Community Conversation gets people talking about mental health

About 200 people gathered Oct. 12 at Stillwater Middle School for the Make It OK Community Conversation. Make It OK is a campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness. The event included Minnesota Public Radio presenter John Moe, who hosted the first season of the "Hilarious World of Depression" podcasts earlier this year sponsored by HealthPartners and Make It OK. Moe said he continues to hear from listeners who find inspiration from the comedians who have dealt with depression.

"What I always try to tell people is, 'You have the power to actually do something about this mental health crisis in America, and that is to have a conversation,'" Moe told the audience. "These are tough times that we live in, but you can do something about it. You can talk. So tonight, tomorrow - talk to someone, ask them how they are doing; tell them how you are doing." The free event was made possible with sponsorship by the Stillwater Area Foundation. It was the St. Croix Valley's second Community Conversation. The first was held at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson in March.

Red Cross calls for blood donors before the holiday season

With the busy holiday season approaching, the American Red Cross encourages donors to give blood to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this winter. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, many regular donors delay giving due to holiday activities and travel, decreasing the amount of donated blood available for patients, according to a news release.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

• Hudson Middle School - 4 to 8 p.m., Nov. 1

• St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Red Wing - 1 to 7 p.m., Nov. 2

• St. Croix County Services Center, New Richmond - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 7

Community invited to meet Hudson Hospital & Clinic's new president

The community is invited to meet Tom Borowski, the new president of Hudson Hospital & Clinic, at a community open house 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the hospital conference center. Refreshments will be provided and no registration is required. Borowski was CEO of the Waseca and New Prague Medical Centers, part of Mayo Clinic Health System's Southwest Minnesota Region. His 20-plus years of health care leadership experience includes physician collaboration, building high performing teams, executing strategies, organizational development and community engagement, according to a news release.

Unused medicines to be collected Oct. 27-28 in Hudson

Hudson Hospital & Clinic is partnering with the Hudson Police Department to take part in Wisconsin Drug Take Back Day this Friday, Oct. 27. Community members can turn in unused medications near the hospital information desk between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hudson Police will hold a second event the following day, Saturday, Oct. 28 at Family Fresh in Hudson from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items that can be accepted include:

• Prescription medicines - controlled and uncontrolled

• Over-the-counter products

• Ointments and creams

• Patches

• Non-aerosol sprays and inhalers

• Pet medications

To find out more about Wisconsin's Drug Take Back Day, visit

Programs for Change returns to hospital campus

Programs for Change - Hudson Hospital & Clinic's alcohol and substance abuse recovery program - will move back to the hospital campus, 405 Stageline Road, on Monday, Nov. 6. For nearly three decades, Programs for Change has provided recovery and counseling services to residents in Hudson and surrounding communities; and since 2008, these services were located at 901 Dominion Drive. Integrating Programs for Change on the hospital campus with other hospital and clinic services will provide clients with easier access to supportive care such as internal medicine, psychiatry and the Well-Being Center, according to a news release. For more information visit or call 715-531-6755.

Lighter U classes to start in Hudson

YMCA in Hudson will offer two Lighter U weight-management classes next month at Catalyst Sports Medicine, 1830 Hanley Road, Hudson. The classes will meet Thursday from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. beginning Nov. 2 and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. beginning Nov. 7.

"The YMCA Lighter U class has helped me lose more than 25 pounds to date, and still going," said John Knutson, president and CEO of Catalyst Sports Medicine, in a news release. "The 12-week class is easy and informative, giving me the tools to succeed with my personal health goals."

The price for Lighter U is $249 for YMCA members and $299 for nonmembers. To register, visit the YMCA website or stop by the Y at 2211 Vine Street in Hudson.

River Falls immunization clinics

Pierce County Public Health will hold an immunization clinic next month in River Falls from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 1234 South Wasson Lane, Suite A. The clinic is for children through 18 years of age who are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, American Indian or Alaska Native or have insurance without vaccine coverage. Some adult vaccinations also are available for a fee. For more information or to make an appointment, call the health department at 715-273-6755.