Central Wisconsin

Caring for one of your most valuable assets – your eyes

The expert ophthalmologists at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point offer ophthalmic and optical services to patients of every age and stage of life in the community.

Young Children

We work with young children to diagnose vision problems and then offer solutions to help them see the details around them. A child’s vision should be tested at or around age 4 so that vision problems do not interfere with school performance.


When your teenager wants to trade glasses for contacts, the ophthalmology department has the technology to make sure the fit is just right. Often, adolescents would rather use contacts when participating in sports and other activities. The ophthalmology department in Stevens Point can make a comprehensive evaluation to choose the right type and strength of lenses for your teen’s eyes.

But the service doesn’t stop there. The staff will train your teenager on the proper care of his or her eyes and the use of the contacts. They will stress the importance of only using contacts for the specified amount of time, since wearing old contacts is like putting a dirty bandage on a fresh wound.


Imagine not having to fuss with glasses or contacts. The expert surgeons in the ophthalmology department will evaluate the condition of your eyes, your vision and determine if you are a good candidate for Lasek surgery.

This may be a good solution for adults between the ages of 20 and 40.

After the age of 40, there may be special conditions to consider before you choose Lasek.

Adults over 50

As your eye changes with age, you can trust the ophthalmology department with your sight. In addition to diagnosing the need for bi-focals, the expert ophthalmologists can perform the intricate eye surgery needed to treat cataracts and glaucoma. They can also perform blepharoplasty surgery, which removes excess skin from the eyelid or brow.

It is important to get regular eye exams. Now with optical scanning capabilities, ophthalmologists are able to watch areas of concern, and diagnose and treat eye conditions with more precision.

To schedule an appointment at the ophthalmology department at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point, call 715.342.7825.

The American Optometric Association recommends the following eye examination schedules. Children should receive eye exams at:

  • 6 months of age
  • 3 years of age
  • Before first grade and then every two years

Children who may be at risk for vision problems should be seen on a more frequent basis. These risks may include, prematurity, low-birth weight, oxygen at birth, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage; family history of vision problems or eye disease; an infection of the child’s mother during pregnancy; a difficult or assisted labor, fetal distress or low Apgar scores; or other eye or nervous system conditions.

Healthy adults should have an eye exam every two years until age 60

Adults with a risk* of vision problems and adults older than age 60 should have their eyes examined every year.

*Patients at risk for eye or vision problems include those who may have diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of eye problems, patients who work in occupations that are visually demanding or hazardous, people who take medications that have ocular side effects, or those who wear contact lenses, have had surgery or have other conditions.

Please consult your health care provider with regards to your proper eye examination schedule.

Allergy testing is available at Ministry Medical Group

For millions of Americans, the arrival of spring is met with mixed emotions. The greening of the trees and the blooming of the flowers are beautiful, but these signs of nature are hard to enjoy through itchy, watery eyes and fits of sneezing. If you are one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from “seasonal” allergies, it is time to take action.

Ministry Medical Group recently added allergy testing to its offering of services available at its Merrill Clinic, located on the 4th Floor of Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center.

Allergy testing in Merrill is performed by Kenechi (Ken) Anuligo, MD, Ministry Medical Group family medicine specialist.

“Although most people suffering from allergies are able to handle their conditions with advice from their physician, they must take extra precautions during the height of allergy season to avoid severe reactions,” says Dr. Anuligo. “Some reactions are an emergencies that require immediate medical care if your reaction includes shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, severe sweating, faintness, nausea, a rapid pulse or pale, cold, moist skin.”

There are many methods of allergy testing. Among the more common are skin tests, elimination-type tests, and blood tests.

Skin tests are the most common and involve placing a small amounts of suspected allergy-causing substances on the skin, usually the forearm, upper arm, or the back. Then, the skin is pricked so the allergen goes under the skin's surface. It is then observed for signs of a reaction, usually swelling and redness of the site. Results are usually seen within 15 to 20 minutes. Several allergens can be tested at the same time.

A similar method involves injecting a small amount of allergen into the skin and watching for a reaction at the site. This is called an intradermal skin test and is more likely to be used when testing is being done for something specific, such as bee venom or penicillin. Patch testing is a method to diagnose allergic reactions on the skin. Possible allergens are taped to the skin for 48 hours and are checked after 24 hours and then 48 hours later.

Skin tests are most useful for diagnosing food allergies, mold, pollen, animal and other allergies that cause allergic rhinitis and asthma.

An elimination diet can also be used to check for food allergies. An elimination diet is one in which foods that may be causing symptoms are removed from the diet for several weeks and then slowly re-introduced one at a time while the person is watched for signs of an allergic reaction.

Blood tests can be done to measure the amount of immunoglobulin antibodies to a specific allergen in the blood. This test may be used when skin testing is not helpful or cannot be done

Dr. Anuligo believes increasing your knowledge about allergies can help prevent you or a loved one from requiring emergency care for allergy-related attacks. To help allergy sufferers through this difficult time of year, Dr. Anuligo offers the following tips:

  • Know your allergies. If you and your physician suspect you suffer from allergies, you may be tested to try to determine what is triggering your allergic symptoms.
  • If you are allergic to pollen and mold, avoid the outdoors on windy days or when you begin to notice symptoms. The wind often stirs up pollen and mold and carries it through the air. It is also a good idea to avoid mowing your lawn, or being near someone who is cutting the grass, if you are allergic to grass or molds. If you must mow, wear a high quality mask and change your clothing when finished. If you are allergic to pollen, minimize activity outdoors at dawn (5 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and at dusk (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.), when pollen is usually emitted into the air.
  • Keep car windows closed when you drive. It is also a good idea to use an air conditioner at home and in the car.
  • Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry. Pollen and molds can collect on sheets and clothes.
  • Visit your physician regularly if you have allergies. The continuing advice of a doctor is crucial to the long-term treatment of allergic conditions. Your physician may recommend drug therapies, allergy shots, or suggest you see a medical specialist with special training in diagnosing and treating allergic diseases.

Allergies and Insects

Of course, springtime can also mean more time outdoors with insects. Most reactions to insect bites, from bees or ants for instance, are mild and result in short-term itching or stinging. Mild reactions can be treated by first removing the stinger if it remains in the skin, and then treating the bite with an ice pack to reduce the pain and swelling.

“If there is any difficulty breathing, tightness in the throat and chest, hives or severe itching resulting from an insect bite, or the person is feeling dizzy, or confused, call 911 or go immediately to an emergency department,” says Dr. Anuligo. “Severe reactions to insect bites, although not that common, can progress rapidly and should be treated by a physician as soon as possible.”

Contact Ministry Medical Group in Merrill at 715.539.2350 to make an appointment.

Allergy testing services are also available in Stevens Point and Rhinelander. Visit ministryhealth.org/allergy to find a provider near you.

For more allergy information and tips for prevention visit http://www.aafa.org/ and WebMD.

When it hurts to move, relief is close to home

Knowing that they may see you in line at the grocery store, at a concert or at a ballgame, the staff of Ministry Medical Group’s orthopedics team in Stevens Point wants to see you enjoying every activity as much as you possibly can.

The passion of the staff of the orthopedic department is to help people in their community live healthy lives full of activity.

The bones, joints and muscles of your musculoskeletal system power every move you make, but when injury or arthritis makes even the smallest movement painful, you can count on Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point to get you moving again.

Ministry Medical Group’s orthopedic team treats all types of bone and joint issues including hip, shoulder and knee joint replacements, sports injuries, carpal tunnel, fractures and more.

The orthopedic specialists at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point have the expertise and the state-of-the-art technology, including radiology, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), range-of-motion measurements, and neurological evaluation methods, to diagnose and treat health conditions of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves in children and adults, including:

• Injuries and disabilities of the musculoskeletal structure, including shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.

• Repetitive motion conditions such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow.

• Diseases such as degenerative arthritis.

When surgery is necessary, the surgeons at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point will use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible to speed a patient’s recovery and reduce pain. After surgery, you can be assured of comprehensive, quality orthopedic care that includes the restorative powers of rehabilitation for the best recovery possible.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact 715.342.7950.

Visit ministryhealth.org/PointOrtho for more information about the orthopedics program at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point.

Love your skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is the first-line defense of your immune system to keep harmful bacteria and viruses out of your body.

Your skin also acts as a barometer of your health.

The dermatology department at Ministry Medical Group in Stevens Point can help you keep your skin healthy. The first symptom of skin disease is often a burning, itchy, dry or rough patch. If you notice changes in your skin, do not ignore them. They are indicators of skin health.

When you are concerned about your skin, Patrick Safo, MD, PhD, is there to help.

“Dermatology is sometimes a window into many undiagnosed conditions in a person,” said Dr. Safo. “It is a privilege to work with patients to provide efficient dermatologic care as a team that comprises our patients, physicians and supporting staff.”

Dr. Safo specializes in general dermatology, dermatologic surgery, and cosmetics including Botox, dermal fillers and laser therapy. Dr. Safo also has a PhD in neuroscience.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Safo, call 715.342.6660.

Family medicine physician provides care in Amherst and Waupaca

J. Sebastian Preciado-Riestra, MD, joined Ministry Medical Group in its Amherst and Waupaca locations to provide comprehensive family care.

“I believe that working as a team with my patients achieves the best outcomes,” said Preciado-Riestra. Dr. Preciado-Riestra, who speaks fluent Spanish, enjoys playing the piano, running and spending time with his daughter and family.

To schedule an appointment, please call 715.258.3650.

Join us for Weston Fest

A Healthy Way To Celebrate Community

A weekend of family fun with a farmers’ market, live music, fun run / walk, bicycle tour, free swim and pancake breakfast.

Come and join us at our Health Adventure Tent

Saturday, July 21, 4 – 8 p.m., at Kennedy Park
Featuring: Health Screening and Information, Nutrition Tips, Interactive Fun Family Games and Activities
Also at the park, a kids’ carnival, food vendors and fireworks followed by an outdoor movie.

For complete event information, visit: www.westonwisconsin.org

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