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Bemidji Pioneer Business Briefs for September 23

Sanford Bemidji welcomes Potratz

BEMIDJI –Lee Potratz recently joined Sanford Bemidji Orthopedic Clinic as a physician assistant specializing in orthopedic medicine.

Potratz will be working in the orthopedic clinic at 3807 Greenleaf Ave. NW, with Drs. Terrance Johnson and Jason Caron and physician assistant Lacey Langerak. He will also work out of the main clinic at 1233 34th St. NW, with Dr. Patrick Moriarty and Langerak.

Potratz has been in the Bemidji area for nine years. He comes to Sanford from Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he worked as a physician assistant in orthopedics.

In his role as an orthopedic clinician, Potratz did clinic evaluations and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries, follow-up care of orthopedic patients and assisted with orthopedic surgical cases.

He received his Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree in 2010 from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D.

Prior to becoming a physician assistant, he worked as a certified athletic trainer and has worked in various settings, including secondary schools, medical clinics and collegiate athletics.


Locals receive LSS Spirit Awards

Four Bemidji area employees have received the Spirit Award from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

The award honors employees who demonstrate outstanding commitment and dedication to the LSS vision and mission.

This year, 68 of the 2,300 employees at LSS were selected to receive the award. The Bemidji-area honorees are: Roxanne Lindquist in Guardianship Options, Dawn Rivera in Senior Nutrition and Laurie Hamilton and Grace Watkins in Personal Support Services, who provide support to people with disabilities.

“LSS staff who win the coveted LSS Spirit Award are nominated by their peers and supervisors,” said Jodi Harpstead, LSS president and CEO. “With this award, we appreciate and recognize their outstanding commitment to the people we serve and their spirit of generosity. I am delighted to be their colleague in this organization that is grounded in compassion and competence.”

Spirit Award winners were honored and recognized Aug. 22 at an awards luncheon at Salem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota reaches 100,000 Minnesotans each year. Through a wide range of services statewide, LSS seeks to provide safe and supportive homes for children, counseling to restore health and wellness in families, community living for people with disabilities, and options that help senior citizens develop independence.



WSN welcomes Emily Schirmer

BEMIDJI – Emily Schirmer has joined the marketing department of Widseth Smith Nolting.

She received a bachelor of arts in communication and leadership, with an emphasis in graphic design and journalism, from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D.

At UND, Schirmer led the event-planning process for the annual communication banquet and excelled in numerous graphic design and writing projects, such as creating the UND Communication Program logo and developing program proposals.

As marketing coordinator, Schirmer’s responsibilities include researching and writing technical articles and news releases, graphic design, photography, copywriting for advertising collateral, and developing proposals and presentations for all eight WSN offices.

Widseth Smith Nolting employs 180 professionals providing engineering, architectural, land surveying and environmental services. Its offices are located in Bemidji, Alexandria, Baxter/Brainerd, Crookston, East Grand Forks, Red Wing, Rochester and Grand Forks.