A Message from Grateful Donors – Keith & Tess Heikes

Keith and Tess Heikes were taught the importance of giving back from an early age. Each of them grew up with generous parents who instilled in them the value of giving what you have, whether that is time, money, talent, or compassion. The Heikes family believes that giving is contagious, and every gift, big and small, makes an impact.

Keith and Tess love that Hutchinson feels like extended family and that the community works hard to support its members and businesses. The tight-knit, small-town feel is important, and Keith jokes that, “Hutchinson is big enough to make the weather report, but small enough to avoid the traffic report.” 

When asked why they choose to donate to the Foundation, Tess responded, “I feel that the Foundation is there to support and improve the lives of those in our community and as an employee of Hutchinson Health it is a privilege to be a part of that. I can live my personal values through my work and through giving to the foundation. Keeping healthcare local is important to us because it is crucial for people in rural communities to have access to quality care, not just for acute needs but also for education and prevention. This is the key to having a healthier community.”

Thank you, Keith and Tess, for your generosity!

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachael Gemuenden at 320.484.4438.

Announcing Our 2020 Grant Recipients

Each year the Foundation funds organizational proposals that support the advancement of health within our community. Grants are awarded to fund new health initiatives, programs that improve health services, and health education programs. This year, we are able to award $30,000 in grants thanks to the generosity of our donors.

We are excited and proud to announce the 2020 Hutchinson Health Foundation grant recipients. Read below to learn more about how this year’s grants will be making a positive impact in our community.

Hutchinson Health Pediatric Rehab

iPad and Applications for Pediatric Therapy
Grant Amount $2,689.34

“Our Pediatric Rehab team touches the lives of approximately 50-75 children with various disabilities each week. Many of these children demonstrate communication and attention difficulties resulting in significant challenges to completing basic everyday tasks. The use of technology allows these children to interact with a medium between the adult giving directions as a gradual move to interacting directly with another adult or child. Current research indicates use of the iPad and apps as highly effective and beneficial in treatment sessions.” – Stacy Messner, OTR, Rehab Manager

St. Anastasia School

Non-contact Digital Thermometers
Grant Amount $500

“We have 126 students that potentially pass through the nurse’s office. We have a shared nurse with ISD 423 that only visits once per month, which means our office person often takes care of health duties. If each of our classrooms had a thermometer at their disposal, we could quickly determine if a child needs to be sent to the office for care, which would also eliminate the amount of class time missed by the students.” – Betty Jodzio, Principal

Hutchinson Health Post Anesthesia Care Unit & Endoscopy

Speakers for Music Therapy
Grant Amount $304.70

“The speakers in PACU and Endo are both in disrepair. Evidence supports music therapy as complementary therapy which relieves stress, improves patient satisfaction, and provides analgesia, potentially decreasing the use of medications such as narcotics for pain and sedation. Patients are included in decision-making and are given some control over their environment when they have the option to choose the music during their time in PACU/Endo, which supports healing and an excellent health care experience.” – Lori Chvojicek, RN/BSN

Hutchinson Farmers Market

Power of Produce Program
Grant Amount $4,119

“The Hutchinson Farmers Market Power of Produce (POP) program provides an avenue for children to participate in the food system, celebrate local food, and provides access to healthy food choices. POP allows families to benefit from fresh produce; we also have the potential to dampen the effects of food insecurity in this community by adding $4 a week to the grocery budget for every child in every household.” – Aimee Haag, Board Vice President

Hutchinson Health, Health Care Home

Trailblazer Transit tokens
Grant Amount $200

“Transportation barriers lead to missed appointments and rescheduled appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. Transportation barriers also play a role in accessing healthcare, particularly for those who are uninsured or under-insured. By providing tokens for the Trailblazer Transit, we hope that patients will be able to better manage their healthcare, stay healthy and out of the hospital.” Joy May, RN

Wheel & Cog

Farmers Market Exhibit Update & Addition
Grant Amount $3,250

“The goal of updating and expanding the farmers market exhibit is to address national concerns of health and wellness by playfully educating children and families about healthy behaviors and food options. The grocery store addition will provide an opportunity for our youngest residents to experience real-life scenarios of responsible shopping, food sources and food selection.” – Jessica Sabrowsky, Board Chair

​Hutchinson Health Emergency Services

Emergency Radio APX Consolette
Grant Amount $9,746.10

“The Consolette Radio is our only means of communicating with EMS when they are bringing patients with emergent needs to Hutchinson Health. Our current XTL Radio is no longer supported by Motorola. It has not quit working, but if it does break, it likely cannot be repaired. To ensure uninterrupted communication between Hutchinson Health and all EMS providers, the XTL Consolette needs to be replaced with a new APX Consolette.” – Dana Englemann, RN

Adult Training & Habilitation Center

Looking Video Magnifier, CPR Manikin, AED Machine
Grant Amount $1,794

“ATHC supports individuals with visual and hearing impairments. The magnifier will be an effective tool and lengthen the time individuals are able to communicate. ATHC currently has certified CPR/First Aid instructors on staff who provide training to all employees. Upgraded training manikins will allow for more accurate training. The ATHC Crossroads site does not have an AED machine; an AED machine can save lives and we would like to ensure that everyone at that site has extra reassurance of having that device on site.” – Tonia Bymers, Senior Director of Programming

Hutchinson Health OB/ED/CCU/MS

CPR Simulator and Training Kit
Grant Amount $1,089.42

“The purchase of the CPR simulator and CPR training kit will be used in conjunction with the intubation head previously purchased with Foundation grant funds for training for advanced cardiovascular life support. Having this equipment will allow us to train all acute health care workers to respond to a cardiac event and utilize the equipment properly and safely.” – Teresa Smith, RN

Hutchinson Early Childhood Family Education

Rain Gear for Outdoor Classes
Grant Amount $1,100

“The goal of this project is to support and encourage families with young children to embrace and explore the outdoors in all kinds of weather. By supplying families with rain gear for class, we aim to share the importance of play, especially outdoor play. From these experiences, we hope that families will continue to enjoy and integrate outdoor play and exploration with their children at home and in the community.” – Marijean Storlie, ECFE Director

Hutchinson Health Laboratory

Phlebotomy/Bone Marrow Carts
Grant Amount $3,207

“The current carts have not held up due to high volume of use, which causes them to be loud and disruptive as they are pushed down non-carpeted hallways. New phlebotomy carts that are quiet and provide a flat surface for bedside barcoding equipment will allow us to honor our organization’s desire to create a healing and calming environment in the new inpatient unit. A third cart is being requested to house bone marrow and therapeutic phlebotomy supplies for the discrete transportation of specimens and supplies between oncology and the laboratory.” – Laura Templin-Howk, Laboratory Manager

McLeod Education and Drug Awareness

Needle Collection
Grant Amount $2,000

“MEADA’s Needle Take Back Day creates a safe way to dispose of needles/sharps that would otherwise end up in landfills and pollute our communities. Last year, more than 400 pounds of sharps were collected and safely disposed of. By hosting these take back days, it is our goal to get sharps/needs (used or unused) out of homes; we are also educating our community on proper disposal of sharps and keeping them out of the hands of people who they were not intended for.” – Susan Suemnick, MEADA Chair


Quarter 2, 2020

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Announcing Our 2020 Scholarship Recipients!

Congratulations to our 2020 scholarship recipients! We are proud of their hard work and accomplishments and look forward to sharing updates from them as they pursue a degree in health care.
  • Hutchinson Health Employee Child – Marit Walsh
  • Hutchinson Health Employee Child – Sarah Skrove
  • Hutchinson Health Graduate Student – Elyssa Hoversten
  • Hutchinson Health Graduate Student – Katherine Fink
  • Dr. Josh and Dr. Erin Knudtson Scholarship – Grace Daak
  • Dr. Josh and Dr. Erin Knudtson Scholarship – Alyssa Grutt
  • Hutchinson High School – Connor Sturges
  • Dassel/Cokato High School – Jackson Martin
  • BLHS High School – Sara Kottke
Click here to to learn more about our scholarship program.

Grateful Donors – Community Donations Support Health Care Workers

The COVID pandemic has been life-changing for everyone, and our local health care workers have worked tirelessly through it all to keep our community safe and healthy. Local businesses, organizations and individuals have rallied around Hutchinson Health employees to show support and gratitude. Every donation, whether a monetary gift or pizza for staff, has made a big impact in showing the strength of positive actions and coming together as a community.

Andrew Miner, a donor to the COVID-19 Response & Relief Fund said, “I wanted to give back to a community that supported me growing up, and to inspire cherish-able acts, no matter how big or small they make an impact. It’s about community and family, and how we can support each other in times of need.” 

We would also like to thank the following individuals, groups and businesses who boosted the spirits of Hutchinson Health team members by making generous donations:

  • 3M – 1,000 N95 & R95 masks
  • TigerBots with funding from the IJ Burich Foundation –  constructed face shields for health care workers
  • Steve Kropp – State Farm – complimentary entree at Qdoba for health care workers
  • Shad Ketcher – New Era Financial – 50 free meals from Zellas for health care workers 
  • William “Bo” Young – American Family Insurance – pizza for health care workers
  • Dominos Hutchinson – 10 free pizzas for staff
  • Ridgewater College – ventilator 
  • Hutchinson Area Women of Today – treats and snacks for front line staff
  • Nichols Family – made and donated hundreds of face masks 
  • All donors to the COVID-19 Response & Relief Fund – every dollar makes a difference!
  • All who donated PPE during drop-off donation hours









Thank you to all who have donated to support our local health care workers during the COVID pandemic. We will get through this by continuing to work together and will come out the other side a stronger, healthier community!  

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438.

Grateful Recipient – New Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit

In June 2020, Hutchinson Health shared a virtual open house with the community to showcase the new inpatient unit and to describe how the new space will be used. This 17,600 square foot, 18 room addition not only changes the exterior landscape of the Hutchinson Health facility, but it was designed around our mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with our members, patients and community.

As Hutchinson Health President Jim Lyons states in the video, the addition was a team effort. We want to thank each and every donor who helped make this vision a reality.  We have raised over $145,000 towards the Inpatient Unit, and we are on track to raise $230,000 towards this project by the end of 2020. The financial support of community members and local businesses shows a commitment to health and wellness in Hutchinson and the surrounding communities. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Learn more about the project. 

Quarter 1, 2020

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Grateful Recipient – Jim Lyons on Behalf of Hutchinson Health

On behalf of the employees of Hutchinson Health, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the donations in support of our fight against COVID-19 infections. The PPE donations, hand sewn masks, meals, treats, cards and letters of support have been incredible. The Hutchinson Health staff are committed to being here and serving our community when you need us most. The support from the community with these supplies and show of support provide a boost for everyone as this work continues on.

Health care is personal, delivered one person at a time by real people. We use science and technology, but combine it with compassion that can only come from people. We call this Head + Heart, Together. We need both, which is why health care should be provided in the local community whenever possible, with people who live here. We are taking care of our friends, neighbors and families. And with the donations coming back from the community, they are taking care of us. When I walk down a corridor and see the different colors of the donated masks, I am reminded that each one was made individually, with the same care and commitment we bring to those who need us. It is a great reminder of the wonderful partnership we have with our community members.

With deepest appreciation and gratitude, we say “Thank you” for all the support.

Donate today to support the New COVID-19 Response & Relief Fund.

A Message from Grateful Donors – The Nichols Family

A Note from Sheila Nichols, sister of Hutchinson Health’s Dr. Stacy Nichols

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

~ Sheila Nichols

Donna Nichols

On March 13th we took our parents out of their senior apartment and moved them into our house in Plymouth.  All four kids felt this was imperative as we had seen the heartbreaking photos of Seattle where the seniors were locked inside with no visitors.  Our timing was early, and a bit of a surprise to our parents.  We said to each other that it was better early as by the time it was too late, it was way too late.  We were able to take their recliners, clothes, meds, etc.  And, gave us enough time to return for forgotten items while we could still move freely about the building.  Due to Mom and Dad (Donna and Steve Nichols) underlying health issues at 87 and 88 years old, we knew that COVID 19 would not be kind to them.  We quarantined ourselves starting that day and have had everything delivered to us since then.

Watching the news on the television is daunting.  You can see too much, yet you cannot turn away.  We sit here in our big, comfortable house.  We are warm, we are fed, we are among loved ones, yet the world seems to be turning upside down.  We enjoy the bald eagle and swans in the back yard, seeing the neighbor kids play in the street.  It all seems so surreal – can it be true?  The more we watch, the more helpless we felt.  Mom and Dad remember WWII when they were children.  They tell of picking milkweed pods and cattails to make life preservers for the sailors.  They talk about saving and flattening aluminum cans, silver gum wrappers and victory gardens.  It changed their world forever, as this will change ours.

Steve Nichols

Then we learn of the shortage of PPE, which should never happen in the greatest country in the world.  But, it has.  We not only have healthcare workers without protection, but we have new warriors out there – shopping, selling and delivering – with no protection.  When we heard about organizations asking for homemade masks we knew this was something we could do.  We immediately rallied behind the initiative and cleaned out our own stashes of cotton fabric and elastic.  We quickly ordered another sewing machine and more materials on the internet.  We began our own war effort in our dining room in Plymouth.  Dad carefully cuts the elastic to the correct length.  Mom sews the masks from the fabric I have cut – alternating from the sewing machine to resting her legs while she turns them inside out.  The count is up to 500 and still going strong.  New fabric arrives weekly – giving us something to look forward to.  We love the pictures of friends and healthcare workers wearing the masks.  It gives us joy to see that we are making a tiny difference.

My sister, Dr. Stacy Nichols, works for Hutchinson Health.  She told us that the Foundation had started collecting masks for use in non patient facing positions and for all people entering the nursing homes.  They were in need.  We were honored to be able to support such a wonderful organization, and one that is so close to our hearts – part of the family. Recognizing that it was probably more difficult to get donations outside of the city; yet the need might be even greater due to the limited supply. Supporting Stacy made us proud.  We have focused our donation efforts on organizations that we as a family touch personally.

There are fancier masks out there, but we are staying with what we know. We sew every day, but not all day.  We enjoying seeing the piles grow and have a sense of accomplishment when we can ship them out.  But, the most joy is seeing a picture of someone actually wearing the mask.  Our little way to help.

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

Quarter 4, 2019

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