The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 4, 2013

Our View: Holiday Lights lit up the winter


— Thumbs up

Sanford reaches out to Native Americans

To Sanford Health, the largest rural nonprofit hospital system, for hiring two traditional Native American healers to advise its medical staff and offer training on how better to serve American Indian patients in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The healers won’t be conducting healing ceremonies but will be developing training and curriculum about the Native American culture that may assist the traditional medical professionals in their treatment of those patients. The healers may also advise when a traditional ceremony may be necessary.

The Sanford group will establish the program as part of a three-year, $12 million grant from the federal government’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They will hire Lakota/Dakota and Ojibwe personnel to act as consultants in the program.

Some of the blending of Indian medicine with traditional medicine is related to spiritual beliefs. In some cases, for example, women who must have a C-section birth may want to be blessed by a traditional medicine man first.

The effort a bridging cultures and understanding traditional beliefs about medicine can be a significant healing factor in and of itself. Sanford is doing something that may indeed improve outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Thumbs up

Good to see competition in House race

To real competition in the District 19A House legislative race. In what was a cakewalk for the DFL in Minnesota House 19A last election, now is wide open race with a special election, the date of which has yet to be announced.

DFL Rep. Terry Morrow, after winning with no opposition in the 2012 election, announced he was leaving to take a job in Chicago. Morrow was a pretty entrenched legislator in a district with much of Nicollet County, including St. Peter, North Mankato and Nicollet. Since his announcement, six candidates — three DFL, one Independence and two Republicans — have thrown their hats in the ring.

This speaks well for the people of District 19A who will have a choice amid the competition for representation. Competition can bring out the best and worst of a candidate giving voters better opportunity to choose who they want representing their interests. 

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