Grateful Recipient – Hutchinson Health Staff

In December, the Hutchinson Health staff received heartfelt, generous gifts from community members in support and gratitude of their exceptional work during the COVID pandemic. A sincere thank you to the following two initiatives and all involved who brought our staff members so much joy:

Pottery for Each Staff Member

The Hutchinson Empty Bowls Reimagined project, led by Morgan Baum of Clay Coyote, distributed more than 600 pieces of pottery to all Hutchinson Health staff members. The pottery was made by potters who have attended the Minnesota Pottery Festival in the past, and were purchased from them with the help of generous donors in order to help support them during these challenges times. The Foundation assisted in handing out more than 300 bowls on the first day; in total, Morgan and 12 volunteers packed more than 600 bowls with a note of gratitude and support. In addition, to support the annual Empty Bowls event that cannot be held this year, funds are being raised on online through January 23, 2021 with proceeds going to the McLeod County Emergency Food Shelf and Common Cup to help fight hunger in McLeod County.

“What a great surprise to receive the pottery from the Foundation.  Just wanted to say thank you and how much it was appreciated!” – Hutchinson Health Staff Member

Free Pizza for Every Staff Member

Shad Ketcher of New Era Financial and Brad and Jeri Lueneburg provided a gift certificate for a free, large Jimmy’s Pizza to all 575 Hutchinson Health staff to show their appreciation, while also supporting a local business.

“Wow! Thank you for the generous gift certificate to Jimmy’s Pizza – my favorite! It has been a trying & difficult year for sure, but the support of Hutch Health & our community has been wonderful. Thanks for making my holiday season a little brighter!” – Hutchinson Health Staff Member

Apply for a 2021 Grant from HHF!

Now Accepting 2021 Grant Applications

Each year, the Hutchinson Health Foundation grants funds to support health education programs, new health initiatives, and programs that support health services, all in Hutchinson and the surrounding area.

Last year, we were proud to grant more than $29,000 to support health and wellness in our community. Read about the 2020 grant recipients here.

The 2021 grant applications (internal and public) are open! Submissions are due Friday, February 26 at 3:00 PM. Applications can be found here.

Please note that due to COVID, we are requesting that you download the application on your computer and then submit the application via mail or fax at (320) 484-4642.

Contact Rachael Gemuenden at 320.484.4438 or via email with any questions.

Grateful Recipient – St. Anastasia Catholic School

“We were so excited to learn that we were a recipient of a donation from Hutchinson Health Foundation! Who knew early in the year that thermometers would become such a vital item for the classroom? Returning to school during COVID-19 has made it essential to equip our teachers with thermometers to aid in the early detection of COVID-19 symptoms. Of course, this was not on the radar when we wrote the grant. The idea was to save time and eliminate distractions in the classroom by allowing the teacher to quickly and quietly take a student’s temperature without the student leaving the room, and then make the determination of a visit to the nurse’s office.

This has helped our kids be in school and stay in school. We are fortunate to live in a community that has local accessible healthcare. Thank you!” – Betty Jodzio, Principal

Learn more about our 2020 Grant Recipients here.

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


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. 

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

Grateful Recipient – New Inpatient Unit

The average inpatient Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care census at Hutchinson Health today is 10 – 15 patients. The profile of those patients is very different than it was in the 1970s. There is an increase in the acutely ill, and those who require continuous monitoring and a much higher intensity of nursing and ancillary services such as lab and radiology.

 The current inpatient structure and rooms were built for 1970s-era patients, not for today’s. The size of the current rooms, 150 square feet, does not comfortably accommodate all the needs of today’s patients. The monitoring and equipment needed did not exist in the 1970s. Our patients and staff are squeezed tight, not to mention families and visitors.

 The new inpatient Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care wing has been carefully designed to meet today’s needs. The number of beds – 18 with the ability to expand to 22 – are in line with projections for the needs of our community and region. The size of the rooms – averaging 300 square feet – is designed to safely and comfortably meet the needs of patients, families and staff. This project will truly transform inpatient care.

It is the goal of Hutchinson Health, in collaboration with HealthPartners, to expand the local availability of state-of-the-art primary and specialty care as a regional center. Every philanthropic dollar raised for this project is a dollar Hutchinson Health can redirect to further that goal. Donations earmarked for this project will directly advance Hutchinson Health’s mission: To Improve Health and Well-Being in Partnership with our Members, Patients and Community.

Donate today to support the New Inpatient Unit.

Grateful Recipient – Common Cup Weekend Backpack Food Program

Common Cup Weekend Backpack Food Program, 2019 Grant RecipientWe are proud to announce that the Common Cup Weekend Backpack Food Program is a 2019 Foundation grant recipient. The State of Minnesota identified a food disparity in McLeod County due to the number of families who qualify for free lunch and those who receive supplemental nutrition based off wage/cost of living. In order to address this need, Common Cup Ministry, the fiduciary agency of the Weekend Backpack Food Program, began to provide weekend food to students who qualified (with parent permission).

Bev Bonte, Director of Common Cup Ministry expressed gratitude for the grant:

“This grant has allowed us to continue the Weekend Backpack Food Program. The number of families who qualify for free lunch in our county continues to rise. Students who are a part of the Weekend Backpack Food Program receive a small two-day supply discreetly in their backpack. By providing food to these children, they are better able to concentrate in school and participate in activities. Students feel less marginalized when basic needs are met, and this backpack food program helps destigmatize the children whose families are struggling financially. We have received many positive and thankful responses from parents and teachers of students in the program. Thank you, Hutchinson Health Foundation for supporting the Weekend Backpack Food Program!”

If you are interested in learning how to apply for a Foundation grant, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at or 320.484.4438

2019 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. We are able to award these grants thanks to the generosity of our donors.

We are excited and proud to announce the 2019 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

Education, Instrumental Directive CPR Feedback Manikins
Grant Amount $4,165.00 

“CPR saves lives. Feedback manikins will ensure participants are correctly performing the necessary skills. Almost 400 employees at Hutchinson Health are trained in these lifesaving skills every two years, as well as community members. This grant will allow Hutchinson Health to purchase an additional 12 feedback manikins to reduce staff time and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the CPR classes.” – Anna Harvala, Human Relations Representative​

Hutchinson Health

Inpatient Mental Health, Razors
Grant Amount – $3,875.00

“Our mission and vision both focus on promoting health for the unique population of patients in the Inpatient Mental Health unit. Our patients come from all over the state and often do not have the opportunity to pack their own belongings. An important part of managing depression is daily hygiene. This grant will allow for the purchase of razors that provide a safe means for our patients to groom and will have a positive impact aiding in their recovery.” – Heidi Nelson, Hutchinson Health

Hutchinson Farmers Market

Power of Produce Program
Grant Amount – $3,500.00

“This year, the Power of Produce program is on track to engage more than 600 children and their families. We want to provide education, activities and actual spending power to these children so that they are prepared to make healthy food choices all while strengthening community relationships and enjoying a unique, outdoor experience.”
– Aimee Haag, VP Farmers Market Board

Wheel & Cog Children’s Museum

Maker Space
Grant Amount – $3,493.81

“We would like to start developing a “Maker Space” at the museum which would be an area that focuses on hands-on activities for older children. Included will be:
New free standing corn stalks (Ag Exhibit)
Squishy Circuits, Keva Planks and Small Robots
These items will help produce a new engaging, interactive exhibit in which children and their caregivers can experience concepts of healthy behaviors and hands-on learning through play that will grow into life-long skills and interests.” – Jessica Sabrowsky, Director

Common Cup

Weekend Feeding Program for Kids
Grant Amount – $3,004.13

“A need was identified statistically through the State of MN of supplemental food due to a “food disparity” in McLeod County. Research has found that many students whose families qualify financially for free/reduced lunch and breakfast at school do not have adequate food for the weekend. By providing food to children, they are better able to concentrate in school and participate in activities. Students feel less marginalized when basic needs are met. Health improves for everyone when nutritional needs are met. Common Cup and Hunger Free McLeod have received many positive and thankful responses from parents and teachers of students that receive this food.” – Bev Bonte, Director

Aveyron Homes

CPR/First Aid Kit, Manikins
Grant Amount – $2,879.56

“With CPR manikins, Aveyron Homes will be able teach classes at convenient times for Aveyron staff, as well as community members, including local businesses such as daycare providers. Once we start teaching these classes, the goal will be to certify more than 150 people each year.” Kathy Kalenberg, Executive Director

Crow River SWAT Team

First Aid Kits and Medic Bag Items
Grant Amount – $2,714.20

“The Crow River SWAT Team serves the city of Hutchinson and the surrounding county. The team responds to dangerous and life threatening situations. With this grant we will be able to upgrade our individual first aid kits and make them consistent for the entire team. The team medic bag also needs upgraded, modern equipment to adequately serve us and our community. Having this gear will allow all of our officers to be trained and equipped in the same manner to deal with these serious medical situations.” – Sgt. Eric Kilian

Hutchinson Health

Education, Multi Venous Training Arm
Grant Amount – $729.00

“Education services is an integral part of Hutchinson Health ensuring employees are current on life support class certifications. Using a training arm will provide a better education experience, which in turn enhances patient care skills.” – Joe Jorgensen, Instructor

Hutchinson Health

Social Services, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Resources, Family Support Resources
Grant Amount – $439.80

“As social workers, we see families struggling with providing care for their loved one with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. We are in need of resources to provide to these families, such as a book titled “My Past is Now My Future” by Lanny Butler. By providing resources we are providing hope, and these families will feel that Hutchinson Health employees understand and care about their situation.” – Coletta Wortz, Hutchinson Health

Hutchinson Health

Health Care Home, Transportation Tokens
Grant Amount – $100.00

“Transportation barriers are a barrier to healthcare access, especially for low-income or under/uninsured individuals. This barrier can lead to missed or rescheduled appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. Tokens for use on the Trailblazer Transit will provide transportation to and from medical appointments at Hutchinson Health for patients in need.” – Joy May, Health Care Home Care Guides Program Supervisor

Hutchinson Health

Health Care Home, Bathroom Scales
Grant Amount – $99.50

“Many of our Health Care Home Care Coordinated patients have a diagnosis of obesity, and weight loss is recommended for the patient by their doctor. Some of our patients do not have the money to purchase a scale to assist in monitoring their weight. Providing a bathroom scale to these patients will help them monitor their weight and improve their overall health.” – Joy May, Health Care Home Care Guides Program Supervisor