People and Places – December 2011

  Robins, Mustangs are repeat champions in adapted soccer The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs and Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka Robins are the winners of adapted […]

Generic Article graphic with Access Press logo


Robins, Mustangs are repeat champions in adapted soccer

The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs and Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka Robins are the winners of adapted soccer state tournament titles. This was the second straight Cognitive Impairments (CI) title for the Mustangs, while the Robins won their fourth straight title in the Physical Impairments (PI) division. Stillwater Area High School hosted the tournament. 

In the CI division, Anoka-Hennepin defeated St. Cloud Area 3-2. For third place honors, Park Center topped Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville 5-2. The fifth place game was won by Dakota United, which defeated South Suburban 12-4. 

The defending champions from Anoka-Hennepin were the top seed in the North Division this year.

Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee was the top seed in the South Division. Four quarterfinal games were played Nov. 18. The Mustangs defeated Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville in the first round, while

Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee was knocked out by Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville (6-3-0).

In other first round action Park Center (7-2-0) topped Dakota United (8-1-0) and St. Cloud Area (8-1-0) defeated South Suburban (5-4-1). In the PI division, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka defeated Anoka-Hennepin 3-0 to win the state title. Dakota United defeated Park Center 4-3 in overtime for third place honors. South Suburban defeated Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville 8-3 for fifth place.

The Robins were the top-seeded team in the North Division, going into the tournament. The South Suburban Flyers were the South Division’s top seed. The Robins knocked out Minneapolis South in the first round. In other first round action Dakota United (6-1- 1) defeated Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville (4-4-0), Park Center (4-3-1) beat St. Paul Humboldt (3-5-0) and Anoka-Hennepin (5-4-0) beat South Suburban (7-0-1). South Suburban teams are from the Richfield, Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Edina schools.

Records shown behind each school name reflect pre-state tournament season records. Teams play in sections to reach the state tournaments. Two state consolation champs were also crowned.

In the CI division, Dakota United defeated the South Suburban Jets, 12-4. In the PI division, the South Suburban Flyers beat Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville, 8-3.

Minnesota State High School League adapted soccer is played indoors and has its own set of rules.

Gymnasium walls determine the size of the field. The ball can be played off the walls. The ball itself is a felt-covered indoor soccer ball, inflated so that it won’t bounce as high as a regular soccer ball.

Teams consist of no more than seven players, including a goalkeeper, who, incidentally, cannot throw the ball past half court. In the PI Division every team with a full complement of players must field a minimum of two wheelchair players. Wheelchair pushers are not allowed.

Two halves of 20 minutes of running time are played. If necessary in tournament play, a 10-minute running-time “sudden victory” period is played; followed, if necessary, by four-player shootouts until a winner is determined.

The ball may be moved the best way for each participant. The abilities of the athlete dictate whether feet or hands can be used. One or the other can be used by an individual, but never both hands and feet, with the exception of goalkeepers. Intentional trapping of the ball beneath a wheelchair is prohibited. Running is prohibited in the PI Division. But there are no restrictions on the speed of wheelchair players.



FBI honors PACER Center

PACER Center’s anti-bullying efforts have won recognition from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Minneapolis office FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald E. Oswald presented the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award to PACER Center and its National Bullying Prevention Center in November, thanking PACER for “addressing America’s most alarming and violent trends against children.”

Oswald presented the prestigious award to Paula F. Goldberg, PACER’s executive director, and Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, at PACER Center. The official award trophy will be presented by FBI Director Robert Mueller, III in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2012.

“Each year, the FBI is proud to recognize a champion from our community which has had a tremendous impact on the community through the reduction of crime or improving the quality of life,” Oswald said.

Since 1990, the Director’s Community Leadership Award has been presented by the FBI. It is a way of recognizing individuals and organizations which have made extraordinary contributions to crime prevention, violence prevention or education in the community.

“PACER Center without a doubt fits all three categories,” Oswald said.

Oswald cited PACER’s work since 1978 on behalf of parents and children to address the stigma of disabilities, as well as its programs for families of children with disabilities. PACER’s programs have gained local, national, and international attention, with an estimated 1.3 million visitors reaching out to PACER’s bullying prevention website this year. More than 3 million visitors have used PACER’s website this year in search of information, training, and solutions to parenting and children’s issues, including people from more than 80 countries.

He also praised PACER’s bullying prevention efforts through its National Bullying Prevention Center (, as well its websites for children: and TeensAgainst PACER’s work has provided a way for kids and teens to learn how to handle, report, and eliminate bullying, he said. One example of the teen website’s impact came through an e-mail to PACER from a young person who was planning to commit suicide, but did not after finding the website.

“Pacer Center continues to organize events to bring awareness to a crime that seldom gets the attention it deserves,” Oswald said. “Bullying, whether it is committed in person or conducted on the Internet – is unacceptable.”

Oswald honored Goldberg for her “persistence, guidance, and vision” in addressing bullying, and recognized Hertzog for the day-to-day management of the bullying prevention program. “We know your program is making a difference, and we commend you for it,” Oswald said.

Each of the FBI’s field offices annually recommends to the FBI Director one person or organization deemed worthy of this prestigious award. The Minneapolis FBI Division represents Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.


HCMC housekeeper honored

Few housekeepers are credited with saving a life, but according to one patient, that is exactly what Louise Lewis of Hennepin County Medical Center was able to do. For her exemplary actions, Lewis was named one of only five national CARES awards at Sodexo’s annual healthcare meeting in October in Orlando. The CARES awards recognize employees each year who embody the company values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Service.

Lewis was honored for her compassion toward an HCMC patient. After a major heart attack and losing one of her legs, the patient often would lay in her hospital bed, motionless and quiet, with thoughts of letting go and giving up. Attempts to snap a depression that seemed to have taken hold were not having an impact. Through each day, Lewis spoke to her and offered words of encouragement as she made sure the room was cleaned and sanitized. Day after day, even though the patient would not respond, Lewis refused to give up. Then, one day the patient began to speak to her.

The patient said, “It was not my mother’s words or my doctor’s words that inspired me to get out of bed and back into life. It was the inspirational words from Louise that truly made the difference. There are many people that lay in these beds who never make it out, but because of Louise’s caring words of encouragement, I will be healthy again. The doctors did all that they could do, but it was truly Louise’s words that gave me the will to carry on. Louise was Heavensent!”


New travel support program introduced

MedSafe Travel, based in Buffalo, is introducing a unique travel support program for seniors and adults with disabilities who would feel more comfortable traveling with a full-time senior travel specialist or a personal companion. MedSafe is offering one-week, all-inclusive senior group trips to Cancun, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, to escape the hard winter months.

“Travel can be a rewarding experience, but many people, including my own father, become intimidated by it as they age,” said Mark Austin, MedSafe Travel CEO and founder. “We worry about the things that can prevent you from enjoying your trip so you don’t have to.”

MedSafe Travel has partnered with Prairie River Home Care, an established, family-owned, Medicare-certified home health care provider, to offer companions and even nurses when needed for a successful travel experience. Combined services include free safe travel planning assessments; caregivers for assistance with packing and unpacking, airport check-ins, baggage handling, transportation, medications, personal grooming, meals, social activities and sightseeing and full-time senior travel specialists for group trips. At the destination there will be local Cancun ground transportation, tour assistance and an on-call medical director.

A video documentary of each trip will be provided featuring daily highlights for long-lasting memories. The company also offers respite travel for caregivers and their loved ones.


Six clinics certified as Health Care Homes

Six of Hennepin County Medical Center’s primary care clinics are now certified as health care homes. A Health Care Home or a medical home is a patient and family centered way of providing coordinated primary care for all patients, especially those with chronic and complex conditions. Locally, the concept of Health Care Homes was introduced as part of Minnesota’s health reform legislation in 2008, and they are also part of a national initiative to ultimately improve the health of the population, the patient/ consumer experience, and the affordability of health care.

HCMC’s certified Health Care Home clinics include East Lake Street Clinic, the downtown Pediatric Clinic, Richfield Clinic, Positive Care Clinic, Aqui Para Ti, and the Coordinated Care Clinic. These clinics met the series of requirements that included continuous access, care coordination, care planning, registry and quality improvement.

Care coordinators are essential to Health Care Homes. At HCMC, this role is performed by both community health workers and registered nurses, depending upon the complexity of care coordination needs. These care coordinators work closely with patients and families to manage all aspects of care, and are key partners on the patient’s health team.

Health Care Home patients are invited to actively participate in their care, specifically in care planning and goal setting with their primary care provider and care coordinator. “While HCMC has always valued and encouraged patient participation, this program certification demonstrates our commitment to working side by side with our patients to address all of their health care needs and goals,” said HCMC CEO Art Gonzalez. “We strive for patient-centered care for all of our patients, and this approach helped us pave our way to providing care in our Health Care Home clinics.” HCMC is committed to certifying all of its primary care clinics as health care homes.


  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Many former refugees are helping to make Minnesota a better place for all. Learn how at
Take the Minnesota Disability Inclusion and Choice Survey