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The first quarter of 2021 has provided so many opportunities for optimism – the unseasonably warm weather in early March, the milestones reached in the COVID-19 vaccination effort, and the declining trend in coronavirus cases, just to name a few.
All of these positive developments instill so much hope for a much happier and healthier spring than we had last year when the pandemic was just beginning. Still, we all need to remain vigilant and continue masking in public and socially distancing to ensure that the worst days of the pandemic remain behind us.
In the meantime, here are a few updates from Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont.
Community Sounding Board starting
We recently launched a Community Sounding Board comprised of community members who will provide feedback on Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont.
The sounding board will:
- Inform Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont of opportunities to improve its service to the community as a health care provider and community member.
- Relay constructive messages and updates on Mayo Clinic Health System operations to the greater Fairmont community, including providing facts to address misinformation or reduce misunderstandings.
- Introduce and deliberate community engagement opportunities for Mayo Clinic Health System to participate in.
- Meet quarterly to discuss new or ongoing concerns regarding important community and health care issues in Fairmont, as well as collaborate with Mayo Clinic Health System on ways to serve those needs.
New board member
We recently welcomed Judy Traetow as a new board member to our Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont Community Board.
Judy is vice president at Fairmont Foods and manages the Sales, Regulatory and Research & Development departments. She’s lived in Martin County for 33 years, and most of those years she’s been employed at Fairmont Foods.
Prior to moving to the Fairmont area, her early career was in medical research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and the University of Minnesota. For the past 10 years, Judy has helped organized the MCW Cancer night. The event has raised over $70,000, with Mayo Clinic in Fairmont being the primary recipient of the proceeds. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise money for the Mayo Clinic Chemo and Infusion Therapy departments so residents can stay close to home during their cancer treatments.
Advances in breast technology
Continuously improving technology is resulting in better breast imaging and earlier detection of breast cancer right here in Fairmont.
A 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. A 3D mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in people who have no signs or symptoms. It can also be used to investigate the cause of breast problems, such as a breast mass, pain and nipple discharge.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast — or breast MRI — is a test used to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities in the breast. A breast MRI captures multiple images of your breast. Breast MRI images are combined, using a computer, to create detailed pictures.
Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of structures deep within the body. Ultrasound may be used to determine whether a new breast lump is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.
In addition, Dr. Kendra Kamlitz performs breast biopsies locally, making it convenient for Fairmont residents to undergo the procedures close to home.
New staff in Orthopedics, Urology
Becky Bailey, physician assistant, is now supporting the Urology practice. Becky also works in Urology on the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato campus.
COVID-19 vaccinations ongoing
Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont is administering COVID-19 vaccinations. Providing the vaccine locally makes it convenient for Fairmont-area residents to receiving the vaccine when it’s their turn.
Appointments are being determined by weekly state vaccine allocations and eligibility based on the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 prioritizations.
Patients with a Patient Online Services account (Mayo’s patient portal) will receive a message in Patient Online Services when they are eligible to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The portal is the fastest and most convenient way to be notified of eligibility and schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
To create a free account, Mayo Clinic Health System patients can visit the Mayo Clinic Health System website and select "Create your account." Patients without a Patient Online Services account will be notified by letter inviting them to schedule their appointment.
As always, we appreciate your help in keeping everyone safe during the pandemic. Have a happy and healthy spring.
― Marie Morris, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont
― Amy Long, administrator, Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont
Direct questions to comments to Amy Long, administrator, Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, at 507-238-5070 or by email.