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New nurse practitioner brings diabetes care expertise

Riverwood Healthcare Center welcomes Melissa Magnuson, adult and geriatric nurse practitioner, to its family practice staff. She brings16 years of nursing experience and eight years of managing Riverwood’s diabetes education program to her new role.
 

Over the past eight years, Magnuson has not only provided individual and group counseling to diabetes patients but coordinated monthly diabetes support groups and community outreach via numerous community health seminars on diabetes topics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor.

“Diabetes affects millions of people and it is critical that individuals living with this disease receive the education that they need to manage it effectively,” Magnuson explains.  “It has been a privilege developing the diabetes education program and I look forward to its continued growth under the direction of Lisa Kuklis, registered/licensed dietitian at Riverwood.”  

Previously, she worked as a registered nurse atUnitedHospitalinSt. Paulwhere she worked in the telemetry medical/surgical units and labor and delivery. In addition to working in inpatient and outpatient settings there, she also provided diabetes education. With a passion for teaching, she has been an instructor for theCollegeofSt. Scholasticanursing program for the past three years.

“Diabetes is one of the more common diseases that we see in our patients at Riverwood, and its incidence is increasing. Having someone with Melissa’s expertise in how to manage diabetes is a key component in improving our diabetic outcomes,” says Dr. Mark Heggem, Chief Medical Officer at Riverwood. “Her upbeat attitude and dedication to empowering patients to live well with diabetes and other chronic diseases is a tremendous asset as well.”

Magnuson earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from theCollegeofSt. ScholasticainDuluth. Her professional interests include diabetes, chronic disease management and older adult care.

“I believe in caring for the whole individual, engaging the patient in all aspects of his/her health,” Magnuson says.  “We all need to take responsibility for our own well-being while receiving the proper guidance and support from our healthcare system.”

Magnuson lives in Aitkin with her husband, Scott and daughters Sophia,13, andLydia, 12.  Outside of work, she enjoys fitness activities, dance and spending time with her family and friends.

Melissa Magnuson sees patients at Riverwood’s Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor clinics. For an appointment with her, call (218) 927-2157 or toll-free at (888) 270-1882.

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