Suicide & Mental Health Awareness Conference

February 23rd, 2018

We are excited to share this information about a local healthcare conference being held in Hutchinson on April 9th, 2018.

Please click link for details:

A PDF of the brochure is also attached.

Registration is now open and closes Friday, March 23rd. Space is limited and is filling up fast!

This all day conference features world class speakers, plus local presenters, it is only $15 and includes all materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

Certificates of attendance will be given to participants. This event does meet the MN Board of Nursing continuing education requirements for nurses (7 CEUs) and has been approved by MN Board of Social Work (7 contact hours)!

Intended audience: Physicians, Nurses, Mental Health Professionals & Practitioners, Social Workers, Case Managers, Chemical Dependency/ Rehabilitation Workers, Nursing Assistants, Personal Care Attendants, Community Support Workers and anyone interested in learning more about the topic!

This conference is being made possible with the proceeds raised at the SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) Walk for Life – Hutchinson, that was held September 17, 2017 at the McLeod County Fairgrounds. 700+participated and over $39,000 was raised through the generosity of business and organizational sponsorships, team fundraising and individual donations.

Please share with anyone you think that might be interested!

A Healthy Communities Partner has received Accreditation Status

February 23rd, 2018

Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services awarded National Accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board


PHAB-Accredited Health Departments Demonstrate the Capacity to Serve their Communities Well

Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services (MMS CHS) announced today that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public, by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments.

MMS CHS is one of fewer than 200 health departments that have thus far achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011. Another point of achievement for MMS CHS is that they are the first multi-county rural CHS to become accredited in Minnesota.  However, hundreds of health departments across the country are preparing to seek accreditation through PHAB, the non-profit organization that administers the national public health accreditation program.

“We are pleased and excited to be recognized for achieving national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said Allie Elbert, MMS CHS Director. “The accreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With accreditation, MMS CHS is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which we work.”

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s nearly 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

“Whenever you see our seal of accreditation, you will know that Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” Elbert said. “By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible.”

The three health departments that work under Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services have solidified their relationship together to function as a unified staff. In addition, MMS CHS is viewed as a model for the state of Minnesota in establishing multi-county jurisdictions. MMS CHS has done a great job putting aside jurisdictional differences to improve the health of the community. Their relationships with community partners to leverage external resources help to further its mission into the community.

“Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services joins the growing ranks of accredited health departments in a strong commitment to their public health mission,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The peer-review process provides valuable feedback to inform health departments of their strengths and areas for improvement, so that they can better protect and promote the health of the people they serve in their communities. Residents of a community served by a nationally accredited health department can be assured that their health department has demonstrated the capacity to protect and promote the health of that community.”

About the Public Health Accreditation Board

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), established in 2007, was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body, and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The development of national public health accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Learn more about PHAB or sign up for the PHAB e-newsletter by visiting

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Allie Elbert please call or email Allie at (507)766-3531 or via email at  .

September 22nd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day

September 6th, 2017

Do something to help promote the awareness of Falls Prevention!

The National Council on Aging has many resources to help you be effective in spreading the awareness that falls can be prevented and they are not a normal part of aging.  Check out the link to their Tool Kit below.

For a variety of resources to help promote Falls Prevention Awareness Day, visit:

You can . . .

  • Schedule an event to mark the day – presentation at a senior center, a walk event, an exercise class, a dance, etc.
  • Post a photo sharing what you do to help prevent falls (NCOA has some stock photos to use).
  • Share an informational video (see website above). Or make your own video to share.
  • Share an Infographic (see website above).
  • You can invite individuals to attend a falls prevention exercise class (visit for classes in A Matter of Balance and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance – offered in MNRAAA’s 27 counties).
  • You can speak to a loved one about falls prevention.
  • You can sign up yourself for a falls prevention workshop.
  • You can sign up to become a Leader/Coach to teach a Falls Prevention workshop (see for training dates).

Let the MNRAAA Program Developers help you.

Betty Christensen…………….. 507.508.5496…………………….

Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, and Renville Counties

Jamie Enger-Lanners……….. 507.327.2980…………………….

Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, Pipestone, Murray and Rock Counties

Diana Madsen…………………… 507.327.0841…………………….

Brown, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Nobles, Jackson, Martin, and Faribault Counties

Elaine Spain……………………… 507.387.1256 x 106……………

Meeker, McLeod, Sibley, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Blue Earth, and Waseca Counties

Thank you for doing your part to reduce falls, save money, and save lives. We can all reach more when we stand together.


Workplace Wellness Consortium Kick Off Meeting- Register by Friday April 7th!

April 7th, 2017

Thursday, April 20th

  • 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM Networking/Breakfast
  • 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM Meeting

Bonfire Bar and Grille

16818 Minnesota Highway 22,

Litchfield, MN 55355

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Michael Monroe Kiefer!

Celebrating more than twenty years as a top ranked national professional motivational speaker, author, psychologist, radio talk show guest, and subconscious core reprogrammer, Michael has delivered well over 3,000 presentations and has spoken in nearly every state in the U.S.A. His MP3 audiobooks, e-books, and paperbacks sell to a worldwide audience.
Who should attend?

  • Business Owners, Employers, HR Professionals
  • Community Organizations, Schools, Faith Communities
  • Wellness Teams & Professionals

The Workplace Wellness Consortium is an ongoing series of gatherings that welcomes and invites employers, wellness teams, and professionals from a myriad of settings (e.g., worksites, community organizations, healthcare facilities, schools, faith communities) to:

  • Collaborate with local workplaces and organizations
  • Participate in research-based and best-practice learning opportunities
  • Develop a networking community
  • Implement wellness activities for personal and professional growth
  • Establish a culture of wellness in their workplaces

Register yourself and your wellness team today!  Register here

Free resource for Adult Caregivers

March 10th, 2017
Who takes care of YOU when you are busy helping others?

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational program designed to provide you with the tools you need to take care of yourself. Whether you provide care for your family member or friend in your home or at a distance, this class can help you!
You will learn to:

 Reduce stress
 Improve self-confidence
 Better communicate your feelings
 Balance your life
 Increase your ability to make tough decisions
 Locate helpful resources

This class is offered in Arlington, MN in April and May.  See the attached flyer for more information.

Sign up today!


Contact Information:
Barb Alsleben (LSS) – 320.221.3747 or
Sarah Doering (LSS) – 320.221.4513

Offered by Lutheran Social Service of MN and MN River Agency on Aging