• Welcome Kathy Johnson, Interim CEO

    The Appleton Area Health Services (AAHS) Board of Directors are pleased to announce the hiring of interim CEO Kathy Johnson.

    Johnson brings with her over 40 years of experience in the health care industry. She has worked in every stage of nursing, beginning her career as a nursing assistant. She then moved on to become an LPN, RN, assistant
    nurse manager, director of nursing (DON), chief operating officer (COO), and finally a chief executive officer (CEO).

    She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, a fouryear degree in organizational management and communication from Concordia, St. Paul, and is a certified health care executive through the University of Minnesota Independent Study Program.

    Johnson retired as CEO of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dawson in October of 2015. During her time as CEO in Dawson, she was recognized at both the state and national levels for quality and service excellence. Just as she was about to retire, Johnson Memorial was recognized nationally for financial stability.

    Since her retirement, Johnson opened her own company, Dynamic Advantage LLC. Through her company, Johnson’s goal is to mentor CEOs who are struggling. She has also done some education through a webinar for the National Rural Health Resource Center on the cost of turnover and the value of feedback from your employees.

    Active in her community, Johnson has served on the Dawson Development Committee, and been a member and president of the Dawson Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she serves as president of her church, Crossroads Lutheran Congregation in Dawson. She has also served as president of Medi-Soda and the Lac qui Parle Health Network. Johnson and husband Dwayne have two children, a son and daughter; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “Dwayne and I put in a huge garden and can until we are crazy,” she said with a laugh. “We have a huge yard that looks
    like a park.” Dwayne is a retired chef, and every Wednesday night the couple volunteers to cook for 70 to 100 people at Crossroads Lutheran Congregation for the AWANA program. During her spare time, Johnson enjoys crafts, primarily crocheting, but also a little embroidery. Lately she has been enjoying working with water colored pencils.

    Johnson is not new to AAHS. She served as interim CEO for 10 ½ months in 2012. “This is where I want to be,” she said of AAHS. “We have a lot of good people here at the facility and in the community. As a facility we need to earn the community’s trust back, and the community needs to support us if they want a health care facility in their community.” “Appleton is in a crisis right now,” Johnson continued, “but we will turn it around. In my experience, if we concentrate on employees, quality of service to the community, and the culture, all the other financial stuff falls into place.” Johnson believes in being transparent, and invites anyone with questions, concerns, and ideas to visit with her. “I will tell you the answers, if I know it, and if not, I will find out. At times there are things I can’t share. For instance, when an employee leaves they are free to say anything they want, but we at the facility cannot. I will tell you, ‘I know that, but I can’t share it with you,’” concluded Johnson.

    Residents can find Johnson at her office at AAHS (just ask at the front desk if you need directions), by phone 289-1580, or via email:

    Article Credit: Leslie Ehrenberg of The Appleton Press
    View PDF here

  • 5th Annual Gala a Success

    The Appleton Area Health Services (AAHS) Foundation 5th Annual Gala raised $12,370!

    These proceeds have purchased three Pedal Wheelchairs for AAHS. Pedal wheelchairs will bring a new option for daily exercise to residents, tenants and patients at AAHS. Residents of the Care Center have already started using them. “I would like to use them every day!” stated Leona, Care Center Resident.

    The Gala was held on March 10th at Shooter’s Bar and Grill. Approximately 110 attended the event, which featured Diva’s Through the Decades who performed female hits from the 40’s through today. They really got the crowd involved in the show and topped off the night’s events perfectly.

    During the social hour, a wine pull was held, sponsored by Shooter’s. 50 bottles were available for purchase at $20 a cork, with six lucky individuals receiving $50 cash each. Many guests also participated in a Heads or Tails 50/50 Raffle where participants were eliminated with a coin flip. The last one standing got half the pot.

    There were 16 items, mostly donated by local businesses, for the silent auction. In the live auction, items up for bid included a Larsmont Cottage Getaway, Mall of America Gift Package, watches and more.

    Raffle winners for Minnesota lower level seating spots events were:

    • Juston Golden, of Holloway, MN Wild Tickets
    • Lisa Nichols, MN Timberwolves Tickets
    • Dean Isaacson, of Holloway, MN Twins Tickets

    It was a fun night and we greatly appreciate the support of everyone involved. Look forward to something new in 2018.

    Platinum Table Sponsors: Farmers & Merchants Bank, Athena Health and Pope Architect
    Platinum Sponsors: KLQP-Q92, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, CMDI, RJM Construction, Shooter’s, Lewis Family Drug
    Gold Sponsors: G&R Controls, USI, Vaaler Insurance/HCIS, Appleton Dental Care, ACIRA, Prairie Sun Bank, Odden and Zimbelman, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., MN Energy, Appleton Building Center
    Silver Sponsors: SFM, The Appleton Press, Otter Tail Power Company, Big Stone Therapies, Appleton Oil
    Other Donations: Jim & Sydney Massee, Tronex Healthcare, Madison Bottling, City of Appleton, Cut Maps, Escape Fitness, Pioneer Public TV, Hope Schmidt Origami Owl, Prairie’s Edge, MN Timberwolves, Clemen Electric, High Voltage, Kerry Bonk, Ellen J Arnold – RR Clothing Co., Creative Cuts, MN Wild, Country Floral, Curtis & Gloria Johnson, Bird & Cronin, House of Spirits, SEWearable Design

  • Valentine Celebration

    In celebration of Valentine’s week the Activities department in the Care Center hosted Minute to Win it games on February 13th. Staff members paired up with a resident and played a variety of games. The winning pair of each game got a box of chocolates. There were lots of laughs and smiles from the residents and staff alike!

    Coronation was held on Valentine’s day. The court had five nominees each for men and women.

    Ralph Hoffman, George Clemens, Bernard Westhausen, Ron Monson and Mike Rudnick.

    Vi Risch, Rose Winters, Audrey Schliemann, Olive Dalen and Vera Larson

    Crowned Queen at the Valentine Coronation was Vi Risch and King George Clemens!
  • 5th Annual Gala! Friday, March 10th

    We invite community members, vendors and friends to join us at our 5th Annual Gala on Friday, March 10th at Shooter’s Bar & Grill! This year proceeds will be designated to the purchase of wheel chair pedal bikes. These chairs will enhance the quality of life of our residents, tenants and patients by assisting in improving mobility and by being a new option for daily exercise.

    We are excited to announce entertainment by, Divas Through the Decades, a musical tribute to some of the most influential female vocalists in American pop music, featuring songs from the 40’s, through today’s current hits! The show features music made famous by various Divas including Tina Turner, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Beyoncé, Shania Twain, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and many more. The Diva’s stage show is filled with electrifying vocals, cutting edge choreography, great costume changes, and a high energy performance that is second to none!

    Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m.; attendees are invited to dress semi-formal. Meal will include your choice of Butterfly Shrimp or Garlic Parmesan Chicken with salad, veggie, potato, dessert and beverage. During the social hour guests can participate in the wine pull. By purchasing a $20 bottle of wine you will not only receive that bottle of wine, you will be entered into a drawing for cash prizes.

    There will also be silent and live auctions. One of the items up for bid is a Mall of America package including 4 admissions to Nickelodeon Universe, Moose Mountain, Crayola Experience, and Sea Life. Donations to the auction are greatly appreciated! If you would like to donate an item, please contact Jessica Wollschlager at 289-8510 or drop your item off at Appleton Area Health Services.

    You can also support the event by purchasing raffle tickets – on sale now! The drawing will be held at the Gala, but you do not need to be present to win. The winner will have the opportunity to pick their prize, if present. If not present, the winner will receive the item remaining with the highest value. Prizes are 1st Place – 2 tickets Section 102 (lower level) Row 2 to the Colorado Avalanche @ Minnesota Wild Game on Sunday, April 2nd at 5:00 p.m. 2nd Place – 2 tickets Section 124 (lower level) Row R to the Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves Game on Saturday, April 1st at 7:00 p.m. 3rd Place – 2 tickets Legends Club K Row 2 (lower level) to the Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins Game on Sunday, May 7th at 1:10 p.m. The drawing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Purchaser must be 18 years of age or older. Ticket prices are $10 each or three for $25.

    Tickets for the Gala are $45 and can be purchased at Appleton Area Health Services; from any AAHS Foundation Board member or AAHS manager by February 27th Tickets are $45. We hope to see you there!

  • $5,755 raised on Give to the Max Day

    The AAHS Foundation is very grateful to those who donated on Give to the Max day and would like to thank generous givers for helping us raise $5,755! These gifts will be designated to the dialysis unit fund.

    Information on

    GiveMN launched in 2009 as a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make Minnesota a better place.

    To generate excitement, they organized a little something called Give to the Max Day. That spark touched off a blast of online giving — $14 million in 24 hours. Since that trial run in 2009, Give to the Max Day has become an annual tradition. Every year thousands of organizations raise money to improve the quality of life in Minnesota and communities around the world. This year’s total raised: $20,149,492.17!

    GiveMN is more than a one-day giving extravaganza the website is available year-round to link people with nonprofits and schools to make giving soar.

  • Clinic Open in Benson!


    AAHS Benson Clinic opened its doors on November 8, 2016. Staff members were excited to open and felt welcome by community members. Open hours are Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to Noon with a provider, nurse and lab technician on staff. CEO, Jeff Cook stated, “We decided to open a clinic in Benson because people were requesting an alternative to ACMC clinic. They would leave Benson to find care in Glenwood, Morris or Willmar. Now they have a choice to stay in town.”

    At the clinic patients can expect to receive Primary Care, Laboratory services, and EKG. Basic labs will be done on site; those that can’t be processed there will be brought to either the lab in Benson Hospital Appleton Hospital or a reference lab. X-rays will be done at the Swift County-Benson Hospital. If hospitalization is needed it will be the patient’s choice to go to AAHS or SCBH, however if a patient is in acute need for hospitalization they will be admitted to SCBH. If a referral to a specialist is needed several options will be presented by the provider and a referral of their choice is made.

    Dr. Kabatay, Dr. Chakravorty, Dr. Bajwa and Ketura Isidor PA-C along with their team are ready to meet or exceed your expectations. Stay close to home with AAHS Benson Clinic, we’re here for you!

    To make an appointment call AAHS at 320-289-1580.

    Pictured below is the front entrance, an exam room and the laboratory.




  • Keep our Community Healthy – Get your Flu Shot!

    Appleton Area Health Services will be holding a Walk-In Flu Shot Clinic on Wednesday, October 19 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Cost is $35.

    Why get vaccinated?
    Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. The flu strikes suddenly and can last several days.

    Symptoms vary by age, but can include:
    • Fever/chills
    • Sore throat
    • Muscle aches
    • Fatigue
    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Runny or stuff nose

    The flu can also lead to pneumonia and blood infections, and cause diarrhea and seizures in children. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lunch disease, the flu can make it worse. The flu is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk. Each year thousands of people in the United States die from the flu, and many more are hospitalized.

    Flu vaccine can:
    • Keep you from getting the flu
    • Make the flu less severe if you do get it
    • Keep you from spreading the flu to your family and other people

    If you would like more information please call the clinic at 320-289-1580.

  • Excellence Award Received in Clinic



    The Minnesota Health Action Group (The Action Group) announced today that Appleton Area Health Services Clinic is among 276 Minnesota and border state clinics that were recently recognized for improving care delivery and outcomes for patients with diabetes, vascular disease and depression as part of the 2016 Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program and the Quality Incentive Payment System, a State of Minnesota pay-for-performance program that is administered by The Action Group.
    Minnesota Bridges to Excellence and the Quality Incentive Payment System also recognize clinics for improvement in these key conditions. These clinics have improved patient outcomes by at least 10 percentage points in the last year, but did not meet the achievement goal. Appleton Area Health Services Clinic was recognized for meeting the improvement goal for Optimal Vascular Care.
    Established by the Minnesota Health Action Group in 2006, the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program uses publicly reported outcomes data to identify clinics that meet or exceed optimal care standards for a specified percentage of patients with diabetes, vascular disease and depression.
    “Clinics that receive rewards are doing an exceptional job in caring for their patients, and we applaud them for their commitment and results,” said Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of The Action Group. “Our aspiration is for all Minnesotans to receive the right care, at the right time and at the right price. This can only be achieved through genuine collaboration on behalf of providers, patients, purchasers, and other community stakeholders.”
    To be eligible for a reward, clinics must have a certain percentage of patients at optimal levels of care or significantly increase the number over the previous year. Performance goals are set each year by the Minnesota Health Action Group and the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Champions of Change, a group of organizations that sponsor the pay-for-performance program and who fund the rewards. This year’s Champions include Best Buy, Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative, State of Minnesota-State Employee Group Insurance Plan, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the University of Minnesota, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
    More information about Minnesota Bridges to Excellence, along with a complete list of reward recipients, can be found at

  • Community Appreciation BBQ

    Community Appreciation Mark your calendars for a free community event on Wednesday, September 7th from 4p-7p at Riverside park. Everyone is invited – community members, customers, businesses and vendors! AAHS staff members will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, watermelon and cookies. There will be music playing on the outside sound system and kids can enjoy an inflatable bouncy house. The first 50 guests who want to play frisbee golf will receive a free AAHS/City of Appleton red disc. There will also be prize drawings throughout the evening for those who are present.