sylvia Allen reported. The products for sale must meet certain standards as 20 will be selected by a panel of judges. The hours for Artisan’s Alley will be Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a 10-foot booth space will be $50 per month.

Artisans will be encouraged to take part in product design and demonstrations on Fridays and Saturdays. Applications are available at The Beanery or by calling Lynne Jacobs at 218-820-8790 or emailing her at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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