Western Wisconsin

Western Wisconsin

Blue Distinction means better results for patients

Saint Joseph’s Hospital (SJH) in Marshfield earned the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® designation from the BlueCross BlueShield Association for expertise in delivering high quality care for both knee and hip replacement, and spine surgery.

To earn the Blue Distinction designation, SJH’s processes and results were rigorously evaluated and met objective clinical measures developed by medical experts and professional health care organizations.

“The Blue Distinction designation affirms the excellence and commitment of our physicians and staff in combining state-of-the-art surgery with state-of-the-art care,” said Michael Kryda, MD, CEO.

The new designations for spine surgery and knee and hip replacement were awarded based on SJH’s clinical data proving excellent performance of comprehensive inpatient discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures, and inpatient hip and knee replacement services, including total hip and knee replacement.

To qualify for the Blue Distinction designation, Saint Joseph’s Hospital met the requirements as:

  • An acute care inpatient facility offering intensive care, emergency care and full patient support services.
  • Being fully accredited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • A comprehensive quality management program.
  • Having an experienced surgical team with board certified, fellowship trained surgeons and case volumes that met the selection criteria.

Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston and Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point were also awarded the Blue Distinction for hip and knee replacement.

To learn more about SJH’s Blue Distinction designation, visit www.BCBS.com/bluedistinction.

Financial help is available for health care

Following Ministry Health Care’s mission to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well being of all people,” Our Lady of Victory Hospital (OLVH) reaches out and offers help despite the economic downturn.

“Our Community Link program is the living embodiment of our mission,” said Cindy Eichman, president of OLVH. “This program targets the financially challenged and underprivileged people in our area, and every year that program continues to grow.”

“We will never forget our responsibility to our community,” said Finance Director Terri Lewandowski. “We will continue to offer our Community Link and Community Care programs and honor our commitment to patients regardless of their ability to pay.”

The Community Link programs

  • Helps people determine what type of assistance they qualify for and directs them to services like Medicaid, BadgerCare+ and other programs.
  • Helps individuals obtain free or discounted prescription medications.
  • Refers women to OB/GYN care, adoption programs, childcare providers, prenatal classes, and mammography services.

Faith in Action is an interfaith volunteer caregiver program sponsored by OLVH through a partnership with area churches to provide basic support to the elderly, people who are disabled, and mothers.

If you need assistance, call Jill Pollert, BSW, Community Link coordinator, at 715.644.6188 or 877.644.4981.

People served in 2009

  • 741 individuals
  • 56 patients saved $142,431 on 712 prescriptions.
  • Community Link made 1,471 referrals to area services.

Community Care program
OLVH offers a Community Care Financial Assistance Program, a joint effort with other financial programs, which grants funds to individuals based on their inability to pay.

“It is OLVH’s responsibility to make health care affordable,” said Linda Klapperich, patient financial services manager. “Community Care helps ease patients’ financial burdens with confidentiality, respect, and compassion.”

For information about the Community Care program, call Linda Klapperich, CPAM, at 715.644.6119.

Saint Joseph’s Hospital certified as primary stroke center

When a person suffers a stroke, immediate access to excellent medical care is critical.

People in Marshfield and the surrounding areas receive specialized care at the only certified Primary Stroke Center in central and northern Wisconsin.

The certification, granted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), recognizes Saint Joseph’s Hospital’s ability to meet the unique and special needs of stroke patients by having specially trained medical staff and brain imaging services available to provide fast, highly skilled treatment that improves stroke patients’ chances of recovery.

“Research indicates that patients treated at a primary stroke center receive better care and have better results,” said Michael Kryda, MD, CEO. “The certification proves the exceptional efforts by our stroke care team.”

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by blockage or hemorrhage. Within minutes, brain cells in the area begin to die from lack of oxygen and other nutrients.

If you see the signs of stroke, you may be the only one who can save a life – and improve the quality of life!

Remember, RST to recognize stroke.

  1. Ask the person to RAISE BOTH ARMS (Are both arms at the same height?)
  2. Ask the individual to SMILE (Is the smile lopsided?)
  3. Ask the person to TALK (Is the speech slurred? Do they understand? Do they make sense?)

A person unable to perform these actions may be having a stroke. Call 911 immediately!

Marshfield native dedicates her life to oncology

Jessica Wernberg, MD, chose to practice in Marshfield because of the wealth of expertise and programs it had to offer…and because it was “home.”

Dr. Wernberg, a Marshfield Clinic surgical oncologist on staff at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, is a Marshfield native who worked at the Clinic as a teenager.

Her interest in medicine grew out of a fascination with anatomy. “I took one course and I was hooked,” she said. “I liked the oncology field because of the ability to help patients who are at a challenging place in their lives. I gravitated toward surgery because you can actually fix a problem and potentially offer a cure for benign and malignant diseases.”

“It gives me great satisfaction to tell patients that, to the best of our knowledge, they are cancer free,” Wernberg said.

Dr. Wernberg specializes in many types of cancer surgery, including pancreatic, abdominal, melanoma, and liver. But more than half of her cases are breast cancer and breast cancer related issues. Dr. Wernberg helped start weekly physician conferences to discuss breast cancer cases. “It’s impacting our standards for care at the main campus,” she said. “We are also applying for accreditation as a breast cancer center.”

Cancer is a complex disease that requires multidisciplinary care and the input of numerous subspecialists to determine the best treatment plan and follow-up. “One of the most valuable opportunities here is the teaching,” she said. “We can learn so much from each other, which benefits the patient.”

“We treat rare and complex cancers, and have all of the specialties available to offer the best possible comprehensive care,” Dr. Wernberg said.

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