Otter Tail County departments recognized for good work by state

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County human services and county public health employees, along with private organizations, were recognized Feb. 11 by the State of Minnesota. From left are Nicole Burrows, Lake Region Heathcare; Bob Johnson, Productive Alternatives; County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom; Anne Schloegel, Minnesota Dept. of Health; retired County Health Director Diane Thorson; current County Health Director Jody Lien; and Rolf Hage, Minnesota Dept. of Human Services. (Photo by Tom Hintgen / Otter Tail County Correspondent)

FERGUS FALLS -- The Otter Tail County human services and health departments were commended by the state for successfully implementing technology initiatives associated with the Otter Tail County Community Collaborative.

Representatives of the Minnesota Departments of Human Services and Health addressed county board members on Feb. 11.

“County employees, through their efforts, have increased the effectiveness of care coordination,” said Rolf Hage, representing the state Department of Human Services.

Hage praised county leadership, including at the health department (retired director Diane Thorson, current director Jody Lien, and Jon Fransen) and human services department (director Deb Sjostrom and Melanie Courrier).

“Without their leadership and vision, there would not have been significant progress in the expansion of health information technology both in clinical settings and for long-term services and supports,” Hage said.


He added that grants have allowed the Otter Tail County Community Collaborative to further common goals.

The collaborative, led by county health and human services, also includes Lake Region Healthcare, LB Homes, Pioneer Care, Lakeland Mental Health Center, Productive Alternatives and Community Behavioral Heath Hospital.

“Otter Tail County employees are recognized not only statewide but also nationally for efforts in standards and technology,” Hage added.

Certificates of appreciation were presented Feb. 11 to Otter Tail employees, from the state of Minnesota.

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Community Behavioral Heath Hospital, on the west side of Fergus Falls, is a short-term acute psychiatric hospital and member of the Otter Tail County Community Collaborative. (Photo by Tom Hintgen / Otter Tail County Correspondent)

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