Burgardt, Wallner Receive Eagle Award

Congratulations to Kathryn Burgardt, FNP-C, with Trinity Health’s Pediatric department, and Ashley Wallner, FNP-C, with Trinity Health’s Neurosurgery department, who were recently awarded the Eagle Award from the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce.

“She goes above and beyond to get to the bottoms of my children’s illnesses,” the nomination letter for Burgardt read. “Specifically on Wednesday, February 8, she gave my son a very thorough exam and got him prescribed the medications he needed. She is always very thorough and listens patiently to all of our concerns.”

“Unequivocally, Ashley is responsible for improving my life in a major way. She went far beyond what any health care professional has ever done for me up to this point, and I can’t thank her enough,” the letter for Wallner said. “What she has done is the reason that these Eagle Awards exist, and I can’t think of any other experience I’ve had where someone is more deserving of this great award.”

Receiving the Eagle Award is validation of the employee’s pursing of the mission of Trinity Health, which values exceeding professional quality standards and customer expectations.


Step Away from the Light

Do you remember being a child and sitting close to the television, only to have your mom or dad yell at your to back up?

Times have changed. Now, instead of the television, mobile devices are the main subject of concern.

Throughout the day, you probably look at your cellphone often. Perhaps it’s to check an email or to show a friend a funny video. Maybe you use a table to binge-watch your favorite Netflix show or play a game you just can’t put down.

You may spend hours staring at a device each day, and you are not alone.

According to statistics from the Vision Council, an optical trade organization, nearly 90 percent of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day. Seventy percent of Americans use two or more devices at a time.

Digital eyestrain is an increasingly common issue for youth and adults, and it can lead to short-term and even long-term issues. Symptoms include neck/shoulder/back pain, headache, blurred vision and dry eyes. The Vision Council says 65 percent of Americans report symptoms of digital eyestrain.

“There is a lot of discussion recently regarding the blue light that is emitted by screens and how that can potentially be harmful to the eyes,” says Brad Schimke, OD, an optometrist with Trinity Health. The blue light in digital devices contains a very short wavelength, producing a higher amount of energy. Studies suggest that, over time, exposure to the blue end of the light spectrum could cause serious long-term damage to your eyes.

Schimke says eyestrain can happen whether a mobile device is involved or not. “Normal eyestrain from extended periods of reading, paperwork or studying can come from reduced blinking that can lead to some dry eye symptoms,” Schimke says. “Focusing on one distance for an extended period of time cause some headache or eyestrain.”

Using a mobile device can cause the same symptoms, he says, but the brightness from the screen makes it easier to look at, further reducing the blink rate and adding to more dry eye symptoms.

Soothing the Strain

IF you must spend much of the day looking at a screen, there are some measures you can take to protect your eyes.

For one, Schimke says, lens coatings are available for glasses. “For some people, those coatings can seem to make a nice improvement symptomatically,” he says.

Artificial tears can be of significant benefit as well, he adds. “Using the tears before you start working on a screen, during the time on the screen and after you are done can all help they eyes feel better,” he says. “I generally recommend staying away from any of the ‘redness reliever’ drops and just using lubricating artificial tears that are available over the counter.”

Another solution which might help prevent the damage of long-term exposure to blue light is a filter that can be applied to lens. Anyone who wears glasses, from babies to older adults, can benefit, says Stephanie Stripe, COA/ABO-C, optical sales manager at Vision Galleria, the retail outlet located at Trinity Regional Eyecare-Minot Center.

Protection again the blue light UV rays is important because long-term problems include harmful effects on the lens, macula and retina.

Setting Limits

To combat an abundance of blue light UV exposure, Schimke says the best option is to “put the device down.” He recommends adopting what is called the “20/20/20 rule” to help alleviate the strain. Every 20 minutes, Schimke recommends looking away from your screen for 20 to 30 seconds and focusing on something at at least 20 feet away. This alleviates the “locked-in” focusing system that can contribute to the strain.

The rule is important for kids, too, who “love to hold the device very close to their face, and that can increase the focusing demand and the brightness coming off the screen.”

When you can’t look away, Schimke says, there are other options. “Some screens now have a ‘night’ setting that looks a bit more yellowed and can be more comfortable for some,” he says.

“I’d love it if folks could go anywhere from one to two hours of no screen time before they go to bed at night,” he says. “It’s been shown that exposure to the blue  light from a screen can affect one’s ability to fall asleep. So, when our teenagers won’t put the phone down and then wonder why they can’t fall asleep at night, these issue may be directly related.”

Vision Galleria has two locations: in Minot, at Plaza 16, 2815 16th St SW, and in Williston, at Trinity Community Clinic- Western Dakota, 1321 W Dakota Parkway.

Speech Therapy Treatment for Patients with Parkinson’s

A form of speech therapy to benefit patients with Parkinson’s disease is available at Trinity Homes.

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program was developed n the late 1980s to improve communication for people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, says Elaina Tande, a speech language pathologist with Trinity Health who is certified to perform this form of speech therapy.

Parkinson’s disease, a long-term disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system, can have many effects on a person’s speech. These include reduced loudness, hoarse vocal quality, monotone speech, imprecise articulation and vocal tremors, Tande says.

“The treatment benefits vocal loudness, quality and intelligibility, allowing people to say they ‘feel like my voice is alive again,’” she adds.

The treatment is intensive, requiring the patient to attend speech therapy four times a week for four weeks. The patient must also complete home activities to supplement therapy activities. Each clinic session is approximately an hour, with home practice of 15 to 30 minutes per day.

Trinity Health’s Speech Therapy department is based at Trinity Hospital-St. Joseph’s, 407 3rd St S.E. in Minot. To participate in this treatment, or for more information about speech therapy, please call 701-857-5514.

Get SmartSoc: an Easier Way to Fit Patients with Orthoses

Cora Moberg is a bright-eyed 7-1/2 month old girl from Tioga. She was also born with torticollis. “A tight neck muscle,” her mother, Beth, explained. It caused her to favor one side, particularly the left side, so she would always look to the left, causing the back part of the left side of her head to be flat.

To help remedy her torticollis, her parents, Beth and Bryan Moberg, brought Cora to KeyCare Medical to be fitted with a cranial remolding orthoses, or a helmet. The process of fitting an infant with a helmet was a daunting task. Kim Urban-Koppy, a certified orthotist with KeyCare Medical, explained that a previous method included making a cast of the child’s head.

“It was quite a challenge,” Urban-Koppy said. “It was quite messy and it was stressful – for the child and the parents.”

The cast would harden and Urban-Koppy would then take it apart, in pieces. The process, from start to finish, took 45 minutes.

Now, the task is quite easier with something new to KeyCare Medical: SmartSoc 3D Capturing System, which makes it easier and quicker to fit an infant with a helmet. With SmartSoc, the patient wears what looks like a bonnet. They then have stickers placed on the top of their head, their ears, between the eyes and at the tip of their nose; these are used as landmarks for the scanner to read. Images are then taken and sent electronically to Orthomerica and a helmet is then designed, constructed and sent.

“Scanning took a minute and a half. It was simple,” Beth said. With the scanner, a child’s head is measured in one to two minutes.

Cora came in for her first scan in mid-to-late February and about two weeks later, the helmet was sent to KeyCare Medical. In addition to being quicker, Urban-Koppy noted that the process will be “more accurate, too.” Statistics show the scanner is 99.99 percent accurate, Urban-Koppy noted. “There’s not much room for failure.”

Helmets are typically used for patients with plagiocephaly, a condition characterized by an asymmetrical distortion – a flattening of one side – of the skull, or brachycephaly, a condition where the head is wider than it is longer. These patients are fit by Urban-Koppy around six months of age, depending on the infant’s size.

“The older they are, the less change we will get,” she said. “The changes we influence include the head gets rounder, and the flat areas will fit in.”

Cora is expected to wear the helmet for about four to five months. For the first few days, she will wear the helmet occasionally – an hour on, an hour off – until eventually, she will wear the helmet for twenty-three of twenty-four hours a day.

KeyCare Medical is located at 530 20th Avenue SW, Minot. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on cranial remolding orthoses, please call 857-7370.

Organ Donations-Give Life

Organ donation has been proven to save or heal lives and last year, it helped more patients.

LifeSource, the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, and parts of western Wisconsin, reported that 2016 was its most impactful year. Through the efforts of 179 people who were organ donors, 587 people benefited from these donations.

The number of patients who were healed or saved by organ donation was up by 19 percent from the 2015 numbers. Four patients from Trinity Health were organ donors; their donations helped save 15 lives.

“In addition, there were multiple lives healed from eight tissue donors and sight restored to countless others from 20 eye donors,” said Jody Fischer, hospital liaison with LifeSource.

There are currently over 123,000 people on the waiting list nationally; of those, approximately 3,500 are from the LifeSource Region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“In North Dakota, 68 percent of adults are registered donors and one organ and tissue donor can help save or heal up to 75 lives!” Fischer said, noting that recent innovations in the use of tissue grafts has increased the number of patients that can be saved or healed through tissue donation.

April is National Donate Life Month, an important time set aside to honor those who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation, celebrate the successes of transplantation, and encourage more people to register as organ and tissue donors.

At Trinity Health, there is a strategic plan and guidelines followed to try and meet as many organ and tissue donations as possible.

“When a patient meets criteria for organ/tissue donation, we call our state’s organ procurement service, LifeSource, and relay information regarding the patient’s condition prior to death,” said Lorrie Antos, RN, BSN, director of Trinity Health’s Critical Care and Women’s and Children’s Services. “LifeSource personnel then determines if the patient may or may not be a potential donor.” If the patient does meet criteria for donation, LifeSource will reach out to the family to discuss the donation process.

If the patient has requested to be a donor or the family wishes to offer donation, LifeSource will then come into the hospital and start the donation process, Antos added.

Making your intentions known is as easy as a notation on your driver’s license – the commonly accepted legal expression of your wish to donate. However, it is wise to share your decision with family members to ensure that they will support and honor your choice.

Antos noted the importance of registering yourself on the donor list if you have the overall intention of donating your organs after death. “Often times, one of our biggest challenges is the patient has stated they wanted to be a donor, but don’t officially register,” Antos said. Having “Organ Donor” on your driver’s license is the most recognized form, nationally, of being on the organ donor registry, Antos added, noting that taking this simple step makes it easier for your family to make the decision.

If you are considering organ donation, perhaps you’ve wondered about ethical or religious viewpoints. Most major religions support organ donation as a noble and compassionate act. Other religions view donations as a matter of personal choice. (The viewpoints of many religious organizations are available at www.organdonation.org.)

Every person waiting for an organ transplant is registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). When a family gives its permission for organ donation, UNOS runs a computerized list of potential recipients in order to find a match. Organs are distributed based on factors such as medical urgency, compatible blood and tissue type, body size, and the length of time on the waiting list. All of the expenses related to organ donation are covered by LifeSource and passed on to the recipient and their insurer.

Organ donation is a gift that saves and enhances the lives of many. Make a commitment to be a donor and share those wishes with your family.

If you are interested in learning more about organ donation, call the LifeSource central office at 1-888-5DONATE, or go online: www.lifesource.org.

Roasted Dijon Broccoli


  • One bunch of broccoli florets
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • One tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • One clove garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place broccoli on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over broccoli and toss to coat. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.


HPV-Head and Neck Cancer on the Rise

The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. While most strains of types of HPV are not harmful to people, there are strong reasons to take precautions.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the same types of HPV that infect the genital areas can also infect the mouth and throat; this is called “oral HPV” and some types can cause cancers of the head and neck area.

What is head and neck cancer?

Oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer makes up a small number of cancers. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health says that cancers of the head and neck account for 3 percent of cancer in the United States. Head and neck cancer include cancers that start in the tissues and organs of the head and neck, including the larynx (voice box), throat, lips, mouth, nose, and/or salivary glands, the National Cancer Institute says.

“On the average, about 63,000 people per year are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and about 13,000 die from it every year,” said Robert Thomas, MD, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist with Trinity Health.

In 2016, it was estimated that 61,760 people – 45,330 men and 16,430 women – would develop head and neck cancer. It was also estimated there would be 13,190 people – 9,800 men and 3,390 women – who would die from head and neck cancer.

Who can get head and neck cancer?

There are two very different subsets of patients that get head and neck cancer, Thomas said.

The “classic kind” of head and neck cancer is HPV-negative, which means that risk factors such as smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and having poor dental hygiene caused it, Thomas said, noting that this form tends to occur with older patients. Cigarettes and alcohol cause damage to the lining of the throat, lining of the mouth and voice box. “There are mechanisms that tell the cells when they need to stop – to die – and if those parts of the cells get damaged from these toxins in tobacco and alcohol, they don’t receive that signal, and it turns into a cell that doesn’t die. It continues to grow and divide; that’s what cancer is,” Thomas said.

The “new kind” of head and neck cancer is something “we are seeing more frequently,” he said. HPV-associated head and neck cancer is caused by risk factors such as the number of sexual partners a person has and use of marijuana.

The number of head and neck cancers related to HPV has increased over the years, Thomas noted.“In 1985, only 16 percent of head and neck cancers were associated with HPV. The remainder were tobacco related,” he said. “In 2005, the number of HPV related head and neck cancers had risen to 72 percent.”

Furthermore, studies show that by 2025, it is estimated that 90 percent of head and neck cancers will be HPV-positive.

HPV tends to cause tonsil and base of tongue cancer, Thomas said. (According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is also associated with: cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in females; penile cancer in males; and anal and throat cancer in male and females.)

HPV infections tend to happen when a person is in their teenage years and into college-age, Thomas said. “We see HPV-associated head and neck cancer in young patients,” Thomas said. “The peak is 35 to 55 years old, whereas with non-HPV, it’s older than that – in the sixties, or so.”

The risk of getting HPV-related cancer goes up with the number of sexual partners a person has, Thomas said, noting the risk is lower when there are less than five. “If you’ve had more than 20 sexual partners, your risk is around 30 percent of having a type of HPV that causes cancer.”

More men than women – a ratio of 3 to 1 – tend to get HPV-related head and neck cancer, Thomas said. “We think it’s because women are getting vaccinations more than men, and women get HPV infections in their cervix and get immunity, whereas men don’t.”

There are two main kinds of HPV – types 16 and 18 – that cause cancer; type 16 is the main cause of head and neck cancer.

Prevention and Treatment

Signs to look for include a mass in the tonsil or neck, pain in the tonsil, bleeding from the tonsil, trouble swallowing, or pain swallowing, Thomas said.If you present any of these signs, Thomas recommends that you see your primary care doctor.

“The symptoms are non-specific, and there are other things that can cause these symptoms. The doctor may send the patient to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist if there is concern,” he said. “We’re always happy to see people who have any concerns. In our clinic, we can use our scope to determine if there is anything concerning that would warn a biopsy or further treatment.”

Prevention for the HPV viruses that cause head and neck cancer are available in the form of vaccines:

• Gardasil – protects against four kinds of HPV, types 6, 11, 16, and 18;

• Gardasil 9 – protects against the four kinds of HPV in Gardasil plus an additional five kinds that have been linked to cancer.

Thomas strongly suggests parents get HPV vaccinations for their children, regardless of gender. “It is a true cancer vaccine and will protect them in the future from getting this kind of cancer,” he said. “Early detection and quick treatment for this type of cancer is the best way to insure that it is cured.”

Vaccines, which can be given by your primary care doctor, are typically recommended for children and teenagers, as they haven’t been exposed to the virus yet, Thomas said. There is still ongoing research to determine if HPV vaccines have a role in older patients who may have already been exposed to the virus.

If you have questions or concerns regarding head or neck cancer, please contact Mark Noel, DO; Robert Thomas, MD; or Robert Fischer, MD, Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists with Trinity Health, at 857-5986. Their office is located at Health Center – West, Suite 203, 101-3rd Avenue SW, Minot.

Trinity Health Receives “Above and Beyond Award”

Trinity Health has received the “Above and Beyond Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR), an office of the US Defense Department. The award recognizes employers at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees. It is one of three of ESGR’s employer recognition awards given in limited numbers by state committees.

Trinity Health was nominated for the award by Ashley King, an athletic trainer with Trinity Health and a sergeant in the State Medical Detachment of the North Dakota Army National Guard. King nominated the organization after her recent activation to the protest in Cannon Ball. “I feel I have 100 percent support from my supervisor and co-workers about the oath I took to defend our state and country,” says King. “I also feel like I have wonderful job security, which is a huge weight off my shoulders when I am required to leave for different reasons.”

King also nominated her supervisor, Trinity Health Sports Medicine Manager Robyn Gust, MS, ATC, for the “Patriot Award” for her support during King’s deployment. Gust says receiving the award is “an honor and very humbling.”

The awards were presented by ESGR State Chair Robert O. “Bob” Wefald at a recognition ceremony on Tuesday at Trinity Health. “Truly, Ashley is the one who goes above and beyond, not just for Trinity, but for our country,” says Trinity Health President and CEO John M. Kutch. “We are incredibly grateful for this award, and we will continue to support our military employees and their families in any way that we can.”

Gust isn’t the only Trinity Health associate to receive the Patriot Award. Trinity Health Speech Therapy Manager Chelsie Haaland, MS, CCC-SLP, was recognized with the award last year for her support during an employee’s mobilization.

April is Autism Awareness Month



Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 out of 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States and the prevalence figures are growing.  Red flags that your child may be at risk for an autism spectrum disorder Include:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

There is no medical cure for autism, however there are many valuable treatment options that are effective for treating some of the symptoms of autism and are more effective the earlier in the child’s life they are implemented.  Trinity Health offers pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services to address concern areas often displayed by children with autism.

Contact 857-5286 for further information regarding therapies provided through Trinity Health.

Krystal Butgereit, MOT, OTR/L

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
Ready in 30 min. Serves 5



  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 cup (192 g) green lentils, well rinsed


  • 1.5 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion (55 g),
  • minced (plus more for serving)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, plus more to
  • taste
  • optional: pinch smoked or regular
  • paprika
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

1. To a small saucepan, add liquid and rinsed lentils and heat over
medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer
and cook uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until tender. The water
should have a constant simmer (not boil). Drain off any excess liquid
and set aside.

2. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot,
add oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt
and pepper and stir to combine. Sautè for 4-5 minutes, stirring
frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly
browned. Next add tomato sauce, sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili
powder, cumin, and paprika (optional). Stir to combine.

3. Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the skillet as well, and stir to
combine. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until
completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally – about
5-10 minutes.

4. Serve the mixture on toasted buns with sliced onion. Best when fresh, though leftover sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop, adding water if the mixture has dried out.
Nutrition: Serving Size: ¼ recipe; Calories: 329; Protein: 15 g; Fat: 8 g;
Carbohydrates: 54 g; Fiber: 13 g; Sodium: 272 mg