Having been near my death bed for the past three weeks with the flu, I can say with total honesty that I’ve never appreciated the medical community more in Winona than I do right now. When you think about why people love Winona, it’s easy to envision our beautiful bluffs and artsy music scene and world-class theater and picturesque downtown… but I’ve had an epiphany that things like the services in a community form the underpinning of what turns a town from nice to truly great.
Winona Health is an independent outfit that has bloomed into a state-of-the-art medical campus that rivals anything operated by Gunderson or Mayo or Fairview. It’s not just the jewel of a facility on Mankato Avenue with a three-story view of the bluffs that makes Winona Health shine. It’s that the medical community there is comprehensive, responsive and completely accessible, and there is something greatly comforting about knowing that a well-trained person is right down the street ready to take care of me and my family at any hour of the day or night. I *loved* that while I was sick I left a message to talk to a nurse about the medicine the doctor had prescribed, and she called me back in five minutes. I mean seriously, when you feel like you’re dying, nothing makes you feel loved like that. She had to go talk to someone to answer my question, and I had a call back in ten minutes. And it’s not like this was a family doctor who knew me, this was Winona Health’s Urgent Care, and any stranger could walk in there and get the same kind of care. How cool is that?
And when you’re looking for something a little more alternative than traditional medicine, Winona has that too, and even people from the Twin Cities are surprised that we have something a lot of them don’t.
Jade’s Community Acupuncture has rounded out the symphony of medical services available in Winona with a community-based model that is filling Jade Fang’s chairs with doctors and farmers and housewives and grandmas, and, of course, me. I never saw myself as someone who would have needles sticking out of me on purpose, but heck, even doctors will recommend it so I figured it was worth a try. Acupuncture has been helping people for 5,000 years, but what makes Jade’s special is that hers is a community model that charges customers only what they can afford. Jade isn’t getting rich charging $15 to $35 for a treatment, but she is giving something to this community that makes it unique and healthier and better than a lot of other places, and for that we are grateful. Even better, if you are a visitor to Winona, you can just walk in for a treatment most times, but I’ll warn you, it will make you want to come back.
It seems to me that there are lots of communities out there that are pretty and fun to visit, but coming to a place with all that charm and the sophistication of high end medical services too sets Winona apart, in my humble opinion. We are more than just a pretty face folks, we are the kind of town you can take home to meet mom too.