Central Wisconsin

Health News from Central Wisconsin

Prevention program can help you avoid type 2 diabetes
Family medicine specialty services are available in Rib Mountain
  David Lange, MD
New Foundation directors work to improve regional health care
  Jane Bentz
  Antonina Olszewski
Meet out new providers in Central Wisconsin
  Kelly Wildenberg, PA-C
  Martina Ziegenbein, MD
  Kaila Meyer, PA-C
  Raquel Vechinski
Consider becoming a hospital volunteer
Walk-In Wednesdays


Prevention program can help you avoid type 2 diabetes

Finding out that you may have a pre-diabetic condition can be startling, but you still may have the opportunity to turn things around.

That was Wendy Wiernik’s experience.

When Wendy Wiernik of Junction City went in for her annual checkup she was surprised to learn that she was on the brink of developing type 2 diabetes and was given the diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Her blood-glucose levels were high but not high enough to put her in the full diabetes category. Her diagnosis motivated her to make some changes.

Jamie Trzebiatowski, RN, Ministry
Medical Group Plover, gives free
glucose testing to YMCA visitors
during Diabetes Awareness Month
in November.
After being referred to the Stevens Point Area YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, a year-long program in partnership with Saint Michael’s Foundation, she made those changes. Through classroom sessions, monthly meetings and a 16-week free YMCA membership, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program taught Wiernik and the other participants how to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles as a means to prevent development of type 2 diabetes.

“We met once a week in the boardroom at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital to discuss various related topics such as nutrition and exercise,” said Wiernik. “I was excited to get started; I thought if I can make healthy lifestyle changes for myself, I can lead by example for my kids as well.”

The weekly sessions not only offered accountability, but also support as participants were able to share with others facing similar situations. Many who attend the program find that they can eliminate their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

“If I didn’t have the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program I don’t know if I would have been as successful” said Wiernik. “During one of the first few sessions, our instructor Julie recommended a website as a way to keep track of diet and activity. I started using it immediately and have used it ever since.”

At a follow-up appointment with her clinician, Wiernik was informed that through the lifestyle changes made in the previous six months she had avoided developing type 2 diabetes.

“It was a Saturday morning when I went in for my follow-up lab appointment and I was a little nervous to get the results,” stated Wiernik. “The amazing part, I still get goose bumps when I remember, is when I was first tested my blood-glucose was 161 and after six months it was at 86. My A1c – hemoglobin had lowered from 6.1 percent to 5.2 percent (normal range is 4.0 percent - 6.0 percent). I basically eliminated my chances of getting diabetes by joining and participating in the class.”

How does Wiernik feel today? “I feel great. I’m more aware and in control of my own health. Plus, I have lost 35 pounds along the way.”

Although diabetes is a chronic and incurable disease (with the exception of gestational diabetes), with proper medical care, clinical therapies, diet, hygiene and exercise, symptoms and complications can be successfully treated and managed.

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program fits into Saint Michael’s Foundation’s mission to raise funds for programs and services geared to enhance the quality of health care services for patients and families served by Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group. The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is partially funded by Saint Michael’s Foundation.

“We know that medical expenses for patients with diabetes are more than two times higher than for people without diabetes,” said Angie Heuck, Saint Michael’s Foundation Director. “In most cases, when a person’s overall health is improved, they not only improve their quality of life, but they reduce their medical expenses as a result. We hope others like Wendy Wiernik will take advantage of this program to make a lasting impact.”

The Stevens Point Area YMCA is one of only 50 YMCAs in the country to offer the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

For more information about the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, call Brandy Proctor, the Stevens Point Area YMCA Health and Fitness Director at 715-342-2980 ext. 306.


Family medicine specialty services are available in Rib Mountain

David Lange, MD, joined Ministry Medical Group in Rib Mountain to offer family medicine specialty services to people of all ages.

David Lange, MD
Dr. Lange transferred his practice to 3301 Rib Mountain Drive in Rib Mountain from Ministry Medical Group’s Primary Care Clinic in Stevens Point. He joins fellow clinicians Cheryl Mabry, MSN, FNP-BC; Tina Neuendank, NP, and Gina Ramthun, FNP.

Board certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Lange has more than 15 years of practice experience and performs a broad range of procedures. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, and completed his residency at the Fox Valley University of Wisconsin Family Practice Residency Program in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In addition to his practice, Dr. Lange serves in an administrative role for Ministry Medical Group as Medical Director of Primary Care Services in central Wisconsin.

“I am excited to return to the Wausau area to join my colleagues at the Rib Mountain Clinic,” said Dr. Lange. “I believe listening is important. Every person has a story and listening to that story helps to define who that person is and what is important to him or her.”

In his spare time, Dr. Lange enjoys the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at Ministry Medical Group in Rib Mountain, please call 715.393.3900.


New Foundation directors work to improve regional health care

Jane Bentz joined Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill as the director of the Foundation and community outreach.

Jane Bentz
Bentz joins Ministry Good Samaritan after spending nearly five years as coordinator of the Flambeau Hospital Foundation in Park Falls, Wisconsin. Flambeau Hospital is jointly sponsored by Ministry Health Care and Marshfield Clinic. Bentz joined Flambeau after seven years as executive director of the Park Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I am excited to join Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center and appreciate its role as a leader in the Merrill community,” said Bentz. “This position offers a unique opportunity to support the hospital and its efforts to improve the health and well-being of everyone, especially the poor in our community.”

In collaboration with Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center, the Foundation identifies health needs, and through philanthropy, sponsors equipment, programs and services. It also partners with others to help shape the quality and availability of health care services for the Merrill community.

“Jane will be a welcome addition to our staff in Merrill,” said Ministry Good Samaritan President Mary Krueger. “Her strong background in marketing, community relations, grant writing and event management will provide an immediate impact as we work to grow the long-standing support our Foundation has provided to our facility.”

Antonina Olszewski has been named the new Foundation Director at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston.

In collaboration with Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital, the Foundation identifies needs and through philanthropy, sponsors programs and services with a special focus on providing necessary needs to patients upon discharge; nurturing healthy babies and happy families; providing scholarships for students pursuing health care degrees; and vital support for victims of abuse and assault.

Antonina Olszewksi
Olszewski transitions into her new role after three years as executive assistant to Ministry Saint Clare’s President Mary Krueger. She previously served as the program coordinator for Marshfield Clinic’s Women’s Wellness program in Weston and as a marketing manager and client relations specialist at Stonebridge Capitol Advisor in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Our community understands the importance of having first class health care available locally. I view the Foundation as a means to support Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital and improve the lives of the numerous patients that we serve each year,” said Olszewski.

A native of San Francisco, Olszewski attended both the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and holds a Bachelors of Science in Bio-Chemistry, Genetics and History.

“Antonina is well-suited for this new role as she has established strong relationships with our foundation board members and hospital staff during her time in Weston,” said Ministry Saint Clare’s President Mary Krueger. “She will bring new energy and enthusiasm for the important work of our Foundation.”

For more information on the Foundation of Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital and its programs, contact Antonina Olszewski at 715.393.2604.


Kelly Wildenberg, PA-C, measures success by patient satisfaction

Kelly Wildenberg, PA-C, joined the emergency department of Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital located at 900 Illinois Avenue in Stevens Point.

Kelly Wildenberg, PA-C
Wildenberg, a physician assistant, received her master’s of science in medicine, physician assistant studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology with a sub major in athletic training from UW-Milwaukee.

Wildenberg is certified in basic cardiac life support. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and a board-certified member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. She is also a Wisconsin State Licensed Athletic Trainer.

“I believe that patient satisfaction is the true measure of success,” said Wildenberg. “I treat my patients as if they were my family or friends. It’s important to develop a relationship so that we can have a productive conversation. That process helps me ask the right questions and obtain the important health history so that we can create an effective treatment plan.”

Wildenberg enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, watching sports and spending time in the outdoors. She is an avid runner, hiker and camper.

For more information, please call 715.346.5000.

Patient participation is important to Martina Ziegenbein, MD

Martina Ziegenbein, MD, joined the department of rheumatology at Ministry Medical Group and will see patients at 824 Illinois Avenue in Stevens Point.

Martinia Ziegenbein, MD
Dr. Ziegenbein, a board-certified rheumatologist, received her medical degree from the Safarik University Medical School in Kosice, Slovakia. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Marshfield Clinic.

Dr. Ziegenbein completed a rheumatology fellowship at Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and a lupus fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a member of the American College of Rheumatology.

“I value my patient’s full participation in the treatment plan,” said Dr. Ziegenbein. “As a rheumatologist, I see patients with a wide variety of health issues. The source of the problem can be a mystery at first. That’s why it’s critical that I take the necessary time to get to know the patient and listen to their story. Their descriptions help me solidify the diagnosis and establish the optimal treatment approach.”

Dr. Ziegenbein likes to set a good example for her patients by staying physically active. She enjoys cardio workouts, tennis, jogging and skiing.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 715.342.7776.

Kaila Meyer works to enhance quality of life

Kaila Meyer, PA-C, joined Ministry Medical Group urgent care and will see patients at 900 Illinois Avenue in Stevens Point.

Kaila Meyer, PA-C
Meyer completed her Masters degree in physician assistant studies from Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Arizona State University.

“When my Grandmother goes to the doctor, it is important to me that she be treated as I would treat her – I carry this philosophy into my own practice,” said Meyer. “By developing an understanding of health and disease with my patients I can work to enhance the quality of life, one patient at a time.”

Meyer enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, healthy cooking and anything fitness related. She also has an interest in wilderness and urban ecology, ecosystem restoration and conservation and cultural anthropology.

For more information, please call 715.346.5000.

Vechinski helps patients manage chronic conditions

Raquel Vechinski, NP-C, is a board-certified nurse practitioner who specializes in gastroenterology.

Raquel Vechinski, NP-C
In addition to conducting patient assessments, diagnosing and treating patients, Vechinski specializes in helping patients manage chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Raquel received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from UW-Eau Claire.

“As a health care provider, I truly value a patient’s story,” said Vechinski. “Their insights are often the most valuable clinical tools. If I can thoroughly understand my patient’s perspective, I am on the right path to knowing the entire person and not just his or her symptoms. I value partnership, trust and collaboration with my patients. I believe in making health care decisions with my patients, not for my patients.”

When she’s not taking care of patients, Vechinski likes being outdoors in the Wisconsin weather and enjoys downhill skiing, biking and boating. She is passionate about spending time with her family and her two little dogs.


Consider becoming a hospital volunteer

Leslie LaBonte, the new manager of volunteer services at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston, connects volunteers with opportunities that touch the lives of patients and their families.

Leslie LaBonte
In her role, LaBonte will be responsible for the management of a team of more than 150 community volunteers age 16 and older who provide valuable service to Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital, The Diagnostic & Treatment Center, as well as the facility’s gift shop and coffee kiosk.

“Volunteers are a key element to the success of our mission,” said Ministry Saint Clare’s President Mary Krueger. “We are excited to have Leslie lead our volunteer efforts as we know that the quality and comfort of a hospital stay or a clinic visit are improved by the presence of our volunteers.”

A graduate of St. Norbert College, LaBonte earned a Master’s degree in public service and non-profit leadership from Marquette University in Milwaukee. She has more than nine years experience in non-profit service programs in the Milwaukee and Wausau area.

LaBonte has served through board leadership and Milwaukee’s Equal Rights Commission while elevating her passion for service with others as an AmeriCorps member with Big Brothers Big Sisters; in directing Center Community service programs at Marquette University; by raising funds and developing services for youth who are blind or visually impaired at Vision Forward Association; and most recently through coordination of Disaster Service Action Teams for the American Red Cross.

“Volunteers choose to serve for many different reasons,” said LaBonte. “Whether it’s for career exploration, social connections, spiritual enhancement or personal satisfaction, I look forward to connecting our volunteers with opportunities that touch the lives of our patients and families who turn to us to meet their health care needs.”

For more information about volunteering, contact 715.393.2605.


Walk-In Wednesdays

Busy women don’t have to sidestep their health care needs. Our Breast Care Center is making mammograms easier with walk-in time slots available every Wednesday. No appointment needed* — just walk in at your convenience to Ministry Medical Group at 824 Illinois Avenue in Stevens Point between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and our skilled, compassionate team will be ready to care for you.

To learn more, visit us at www.ministryhealth.org/breastcare

*Walk-ins are available for screening mammograms only. If your clinician has referred you for a mammogram due to specific concerns regarding your breast health, make an appointment by calling 715.342.6482.


Ministry's Latest Social Activities
Facebook Twitter