Category: Success Stories
The Lower Sioux Indian Community has seen stellar improvements in tribal health in recent years with the addition of a health care center that offers a large scope of medical services. The Lower Sioux, part of the Mdewakanton Band of Dakota, is a federally-recognized tribe located in Redwood County. In seeking to maintain whole health, safety, and happiness for the community while also staying true to traditional values of the Dakota, the idea for the Lower Sioux Health Care Center was born. The center serves the tribe’s population of nearly 1,000 people.
A Simple Idea Becomes All-Inclusive Care
Darin Prescott, Clinic CEO, explains how the idea became a reality.
“Though it was discussed over the past 20 years by different tribal councils, the idea did not come to fruition until 2013 when a grant was finally written,” he says. “We decided to pursue a large health center, not just a medical clinic.”
What was originally discussed as a simple medical clinic became a thriving, one-stop comprehensive health center that served its first medical patient in 2016. The departments the health care center offers include Medical, Pharmacy, Optical, Dental, Behavioral, Community Health, Nutrition and Social Services. Out of 11 tribes in Minnesota, the Lower Sioux Indian Community is the 10th tribe able to offer extensive medical services.
Improvements in Cultural Competency and Tribal Health Take Place
“The Lower Sioux Health Care Center answers the vital need for improved cultural competency,” Prescott explains.
Through the health care center, more medical data concerning the most prominent health needs of the tribe and community is gained. With this new data, more accessible treatments are made available to improve the overall health and wellness of the area. The Community Health Department, also located in the building, is devoted to the public health side of things, focusing on the prevention of chronic disease and how to counter current prominent illnesses.
“Community Health Surveys are at an all time high of an 80 percent response rate from community members,” adds Stacy Hammer, Director of Community Health.
Because all of the healthcare providers are located in one building, real-time conversations concerning diabetes management and other significant medical problems take place more often, keeping these topics and the development of solutions to them a priority. There are more opportunities than ever before to talk to patients about their state of health and find ways to improve it. Trust in medical providers has grown, and patients are able to visit a provider quickly without waiting months for treatment.
In addition to the expansive services located inside the building, an indigenous garden has been put into place outside. Elders will be able to walk the paths and harvest the plants, and members of the community can be educated on some of the original plants used as medicine. One of the main goals of the health care center is to join the national effort and decrease opioid dependence by training the community in Mind Body Medicine. Learning the traditions of the Dakota is one step toward achieving this goal.
“Signs of a decrease in prescribed medication and individual tapering of doses has already been seen,” reports Prescott.
The health care center even sponsors four different walk/runs at the Powwow grounds every year to encourage community movement and hosts events promoting healthy foods.
More Local Jobs Become a Reality
Not only has the health care center been an important solution to the medical needs of the people, it also fills an employment void. 50 percent of the Lower Sioux Health Care Center employees are tribal members, from entry level up to professional.
“Now many of the tribe’s youth are able to go off to college, knowing they can return and find jobs in the healthcare field right here in the community,” adds Hammer proudly.
To learn more about The Lower Sioux Health Care Center and what they are doing for our community, visit http://lowersiouxhhs.org/. The health care center is located on the northeast corner of County Hwy 2 and 24, just east of Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel.
Category: Success Stories
Redwood County’s Minnwest Bank is one of Minnesota's largest banks. Despite its widespread growth, it keeps its small-town spirit and willingness to listen to and support patrons. The family-owned bank has grown to 33 locations and more than $1.9 billion in assets. It is now considered the second largest Ag lender in Minnesota. Minnwest knows that the support of the local community is the reason it thrives, and it aims to give back.
Minnwest Bank Builds Relationships and Gives Back to the Community
Building relationships has always been a key component of Minnwest Bank’s business platform. They strive to build long term commitments to customers in order to better support the dreams and goals of the local farm and business community.
Sherri Schueller, Sr. Commercial Banker of Minnwest Bank and Treasurer of Redwood Area Development Corporation, spoke to us about the positive impact Minnwest Bank has had on the community.
“Minnwest Bank’s support of the community comes in a variety of forms, including volunteer work hours, philanthropic giving, corporate programs and educational events with a focus on the underserved and underprivileged, including contributing to child welfare and child education,” says Schueller.
She continues, “In 2018 alone, $313,077 was contributed in corporate giving, 738 volunteer hours were performed under our employee program and 150 organizations were served.”
Minnwest Bank Grew From a Desire to Help the Community Thrive
Minnwest Bank was established in 1987 by M. D. “Pete” McVay. It was founded during the Farm Crisis, a period of economic decline in Minnesota that bankrupted many farms from 1979-1987. As the McVay family recognized how important a community bank is for a region to thrive, they developed a better, more community-oriented bank. The family-owned business is still lead by a family member, Todd McVay, Chairman and CEO. The current Bank President is Doug Karsky who is based out of Redwood Falls.
In addition to making “giving back” to the community a priority, the Minnwest Bank, headquartered in our own Redwood Falls, employs 390 people. It is a vital employer for the region.
While Minnwest Bank is always looking for more ways to support the community monetarily and through volunteer programs, the company also strives to make loans more accessible.
“Minnwest Bank responds to community requests with flexibility, creativity, and a commitment to serve their needs, and by extension, to serve our communities,” Schueller remarks.
She continues, “The bank is a family-owned business operation that’s big enough to get large deals done and small enough to truly listen to and work with customers to help them achieve their individual goals.”
Minnwest Bank is one of the many businesses in Redwood County working to improve the community by building lasting relationships. To learn more about the bank, visit www.minnwestbank.com or find it in our business directory.
Category: Success Stories
For years, we’ve heard about “brain drain,” the phenomenon where young folks leave rural towns to attend college and pursue better opportunities in cities. But research into Minnesota’s shifting rural demographics now shows a positive reverse trend of “brain gain” — where young adults migrate back to their hometowns with families in tow and expertise to offer.
Tony Madsen of NewLeaf Financial Guidance is a local case in point. He grew up in Redwood Falls and left to attend college at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. Madsen worked for a number of years in the Twin Cities metro area for a large broker-dealer. Then he became a certified financial planner and worked as a financial advisor at a corporate firm.
Working in a corporate environment helped Madsen gain important experience and knowledge. “It was never about climbing the ladder to make money. It was about learning to be a better advisor to clients,” he explains.
Eventually, Madsen decided to start his own advisory practice. He and his wife, who also grew up in the area, chose to move back to Redwood Falls several years ago to raise their children and be closer to family.
“It was a values-driven choice not an economic-driven choice,” he says. “I can do what I do anywhere. I’m not bound by city limits.”
Although NewLeaf Financial Guidance is based in Redwood Falls, Madsen serves clients around the country. NewLeaf is a fee-only, fiduciary, financial planning firm. As a fiduciary, he pledges to work solely in the client’s best interest. Under the fee-only model, Madsen does not accept commissions or marketing money from product companies, lessening the chance for conflict of interest.
“Transparency is important to me,” he explains. “I never liked the idea of my clients walking to the elevator bay and wondering why I was making a particular recommendation — if it was truly in their best interest.”
NewLeaf also differentiates itself because it seeks to reach a population that’s underserved by the financial industry: people under the age of 50. Madsen wants to help younger clients not just with investments but with developing good financial habits.
He likes to form relationships with his clients. “I’d rather have 100 than 1000 clients,” Madsen says. “I want to know about them. I’m choosy about who I work with and why I work with them.”
Madsen is also community-minded. He’s an advocate for small businesses and growing the local economy. He serves on the Redwood Area Development Corporation board of directors in order to play a role in shaping the area’s future.
The long term health of Redwood Falls is very important to me. I didn’t move back here to see the town die,” Madsen says. “I think it’s important to make wise decisions about how we support business and attract new business.”