Central Wisconsin

New program gives direct access to physical therapy

Now people in the Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital and Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital service areas do not need a referral to see a physical therapist as Ministry Health Care pilots its new direct access program.

The pilot program allows patients to schedule appointments for physical therapy in a hospital setting without having to see a physician first.

“We understand from our patients that sometimes this added expense of a required physician visit can be a deterrent to getting the therapy they need,” said Steve Seiberling, DPT, director of rehabilitation at Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital. “Even though a referral is not required for the visit, the patient’s information will still be sent to his or her primary care provider to ensure good continuity of care.”

Patients need to check with insurers

However, it is important that people check with their insurance companies prior to an appointment to see if direct access physical therapy is covered by their policy. Direct access is not yet available for Medicare / Medicaid patients.

Physical therapy as a first stop

"During the initial visit, we look at the overall movement ability and location of the patient’s pain," said Dennis Kaster, director of rehabilitation at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point. "If we can help, we start therapy; if the problem is beyond the scope of physical therapy services, we refer the patient to the appropriate provider for further treatment."

Ministry Saint Michael’s Physical Therapy program in Stevens Point has won the Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes Excellence Award for the second year in a row. The first year it rated in the top 10 percent for positive patient outcomes; this year, it ranked in the top 7 percent.

"In general, 98 percent of our patients would recommend our physical therapy services to family and friends,” said Kaster. “This does not mean that everyone leaves our department at 100 percent, but they know that we have done the best for them that we could and they are as mobile, independent and as pain free as possible."

To see if direct access is an option for you, please call 715.346.5190 in Stevens Point or 715.644.6181 in Stanley.

Family Medicine Physician Joins Ministry Medical Group in Weston

Ministry Health Care is pleased to welcome Family Medicine Specialist, Helen Luce, DO, to Ministry Medical Group’s Weston Clinic, located on the campus of the Weston Regional Medical Center at 3301 Cranberry Boulevard in Weston, Wisconsin.

Board certified in family medicine, Dr. Luce joins Ministry Medical Group after spending the last 5 years as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Family Medicine program in Wausau.

“I believe the physician-patient partnership is the foundation of high-quality health care,” said Dr. Luce. “This relationship is built on trust, mutual respect and shared decision making.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, Dr. Luce earned her degree in osteopathic medicine from Des Moines University - College of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Des Moines, Iowa. She completed her family medicine residency at Munson Medical Center, Traverse City, Michigan.

Dr. Luce enjoys treating a large range of conditions – from acute illness and injury to wellness care. She has a special interest in women’s health, including prenatal care. Dr. Luce also provides osteopathic manipulation to treat certain musculoskeletal conditions and headaches.

Dr. Luce enjoys family time with her husband and two sons as well as baking, gardening, reading and traveling.

Dr. Luce joins family medicine specialists Steven Fontanini, DO; Janet Gilbert, MD; and Robin Henley, DO; in providing primary care services in Weston.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Ministry Medical Group in Weston at 715.393.3900 or visit ministryhealth.org.

Ministry Medical Group in Merrill welcomes Kenechi Anuligo, MD, and Robert Sedlacek, MD

Dr. Anuligo and Dr. Sedlacek join internal medicine and pediatric specialist Mark Gaulke, MD, and family medicine specialist Dionna Pendleton, MD, as part of the Ministry Medical Group primary care clinic in Merrill.

Kenechi Anuligo, MD, specializes in family medicine and provides a full spectrum of care for people of all ages.

“I believe in delivering health information to patients in a way they can understand in a timely fashion,” said Anuligo. “I am also open to new ideas and value friendliness and listening to each patient’s wants and needs.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree at The University of Southern California, Dr. Anuligo earned his medical degree at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Saint Maarten. He recently completed his family practice residency at The University of Wisconsin Family Residency Program in Wausau.

An avid musician who plays five instruments, Dr. Anuligo also enjoys the outdoors especially running, downhill skiing, biking and kayaking. He and his wife Shelleye have a 10-year old daughter Maya. “I am thrilled to stay in the area after completing my residency; our family has come to love the people, the outdoors and the peace and quiet it brings,” added Dr. Anuligo.

Robert Sedlacek, MD, specializes in family medicine and provides a full spectrum of care for people of all ages. He has particular interest in prenatal care and chronic disease management.

“I believe in treating the whole person and getting to know my patients, their families and the communities they live in,” said Sedlacek.

After completing his bachelor’s degree from The University of Illinois Chicago, Dr. Sedlacek earned his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and recently completed the Family Medicine Residency Program at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois.

Ministry Medical Group’s Primary Care Clinic in Merrill is located on the fourth floor of Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center at 601 South Center Avenue, Merrill. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about Ministry Medical Group in Merrill, please call 715.539.2350 or visit ministryhealth.org.

Ministry Medical Group welcomes Christopher (Kit) Swiecki, MD to the Stevens Point surgical department

Ministry Health Care is pleased to welcome Christopher (Kit) Swiecki, MD, to Ministry Medical Group Department of Surgery located at 900 Illinois Avenue in Stevens Point. Dr. Swiecki joins surgeons Jay Rusek, MD; Calvin Selwyn, MD; and Marc Young, MD.

Dr. Swiecki started his career as a General Surgeon in the United States Army and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, and his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

He has particular interest in laparoscopy, endoscopy, breast cancer treatment, and complex hernia reconstruction.

“Open communication with my patients and their families has always been paramount,” said Dr. Swiecki. “Together we discuss options, risks and benefits to surgery.”

Dr. Swiecki enjoys coaching his kids’ soccer teams, running and spending time with his family on RV trips.

For more information, please call 715.342.7765.

Amber Kitzman, PA-C will also join Ministry Medical Group’s department of surgery in Stevens Point

Kitzman received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants.

“I believe knowledge is an important aspect to wellness,” said Kitzman. “I like to take my time to talk to my patients; I value their thoughts, opinions and preferences.”

Kitzman has special interests in general surgery and preventative medicine.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends and her dogs; a yellow lab named Moose and a black lab named Boo. She is a proud Stevens Point native.

For more information, please call 715.346.5000.

Home medical equipment store opens in Stevens Point

In its mission to keep people independent and living in their homes as long as possible, Ministry Home Care Plus has opened a store that sells home medical equipment. The team has provided home delivery for more than 10 years, and is adding this option for those who are looking to compare options independently.

The retail outlet, located at 5009 Coye Drive in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At this location, individuals can consult with experts as they select from a variety of equipment that can enhance mobility and create a safer and more comfortable home environment.

Ministry Home Care Plus understands that home is the best place to be. For more information about the items available through Ministry Home Care Plus, call 715.343.5440.

It’s flu season… Don’t forget!

Fast Facts about the flu

  • Name: Influenza A or B is an extremely contagious respiratory illness.
  • Type: The flu is a virus; antiviral medications may help; antibiotics will not cure the flu.
  • Symptoms: The flu can cause coughing, headache, chest discomfort, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and weakness.
  • Progression: The flu can lead to more life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia.

There’s still time to get your flu vaccination!

Contact your health care provider or visit ministryhealth.org to find a flu vaccination site near you.

For the most up-to-date information about the flu, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or visit ministryhealth.org.

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