Best Hospitals & Healthcare Profiles


    How do you choose the best quality hospital or healthcare clinic for your needs? Not only is it important to find a hospital or clinic that has invested in cutting-edge technology and performs well (statistically) against the national average, it’s also important to judge the environment. According to Forbes magazine, the environment can speak to pride in the facility and a healthy work environment, both of which may help lead to better patient experiences and health outcomes. A rare few excel in everything: Quality, safety, environment, and patient satisfaction. In the following pages, see which local hospitals and healthcare clinics make the grade.

    Park Nicollet Foundation

    In a world with a population of nearly 7 billion people, it’s hard to think that the individual actions of one person can make a difference. But they can. Mother Teresa was only one person, as was Ghandi. Nelson Mandela is only one person, as is Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett.

    One person can make all the difference in the world, and one foundation can make all the difference in 50 different Twin Cities area communities.

    The foundation is the Park Nicollet Foundation, and it’s not your typical hospital foundation. While it is part of Park Nicollet Health Services—an integrated care system that includes Methodist Hospital, Park Nicollet Clinic, and Park Nicollet Institute—the programs it supports are not solely programs within the hospital and clinics. Instead, the Foundation meets community needs ranging from eating disorders to cancer, from health care for babies and school-age children to the complex needs of a growing senior population.

    “Park Nicollet Foundation goes beyond raising funds and hosting galas,” says Mick Johnson, Foundation president. “We take direction from the community based on what they need and develop meaningful relationships to provide support. It’s not about the money, it’s about building healthy communities.”

    For 37 years, the Foundation has been changing lives by not only treating and preventing disease, but also by enabling everyone in the community to maintain a high quality of life. Over the years, they have invested millions of dollars—exclusively through philanthropy—into thousands of programs that provide grief support, promote literacy, offer rehabilitation services for stroke survivors and their families, work to reduce the risk of child abuse, help those with diabetes and eating disorders, mentor disadvantaged youth, offer emergency financial assistance for those with cancer and their families, improve the quality of life for seniors, and provide medical, dental, and mental health services to uninsured, under-insured, homeless and low-income school-aged kids. And that’s just a sampling of the programs the not-for-profit healthcare organization supports.

    “We are part of people’s everyday lives,” says Johnson. “Park Nicollet is of and for the community.”

    The work of the Foundation has a ripple effect in the community, spreading outward by protecting and promoting health for people of all ages, all ethnicities, all walks of life. As President John F. Kennedy once said: “No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is made better off. A rising tide raises all boats.”

    For more information, please visit

    Park Nicollet’s tradition of caring will continue when Mick Johnson retires and Christa Getchell takes the helm as Foundation president in 2011.

    Park Nicollet Foundation
    6500 Excelsior Blvd.
    St. Louis Park, MN 55426



    The Vein Center of St. Paul Radiology

    Nature can be cruel sometimes. Just ask anyone with bulging varicosities or spider veins. Nearly 40 million Americans (mostly women) suffer from varicose or spider veins.

    In some cases, it’s a purely cosmetic issue, and in others, the veins can be painful. Regardless of the type of vein disease, the staff at the Vein Center of St. Paul Radiology in Eagan wants people to realize they don’t have to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in shorts anymore — there are quick and painless procedures available to treat problematic veins.

    “One of our patients was in her 70s and had been living with vein disease for 30 years,” says Dr. Timothy C. Goertzen, an interventional radiologist at the Vein Center. “Once she had the procedure done, she wondered, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?'”

    Varicose and spider veins develop when tiny valves in the vein fail as a result of age, pregnancy, obesity, heredity, or standing occupations.

    The board-certified physicians at the Vein Center are the region’s leading specialists in the comprehensive management of vein and artery disorders. The fact that other vein center doctors refer patients to them speaks volumes about their reputation, as does the fact that they are a national training center.

    They treat over 500 patients a year, who are either referred by their primary care physician or take matters into their own hands and call the clinic directly without a referral. They will then come in for a consultation, during which time they’ll receive a detailed venous ultrasound exam.

    “We pinpoint the source of the problem and tailor a treatment plan for each patient, taking the time to listen to their concerns,” Dr. Goertzen says. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, he explains, because “every patient is unique.”

    The Vein Center offers the best of both worlds: The state-of-the-art technology of a hospital setting combined with the convenience and efficiency of an outpatient clinic. Once a procedure is determined, patients return to the Vein Center for treatment and any follow-up care.

    The knowledgeable staff members love what they do and it shows. They’re not only experts in the field, they treat patients with compassion and respect and go to bat for them when necessary (such as calling the patients’ insurance companies for pre-certification and acting as their advocates).

    “We’re all dedicated to the treatment of vein disease,” Dr. Goertzen comments. “This job is so rewarding. The patients are extremely appreciative. When our patients undergo treatment, they feel we performed some sort of miracle.”

    Vein Center of St. Paul Radiology
    1185 Town Centre Drive, Suite 125
    Eagan, MN 55123


    Midwest Weight Control

    Anyone who has struggled to lose weight knows that it’s not all about willpower, metabolism, or counting calories.

    “In order to successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy weight long-term, a person needs to address multiple issues, some of which can be deep-seeded,” says Patty Lucas-Hadaway, program director at Midwest Weight Control. “These include looking at attitudes about eating and physical activity, as well as learning how to make changes to what and how much a person eats. It’s a lifelong journey.”

    Sometimes just starting the journey can feel overwhelming, which is where Midwest Weight Control comes in. Founded in 2001 as a medical weight management health care service for overweight and obese patients, the goal at Midwest Weight Control is to help patients lose weight and provide the skills and support for maintaining a healthy weight long-term.

    Several medically supervised programs are offered—directed by a physician, nurse practitioner, registered dieticians, behaviorists, and fitness trainers—including Fast Trak (for those with 40 or more pounds to lose) and Take Action (a moderate version of Fast Trak). The programs are individualized and include a one-year maintenance program.

    “Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight,” says Lucas-Hadaway. “It takes a lot of practice and self-discovery and we’re here to provide support and keep our patients on track. We’re here for them for the long haul.”

    Locations in
    Woodbury – 763-416-2280,
    Maple Grove – 763-416-2280, and
    St. Cloud – 320-258-5040



    Kovanda Plastic Surgery

    When searching for a plastic surgeon, you deserve to find someone who is specialized in what you’re looking for, not someone trained in another specialty who practices plastic surgery on the side. “It’s important to do your homework and make sure they are board-certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in the specialty you are choosing,” says Dr. Chris Kovanda of Kovanda Plastic Surgery. “Board certification ensures the surgeon has achieved a certain standard of competence in their field.”

    Dr. Kovanda is double-certified in general and plastic surgery and is a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons—a prestigious membership granted to only a small fraction of board-certified plastic surgeons. He went to medical school in Michigan, completed a surgery internship in Illinois, completed five years of general surgery (including the responsibility of chief resident) in Connecticut, then went to Minnesota for the past decade, dividing his time between three area hospitals and offices.

    “When I saw my first plastic surgery in medical school —a facial bone reconstruction after an assault —I knew what an impact it had in that particular patient’s life and I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he comments. “Plastic surgery changes peoples lives for the better. Whether it’s reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, our specialty has the unique privilege of restoring people’s bodies and spirits.”

    Kovanda Plastic Surgery
    9325 Upland Lane N., Suite 205
    Maple Grove, MN 55369

    Southdale Medical Building
    6545 France Ave So., suite 276
    Edina, MN 55435