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Latest Northeast Wisconsin healthcare news & headlines – Dec. 19, 2022 Issue

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December 16, 2022

Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health Complete merger complete
WISCONSIN – After sharing plans to join in May, Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health announced Dec. 2 they have closed on their merger to create Advocate Health – a six-state, 67-hospital entity.

It becomes the fifth-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States and will serve six million patients, according to Advocate Health.

Providing care under the names Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health Care in Illinois and Atrium Health in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, moving forward, the health system will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 2018, Wisconsin-based Aurora Health Care and Illinois-based Advocate Health Care merged to create Advocate Aurora Health.

The individual brands will continue to be used in their respective local communities, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine – which is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina – serving as the academic core of the combined entity.

According to Advocate Health, it employs nearly 150,000 team members and offers one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs with more than 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs.

The health system reports it has more than 21,000 physicians and nearly 42,000 nurses and has revenues of more than $27 billion.

The board of directors comprises an equal number of members from Advocate Aurora and Atrium Health.

Thomas Nelson, chair of Atrium Health’s board of directors, will chair the new organization’s board until Dec. 31, 2023.

Michele Richardson, chair of Advocate Aurora’s board of directors, will assume leadership for the succeeding two-year term.
Area nursing schools listed among top 20 in Wisconsin
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – Six area colleges are listed among the top 20 nursing schools in Wisconsin for 2023 by

Schools are ranked by analyzing current and historical National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates – meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 41 RN programs in the state. 

Successful passing of the examination is required for nursing graduates to be licensed as registered nurses in the United States and Canada.

Ranked No. 2 was Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton, with a NCLEX pass rate of 99.36.

The website noted FVTC’s program “emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking, hands-on experience and a supportive environment for the success of (its) graduates.”

Ranked No. 10 was Bellin College in Green Bay, with a NCLEX pass rate of 97.59.

The rankings listed “performance, employability rates and reputation” as highlights of the nursing programs offered at Bellin College.

With a 96.51 NCLEX pass rate, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Nursing made the list at No. 12.

The program’s “state-of-the-art simulation labs, practice labs and nursing tech suites” were noted as the tools needed for students to be at the “top of their fields.”

Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac was ranked No. 14, with a 96.26 NCLEX pass rate.

The website noted Moraine’s “graduates enter the field as respected professionals.”

With a NCLEX pass rate of 95.27, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) ranked No. 19.

NWTC’s “flexible formats” – boasting a 96% graduate employment rate – were credited for its program’s success.

Ranked No. 20 was Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, with a NCLEX pass rate of 95.24.

The ranking emphasizes the opportunities for “hands-on experience at medical centers throughout Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties,” as a highlight of the program.
‘Doctors in Recital’ returns to Weidner Center
GREEN BAY – After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Doctors in Recital” is returning to the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.

Founded in 2005, Doctors In Recital – a show featuring a wide range of musical styles – draws physician performers from all three major healthcare organizations in Brown County, as well as independent practitioners.

The major recipient of proceeds from the 2023 show will be Brown County Community Gardens, a program of Extension Brown County, which provides affordable garden space to Brown County residents.

Two music education programs – The Birder Studio of Performing Arts in De Pere and Green Bay East High School’s Choral Department – will also share in the proceeds.

General admission tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at, area Festival Foods, the STEM Innovation Center and from Doctors In Recital performers.
Summer Academy of Medicine invites students to explore medical careers
DE PERE/GREEN BAY – Registration will open Jan. 1 for the Summer Academy of Medicine, hosted by St. Norbert College (SNC) in De Pere and the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Sponsored junior and senior high school students can sign up for one of two experiences – June 13-16 or June 20-23 – both of which will be held at SNC.

Students will have the opportunity to explore careers in medicine and the biomedical sciences, engage in hands-on active learning and learn more about the careers of physicians, researchers and scientists.

Prevea Health is the presenting sponsor of the events.

The cost is $800 per participant and includes meals, housing and evening activities.

A limited number of scholarships are available.

Parents will be invited to join their child for the closing ceremony and lunch, as well as for campus tours and sessions on college admission and financial aid.

See for more information.

Aurora BayCare urological surgeons announce new prostate treatment
GREEN BAY – Urological surgeons with Aurora BayCare recently announced a new non-invasive laser surgery treatment for men diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia. 

The treatment – called holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) – uses a laser to remove obstructive prostate tissue.
“It is one of only two surgeries approved by the American Urological Association

guidelines for prostates greater than 80g and oftentimes can be performed as a day-surgery procedure with no abdominal incisions,” Joshua Piotrowski, an Aurora BayCare urological surgeon in Green Bay, said.

Piotrowski said HoLEP is performed endoscopically, meaning there are no incisions – taking between 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the size of the prostate.

According to Aurora BayCare, an enlarged prostate is one of the most common diseases in aging men, with about 50% of men between ages 51 and 60 having some signs of enlarged prostate.

By age 80, that number jumps to 90%.
Bellin Health introduces new critically-ill patient monitoring device
GREEN BAY – Bellin Health in Green Bay has introduced the Ceribell Rapid Response EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring device, which uses advanced technology to detect and diagnose non-convulsive seizure activity in critically ill patients.

Bellin Health said it is one of the first health systems in Northeast Wisconsin to use this technology in its care of neurologic patients.

“Critically ill patients often experience undiagnosed non-convulsive seizures as a result of lack of access to EEG data,” Heather Stank, Bellin Health neurologist, said. “It is our mission to ensure no patients suffer potential brain injury as a result of not having prompt EEG.”

The device consists of a headband with integrated electrodes, a pocket-sized recorder with intuitive software and an online portal for remote viewing, as well as a cloud-linked, portable EEG device to enable assessments within minutes.
Other healthcare news:
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is encouraging Wisconsinites to order free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests through the Say Yes! COVID Test program.

Funded in part through the American Rescue Plan Act and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds, Wisconsin households are eligible to place an order every month for one free test kit that contains five rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.

See for more information.

Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine has announced it is partnering with the Reedsville School District to bring sports medicine and orthopedic services to its many sports programs.
“This partnership also extends beyond the playing surface and into other school-related and community-based opportunities,” Michael Nate, Reedsville School District administrator, said.

The new “Psych & Stuff” psychology podcast created in Phoenix Studios at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is now available on YouTube.

The topic is “How to Make and Keep Adult Friendships.”

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