Remembering former Luther College President Richard Torgerson

Richard “Rick” Torgerson, Luther’s ninth president, died on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. A legendary figure in Luther history, he shaped the college in deep and meaningful ways that will resonate far into the future.

Torgerson and his wife, Judy, served two terms at Luther, from 1999 to 2013. During their tenure, the college moved forward in innumerable ways, including adding major facilities to campus—Sampson Hoffland Laboratories, the Center for the Arts, the Legends Fitness Center, and the Aquatic Center. Under Torgerson, major additions and renovations were also made to Valders Hall of Science, Dahl Centennial Union, Jenson-Noble Music Hall, Loyalty Hall, and all residence halls. The central campus green areas and roadways were reconfigured and Bentdahl Commons was constructed, enhancing Luther’s standing as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.

A man of action who was also known as an attentive listener, Torgerson was a top-notch strategic planner. He shaped and directed two transformational strategic plans to advance Luther into the new century of higher education, and he led Luther’s Development team to the completion of three major campaigns for scholarships, facilities, and other educational needs: Leadership for a New Century, which raised $63.5 million; the Higher Calling Campaign, which raised $93.3 million; and the Sesquicentennial Fund, which raised $57 million. These funding initiatives added more than $55 million to the college’s endowment.

Torgerson was a national leader in environmental sustainability on college campuses. He was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007. His strategic planning included a goal to eventually achieve carbon neutrality, and he did this in part by erecting a wind turbine on campus. He also presided during the installation of the college’s first solar energy field, the largest in Iowa at the time. His visionary thinking combined with meaningful action garnered national recognition for Luther as a leader in sustainability and contributed to a 2009 invitation to join the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of the region’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities.

Torgerson’s service to higher education extended far beyond the Luther campus and included serving on the executive committee of the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America, the academic program working group for the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, the Presidents Council of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the boards of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Minnesota Public Radio, and Bioscience Alliance of Iowa.

In 2018, five years after the Torgersons left Decorah and moved to Edina, Minn., the Richard L. and Judith A. Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies was established at Luther. The center, with a lead gift from longtime friends O. Jay and Patricia A. Tomson, honors the Torgersons’ impact at the college and the special efforts they made to strengthen Luther’s treasured ties with Norway. For these efforts, Torgerson was also awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 2013.

While Torgerson will long be remembered for leading the teams that reshaped Luther’s physical campus, nearly tripled its endowment, built a national reputation in sustainability, and strengthened the college’s academic program, he will be remembered even more fondly as the energetic, intense, passionate, vital man that so many students, staff, and faculty counted as a supporter and friend. His fabled handshakes, bear hugs, and shoulder claps were never in short supply, and neither was his genuine care and attention as a listener.

Asked once how he’d like to be written into Luther’s history books, Torgerson answered, “I think I’d like people to say, ‘He was authentic, and he added value.’” 

Service arrangements have yet to be determined.

Source link

Power of Attorney presentation from Iowa Legal Aid

Decorah Public Library is hosting a free presentation on power of attorney by staff of Iowa Legal Aid at 3 PM on Tuesday, November 15. The presentation will take place in the library’s lower level meeting room.

This educational program by Iowa Legal Aid lawyers will cover topics related to power of attorney. “It can be hard to talk with our loved ones about what happens when we can’t make decisions for ourselves, but power of attorney is an important part of estate planning” said Zach Row-Heyveld, Decorah Public Library Assistant Director. “This program will help introduce people to some of the issues around power of attorney they might want to discuss further with their partners, children, parents, or siblings.” The presenting attorney can also answer questions about advance directives, and other civil legal topics related to seniors.  

Iowa Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance and advice to low-income and vulnerable Iowans. In addition to direct legal aid, they also provide educational programs on a variety of legal topics. 

For more information, please contact Zach Row-Heyveld at Decorah Public Library – or by calling 563.382.3717. 

Source link

November Children’s Activities

1-Take-and-Make: Coffee Filter Leaves*
2-Crafternoon: Fallen Leaf Fox*
4-Family Yoga at Driftless Yoga Center
5-Blank Park Zoo: Zoo to You*
7-Cozy Storytime
8- Take-and-Make: Droplet Painting*
9-Crafternoon: Acorn Necklaces/Felt Garlands*
10-Stroller Walk
11-Library Closed
14-Cozy Storytime
15-Take-and-Make: Gratitude Tree*
15-Dog Tales
16-Crafternoon: Mushroom Mason Jar Lantern*
17-Stroller Walk
18-Family Yoga at Driftless Yoga Center
21-Cozy Storytime
24-Library Closed
25-Library Closed

Source link

Upper Iowa University student receives expert concussion care with WMC team

The drive home from Christmas break changed the course of Calista Brockman’s junior year at Upper Iowa University.  Just 10 short minutes away from Fayette, Calista lost control of her vehicle on slippery roads and slid in the ditch. Although her car was damaged, Calista did not have any noticeable injuries and was able to end her night without an emergency room visit.

However, within a few days, Calista noticed dizziness and balance issues.  A softball player for UIU, she spoke to her athletic trainer about it who referred her to Emily Connor, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System orthopedic surgeon at Winneshiek Medical Center. Calista says, “Dr. Connor saw me in the UIU training room the next day, which was really convenient since my car was no longer drivable.  She is one of our team physicians and her specialty is orthopedic surgery.  Dr. Connor thought I had a concussion but wanted someone familiar with concussion care to confirm and follow my recovery.”

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects brain function and is usually caused by a blow to the head or violent shaking of the head and/or upper body.  Symptoms of concussion may include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Change in mood or behavior
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Scott Bohner, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System family medicine physician at Winneshiek Medical Center has been treating patients with concussion symptoms for the past 13 years. In July of 2017, Dr. Bohner furthered his education and obtained his Credentialed ImPACT Consultant (CIC) certification to provide ongoing concussion care to athletes in the region. Dr. Bohner says, “Dr. Connor referred Calista to me and I met with her at Winneshiek Medical Center’s Upper Iowa Clinic on their campus. Through our visit, it was clear she had a concussion. Her best course of treatment was to rest to allow her brain to heal, and to work with physical therapy to address the dizziness and balance issues she was experiencing.”

Calista was out of softball for about one month as she recovered.  Her physical therapy sessions and follow up medical visits were held at UIU and in Decorah.  She says, “Winneshiek Medical Center manages all our health services on campus, including athletics, so it was coordinated to meet my schedule.  I was even given the cell phone numbers of my health care providers in case I needed anything during my recovery.”  Upon her completion of physical therapy, Calista was cleared to go back to practice, and within a few weeks, the team was off to Florida for a tournament.  Calista, who covers some third base, but mostly hits, was able to play with her team.  Calista says, “I’m thankful for the care I received at college.  The doctors, therapist and trainer became my team while I recovered, and it is great to be back on the softball field!”

Source link

Huinker retires from Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees

Longtime Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees member, Roger Huinker, attended his final meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.  

Huinker joined the Board in 2005, just as WMC signed the Management Services Agreement and Professional Services Agreement with Mayo Clinic Health System.  He says, “One of the most interesting transitions in the early years of being on the board was adapting to our new affiliation with Mayo Clinic Health System.”   Over the years, Huinker has seen net patient revenues grow from $31 million in 2006 to nearly $68 million currently.  Additionally, the workforce has grown from 380 employees in 2006 to nearly 480 employees in 2022.  “As a board member, I saw WMC becoming more of a regional medical center that is providing excellent care through our partnering with our own staff and Mayo Clinic Health System,” he says.

Winneshiek Medical Center is owned by the citizens of Winneshiek County and is governed by an elected Board of Trustees.  Seven members serve on the board and elections are held every four years with staggering terms.   In addition to Huinker, who currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board, members include: Clark Goltz, Chair; Karen McLean, Vice-Chair; Steve Hildebrandt, Karl Jacobsen, Tim Schweizer and Lora Friest. 

Clark Goltz, chair, says, “Roger Huinker is one of those individuals who has made a real positive difference in his role as a member of Winneshiek Medical Center’s Board of Trustees. His seventeen years of dedicated service speak to his commitment to not only the hospital, but to his efforts to make this part of the world a better place to live. Martin Luther King said, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?’ We are grateful that Roger answered that question through his work as a member of the WMC Board of Trustees.”

New Appointee

To complete Huinker’s term, which expires in December of 2022, the Board has appointed Justin Gullekson.  Gullekson is a long-time Winneshiek County resident and is the Decorah Market President for Decorah Bank & Trust Company.  He and his wife, Jeanne, have five children. 

Gullekson has a history of service to our region.  He currently serves as Treasurer of the WMC Foundation Board and on the Board of Directors for the Decorah Community Free Clinic.  His past volunteer experience includes President of the WMC Foundation, Vesterheim Museum Board of Directors, and co-chairperson of Decorah High School’s successful bond issue campaign.  He says, “Our family makes an effort to help out with various community endeavors, and I’m happy to be asked to serve with the medical center.”  He adds, “I hope that my financial background and knowledge will be useful to WMC. I look forward to working with the great folks on the Board of Trustees and at WMC.  Roger will be a tough act to follow.”

The slot opened up by Huinker and temporarily filled by Gullekson will be on the ballot in November 2022. 

Source link

Winneshiek Medical Center offers produce coupons to Winneshiek County seniors

Winneshiek Medical Center is offering Winneshiek County senior citizens free coupons to be used at the Decorah Area Farmers Market this season.  Participants will receive $10 in coupons for locally grown fruits and vegetables.

The Winneshiek Medical Center Farmers Market Senior Nutrition Program is funded by The United Way of Winneshiek County, with participating vendors from the Decorah Area Farmers Market.  The coupons can only be used for fruits and vegetables and may not be exchanged for money. 

Recipients of these coupons must be Winneshiek County residents, age 65 and older, and bring proof of their residency and age to the distribution site.  A driver’s license or the yellow 2021 WMC farmers market ID are both acceptable. There are no income guidelines to participate in this program.

The coupons will be distributed on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 8, 3:00 – 4:30 pm – Decorah Farmers Market (399 Heivly Street)
  • Thursday, June 9, 10:00 – 11:30 am – Decorah Senior Center (806 River Street)
  • Monday, June 20, 11:00am – 12:00 pm – Decorah Senior Center (806 River Street)

Note: At this time these are the only dates/times for distribution. If there are extra coupons remaining we will have another distribution date later in the summer. Coupons will not be mailed out.

For more information call 563-382-2911 and ask to speak with a Winneshiek Medical Center dietitian.

Source link

Winneshiek Medical Center announces upcoming rebrand

At the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, leadership announced an upcoming rebrand project for the medical center.   The project will include a review of items including name, logo, colors, messaging and more. 

The rebranding project will take place alongside planning for significant facility updates to the Obstetrics, Clinic and Surgery units at the medical center.  Steve Slessor, Winneshiek Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer, says, “As we begin this trajectory forward in growth initiatives and facility updates, now is the ideal time to review our Winneshiek Medical Center brand.  The process will be supported by local research and brand elements may not necessarily change; at the conclusion of the project we will have a clear identity to support our growth.”

The last rebranding was completed in 2005 when the medical center transitioned from Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital to Winneshiek Medical Center.  In part, this was reflective of their deeper relationship with Mayo Clinic Health System through the newly established Management Services Agreement and Professional Services Agreement, and to their strategic initiative to serve the region with an expanded breadth of specialty care and ancillary services.

Rebranding work will begin this summer with the intended roll out to be delivered by the end of 2022.  WMC has partnered with an advertising firm out of La Crosse, Wisconsin to assist in this effort.  They will be conducting market research over the summer months which will include seeking input from WMC staff, providers, Mayo Clinic Health System leaders, community stakeholders and the general public. 

Thomas Marquardt, D.P.M., Winneshiek Medical Center Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, says, “As we move into our rebranding project, we are working in parallel with Mayo Clinic Health System leadership to determine the best way to showcase both organizations, reduce confusion in the community related to ownership and naming, and to accurately reflect our strong partnership.” Slessor says, “The rebrand furthers goals described in our long-range planning initiative and will reflect our uniqueness as a regional hub for health care.”

Source link

Skin specialty services continue at WMC

Long-time and well-respected Mayo Clinic Health System physician, James Ott, M.D., retired from his skin care practice at Winneshiek Medical Center in January of this year.  To continue to meet the needs of patients requiring skin services, Laurie Tope, D.O. and Anna Mark, M.D., both MCHS family medicine physicians, have extended their practices to include skin specialty services.  These physicians, along with the support of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialty and general surgery, can treat most skin conditions locally at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Dr.  Mark says, “Dr. Tope and I shadowed Dr. Ott prior to his retirement and have taken extended education at Mayo Clinic in the skin care specialty.  I have enjoyed working more intently in the skin specialty this year, and look forward to helping patients needing these services in the future.”

Additionally, WMC has welcomed Dayna Soukup, PA-C, to solely cover the skin care specialty in Decorah. Dayna received her undergraduate degree from Wartburg College and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Des Moines University.  Since 2016, she has provided care in the Urgent Care setting in Cedar Falls and Waterloo. 

Dayna says, “I will be available to provide daily access to patients with new or chronic skin problems.  By working with this team of physicians, and dermatologists from Mayo Clinic Health System when needed, we will provide our patients with skin care available locally. I am excited to join this community and medical center.”

Skin services at WMC may include treatment for:

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Rosacea
  • Dry or sensitive skin
  • Nail problems
  • Pigmentation disorders
  • Rashes
  • Warts
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment

To make an appointment for skin services at Winneshiek Medical Center, call 563-382-2911.

Source link

WMC Auxiliary Card Marathon raises $600

WMC Auxiliary Card Marathon raises $600 – Winneshiek Medical Center

The WMC Auxiliary card marathon players raised nearly $600 for the Auxiliary throughout the 2021/2022 season. Funds from the card marathon are used to purchase equipment to provide or support patient care at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Winners were announced at an appreciation coffee in June:

  • Bridge Group A
    • 1st – Mary Ellingson and Bev Dohse
    • 2nd – Rose Peterson and Carl Peterson
  • Bridge Group B
    • 1st  – Mona Monroe and Gerry Sorenson
    • 2nd – Rose Peterson and Carl Peterson
  • Bridge Group C
    • 1st – Mary Ellingson and Caron Carlson
    • 2nd – Mary Lou Cotton and Gerry Sorenson
  • 500 Group D
    • 1st – Rosemary Vopava and Gerry Sorenson
    • 2nd – Elsie Swehla and Helen Zbornik

Bridge and 500 will again be offered this fall. Card playing begins in September and continues through May. Registrants are welcome to sign up for more than one marathon.

Contact Gerry Sorenson at 563-382-2669 by August 5, 2022 to register.  The entry fee is $10 per person and participants are asked to sign up with a partner.  A schedule for the 2022-2023 season will be given to each player in August.

Keep Reading

Grand Community Picnic returns to Winneshiek Medical Center’s campus

August 18, 2022


Winneshiek Medical Center, Luther College announce Athletic Training Staff for 2022-23 academic year

August 12, 2022


© 2022 Winneshiek Medical Center. All Rights Reserved.

Source link

1 2 3 5