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Business Briefs for Oct. 14

Hoff of Balaton is one of 34 people selected for the statewide training for Partners in Policymaking

Chosen from a statewide pool of applicants, Balaton resident Elizabeth Hoff has been accepted into the eight-month Minnesota Partners in Policymaking leadership training, which starts this fall.

Participants include adults with disabilities and parents raising children with developmental disabilities. Hoff has two children with a progressive disorder, primarily affecting their skeletal system, vision and heart. It is a rare form of dwarfism. Both children have had multiple orthopedic surgeries and completed a clinical trial in 2012 for weekly enzyme replacements. They have continued with enzyme treatments and other therapies but when the insurance company denied coverage of those treatments for one of the girls, Hoff realized she needed to learn advocacy skills.

She wants her children to advocate for themselves and now is the perfect time for them to learn from her example.

“My children bring me great joy. They are very kindhearted and loving and show great compassion to others. They are my heroes,” she said.

Partners in Policymaking was created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

“The goal is to develop leaders statewide to partner with school systems, medical and business communities so all individuals with disabilities are supported as they become self-confident, independent and contributing citizens across the state,” said Dr. Colleen Wieck, executive director of the Governor’s Council.

The Governor’s Council introduced the program in 1987, and, through expansion to other states and countries, Partners has trained more than 27,000 people worldwide.

Parr to retire

Avera Marshall congratulates Dr. Terence Parr, geriatrics/palliative care/hospice, on his retirement. His last day will be Thursday.

Dr. Parr has been with Avera since 2008 and was one of the first physicians to join Avera Medical Group Marshall. His full medical career spans 41 years. After earning his medical degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif., he spent 20 years practicing in Oregon. He then relocated to Minnesota where he practiced in Hendricks before joining Avera.

During his time at Avera Marshall, Dr. Parr was part of the first team of physicians to provide 24/7 onsite physician coverage in the Emergency Department. He was instrumental in developing palliative care services, played a significant role in developing formalized geriatrics services and held the medical director role for Avera Morningside Heights. He also championed the launch of home care and hospice services through Avera@Home Southwest Minnesota and has been the medical director for these services. Serving as a regional resource, he was also the medical director for Sunrise Manor in Tyler, Divine Providence Health Center in Ivanhoe and Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton.

“We appreciate the foundational role Dr. Parr played in the building of our medical group. We value and honor his commitment to ensuring people with serious illness, life-limiting conditions and age-related health concerns have access to quality care that meets their individual needs. That passion was a driving force behind the development of our palliative care, hospice and geriatrics programs that are making a difference in the lives of people across our region today,” said Mary Maertens, regional president and CEO. “We wish him all the best in retirement.”

Dr. Parr shares his gratitude for his colleagues, patients and families.

“I’m grateful to all of the patients and families who allowed me to be a part of their health care experiences. And I’ve enjoyed being part of the growth of Avera Marshall during my time here. It’s been especially rewarding to collaborate around enhancing services for seniors and those with serious illness,” he said. “Now it’s time for me to retire. I’m looking forward to spending more time with family and pursuing some of my favorite pastimes.”

Avera Marshall’s geriatrics and palliative care teams will continue the work that Dr. Parr helped to build. Maria J. Hoertz, DO, MPH, family medicine/geriatrics, will join Avera Medical Group Marshall in December and will assume a number of Dr. Parr’s responsibilities.

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