Category Archives: Press Releases

Welia Health, new name selected for FirstLight Health System- August 2019

Welia Health—the new name for FirstLight Health System

The new name arrives as it celebrates the completion of the Mora campus expansion

 Mora, MN- 8/21/2019

 From a list of three hundred plus contenders, FirstLight has chosen a new name: Welia Health. The new name coincides with the completion of a major campus renovation in Mora, MN, including updates to the birthing center, adult and child physical therapy, emergency department relocation, new inpatient area and the remodeling of surgery, imaging and infusion areas—all designed to enhance the overall patient experience.

“The staff could not be happier,” says Randy Ulseth, CEO of Welia Health. “The name helps us communicate who we are, but also the direction we are moving in healthcare.”

Chosen by a team of board members, physicians, staff and community leaders using an extensive naming process, Welia Health was selected for many reasons. Welia Health includes ideas like welcome and wellness and well-being. With its simple construction, Welia Health is approachable and easy to say. In Gaelic (the source language for Irish and Scottish), Welia means “to see”—which is ideal for healthcare. Ulseth also commented, he also sought out a short, clear and contemporary word that could signal the organization’s ability to provide innovative care and lead change. Welia Health met that threshold.

“There is so much meaning packed into the five letters of our new name, it really becomes a coat hook,” says Randy. “We have an amazing place to hang the staff’s experience, compassion, knowledge and welcome that defines what they do every single day for every single patient. The hospital and clinics have a stellar record of care and caring—and we are continually raising the bar —so our new shorthand for what we can call these good things is Welia Health.”

One of the StarTribune Top Workplaces for seven years running, with leading benchmarks in health metrics (recognized in 2019 for excellence in quality and safety by the Minnesota Hospital Association), attracting top care teams (in 2019, a pharmacist became one of two in the world to hold Pharmacotherapy, Oncology, and Infectious Disease Board Certifications), and developing innovative partnerships like Kanabec county’s first year-round community wellness center, Welia Health is already renowned in the communities it serves. This reputation allows Welia Health to continue to attract providers in family medicine and specialty areas while improving care in remarkable ways.

For more details about Welia Health and the new name, follow Welia Health on Facebook or go to

Beth Good, DNP, APRN, PMHCNS-BC resigns from FirstLight: July 2019

July 23, 2019


As many of you may have heard by now, I am writing this letter to inform you that I have resigned from FirstLight Health System. My last day of clinic will be Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

I have continually worked towards integrating behavioral health care into the primary care setting, all of which started through my doctorate project in 2011. Behavioral health integration has always been a passion of mine and I am leaning forward to pursue other personal and professional career goals.

The following local psychiatry resources will be best able to help you with your mental health (or psychiatry) needs. All of them have providers in whom I trust with your care:

• Cambridge Medical Center

• Kanabec County Family Services
320-679-6350 or 877-289-5495

• Nystrom & Associates, LTD

It has brought me great joy for the past seven years to have worked with you and I appreciate your willingness and continued effort in working towards your health care goals, wishing you the very best in your continued life journey.

During this transition, keep in mind, scheduling timely appointments for psychiatric mental health can sometimes be difficult. If you find yourself in that situation, your primary care provider at FirstLight can be an additional resource. Please feel free to call 320-679-1313 and ask to speak with Jessica Stokes, RN, as she can also be a resource.

Kindest regards,


FirstLight Eye Clinic Move -July/August 2019

As we prepare for our eye clinic to move next week; we have some important information to share:

Monday (July 29th) – Optical services only available at the downtown FirstLight location.

Tuesday (July 30th) – Closed

Wednesday (July 31st) – Closed

Thursday (August 1st) and beyond – First patient day on the FirstLight Mora campus

Please continue to call 320-679-2020 for your eye care needs.

FirstLight recognized by MHA for excellence: July 2019

FirstLight Health System recognized by Minnesota Hospital Association for excellence in quality and patient safety

Mora, MN – July 10, 2019 – FirstLight Health System has been recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for superior performance in quality and patient safety as part of MHA’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN). MHA is one of 16 national, regional or state organizations selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to participate in HIIN. All 123 hospitals in MHA’s HIIN are working to reduce overall patient harm by 20 percent and 30-day hospital re-admissions by 12 percent.
To earn this recognition, FirstLight Health System has been a leader in quality improvement in the MHA HIIN. FirstLight invested resources to report on at least 75 percent of process measures, met HIIN reduction goals on 70 percent of eligible outcome measures and implemented patient and family engagement efforts.
Over the past year, FirstLight focused on three major areas of the HIIN outcomes: preventing pressure injuries, fall prevention and improved care transitions resulting in FirstLight surpassing the baseline 70 percent goal set from MHA. Education was presented to the team members about the topics. Safe mobility, improved discharge instructions and hospital follow-up processes were implemented helping patients to recover at home more quickly and safely.

“FirstLight has demonstrated a commitment to strengthening patient safety in Minnesota, contributing to our state’s well-deserved reputation for high-quality health care,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, MHA’s chief medical officer. “Working in partnership, care team members from hospitals and health systems across the state are improving health outcomes for our patients, families and communities.”

“Our team has worked hard to ensure the best practices are implemented which has resulted in FirstLight exceeding MHA’s goal for outcome measures; ultimately allowing us to continue to provide safe health care in east central Minnesota,” comments Ellen Ryan, MSN, RN, Chief Quality Officer.

For more information about quality and patient safety efforts at Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems, visit:

July 4, 2019 Holiday hours for all locations

Happy 4th of July!  Below are the hours for our locations for the holiday weekend.

Thursday, July 4, 2019:


  • Hospital: OPEN 24
  • Emergency Department: OPEN 24
  • Clinic: CLOSED
  • Same Day: CLOSED
  • Community Pharmacy:  CLOSED
  • Eye Clinic:  CLOSED


  • Clinic:  CLOSED
  • Urgency Services: OPEN, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Community Pharmacy:  CLOSED


  • Clinic:  CLOSED

Friday, July 5 – Sunday July 7th, 2019 regular business hours as published