Programs Funded

Calling Card Program

For two siblings and their extended family, a situation that occurred during the recent death of their sister empowered them to help others in a similar circumstance.

After Joanne Oelhafen suffered fatal injuries in a motor vehicle collision, her sisters Arlene Debevec and Marjorie Debevec-Marksteiner were among the first family members to arrive in the Emergency Department at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. In their attempts to contact family members, they found they could not make a long distance call as neither of them had a calling card with them.

Unfortunately, in the confusion of the situation, they were not put in touch with Hospital staff who are able to make long distance calls in emergency situations for families.

As the family rallied together after the loss of Joanne, Arlene began thinking about how she and her relatives might assist other families who face a similar plight trying to make long distance calls in an emergency situation. They considered purchasing a small supply of calling cards for the Hospital.

Marjorie proposed the idea, and the Foundation of Saint Joseph's Hospital Board of Directors approved funding of the project. According to Greg Netteshein, Foundation President, the idea appealed to the Board because it definitely helps patients and families in a crisis and wasn't something that the Hospital would normally provide. The Foundation Board voted this summer to again underwrite the purchase of 6,000 10-minute cards for the Emergency Department, Critical Care and Intensive Care Units, Palliative Care Unit, Birth Center, and House of the Dove. Children's Miracle Network purchased an additional 4,000 cards for the Pediatric and Neonatal Units of Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital. The total project cost was $10,200, which will provide approximately a one-year supply of cards.

"We had no idea the Foundation would fund a project of this magnitude," Marjorie said. "For us, it started as just a simple idea to give something back to the community, and preserve the memory of our sister." All cards allow for a 10-minute call, and families who require more than one card receive an appropriate quantity.

The Foundation and CMN Board of Directors anticipate that the calling card program will be funded on an annual basis. In addition to the critical care units, the Patient and Family Services Department at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital issues cards to families within the Hospital based on financial need. All of the other units with the calling cards provide the cards to any patient or family member needing to make a long distance call during an emergency situation.

"It means so much for our family to somehow have a positive effect on people's lives," reflects Arlene. "It's a good program that will help others, and something for us to contribute to in memory of Joanne."

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Music to Their Ears

Thanks to your donations to the Foundation's Neonatal Fund, our precious infants are now hearing music while receiving care at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital. Speaker pillows and tape recorders were recently purchased for each of the twenty-four isolettes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

According to Rachael Haupt-Harrington, NICU Nurse Manager, the program is important for several reasons. "Since two-thirds of our families are from outside our community, there are many times when family cannot always be with their child."

Families can now tape messages, sing songs, or read a favorite book. The tape is then played to the infant when a family member is not able to be there. "It allows a sense of connectedness for both family members and the child," says Rachael.

Siblings, who sometimes cannot visit often, especially appreciate the program as they are now helping in the healing of their brother or sister.

Because many infants are on oxygen, a regular tape recorder cannot be placed in the isolette. With the speaker pillow, the tape recorder line feeds into the isolette.

The program also provides the opportunity to play relaxation tapes and music to the infants. The music helps soothe the infants and softens equipment noise and other interruptions so that the babies can rest more comfortably.

"All of our parents have commented on how wonderful this program is," states Rachael, "It is truly a great way for parents and family members to always be with their precious baby."

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SimMan Comes to Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Edward Fernandez, MD
programs SimMan for a
scenario for Dena Jarog, RN
and Kathryn Olson, MA, RN.

He may not be Superman, but SimMan will certainly save lives. SimMan is a computerized mannequin created and operated, in large part, like simulators used in the aerospace industry. The Foundation Board approved the request for funding this advanced teaching tool because of the tremendous increase in complex trauma patients being admitted to Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital.

Children's Miracle Network provided funding as well since the simulator is also used in training Pediatric Intensive Care Unit staff.

The simulator exhibits a variety of breath sounds and cardiac rhythms. Physicians, nurses, and other providers also can obtain blood pressure and pulse oximetry readings as well as practice complex airway management. In addition, the mannequin allows for the inserting of IVs, catheters, chest tubes, and needle thoracotomies.

"Before SimMan, we had to 'pretend' everything," said Kathryn Olson, RN, MA, and Director of Patient Care Services at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital. "To tell residents or nurses in a mock training session that the mannequin's throat is tightening up doesn't prompt the kind of reaction that an actual laryngeal constriction does when attempting to intubate a real patient. We can now electronically trigger that kind of response in SimMan and see how our medical team responds."

According to Edward Fernandez, MD, Pediatric Intensivist on staff at the Hospital, the new technology is an invaluable teaching and practicing tool. "For a mock code, I program a scenario into the computer and wait for the medical team to arrive. I stand back and let them run the code." If the correct actions are taken, SimMan's condition improves; if not, his condition deteriorates and providers must continue to adjust their interventions. "It truly mimics real-life scenarios," said Dr. Fernandez, "but there is no need for the teaching doctor to step in and correct a mistake."

In-services with mock resuscitations are held twice a month for physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and staff actively involved in the Critical Care Units. In addition, SimMan is being made available to the UW-Eau Claire Nursing Program based at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital.

Noelle Birthing Simulator
The Nita Newborn mannequin.

After seeing what SimMan could do for training with regard to trauma patient scenarios, the staff of the Hospital's Birth Center decided to look into the Noelle Birthing Simulator and the Nita Newborn mannequin.

Again, funding for these came from the Foundation of Saint Joseph's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network.

According to Ruthie Watt, Birth Center Manager, "The addition of the Nita Newborn and Noelle Birthing Simulator will give new staff and nursing students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a lab environment prior to utilizing those skills with our patients."

Not only will new employees of the Birth Center benefit from these two models, the Spirit of Marshfield Transportation Team will have the opportunity to simulate birth events in a controlled setting so they are able and equipped to deal with a delivery "in the field." The educational programs of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire School of Nursing and Mid-State Technical College also will have access to Nita and Noelle for their students.

"Our very precious little patients will definitely benefit from trained staff that have dealt with multiple simulations of complications during delivery," said Ruthie.

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For Questions or To Make a Donation

Foundation of Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

611 Saint Joseph Ave
Marshfield, WI 54449

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