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


Ortonville Area Health Services – Rural Health Leads the way with Monoclonal Antibody Therapy.

In the Fall of 2020, monoclonal antibody therapy was approved by the FDA under the emergency use authorization for the treatment of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody therapy introduces laboratory-produced molecules that act as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance, or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells. Not long after the approval from the FDA, the leadership of Ortonville Area Health Services (OAHS) chose to offer the treatment in Ortonville, MN. “After looking at the data, we saw clear benefits,” explained Dr. Allan Ross, Chief Medical Officer at OAHS. “That led to us being one of the first facilities in the area to use monoclonal antibody therapy.” Dr. Ross continued, “I saw an article at the end of December of 2020 showing the number of infusions Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) had done. At that point, we had given more infusions at OAHS!”

[Read more…]

National Nurse Practitioner Week

Monoclonal Antibody

Thank you to our colleagues at Avera Granite Falls, who were able to give us a few doses of the Monoclonal Antibody Treatment used to treat COVID. Demand for the infusion is outpacing supply in Ortonville and Minnesota.

Pfizer Vaccine Booster


Recently, a booster dose for the Pfizer vaccine was authorized by both the FDA and CDC for certain individuals.

OAHS will be offering COVID-19 booster shots to:

  • People 65+ and those in long-term care facilities at least six months after their second Pfizer dose.
  • People 18+ with underlying health conditions or with jobs that put them at a higher risk (such as health care workers, teachers and other front-line workers) at least six months after their second Pfizer dose.

Individuals who have received the Moderna or Janssen (J&J) vaccine have not been approved to receive a booster dose at this time.


Beginning September 28, patients will be able to schedule their booster shot by calling 320-839-6157.

An additional vaccine dose of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine was previously approved for immunocompromised individuals, but a fourth (booster) dose is not recommended at this time.


Eligible employees are highly encouraged to receive the Pfizer booster dose, but it is not required at this time.  Employees will be able to schedule their booster shot by calling the clinic at 320-839-6157.  Cost of administration will be submitted to health insurance for the booster dose.

Employees must show their vaccine card to verify they received their second Pfizer vaccine dose at least six months ago.

Pfizer vaccine booster dose

COVID & Flu Shots Available!

Give yourself and those around you a fighting chance this flu season and get vaccinated. Ortonville Area Health Services has multiple options making it easier and safer than ever to get your COVID or flu shot. Please call 320-839-6157 to pre-register.


Dr. David Collins Talks Covid on KDIO

Monday, August 30th , Dr. David Collins answered questions about COVID on KDIO.  It’s important to trust your local health care as we continue to work through the COVID pandemic. We are happy to be your trusted source.

The New Clinton Clinic is Officially Open!

Familiar Faces at OAHS

OAHS Healthcare Board of Directors Welcomes Jane Vangsness Frisch, Ph.D.

The Ortonville Area Health Services (OAHS) Healthcare board is happy to welcome Jane Vangsness Frisch, Ph.D. as the newest director.

Vangsness Frisch lives in rural Dumont, Minnesota and is the Vice President for Student Affairs at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton and Fargo, ND.

“OAHS has been an integral part of west-central Minnesota for many years,” said Vangsness Frisch. “I am honored to have the opportunity to support OAHS to ensure it thrives well into the future.”

Vangsness Frisch, originally from Okabena, MN., graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in both mass communication with an emphasis in public relations and health education. Additionally, she earned a master’s degree in mass communication and a doctoral degree in institutional analysis. She previously worked for the North Dakota University System (Bismarck, ND) as the Director of Student Affairs.

May Is National Stroke Prevention Month

What is stroke?

Stroke kills nearly 150,000 of the 860,000 Americans who die of cardiovascular disease each year—that’s 1 in every 19 deaths from all causes.1

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens in one of two ways:

  • Ischemic stroke—when the blood supply to the brain is blocked
  • Hemorrhagic stroke—when a blood vessel in the brain bursts

A stroke causes brain tissue to die, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and death. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. This is disturbing because about 80% of strokes are preventable.2

You can greatly reduce your risk for stroke by making lifestyle changes to help control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and, in some cases, by taking medication.

Are you at risk for stroke?

During a stroke, there is death of brain tissue, and a stroke happens in one of two ways: either artery blockage, or artery rupture.

A stroke happens in one of two ways. Click on the photo to learn more about artery blockages and ruptures.

Anyone, including children, can have a stroke at any time. Every year, about 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke—and about 1 out of 4 of those strokes are recurrent strokes.3Having one stroke means you have a greater risk of having another (or recurrent) stroke.

Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for stroke. These include your age, sex, and ethnicity. But there are many unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and not getting enough exercise, that you can change to lower your stroke risk.

Using tobacco products and having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity can also increase your risk for stroke. However, treating these conditions can reduce your risk. Ask your doctor about preventing or treating these medical conditions.

What are the signs and symptoms of stroke?

An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke and how to respond is with the acronym F.A.S.T.:

F = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
T = Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke treatment can begin in the ambulance.

If stroke happens, act FAST. F - Face drooping. A - Arm weakness. S - Speech difficulty. T - Time to call 9-1-1.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Other common signs of stroke are
  • Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding others

If you think that you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency, and stroke treatment and outcomes depend on how fast you get to the hospital and the type of stroke the person had.

When you are transported by ambulance, first responders may be able to start your treatment right away and can alert the hospital that a stroke patient is on the way. This notification gives the hospital’s medical team time to prepare equipment and medicines you may need.

How is stroke diagnosed?

Your doctor can perform several tests to diagnose stroke, such as brain imaging, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan, tests of the brain’s electrical activity, and blood flow tests.

Can stroke be prevented?

High blood pressure is the single most important treatable risk factor for stroke. Preventing, diagnosing, and controlling it through lifestyle changes and medicine are critical to reducing stroke risks. There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk for stroke:

How is stroke treated?

If you have a stroke, you may receive emergency care, treatment to prevent another stroke, rehabilitation to help you relearn the skills you may have lost because of the stroke, or all three. In addition, lifestyle changes, such as the ones listed above, can help lower your risk for future strokes. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to reduce your stroke risk, and always take medicines as prescribed.

For More Information

Learn more about stroke at the following websites:


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999–2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database website. Accessed January 7, 2019.
  2. Lackland DT, Roccella EJ, Deutsch AF, et al. ; American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research; Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology. Factors influencing the decline in stroke mortality: a statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke 2014;45:315–53.
  3. Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139:e1–e473. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659.

Who’s Getting Vaccinated?

As of March 30, all Minnesotans 16 years of age and older will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

Minnesota has directed providers to prioritize vaccine appointments for people most at risk of getting COVID-19, or those who could develop severe illness if infected. This includes older Minnesotans, those with underlying health conditions*, and those in essential jobs.

How to get your vaccine:

  • Sign up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. The Vaccine Connector will inform you about vaccine opportunities in your area.
  • Use the Vaccine Locator Map to find vaccine providers near you.
  • Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Vaccine Connector users may also be randomly selected to make an appointment at one of the state’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program sites. If you are selected, you will be notified by text, email, or phone call by one of the state vaccination partners running those sites: Vault Health, Primary Bio or SpeciaLysts (Solv). 
  • Your employer may also reach out with information about vaccination opportunities.

Stay safe before your opportunity to get the vaccine:

While all Minnesotans 16 years and older are eligible, not every Minnesotan will be immediately able to make an appointment. It’s important to continue taking easy steps to slow the spread of COVID-19:

Get vaccinated at the first opportunity you have. After you have been vaccinated, continue following these safe practices to protect your neighbors as they receive their opportunity to get the vaccine.

At this time, providers should prioritize:

  • Minnesotans 65 years of age or older
  • Health care personnel
  • Long-term care residents
  • Pre-k to 12th grade educators and child care personnel
  • People with specific underlying health conditions
    • Sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, or oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions, and those who are in active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant
  • Targeted essential workers
    • Food processing plants
  • People with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk
  • People 45 years of age and older with ONE or more underlying medical conditions; or, age 16 and over with TWO or more underlying medical conditions*
  • People 50 years of age or older in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers
    • Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, Postal Service workers
  • Minnesotans 16 years of age and older with any underlying medical condition*
  • Minnesotans age 50-64 (regardless of health condition)
  • All other essential workforces
    • Transportation and logistics, finance, housing/shelter construction, IT/communications, energy, media, legal, public safety, water, and wastewater

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