Top Honors Presented at RiverView Health’s 120th Annual Meeting


The Riverview Healthcare Association held its 120th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet Monday, Jan. 22nd at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. The evening was a celebration of a successful 2017, with a total margin of 5.8% reported for the year.

As their terms expired, Dr. Colin Fennell and Andrew Svec were thanked for their years of service to the RiverView Board of Directors. Jenny Amon, Shannon Stassen and Michelle Snyder were all re-elected to the Board, while Tim Brinkman was newly elected to the Board.

Brinkman is originally from Blue Earth, MN. He graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in mass communications and a minor in economics. He currently serves as CEO and general manager of Garden Valley Telephone Company; a position he has held since June 2015. Prior to joining the Garden Valley team, he was the business operations manager for Park Region Telephone. Brinkman has held several leadership roles in a variety of service groups, including Sertoma, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce offices as well as Economic Development Authority offices.

Roxanne Cota Named RiverView’s 2017 Employee of the Year

Longtime RiverView employee Roxanne Cota was recognized for going above and beyond in her everyday duties as an aide in the Environmental Services Department by being named RiverView’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

Cota has worked at RiverView for 32 years. She was recognized in nominations by co-workers for her positive, calm and caring nature, as well as her work ethic. Just one example of the many ways Cota helps those around her is the fact that she volunteers to do sewing work for RiverView Care Center residents and departments when she is off duty.

A resident of Dorothy, Cota and husband Ross have six children and 14 grandchildren. She enjoys sewing, quilting, spending time with family and especially going to her grandchildren’s sporting events.

Left to right: RiverView Health President/CEO Carrie Michalski, 2017 Employee of the Year Roxanne Cota and RiverView Board Chair Andy Oman.

Two Bright Idea of the Year Awards Given

It was just too hard to choose between the final two Bright Ideas in the running for the big, annual award, so two employees received recognition for their ideas at Monday night’s event.

Morgan Kresl was awarded for her idea to hold a Scrubs Camp for high school students wanting to learn about the opportunities and challenges of working in the healthcare field. Because of Kresl’s idea, 21 students from Crookston, Warren, Sacred Heart, Fosston and Stephen-Argyle took part in the free camp. The group attended sessions led by RiverView staff in the categories of nursing, rehab, lab, imaging, CPR/AED, orthopaedics, dietetics, anesthesia and medical social work. The students also did a variety of hands-on activities in several service lines and spent time in RiverView’s Learning Lab.

Part of the camp included trips to the University of North Dakota Medical School and Northland Community and Technical College for tours and further information on the education and training involved in a variety of health-related professions.

Kresl, a student at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, is a flex-time CNA/phlebotomist at RiverView.

If you’ve been a patient on RiverView’s Inpatient Unit lately you may have Michelle Moen to thank for making your stay more comfortable. Moen received the Bright Idea of the Year Award for her idea to add a commercial, raised, open-front toilet seat to each patient restroom.

Inpatient Unit toilets have a rise of 15.5 inches, the standard height. Unfortunately, that is not a height that works well for patients who may have just had a knee replacement or back surgery. Toilet risers presented fall hazards and bedside commodes were never the right height and brought additional work. Moen found seats that safely raise the height to 18.5 inches, which is considered a handicap height. The cost of the seats was minimal in comparison to replacing all of the toilets on the Unit, and most importantly, the seats have greatly improved the safety of patient transfers in the restroom

Moen is an occupational therapist in RiverView’s Rehab Services Department.

Left to right: RiverView President/CEO Carrie Michalski, Bright Idea Award winners Morgan Kesl and Michelle Moen, and RiverView Board Chair Andy Oman.

Reaching Out to Serve Award goes to Crookston Area Ambulance

The Crookston Area Ambulance was awarded the 2017 Reaching Out to Serve Award. The Reaching Out to Serve Award is presented annually to an individual or group by the Association's Board of Directors to those that symbolize RiverView’s mission of serving the region while demonstrating innovativeness voluntary of self-initiated efforts and works to improve the access, quality, or cost effectiveness of healthcare. 

The Crookston Area Ambulance was chosen because of the dedicated service and assistance it offers to RiverView and the surrounding communities.

“No matter what the time of day, weather conditions or circumstances, this team makes extraordinary effort to help patients in need,’’ shared Kristin Pearcy, director of RiverView’s Emergency Department. “They perform their duties with empathy, compassion and great skill under some of the most difficult circumstances.  They provide quality transport for patients to our hospital and from our hospital to higher levels of care on a daily basis. When a life threatening emergency arises and extra ambulance crews are needed they assemble extra team members at a moment’s notice.’’

The Crookston Area Ambulance team is also applauded for participating in RiverView’s Emergency Department Committee meetings and on its Trauma Program Multi-Disciplinary Improvement Team, collaborating to make response times, overall care, and transfer times better for RiverView’s patients.  It was shared that in-between calls, the ambulance team members are often observed answering phones in the Emergency Department, assisting with room turnover to help RiverView staff prepare for the next patient, or observing high risk patients requiring direct observation when RiverView’s team is in need of assistance.

“They truly care for each and every patient as if they were a member of their own family,’’ Pearcy stated. “They approach their daily task with a smile, a great sense of humor and a wonderful work ethic. The Emergency Department team, RiverView Health and the entire community is blessed to be served by such a wonderful team of emergency service providers.’’ 

Left to right: RiverView’s Lance Norman, Cara Hendrickson and April Grunhovd, Crookston Area Ambulance team members Jen Freeman and Brian Olson, and RiverView Senior Leaders Chris Bruggeman, Betty Arvidson and Jean Tate.

Alta Hermodson Heart and Soul Award goes to Deb Sylvester

RiverView volunteer Deb Sylvester was chosen by the RiverView Auxiliary as the recipient of the 2017 Alta Hermodson Heart and Soul Award for her dedication of time and effort in helping others.

The Alta Hermodson Heart and Soul Award is given annually to a RiverView volunteer(s) who exemplifies the RiverView Health Auxiliary’s mission of volunteerism and service to RiverView Health, just as Alta Hermodson did. Hermodson was involved in her church, library, hospital, and museum. She truly gave of herself and volunteered at places in which she believed. This award was created in her honor in 2003. The nominee must volunteer with RiverView Health. His or her activities should not only benefit RiverView, but also serve as an inspirational example of healthcare volunteerism.

Sylvester has been involved in Auxiliary and volunteer activities for many years. She is a Monday morning Limited Addition Gift Shop volunteer but also can be found volunteering in the Gift Shop throughout the week. She helps Community Relations Specialist Kari Moe order products to keep the shop stocked, keeps inventory organized and is known for her rapport with other Gift Shop volunteers, employees, patients and visitors.

“Deb is always willing to do whatever is needed and willingly volunteers for projects not only at RiverView, but throughout the community as well,’’ shared Moe. “One volunteer stated that Deb never sits still when she is volunteering and she is willing to do the cleaning, hauling and other not so glamorous jobs. She is always very happy to help and through her efforts she truly is dedicated to helping RiverView health and the community by her service to others.’’

Auxiliary Donations Make Projects Happen

The evening also included a donation announcement of $10,000 from the RiverView Auxiliary to the RiverView Foundation. Each year the Auxiliary gives the Foundation $10,000 from its vending profits to use for a donor match program. This program is used to stretch the donor’s support which allows the donor to take full ownership of a project. The Auxiliary has donated $100,000 to the Foundation in the past ten years; in turn this has created $312,907 worth of projects for RiverView.

Auxiliary Board President Judy Luettjohann also shared the projects the Auxiliary has committed to funding for 2017/2018. Those projects are:
     • Materials for free acupuncture clinic, $300
     • TVs for Care Center residents, $5,000
     • Rehab Services Electrotherapy machine, $2,100
     • Rehab Services three iPads for Speech Therapy, $2,200
     • Rehab Services blanket warmer for Sleep Lab, $3,300
     • Rehab Services Aerogen Controller for Respiratory Therapy, $1,200
     • Rehab Services surround sound therapeutic listening, $1,000

Ongoing projects include:
     • Newborn gift baskets
     • Pediatric activity bags for inpatients
     • Sweatshirts/sweatpants for patients
     • Snacks in family surgery waiting room
     • Meals for family with patient receiving end of life care

The mission of the Auxiliary is to promote the health and welfare of the community in accordance with the objectives of RiverView Health.


Back to News Listing