Archives for 2022

OAHS Receives Performance Leadership Award

Ortonville Area Health Services has been awarded a 2022 Performance Leadership Award for excellence in Patient Perspective by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. Given as part of the National Rural Health Day celebration, the Performance Leadership Awards honor top quartile performance (75th percentile or above) among rural hospitals in Quality, Outcomes, and Patient Perspective.

“Quality of care and our patient experience has been a primary focus at OAHS,” said Dr. Allan Ross, CEO of OAHS. “This recognition not only reflects on the care a patient receives from those providing direct patient care but also reflects on the numerous behind-the-scenes people who greatly contribute to the patient experience. I am very proud of the team we have at OAHS.”

Chartis Award for Performance Leadership

The Performance Leadership Awards are given to rural hospitals based on the results of analysis from the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance in the United States. INDEX data is trusted and relied upon by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations, and state offices of rural health across the country to measure and monitor performance across several areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

About Ortonville Area Health Services

The mission of OAHS is to provide personalized, high-quality, and compassionate care through caring professionals in a healing environment. OAHS offers a broad scope of regional services:

  • Northside Medical Clinic provides family medicine and specialized care in Family Medicine/Obstetrics, Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry. Satellite clinics and outreach services are available in Wheaton, Canby, and Clinton, MN, as well as the OAHS Trojan Clinic within Ortonville Public Schools.
  • The Ortonville Hospital, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, is a state-of-the-art facility that provides obstetrical care, surgery, and outpatient services.
  • Fairway View Senior Communities provides comprehensive services while cultivating a vibrant community culture that celebrates individuality in all stages of life. Services include catered living and assisted living apartments with numerous on-site amenities and opportunities for socialization. Fairway View Neighborhoods provides long-term care nursing services and support in a home atmosphere that honors choices through meaningful activities while respecting each resident’s individual preferences.

Changes to OAHS Respiratory Clinic Process

December 6, 2022: Ortonville Area Health Services is changing the appointment process for patients experiencing respiratory, influenza-like symptoms. Currently, this patient population is served in a location that allows them to avoid the main clinic area and entrance. This was necessary during the height of COVID to minimize the spread of illness while allowing OAHS personnel to see patients in a location where it was safe, effective, and efficient.

Now, patients with respiratory, influenza-like symptoms can once again receive care inside the clinic. Below is an overview of what to expect:

  • When you schedule your appointment, please communicate all symptoms, including any respiratory symptoms you may be experiencing.
  • Arrive at the clinic as you typically would. Enter through the clinic and report to the registration area. Most importantly, wear a mask.
  • Registration staff will assist you to a designated room, bypassing the waiting room, where you will wait to see your healthcare provider.
  • Your appointment will take place as it typically does. After your appointment is complete, you do not need to report to the registration area to check out.

The drive-in option will remain in place for patients who have found it the most convenient way to receive care, meeting the patient where they are and where they feel most comfortable.

As treatment options for COVID have expanded to include preventative vaccines, home testing, effective treatment options, and better knowledge of the virus, OAHS has readdressed how patients with respiratory symptoms are cared for in the clinic while still ensuring the best patient experience possible for everyone. We appreciate your patience as we navigate and work through this change to our process.

The ABCs of Safe Sleep – Infant Safe Sleep Week

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed November 13-19 Infant Safe Sleep Week. The following information from the Minnesota Department of Health contains simple tips that can dramatically reduce infants’ risk of unexpected death:

For Minnesota’s Infant Safe Sleep Week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging parents and caregivers to tune into what pediatricians are saying about the best ways to keep babies sleeping safely.

For the first time in five years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in June updated its safe sleep recommendations for preventing unexpected deaths for children up to 1 year old. The recommendations continue to support the ABCs of safe sleep:

  • ALONE: Infants should always sleep or nap alone – not sharing beds or cribs with others.
  • BACK: Always put a baby on their back to sleep or nap.
  • CRIB: Babies should always sleep or nap in their own safety-approved crib, play yard, bassinet, or portable crib without blankets or pillows. To keep warm during Minnesota winters, parents are urged to dress babies in pajamas or other clothing appropriate for the temperature.

In addition, for the first time, the AAP recommendations recognized cradleboards, used by some American Indian communities, as a culturally appropriate infant sleep surface, according to the AAP. Caregivers should be careful not to overly bundle the infant in a cradleboard, causing the baby to overheat.

“If we’ve learned anything, it’s that simple is best. Parents can keep their babies safe by remembering their ABC’s. Their baby should sleep, Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib or bassinet without soft toys, pillows, bumpers or blankets,” said Dr. Andrew Kiragu, past president of the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a co-chair of the chapter’s child safety caucus.

Recognizing the importance of building awareness around this public health issue, Governor Tim Walz proclaimed November 13-19 Infant Safe Sleep Week.

Research continues to show that bed-sharing raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death, according to the AAP recommendations. Risks of sleep-related death increase five to 10 times when sleeping on the same surface with someone else when an infant is under 4 months of age. The risk goes up when the co-sleeper is impaired by fatigue, alcohol, or drug use. Additionally, couch sleeping is very risky. The risks of sleep-related infant deaths are up to 67 times higher when an infant is sleeping with someone on a couch, soft armchair or cushion, the AAP said.

Parents can also save their money and avoid cardiorespiratory monitors, as there’s no evidence they reduce the risk of unexpected infant deaths, according to the recommendations. Parents should also reject head-shaping pillows and weighted blankets, weighted sleepers, weighted swaddles, or other weighted objects on or near a sleeping infant as they can create an unsafe sleeping space.

Minnesota Data

Minnesota’s most recent data from 2020 showed fewer unexpected deaths, 33, than in an average year, according to MDH research. Between 2014 and 2020, Minnesota averaged 47 unexpected infant deaths each year, where Minnesota babies died suddenly and unexpectedly. Nearly all those tragic deaths happened in unsafe sleep environments. There is some evidence that Minnesota parents and caregivers are ensuring safer sleep spaces, increasingly putting babies to bed without soft objects and bedding. In 2020, 64% of mothers reported not using soft bedding, compared to 48% in 2016, according to data collected through monthly surveys with new mothers through the Minnesota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (MN PRAMS).

Nationally, about 3,500 infants die from sleep-related infant deaths a year in the United States, according to the AAP. The annual number of deaths has remained about the same since 2000 after a substantial decline in deaths in the 1990s attributed to public health campaigns encouraging parents and caregivers to put babies to sleep on their backs.

“This week is an opportunity to get the word out about safe sleep practices such as having babies sleep on their backs, alone and in a crib,” said Minnesota Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Mary Manning. “It also provides a chance to highlight the need for all Minnesotans to have the financial and housing opportunities necessary to provide safe sleeping spaces for babies.”

While overall death numbers have declined, persistent racial and ethnic disparities exist that reflect broader societal inequities, according to research. Nationally, the rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants was more than double and almost triple, respectively, that of white infants (85 per 100,000 live births) in 2010-2013, according to AAP. In Minnesota, between 2014 and 2018, the disparity was three times greater for Black infants and more than eight times greater for American Indian infants than for white infants.

As part of safe sleep week, MDH also continues its tradition of partnering with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to illuminate the I-35W Bridge in pink, white and blue during Infant Safe Sleep Week on the night of Nov. 16. Hennepin County partners are also illuminating the Lowry Avenue Bridge in pink, white and blue on the same night. In addition, MDH thanked the Sanford Luverne Medical Center for its commitment to education and best practices by achieving Silver Safe Sleep Hospital status as part of the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification.







450 Eastvold Ave

Ortonville, Minnesota 56278


Ortonville Area Health Services will receive single prime sealed bids for the Respiratory Clinic Renovation until 2:00 PM local time on September 27, 2022 at the Ortonville Area Health Services, 450 Eastvold Ave, Ortonville, Minnesota 56278, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Bidding documents, including the Proposal Form, Drawings and Specifications, will be on file at the link below on September 17, 2022

This project includes renovations of existing offices, housekeeping room, and nurse station to create a new Respiratory Clinic within the existing clinic, addition of a new canopy and exterior ramp, and sidewalk replacement.

The Owner requires construction to commence immediately after the awarded bid. Schedule to be coordinated and confirmed with the owner prior to demolition with the selected contractor.

Contact Gretta Berens at Wold Architects and Engineers with any questions, [email protected], 651.227.7773

Dr. Allan Ross, Chief Executive Officer

[ORTONVILLE, MN] 08/31/22 Allan Ross, MD, assumes role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ortonville Area Health Services (OAHS).

On July 12th, OAHS Health Care Board of Directors, in collaboration with Sanford Health, announced Dr. Ross as upcoming CEO, a long-time medical provider and then-current Chief Medical Officer at OAHS.

Dr. Ross reflected on his new position, “I feel fortunate to be able to continue to serve OAHS in this new capacity. OAHS is a strong organization and I look forward to working alongside the dedicated employees and providers to continue to be the premier healthcare organization in the region and best serve our patients and residents.”

Ross, originally from Ortonville, is a graduate of University of Minnesota earning his M.D. in 1997 and completed his Family Practice Residency with HealthSystems Minnesota/University of Minnesota-Methodist Hospital. Dr. Ross has been a medical provider at OAHS for the past 22 years and was named Chief Medical Officer in 2019. He has also served on the Sanford Health Network Board of Directors since 2021, the Minnesota Community Measurement Advisory Board from 2010-2018, and was on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Rural Health Core Cooperative from 2006-2009. Dr. Ross and his wife, Lisa, raised their three daughters in Ortonville and enjoy traveling to Duluth, Minn. to visit them.

Ortonville Area Health Services is a regional healthcare leader providing personalized, high quality and compassionate care through caring professionals in a healing environment.

OAHS services include:
• Northside Medical Clinic that provides family medicine and specialized care in Family Medicine/Obstetrics, Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry – with satellite clinics and outreach services in Wheaton, Canby, and Clinton, MN and the OAHS Trojan Clinic within Ortonville Public Schools.
• The Ortonville Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility that provides 25-inpatient beds and obstetrical care, surgery, and outpatient services.
• The comprehensive Fairway View Senior Communities that provides catered living and assisted living apartments with numerous on-site amenities and Fairway View Neighborhoods, a resident-focused facility that provides long-term care nursing services and support.

Photo Credit: Caiti Barr Photography

David Collins, MD, Achieves Board Certification in Emergency Medicine

[ORTONVILLE, MN] 1/21/22 David Collins, MD, has successfully fulfilled the certification requirements of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and is declared a diplomate of the medical specialty board. To attain certification, this physician completed medical school as well as a three-year residency training program in Emergency Medicine. This was followed by successful completion of a multiple-choice examination that covers the breadth of Emergency Medicine and a half-day oral examination.

ABEM certification differentiates physicians from other providers. The steps to ABEM certification are rigorous and set him apart from other providers. ABEM-certified physicians serve a valuable and irreplaceable clinical role in the care of the critically ill and injured.

Dr. Collins attended medical school at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health in Grand Forks, North Dakota and completed his residency training at University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. He is a member of American College of Emergency Physicians, Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, National Association of EMS Physicians, and Clinical instructor of Emergency Medicine at UND and director of Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) for UND EM Dept.

Now that he is certified, Dr. Collins will stay current through a process of continuing certification. The purpose of continuing certification is to promote the highest standards of patient care and continuous learning and assessment among ABEM-certified physicians. ABEM’s continuing certification process requires assessment activities, improvement in medical practice work, and professionalism expectations.

Additional information about ABEM, its examinations, and certification activities is available on the Board’s website at


New Year, Same You

Do you enjoy making New Year’s resolutions or do you avoid them?  Have you ever set an unattainable resolution and then been hard on yourself for falling short of your goal?

Why do so many of us make good faith commitments then fail to honor them?  Here are some explanations on why we often fall short on our New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Some resolutions are set up to fail.  Often being set at the beginning of a new year instead of set from a true motivation to make a change.  We may be trying to please or appease a friend or family member; not really wanting to make a change for ourselves. Having internal motivation is a lasting driver that will create long lasting changes.
  2. Some of us tend to be poor long-term planners. Often creating New Year resolutions without a concrete plan; neglecting preparations to take steps forward.  Resolutions are best done by developing a plan. Address how to handle obstacles or change routines. Being outcome driven with unobtainable goals removes joy.  Often goals get abandoned instead of our expectations being properly addressed.
  3. Sometimes we create New Year’s resolutions that involve focusing on our perceived flaws or insecurities. We may create goals related to negative thoughts such as “I am overweight” rather than “I want to be healthier”.   This can chip away at self -esteem and lead us to reflect negatively about who we are.  For people with negative thought patterns; this can increase anxiety or depression.
  4. Some of us are just plain reluctant to change. We tend to like comfort or the familiar things.  Creating change often requires discomfort.  Some go to great lengths to avoid discomfort.

So what can you do?  Consider setting smaller attainable goals! Resolve to make small changes that are sustainable, simple, and realistic.  You got this!  Make the most of 2022 by making it make sense.

Twila Mursu PMHNP-BC Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


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