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February brings in snow, health and fun

Madison Goeden of Staples had her face painted by Wadena Artist Beth Kern at the Festival of Health. The Saturday event featured many kinds of entertainment and deomonstrations. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal1 / 9
Tri-County Health Care President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Beiswenger, middle, was in the thick of the crowd Saturday during the February Festival of Health at M. State-Wadena. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal2 / 9
Connor Reyes of Deer Creek brushed a big set of teeth at the Woodland Dental booth. The 28th annual February Festival of Health was held Saturday at M. State-Wadena. More than 65 exhibits by local businesses and organizations took part. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal3 / 9
Prenatal Yoga Instructor Pam Doebbeling demonstrated some light stretching exercises for her audience at M. State-Wadena Saturday during the February Festival of Health. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal 4 / 9
Patty Derby, right, received a free diabetes screening from M. State-Wadena Nursing Student Michelle Keranen during Tri-County Health Care's February Festival of Health. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal5 / 9
Lions Club Member Cora Hohnstadt used a vision testing device resembling a camera to test festival guests for common vision defects. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal6 / 9
Lois Miller chatted with two February Festival of Health attendees at the Cardiac Rehab booth. Jessica Sly/Tri-County Health Care 7 / 9
After their performance at the February Festival of Health, two Just for Kix dancers sat for a caricature by Doug Curtis. Jessica Sly/Tri-County Health Care 8 / 9
Students from Mid-Minnesota Taekwondo of Wadena put on a demonstration for a crowd at the February Festival of Health. Jessica Sly/Tri-County Health Care9 / 9

Health is Joel Beiswenger's business so there was no way Saturday's snowfall was going to keep the president and CEO of Tri-County Health Care away from the M. State-Wadena campus.

With a new carpet of white on the ground outside the crowded interior of M. State took on the busy hum of a marketplace.

More than 65 exhibits by local organizations and businesses were on display and there was plenty of entertainment including face painters, artists, dancers and Taekwondo demonstrations.

"We usually get about 800 people," Beiswenger said as the crowd flowed around him in the M. State-Wadena commons.

Beiswenger admitted he has not been at every Festival of Health but since there have 28 he can hardly be charged with dereliction of duty.

Beiswenger is like a scout in many ways. He is part of the visionary team that keeps TCHC moving ahead. He works with the Board of Directors, the Medical Staff, and internal and external constituents. This includes strategic planning and implementation, operations and financial management at Tri-County Health Care.

"We always try to grow our market," Beiswenger said. "We're like any other business. We look at market data."

Market data has led Certified Nurse Midwife Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmich to Sebeka for a daily clinic. It sent Dr. Jessica Grimes to Ottertail in January as a new Family Practice physician.

If TCHC sees a need for services in a community which they can fill the wheels will turn.

Recently, TCHC has been working with a "linx" surgical procedure that helps people suffering from acid reflux disease. The procedure can correct the effects of acid reflux with the use of magnets planted in a ring around the esophagus. It blocks acid from the stomach reaching up but allows still allows the passage of food to the stomach.

TCHC surgeons have done about two dozen of the procedures in the last 18 months and they worked out well.

"It's a great thing," Beiswenger said. "It helps people with their lifestyle."

The private, non-profit health care system is headquartered in Wadena but it has clinics in Baxter, Bertha, Henning, Ottertail, Sebeka and Verndale. Sebeka and Henning are two of their oldest clinics which more than 30 years of service to their communities.

New to the festival this year was some light stretching and yoga led by Prenatal Instructor Pam Doebbeling.

The February Festival of Health is sponsored by Tri-County Health Care, Tri-County Health Care Foundation and M. State-Wadena.