WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Hats off to local care givers

     People in the area have always thought highly of their local health care providers and facilities. Dr. Andy Kopperud and the Sanford Westbrook Medical Center have received two prestigious awards.

    Dr. Kopperud was honored by the Minnesota Hospital Association annual awards. Seventeen awards were given for extraordinary achievement in categories ranging from innovation and patient care. Dr. Kopperud was selected as Care Giver of the Year by the organization.

    Also the Sanford Westbrook Medical Center was recognized by the National Rural Health Association as one of four facilities in Minnesota to receive ďBest Practice DesignationĒ. Sanford Tracy Medical Center also was named in the same category.

    Well our hospital in Westbrook, despite being the  smallest hospital in the state of Minnesota, can  be extremely proud of receiving both awards. These people have a tough job to do, but they do it with high regard to their patients. When you see these folks say thank you! They well deserve it!

Lazy days of summer?

    Not so much anymore. When I was growing up (to use the term lightly) in Kasson, MN from seventh grade through my junior year, when  I got out for summer vacation I spent most of the time outdoors. Whether it was hiking, biking, swimming or just hanging out, about the only time I was indoors was for  supper and bedtime.

    I along with a few of my friends, were active in Boy Scouts, so  we often went on unsupervised camp outs near a creek two or three miles out of town. We would pack our food, if you want to call it that, then we would either ride our bikes or hike to an area the scouts could use. I donít know, life seemed a lot simpler back then. Yes we had some organized things that we did, but there were no sporting camps or anything like that. Now it seems my grandchildren are involved in a plethora of activities all summer long. Baseball, hockey, volleyball, and a host of other  camps to  hone ones skills.

    It seems to me kids just donít have any time to find their own adventures to use their imagination to do things that were not pre-approved by their parents.

    Yes I sometimes long for those days, but now even I am spoiled with an air conditioned atmosphere almost everywhere we go. One thing that seems not to have changed much ó Junk food, only thing different is there are tons of options when it comes to finding junk food. I sometimes wonder where that is taking us. On one hand our children are growing much taller, but many of us, after adolescence, begin going down a less healthy life style. One of the next health care crises will be diabetes. There are millions of obese people that are on the road to developing the disease, and many of them already have pre-diabetes and donít know it.

    On the other hand there are a lot of young people that are looking at living a healthier life style and are very aware of their diet and fitness condition.

    Well as usual I got sidetracked with this column so I will end by saying  I want my summers  back!