Welcome to Community Health and Wellness! Windom Area Health has implemented two great opportunities to learn how to live healthy and be well. The hospital installed a new path called the "Be Well Path" which opened in June of 2018. Through grants, community donations, and contributions from the hospital, it turned a dream into a reality. This path is more than just a walking path. It offers 15 pieces of outdoor equipment, some including a double elliptical, sit up board  and pull up bars. Also, Windom Area Health has a "Feel Awesome. Live Healthy. Be Well." campaign that was launched in November of 2016. The goal is to help make our community a healthier place to live, through focusing on the body, mind and people.

Why Population/Community Health?

Here's why...

Liz Coleman, CNP

Liz Coleman, CNP

Our Community Wellness Projects

Baby Cafe

Baby Café's USA is a FREE drop in center for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, offering:

  • Support from specifically-trained staff.
  • Opportunities to share experiences and make friends.
  • Refreshments, comfortable seating, and open-forum discussions.
  • Play areas for accompanying toddlers.

No appointments are needed - Baby Café sites are on a drop in basis.

Benefits of Visiting a Baby Café:

  • Currently, approximately 80% of all US women start breastfeeding, but of those moms, approximately 60% do not reach their own goals.
  • In efforts to improve these rates, Baby Cafés offer support on all aspects of breastfeeding and its impact on a daily life - from prenatal to weaning, as well as assistance with pumping and maintaining supply if moms return to work outside of home.
  • Baby Café sites are run by a range of trained staff including health professionals such as board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs), midwives and nurses, and other qualified and accredited breastfeeding counselors. All will have specific training and experience in helping breastfeeding families to provide a consistent, high standard of care.

Baby Café USA - Windom Site

1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month
4-6 pm at Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services Building
235 9th Street, Windom, MN 56101

For more information, contact Mary Oeltjenbruns at 507-831-2400.

Birthplace Classes

Birth Classes

The Birth Place understands that the many choices involved in pregnancy and childbirth can be overwhelming. Helping you to make informed healthcare decisions is our priority, which is why the Birth Place is committed to providing education, resources and support to expecting parents. Because having a child is a family event, both Moms and Dads are encouraged to attend our educational sessions. Our education and support series are all taught by certified Registered Nurses.

Prenatal Education Series

This is a 5-week program (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings)covering labor and delivery patterns, possible unexpected outcomes, pain management techniques, breastfeeding, the importance of nutrition and exercise, and tips on caring for a newborn.

The Prenatal Education Series is taught by a Registered Nurse who has been educated through the Sanford Prenatal Center and is a Certified Lamaze Instructor. The series educates parents on what to expect during the birthing experience and how to care for a child. Classes cover a variety of topics including nutrition, stages of labor, breathing techniques, cesarean births, birthing complications, breastfeeding, the importance of exercise, a tour of the Birth Place, and basic safety and child care issues. To register or for more information, contact 507-831-2400.

Childbirth Refresher Class

A one-night class for parents who have already experienced the birth process, or for those who are new to the Birth Place. The class reminds parents of labor and delivery patterns and pain management techniques.

Breastfeeding Class

breastfeeding classThis is a two-hour program for parents considering breastfeeding for their newborn. Topics of the class include the benefits of breastfeeding, various holds and latching tips, pumping basics and breast
care. Dads are encouraged to attend this course, which is taught by a certified Lactation Consultant. Click here for dates and more information.

**Classes are subject to cancellation if attendance levels are low.**

Visit Events Calendar for Class Dates

Birth Place Facilities

The Birth Place is a separate wing of our inpatient unit, dedicated to the birth and care of your new addition. The Birth Place patients enjoy modern day comforts and conveniences in our family-centered facilities, including:

  • Spacious, private Labor and Delivery rooms with whirlpool tubs
  • Private Post-partum rooms, each with bathroom and whirlpool tub
  • Each room includes sleeping accommodations for dads
  • Family room for Birth Place visitors
  • Locked and monitored Newborn Nursery
  • Cuddles, a security system for your baby
  • Nurses Station at nursery for enhanced care
  • Outdoor courtyard

Birth Place Staff

The Birth Place Nursing Staff and Care Providers are highly trained specialists who are dedicated to the health of you and your baby. To enhance the care and safety of your family, the Birth Place staff holds the following certifications:

Lactation Consultant
A Lactation Consultant will meet with every breastfeeding mother during her stay at the hospital for assistance with the early stages of breastfeeding. She will also call the breastfeeding mother after the baby is home to offer support and answer questions.

Lamaze International Childbirth Educator
Our prenatal education classes are taught by a Lamaze International Childbirth Educator, ensuring that you receive the latest information in labor and delivery patterns and pain management techniques.

Birth Place Services

The Birth Place staff is committed to your comfort. Our services are designed to enhance your birth experience, and include:

  • Individualized Pain Management Plans
  • Intraspinal Anesthesia available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Lactation Consultant - offers support to breastfeeding mom. A Lactation Consultant will meet with every breastfeeding mother during her stay at the hospital for assistance with the early stages of breastfeeding. She will also call the breastfeeding mother after the baby is home to offer support and answer questions.
  • Great Beginnings - Complimentary check-ups for mom and baby. (See tab)
  • Neonatal Screenings - One in a thousand babies in Minnesota who seem healthy at birth have a hidden disease. Minnesota state law (144.125) requires screening ALL newborns between 24-48 hours after birth, to ensure the health of all infants born in our state. This neonatal screening provides information on m
  • ore than thirty-five rare diseases. If any of these diseases is found, and is treated early, serious problems may be prevented. While neonatal screening is crucial to a newborn's health, parents may sign a waiver to opt out of the screening.
  • Newborn Infant Hearing Screenings. (See tab)
  • Stork Report Online Nursery and Birth Announcements
  • Safe Place for Newborns Program (See tab)
  • Tours Available!

Great Beginnings

Windom Area Health offers complimentary follow-up appointments to all moms and babies that deliver at The Birth Place. The appointments, called Great Beginnings, will be scheduled sometime within the first week of discharge from the hospital and will be considered an extension of the hospital stay. Appointments will generally take 20-60 minutes and be held at the hospital. A registered nurse, who is also a lactation consultant, will provide an exam for mom covering delivery follow-up, breastfeeding assistance if needed, and wellness screenings. Baby’s exam will cover weight, feeding, cord condition, jaundice, and other assessments.

The exam is not meant to replace the follow-up that will be scheduled with the primary care provider, but to be a bridge to ease the transition with a new baby.

Mary Oeltjenbruns, who is the coordinator of the program, explains a few of the reasons parents should opt to schedule the appointment. “While it’s often intimidating to leave the house the first week, it’s a great, safe opportunity to venture out. Some babies don’t show signs of jaundice until after discharge and this is appointment offers ideal timing to check to make sure baby’s levels are safe. Also, breastfeeding issues often present themselves the first week and if we can help mom overcome them, it will help set the course for a successful feeding future.”

Newborn Infant Hearing Screenings

Newborn Hearing ScreeningWindom Area Health is pleased to announce newborn hearing screening is now being performed on all babies born at Windom Area Health. Newborns will undergo a screening process, which is part of the “standard of care” received (like a PKU test for newborns). This test is performed while infants are sleeping to get the most accurate results.

To test the baby’s hearing earphones are placed over the baby’s ears and an adhesive-back sensor is attached to the forehead. The screener sends a series of soft clicking sounds to the baby’s ears through the earphones. Sensors pick up the response from the baby’s brain and send it to the ALGO (Auditory Brainstem Response technology) screener, where it is analyzed automatically for immediate results.

Babies will receive a grade of “pass” or “rescreen”. Babies that pass the test should not have hearing problems. It is still important to watch for hearing or speech and language problems. If a child has any risk factors, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Family history of childhood hearing loss
  • The infant has a syndrome
  • The infant becomes sick with bacterial meningitis
  • The infant receives a head injury with a loss of consciousness or skull fracture
  • The infant has ongoing ear infections for at least 3 months
  • The infants’ parent/caregiver is concerned about hearing, speech or overall development

Babies that need to be “rescreened” will be referred to an audiologist before the baby is 3 months of age. This does not necessarily mean that the baby has a hearing problem, but the baby does need to have their hearing evaluated to determine hearing ability. Often times babies with normal hearing need to be rescreened when the ear canal is blocked with birth residue (vernix), fluid in the middle ear or simply because the baby was too fussy during the test to achieve satisfactory results.

Babies that were born at Windom Area Health prior to implementing the newborn hearing screening or in hospitals without this technology should seek medical advice from their family physician. Screening can be done on an outpatient basis with a physician’s referral. Accurate tests can only be performed on babies under 6 months of age.

Caregivers should watch for the following hearing and speech development milestones as their children grow and develop. If you suspect there is a problem, contact your pediatrician or family physician immediately.

Birth to 3 months

  • Recognizes and quiets to parent’s voice
  • Startles to loud sounds

3 to 6 months

  • Awakens to sounds or speech
  • Turns towards interesting sounds

6 to 12 months

  • Understands first words such as “da-da” or “ma-ma”
  • Responds to names of favorite toys by pointing to them when asked
  • Responds to sounds coming from far away

12 to 18 months

  • Says first words such as “da-da” or “ma-ma”
  • Responds to names of favorite toys by pointing to them when asked
  • Responds to sounds coming from far away

18 to 24 months

  • Has a vocabulary of approximately 20 words
  • Speaks two-word phrases
  • Understands simple “yes” and “no” questions
  • Refers to self by name
  • Follows simple directions

24 months to 3 years

  • Has a vocabulary of approximately 270 words by 24 months, 1000 words by 3 years
  • Wants to speak, to communicate needs, wants and experiences
  • Speaks simple sentences
  • Recognizes different sounds
  • Understands most of what is said to him or her

Because hearing impairment has no visual indicators, early detection is very important. In the United States 24,000 children are born every year with a hearing impairment. Although hearing impairment is far more common than many conditions typically screened in newborns, such as PKU, Hypothyroid, Hemoglobinopathy and Cystic Fibrosis, less than 15 percent of newborns in the U.S. are screened for hearing impairment at birth. This standard testing is critical in detecting hearing impairment.

Windom Area Health is fortunate to be able to offer this technology to patients. A number of generous contributors enabled Windom Area Health to receive this technology, including the Minnesota Lion's Club, which matched donations from the following: Eagles Jimmy Durante Grant, Windom Area Shriner Club, Windom Area CB Club, Windom Eagles Auxiliary, Windom Lion's Club, Masonic Lodge- Prudence #97, Windom Workers 4-H Club, and tips earned at the Ducks Unlimited Banquet.

For additional information about newborn hearing screening, contact Windom Area Health (507) 831-2400.

Safe Place for Newborns Program

Windom Area Health is a Safe Place for Newborns hospital. This program allows a mother to anonymously leave her unharmed newborn, up to 72 hours old, with a hospital employee at any hospital in Minnesota. No police will be called, and the mother's identity will not be questioned.

Any newborn brought to the hospital under the Safe Place for Newborns program will be cared for and provided any necessary medical services until placement in foster care is arranged.

For more information:

Call: 612-317-2895
Email: safeplace@safeplacefornewborns.com
Toll-free Crisis Line: 877-440-2229

Be Well Path

It started as a dream. Create a free exercise opportunity for our community while utilizing Windom Area Hospital's unique campus. Our dream has now turned into a reality!

Through grants, community donations, and contributions from the hospital, the Be Well path began construction August 7th, 2017. Here are some fun facts about our path:

  • It is approximately 2/3 of a mile and 7 feet across.
  • Due to a natural spring and frequent water erosion area, there is a bridge in the North tree line.

Location of the Be Well Path around the hospital.

Path Rules

  • Hours of Path: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Path will not be maintained in ice/snow.
  • No motorized vehicles, rollerblades or skateboards.
  • Bikes should yield to foot traffic.
  • Pet friendly, pick up after your pet.
  • Use at your own risk.

Not Just a Path

We all like a walk, but when you’re out to get in a good workout, adding in some cardio or weight training is beneficial. Spaced out around the path loop, there will be outdoor gym equipment, most of which is made to accommodate at least two people to encourage working out in pairs or as a family. The path has 15 pieces of outdoor gym equipment, including:

  • Double Elliptical
  • Double Ski Walker
  • Fun Rider
  • Exercise Bike
  • Chest Press
  • Lat Pull
  • Sky Climber
  • Hip Twister
  • Balance System
  • Ab Board
  • Push Up Bars
  • Leg Press

Learn how to use the equipment!

Why a Path?

In Cottonwood County, two out of three residents are overweight or obese, and only 32% get enough physical activity outside of their regular job. We know we have a national and community problem and as a hospital, we want to be involved in the solution to make our community and youth healthier. We want to provide a place that encourages parents and children to spend time together, promoting family unity, and encouraging exercise to be something fun the family can do as a unit, rather than separately.

All members of the community, regardless of race and economic status will have free access to the Be Well Path and gym equipment.

As a hospital, we already do several initiatives with youth in our community, but the Be Well Path & outdoor gym will allow us to expand those efforts. For example, we plan on working with school physical education classes on scheduling field trips to use our path/gym. Our Fitness Center plans on incorporating the Be Well Path into current exercise classes and also adding free parent/child classes on a regular basis. We facilitate a summer athletic camp in coordination with Windom Schools (POWER) where we would be able to 'host' the kids using the path to provide more variety to the program curriculum. Many children are not athletes or do not participate in organized sports, and the path can teach them that there are other, fun ways to get moving.

If you have questions on the Be Well Path, contact Emily Masters at 507-831-0625.

We send a sincere thank you to our Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors:

  • Toro Foundation
  • Super Bowl Legacy Fund
  • Remick Foundation
  • Sanford Health
  • Lewis Drug
  • Marilyn Wahl
  • Odell Wind Farm
  • Apex Clean Energy
  • Windom Area Schools - Class of 2017
  • Michael  & Lois Anderson
  • Kari Witte
  • Ron & Nancy Meyer
  • GDF
  • Citizen Publishing
  • Lori King
  • Tom & Terri Tegals
  • Dr. Ron & Dianne Kuecker
  • Wendy Wenner
  • Emily Saffert
  • David & Beatty Muller
  • Doug & Rose Purrington
  • Bernie & Judy Woizeschke
  • Holt's Cleaning Service
  • David & Juane Elston
  • Masters Stone + Landscaping
  • Kim Armstrong
  • Alan and Jody Saffert
  • Karen Denzer
  • Robert Byers
  • Tom & Maryls Christensen
  • Nick & Judy Trotter
  • Bobby & Brenna Elwell
  • Windom Area Hospital Foundation
  • Leland & Marilyn Erickson
  • Mick & Barb Christians
  • Jeff & Betty Fredin
  • Steve & Brenda Muller
  • Jim & LeiLani Klaassen Family
  • Donna Torkelson

Be Well @ Work

Calling All Employers!

Did you know that for every dollar spent on a wellness program, the average medical cost DECREASES by $3.27? Are you looking to reduce your employees’ health care costs and help make an impact on their health?

Windom Area Health is partnering with Community Wellness Partners to offer its Wellness Works collaborative. This FREE educational program will give your organization the foundational tools to incorporate sustainable changes through workplace policies, systems, and environments while focusing on the areas of physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco cessation, breastfeeding support and MORE.

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about this program, contact Amber Hughes at (507) 831-0671.

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