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Swan Songs are a musical ‘last wish’

Photo: Judi Schwerin and Dayna Groskreutz hold a photo of their parents, Bonnie and Gerald. Music is the centerpiece for many life celebrations – even at end of life. A new program through Avera@Home hospice care gives patients and their families a “musical last wish.” Swan Songs creates a private concert for Avera hospice patients, and their family and friends. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Routine Health Screening Was a Lifesaver

Stopping in at a community health screening event at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital was lifesaving for Pat Fritz of O’Neill, Neb., when a routine hemoglobin count signaled that she might have colon cancer. Pat’s low count of 7 g/dl, compared to a normal range of 12 to 15.5, indicated that she had loss of blood somewhere inside her body. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health
Cindy Foerster

Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness: Cindy’s Story

When Cindy Foerster of Brookings found a lump on her breast in July 2013, the last thing on her mind was cancer. She was looking forward to celebrating her five-year wedding anniversary with her husband, Matt. Cindy had doubts about whether it could be breast cancer — she didn’t have a family history, she was only 36, and her most recent checkup had uncovered no concerns. Read More »
Cancer Care, Patient Stories, Wellness and Prevention · Avera Health
Laurie and Mike Kelley

Living With Cancer: Simple Coping Strategies

When Michael Kelley of Pierre, S.D., was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in 2013, his initial reaction was devastation. “I took it pretty hard at the diagnosis,” he said. Laurie and Mike Kelley Today, Mike and his wife, Laurie, refuse to let the worries of cancer consume their lives. Read More »
Cancer Care, Patient Stories · Avera Health

Subtle Symptoms and Not So Subtle Disease

At first he had a subtle clue that something may be wrong, but he didn’t do anything about it.  “Almost everyone has had heartburn one time or another,” he thought.  But gradually it became worse.  He found that he could control it with over-the-counter pills, so it must not be something so bad.  Read More »
Family Medicine, Patient Stories · McKennan

Health Coaching: Allergies or Negative Tendencies?

On a fishing trip! Ever since I was a little girl I have loved camping and eating all the good food from the grill, especially the fish. But when I was about 16, I had an allergic reaction to both shrimp and salmon. Read More »
Just for Fun, Nutrition, Patient Stories · McKennan