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Celebrating Life with Health Changes

Anja Hoekman’s holistic approach to diet isn’t about weight loss or self-denial. It’s all about building muscle, feeling energetic and enjoying satisfying, natural meals that focus on delicious ingredients and leave the processed products on the shelf. She also had help. Read More »
Cancer Care, Nutrition, Patient Stories · Avera Health

Understanding Occupational Therapy’s Role in Recovery

Occupational therapy is one of those health care services for which we often hear the question “What is that, exactly?” While you might be like most people and think it relates to jobs or job training, the definition of occupational therapy is simple: Our lives are made up of these simple “occupations” such as eating, getting dressed, bathing and cooking, to name a few. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Cancer Survivor Takes Control with Weight Loss

Melissa Fox admits it: she had a little “road rage” going after a follow-up appointment with her cancer surgeon. The Spencer, Iowa mom of two had faced breast cancer, worked through the chemotherapy and surgery and was doing well. She knew she needed to lose some weight and began changing up her workout approaches. Read More »
Cancer Care, Patient Stories · Avera Health

Mitchell Colon Cancer Patient; “Trust Your Care Team”

“Life is short, but after experiencing colon cancer, I realized life could be REAL short,” said Brad Zimmerman from Mitchell. “You never know when your number is up, so never take anything for granted.” It started with a constant, dull pain in his lower left abdomen. Read More »
Cancer Care, Patient Stories · Avera Health

Mother of Five Feels Many Blessings in Face of Leukemia Diagnosis

The delicate balance of life can be up-turned in mere moments. That’s something Kristin VanLaecken of Watertown, S.D. knows all too well. This January, the 34-year-old mother of five was applying moisturizer to her neck and her glands were tender and quite swollen. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Surgeon and Patient Meet Years After Transplant

Dr. Steers, left, meets Tessa Hertel in person. When 20-year-old Tessa Hertel worked in the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center laboratory, coworkers would often mention the name of Dr. Jeffery Steers, an Avera Transplant Institute physician who was helping to develop a liver transplant program at Avera. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health