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Riverwood Healthcare receives statewide award

Riverwood Healthcare Center was among 17 Minnesota hospitals to be honored at the annual Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) awards ceremony on April 25.

Eighteen awards were given for extraordinary achievement in categories ranging from advocacy on behalf of hospitals and volunteerism to innovation and improvement in patient care and patient safety. Riverwood received the Community Benefit Award for its innovative community-wide wellness program launched in 2013 with the support of a three-year Healthy Communities Partnership grant from Allina Health and the George Family Foundation.

During the past year, Riverwood Healthcare Center implemented several new innovative wellness strategies and partnerships to support prevention and behavioral health. In March 2013, Riverwood introduced a coaching program and community outreach platform to Aitkin County and the Garrison area.

“This statewide award recognizes the important work our staff is doing to engage local residents in improving their own health and wellness,” said Chad Cooper, Riverwood CEO. “As a healthcare organization, we believe that education, information and prevention are the best medicine and absolutely vital to promoting overall health and well-being for the communities we serve.”

All programs were free and easily accessible to the community. The wellness coaching program, designed to support patients with weight loss, reached more than 300 individuals with an average weight loss of 10 pounds per person. Community outreach has included a Healthy Living newsletter, health seminars, farmer’s market, 5Ks, and resource guides to encourage patients to access existing community wellness resources as a way to improve health.

Riverwood also focused on wellness at a system level by forming a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health to assess and implement evidence-based strategies to better address body mass index, tobacco use and blood pressure in the clinic setting. These efforts reached several thousand people and engaged them in better health.

“These achievements showcase the kind of top-quality care that typifies Minnesota hospitals,” said MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa. “The women and men of these innovative, high-performing hospitals have set the bar high for patient care and for meeting the needs of their communities. Thanks to their innovation, diligence and commitment, Minnesota hospitals continue to be among the best in the nation.”

Riverwood was one of three winners in the Community Benefit Award small hospital category. The other two hospitals were New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health and St. Joseph’s Area Health Services in Park Rapids.

Attending the Minnesota Hospital Association award ceremony to accept the Community Benefit award for Riverwood were Arlene Wheaton, public relations and marketing coordinator; Lisa Kruse, health and wellness coordinator; Dan Schletty, health and wellness coach; and Liz Dean, public relations and marketing manager.

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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