Welia Health—the new name for FirstLight Health System

The new name arrives as it celebrates the completion of the Mora campus expansion

From a list of three hundred plus contenders, FirstLight has chosen a new name: Welia Health. The new name coincides with the completion of a major campus renovation in Mora, MN, including updates to the birthing center, adult and child physical therapy, emergency department relocation, new inpatient area and the remodeling of surgery, imaging, and infusion areas—all designed to enhance the overall patient experience.

“The staff could not be happier,” says Randy Ulseth, CEO of Welia Health. “The name helps us communicate who we are, but also the direction we are moving in healthcare.”

Chosen by a team of board members, physicians, staff and community leaders using an extensive naming process, Welia Health was selected for many reasons. Welia Health includes ideas like welcome and wellness and well-being. With its simple construction, Welia Health is approachable and easy to say. In Gaelic (the source language for Irish and Scottish), Welia means “to see”—which is ideal for healthcare. Ulseth also commented, he also sought out a short, clear and contemporary word that could signal the organization’s ability to provide innovative care and lead change. Welia Health met that threshold.

“There is so much meaning packed into the five letters of our new name, it really becomes a coat hook,” says Randy. “We have an amazing place to hang the staff’s experience, compassion, knowledge and welcome that defines what they do every single day for every single patient. The hospital and clinics have a stellar record of care and caring—and we are continually raising the bar —so our new shorthand for what we can call these good things is Welia Health.”

One of the StarTribune Top Workplaces for seven years running, with leading benchmarks in health metrics (recognized in 2019 for excellence in quality and safety by the Minnesota Hospital Association), attracting top care teams (in 2019, a pharmacist became one of two in the world to hold Pharmacotherapy, Oncology, and Infectious Disease Board Certifications), and developing innovative partnerships like Kanabec county’s first year-round community wellness center, Welia Health is already renowned in the communities it serves. This reputation allows Welia Health to continue to attract providers in family medicine and specialty areas while improving care in remarkable ways.

About Welia Health

Welia Health (formerly FirstLight Health System) provides primary and secondary medical services to East Central Minnesota as a self-sustaining, county-owned critical access hospital and clinic system. Its flagship hospital and clinic facility is in Mora, with two other campuses in Pine City and Hinckley. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission and a long-standing wellness partner within the communities it serves, Welia Health is a teaching site for Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) students, it precepts Physician Assistant (PA) and Nurse Practitioner (NP) students, and its pharmacists serve as adjunct faculty for the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy. Welia Health employs a workforce of over 500 employees, including a wide range of providers and specialists.

In year 2018, the hospital’s volume of service included: 1,259 inpatient admissions, 2,887 surgeries, 11,062 emergency department visits, 69,055 clinic care visits, and 209 births. Medical students are welcomed for clinical educational experience in certified assistant, nursing, laboratory, radiology, health information, and nurse anesthetist programs.