HAWAII OR BUST
After serving Minneota and its surrounding communities for the past 11 years, Dr. Stephanie Vlaminck and her family will be moving to Hawaii.
Her final day with patients will be Aug. 18.
"I have been very fortunate that so many people entrusted me with their care," Dr. Vlaminck said.
Based on the average weekly number, Dr. Vlaminck has had around 45,000 patient visits over her 11 years.
Vlaminck, her husband John Koons, and their children, Tate Koons, 7; and Blake Koons, 6; will leave Minneota for a family weekend in the Twin Cities after closing on their house and then fly to Hawaii on Aug. 23.
"I will be working for the Island Family Chiropractic group in Hawaii," Dr. Vlaminck noted. "John is working to secure a position in maintenance with Pepsi."
Fixen Chiropractic, currently located in Marshall, will also take over operations the Minneota facility.
"We communicated over several months and both agreed (Quentin Fixen's) group is a good fit for Minneota," said Dr. Vlaminck. Fixen Chiropractic has three excellent chiropractors."
One of those three is Minneota native Kim Fier, who performs acupuncture in addition to being a chiropractor."I'm excited acupuncture will still be offered," Dr. Vlaminck stated. "I'm also really happy to be leaving my patients in good hands."
The decision to leave a community she and her family have been so fond of was not an easy one.
"Our decision to leave was multi-factorial," said Dr. Vlaminck. "When we chose to sell the house and practice, we opted to move to the Crosby-Ironton area because John graduated from there and his parents and sister still live in the area. Between having family in the area and it being another beautiful part of the state, it made the most sense to move there."
But their plans changed a few months ago, strictly by coincidence ... and the willingness to take a risk.
"A colleague that I went to school with started chatting with me about a job becoming available within the practice group they work for," Dr. Vlaminck explained. "Before I could protest, I was being interviewed and offered a position."
The family debated the option for hours without coming to a conclusion.
"Finally, we discussed the worse-case scenarios and decided moving to Hawaii is a risk worth taking, despite it having the downside of putting major distance between us and our loved ones," Dr. Vlamnick said.
Naturally, there is some nervousness and apprehension about making such a move.
"I've never even been to Hawaii," Dr. Vlaminck remarked. "We are all nervous about the move. I'm most nervous about ensuring my kids acclimate to everything as much as possible."
Dr. Vlaminck has not only been an asset as a chiropractor for many years here, but she also has been a vital contributor for many causes, such as fundraising for the surface repair of the swimming pool and has been a member of the Minneota EDA committee. the GMT Women of Today, Dollars for Scholars and more.
When asked what she and her family will miss most about Minneota, Dr. Vlaminck quickly responded "That's an easy one. Hands down, I'm going to miss the people in Minneota and the surrounding communities. I have developed so many friendships and putting distance between us weighs heavily on me.
"Thankfully, the world is smaller than it used to be and with the help of social media and technology, I hope to maintain my relationships. Hawaii is only a plane ride away. Give us time to scope out the island and become locals, then come visit."
And Dr. Vlaminck leaves open the option of returning.
"If the scenery isn't pretty enough, we'll come back," she joked. "At the end of the day, this adventure has great potential for our little party of four, so we are going for it."