Western Wisconsin

Western Wisconsin

Endovascular surgery available at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital

Vivekananda Gonugunta, MD, FRCS

Vivekananda A. Gonugunta, MD, FRCS, a Marshfield Clinic neurosurgeon on staff at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital, has always liked challenges. In fact, it’s one reason he decided to specialize in neurosurgery.

“It’s a very challenging specialty. There is so much of the brain that we don’t know about, despite all of the research,” he said. “The specialty also requires dexterity; any surgery of the brain has a high risk of side effects such as paralysis or coma.”

Dr. Gonugunta also developed a fascination with endovascular surgery, because it is a less invasive technique to treat some disorders of the brain, head, neck and spine. Endovascular surgery allows treatment of many medical problems by using a combination of imaging techniques to guide small tubes (catheters) and other devices through the blood vessels.

Dr. Gonugunta is fellowship trained in both pediatric and endovascular neurosurgery. “It’s a relatively new field. Ten to 15 years ago, it wasn’t even a specialty at all,” he said. He estimated he is one of less than 100 endovascular neurosurgeons in the United States and one of less than five specialty-trained in both endovascular and pediatric neurosurgery.

Dr. Gonugunta joined Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in 2009 because of the potential to offer innovative treatments to help stroke and cerebrovascular patients, and to continue his research.

Dr. Gonugunta will also practice general neurosurgery and spine surgery. His pediatric practice will include cranial remodeling for deformities of the skull and surgical treatment of brain tumors and hydrocephalus.

Dr. Gonugunta received his medical degree from Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India, and completed his residency and fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. He also gained neurosurgery experience at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham, England.

Emergency department nurses educate others

Cindy Frese and Barb Lato developed a program to change negative stereotypes surrounding rural emergency departments.

Emergency departments located in rural areas are often the first contact and lifeline for people living in the area. However, many people consider rural EDs “Band-aid stations” instead of a vitally important resource in a person’s emergency situation.

Knowing that this negative stereotyping exists, two of Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital’s Certified Emergency Nurses, Barb Lato and Cindy Frese, developed a program to overcome the stereotypes and give rural ED personnel the credit and encouragement they deserve.

Lato and Frese developed Rural ED Nursing for Dummies: Perceptions that Kill, a course with three objectives:

  1. Discuss the negative perceptions of rural nursing care and the effect these perceptions could have on patient care.
  2. Identify and explain the challenges facing the rural ED nurse.
  3. Advocate patient safety and excellence in emergency care by demonstrating professionalism when dealing with patients and colleagues at all levels of emergency care.


Their goal was to work with the audience to assist in the elimination of negative rural nursing stereotypes and allow rural ED personnel to consider their services of prime importance, setting the stage for a person’s recovery.

Recently, Rural ED Nursing for Dummies: Perceptions that Kill, was presented to 90 emergency care personnel at the Annual Regional Emergency Nurse Spring Symposium in Rice Lake, Wis. Lato and Frese have been asked to present their “enlightening presentation” again at the Wisconsin Emergency Nurses State Conference in Green Bay in October.

Make your wishes known with a living will

Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital can help you create a health care power of attorney and a living will that will give your loved ones detailed instructions about your health care in the event that you are not able to speak for yourself.

Ministry Our Lady of Victory can also provide you with information and the tools you need to talk with your family, friends and health care providers about your wishes. The staff can also help you create written advance directives in accordance with Wisconsin law.

Advance care directives are important for everyone over 18 years of age. Accidents and crashes have no age limit.

“We hope that more people in our community will have thoughtful conversations about their health care decisions,” said Cindy Eichman, hospital president. “We want to make it easy for people to complete the necessary forms for advance directives to make their wishes known.”

“It is so important for everyone to state their wishes,” says Lori Begley, director of social services at Ministry Our Lady of Victory. “When you have an advance directive, your health care providers understand what you want, and are better equipped to honor your plan.”

For more information about how to make your wishes known, including free information about advance-care planning, and advance-directive forms, contact Lori Begley at 715.644.6184.
 

 
 
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