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Latest Northeast Wisconsin healthcare news & headlines – March 27, 2023 Issue

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March 23, 2023

Partnership aims to bolster healthcare in rural Wisconsin
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UWO) has signed an agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to offer a 3+1 dual bachelor’s degree program through which students can receive both a bachelor’s in biology from UW-Platteville and a bachelor’s in nursing from UWO in four years.

UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said the new program seeks to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in Wisconsin, as well as the rural parts of the tri-state region of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Leavitt said there is a projected shortage of 20,000 nurses in Wisconsin by 2035.

“Today is really the UW System at its best,” he said at the partnership announcement press conference. “This is why we are a system. Two different universities on different sides of the state, coming together to share programmatic talent and resources and make it easier for more well-prepared, caring healthcare leaders to respond to the region and Wisconsin’s needs.”

Leavitt said the new agreement follows another nursing education partnership between the universities – the Bachelor to Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing Pathway, through which students receive a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice from UW-Platteville and then, if eligible, are granted guaranteed admission to enter UWO’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a 12-month hybrid nursing program.

DCMC opens new Sister Bay clinic
STURGEON BAY – Door County Medical Center’s (DCMC) new 30,000-square-foot DCMC-Sister Bay Clinic (2345 Canterbury Lane) begins seeing rehabilitation patients Monday, March 27.

The two-story clinic will begin seeing all patients April 3, when operations end at the DCMC-Fish Creek Clinic.

“Two of the most positive outcomes from the construction of this new facility are the added level of awareness it will bring to rehabilitation services in the northern Door County community and a closer working relationship with the clinic,” Andy Anderson, director of DCMC Rehabilitation Services, said.

Anderson said the larger gym allows for expanded rehabilitation and occupational services, and speech therapies now have dedicated treatment spaces.

The clinic also has audiology and cardiology services, which was previously only available in Sturgeon Bay, as well as primary care, behavioral health, diabetes education, OB/GYN, orthopedic services, podiatry and a retail pharmacy. 

The DCMC-Sister Bay Clinic also has EV charging stations.

The clinic was designed by Caldwell Associates Architects based in Pensacola, Florida.

Construction was done by The Boldt Company.

A community open house and dedication ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 11.

Area hospitals recognized for patient experience, safety
GREEN BAY – Several area hospitals have been honored by Healthgrades – a national consumer review site for information about physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers – as recipients of the Outstanding Patient Experience Award and Patient Safety Excellence Award for 2023.

Bellin Hospital in Green Bay was the only hospital in Northeast Wisconsin to receive both awards in 2023.

Other Outstanding Patient Experience Award – which recognizes the top 15% of hospitals in the nation based on evaluation of patient experience – recipients include:
Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, AppletonAurora BayCare Medical Center, Green BayDoor County Medical Center, Sturgeon BayAurora Medical Center-Manitowoc County, Two Rivers
ThedaCare Medical Center-Neenah also won the Patient Safety Excellence Award – which recognizes hospitals that are in the top 10% in the nation for patient safety.

Day stabilization services started in Ripon
RIPON – SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital has begun offering its new day stabilization services – becoming the first hospital in Wisconsin, and the first SSM health system facility, to offer a mental health outpatient service of this kind.

DeAnn Thurmer, president of SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital, said the new service offers support for up to 23 hours to individuals experiencing mental health crises. 

The program aims to assist individuals in resolving their crisis and to help make community connections for ongoing care.

“Ripon Community Hospital has greatly increased its behavioral health services both within the hospital and through partnerships with community organizations,” Thurmer said. “Through the day stabilization services, we are able to effectively help manage the need for these vital services.”

Shawn Fisher, executive director of The Foundation for Ripon Community Hospital, said as the need for this service continues to grow, “the Foundation for Ripon Community Hospital is committed to supporting this one-of-a-kind service to those experiencing crisis in Ripon and surrounding communities.”

In an effort of support, the foundation is hosting a raffle drawing benefiting the day stabilization services at noon April 12, which will be shown live on the SSM Health Greater Fond du Lac’s Facebook page.

Tickets are $10 each, or $40 for five. 

Prizes include: 
Grand Prize: A 14-karat white gold “V” necklace with .19 ctw (carat total weight) diamonds Second Prize: A $500 Dear Prudence gift card and Hamilton’s Hart Mercantile and Patina Vie gift basketsThird Prize: Golf for four with cart from The Golf Courses of Lawsonia and a Knuth Brewing card, merchandise  Fourth Prize: A Blackstone 36” griddle cooking station and a $50 gift card to J’s Sauce Hub  Fifth Prize: Artwork from Farrell’s Fine Furnishings, a Soul Patina throw blanket and Marcie’s Pet Spa basket Sixth Prize: gift cards for Fox and Crow Bistro and Thrasher Opera House 
Tickets are available at Dear Prudence, Diedrich Jewelers, Headliners Hair Salon, Hillside Dental, Knuth Brewing, Ripon Ace Hardware, Ripon Drug and Ripon Community Hospital Registration. 

Due to Wisconsin raffle regulations, tickets must be purchased in-person by cash or check. 

For complete information, see

Two area health systems selected for national research initiative
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – Ascension and Advocate Aurora Health are among 42 health systems nationwide selected by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which is based in Washington, D.C., to pioneer an initiative focused on sustainably accelerating the implementation of practice-changing research results into clinical care to improve patients’ health outcomes.

According to PCORI, the goal of the Health Systems Implementation Initiative (HSII) is to reduce the lag between the publication of research and the actual “uptake” of these treatments in clinical practice.

PCORI Executive Director Nakela Cook called this a “groundbreaking initiative” that will “facilitate practice change and improve care.”

PCORI funds a variety of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research in the United States.
Find out more at

Wello recognized for Farm to School Task Force work
GREEN BAY – Beth Heller – director of strategic partnerships with Wello, a well-being nonprofit in Green Bay – has been appointed to serve on the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board.

The network’s mission is to increase access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms and cultivate vibrant communities.

Locally, the Wello Farm to School Task Force is made up of Ashwaubenon School District, Green Bay Area Public School District, Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE), Howard-Suamico School District, Oneida Nation School System, Pulaski Community School District, Unified School District of De Pere, School District of West De Pere, Wrightstown Community School District and Seasonal Harvest LLC.

In the announcement of Heller’s appointment, Wello said “we’re excited to elevate our region’s innovative and collaborative approach to Farm to School to the national stage as well as have the opportunity to learn from other leaders in the field.”

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