Eastern Minnesota

Eastern Minnesota

Cigarettes or chew – It’s possible to stop!

Tobacco is highly addictive. Thanks to Saint Elizabeth’s Tobacco Independence Program, it is possible to quit – just ask Elaine Jude or Pepin County Sheriff Deputy Joel Wener.

Elaine, who had smoked since she was 14 years old, no longer enjoyed smoking and decided to quit after her father died from lung cancer. She tried to quit six times before she realized success.

After learning about Saint Elizabeth’s Tobacco Independence Program, which offers education, support, and options to help combat the nicotine addiction, Elaine called for help. “Tobacco addiction is powerful,” said Julie Woodruff, certified tobacco treatment specialist (CTTS) and director of Saint Elizabeth’s Tobacco Independence Program.

“Quitting is a process. Most people try five to seven times before they quit for good. “As a certified tobacco treatment specialist, I listen to my patients’ personal experience and help them develop a tobacco treatment plan that creates an environment for recovery, not relapse,” said Woodruff. “A combination of counseling and medication can double their chances of having a tobacco-free life.”

Initially, Elaine opted for the group program and was prescribed a smoking cessation drug to jumpstart her effort, but after seven months, she relapsed. Serious about quitting, Elaine re-enrolled in a one-on-one consultation program with Julie.

“When I finally committed to quitting, Julie was there to help me work through the addiction and celebrate my success,” Elaine said.

Joel Wener’s story is similar; he was not addicted to cigarettes, but to smokeless tobacco.

Joel chewed tobacco for 21 years before he decided to quit. “I grew up on a farm where my dad, uncles and cousins chewed,” said Wener. “I started when I was 15.

I always said I would quit when I didn’t enjoy it anymore, but it became too much of a habit. I was addicted.”

During a routine physical, Joel was referred o the Tobacco Independence Program. Joel used the tobacco cessation drug Chantix to curb and control his urges. He also tried an over-the-counter, non-tobacco herbal chew, which he later replaced with chewing gum, sunflower seeds, and hard candy.

“It’s nice to not have something controlling you,” said Joel. “The program works! If I can quit after 21 years of chewing every day, other people can too!”

Resolve to be tobacco-free in 2010. To learn more about the Tobacco Independence Program, call your primary care provider or call Saint Elizabeth’s at 651.565.4531.


An extra measure of caring goes a long way!

Dorothy Ceci considers every day at Saint Elizabeth’s Apartments as a gift to be treasured. Dorothy, an assisted-living resident for about six years, recently experienced the extraordinary care available at Saint Elizabeth’s.

“The apartments are lovely, the meals are delicious, and the activities are plentiful,” said Dorothy, “but it’s the people and services that have made a lasting impression.”

In September, Dorothy had knee replacement surgery. Because she wasn’t ready to return to independent living, she was admitted to Saint Elizabeth’s Swing Bed Program, an extended-care service for patients whose condition requires some skilled services. After 10 days, Dorothy returned to her own apartment to continue rehabilitative physical therapy as an outpatient.

Three times a week, physical therapist Amy Mueller assisted Dorothy with exercises and therapies to improve the functional use of her knee and help her reach her goal of walking with only the help of a walker. While Dorothy worked her muscles and tendons, she also formed a special bond with her therapist.

“Amy was so kind and caring,” said Dorothy. “One morning, I didn’t feel well enough to go to my rehab appointment, so I called Amy. Instead of cancelling, Amy came to my apartment the next day. It was that added measure of concern that made all the difference.”

When Amy arrived, Dorothy mentioned that she had an open sore and was experiencing “toothache-like” pain in her incision. After a quick check, Amy called Pam Kieffer, director of physical therapy. They agreed Dorothy needed to see a physician.

A quick call resulted in a same-day appointment at the Wabasha Clinic, part of Lake City Medical Center-Mayo Health System. Jonathan Baines, MD, family medicine physician, confirmed that the infection starting in Dorothy’s knee needed treatment before it became more serious.

Within two days, Dorothy had outpatient surgery to irrigate the infection. Weekly visits by a Saint Elizabeth’s Home Health nurse provided the follow-up care Dorothy needed."

I’m very lucky,” Dorothy said. “It could have been much worse. Amy’s actions initiated a chain reaction that centered on my needs.”

Now, months later, Dorothy is walking on her own a little more every day. “There’s no place like this place,” she said. “I’m surrounded by people who really care for my welfare. I can’t think of a greater gift.”

For information about SEMC’s Swing Bed, Rehabilitation and Home Health Care services, call 651.565.4531.

Partial knee replacement at Saint Elizabeth’s speeds recovery

When a twist of the knee triggered long-term pain for Sue Rosendale, her strolls around her Wabasha neighborhood came to a stop. Sue saw Dr. Matthew Eich, an orthopedic surgeon with Fairview Red Wing  Medical Center, who sees patients at Wabasha Clinic, part of Lake City Medical Center-Mayo Health System. Dr. Eich suggested conservative measures to treat Sue’s torn ligaments.

“I didn’t want to rush into surgery so I was willing to try anything,” said Sue. When injections, arthroscopy, and removal of fluid around her left kneecap didn’t work, Sue considered other options.

By last fall, the inside of Sue’s knee had deteriorated. Because the outer section of her knee was still intact, Dr. Eich suggested a partial knee replacement, which replaces only the diseased or injured section, leaving the healthy joint in place. This surgical alternative results in less pain and faster recovery.

“The only pain I felt was the incision,” Sue said. “Within a day, I was walking down the hall. A few days later, I could climb stairs.”

Sue began outpatient physical therapy to improve her range of motion, endurance, and strength. “She is doing fantastic,” said Physical Therapist Pam Kieffer. “When patients listen to their bodies and follow instructions, they feel better, faster.”

Now, Sue is looking forward to pain-free, springtime walks around Wabasha.

Surgical services
We’re more than you think!

Saint Elizabethʼs Medical Center offers comprehensive surgical services close to home:

  • High quality inpatient and outpatient surgery services
  • State-of-the-art technology and surgery suites
  • Expanded multi-specialty surgical services
  • Experienced and compassionate surgical staff
  • Anesthesia services
  • High quality pre- and post-operative patient care

Surgical Specialists include:
Brian Coyle, MD, Specialty: Ears /Nose / Throat (ENT)
Phillip P. Schwend, DO, Specialty: General Surgery
Kristina B. McCaughtry, MD, Specialty: Obstetrics / Gynecology
Christopher McDevitt, MD, Specialty: Ophthalmology
Matthew Eich, MD, Specialty: Orthopedics
Myron Kaminsky, DPM, Specialty: Podiatry
Michael Hirsh, MD, Specialty: Urology
For more information, call 651.565.4531 or talk to your primary care provider.

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, June 25, 2010
Pink Ribbon Challenge Golf Benefit
Email jenny.schlagenhaft@ministryhealth.org for registration info.