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Northeast Wisconsin healthcare news & headlines – Oct. 24 Issue

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October 19, 2022

Door County Medical Center opens ‘The Laboratory Drive-Thru’
STURGEON BAY – Door County Medical Center (DCMC) recently announced the establishment of the Laboratory Drive-Thru – only the second in Wisconsin.

Jane Metko, director of laboratory services, said as the name suggests, the Laboratory Drive-Thru offers drive-thru lab appointments beginning at 6 a.m. on weekdays.

“It’s also a convenient alternative for patients who might have children or a pet with them in the car, or who would rather not brave the elements in the middle of February,” Metko said. “It’s also an excellent option for anyone with a mobility issue.”

Metko said the idea behind the Laboratory Drive-Thru stems from a decrease in laboratory services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a push to determine how best to increase staff efficiency by moving the remote COVID-19 testing site into the main hospital’s laboratory.

“Devin (Vandertie, laboratory assistant supervisor) and I flipped that idea on its head,” she said. “Instead of moving the COVID-19 testing site into the hospital, we thought bringing other services to the COVID-19 drive-thru would create greater staffing efficiency while simultaneously improving patient access. That’s how the Laboratory Drive-Thru was born.”

Metko said there is no extra fee for the service.

Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative set for Oct. 29
WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Justice is coordinating its second Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative for 2022 throughout Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Local law enforcement agencies will again host the events.

Those behind the initiative said its goal is to provide safe disposal of prescription medications, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen or misused.

Accepted items include prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, inhalers, creams, vials and pet medications.

Those not accepted are illegal drugs, needles/sharps, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials, mercury thermometers, personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc.) or household hazardous waste.

All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.

A list of the 135 statewide locations can be found at

UW research ovarian cancer screening, early detection
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center began a new project Oct. 1 that’s focused on earlier detection of ovarian cancer.

Ellen Hartenbach, a gynecologic oncologist at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, said of five types of gynecologic cancers, ovarian cancer continues to cause more deaths in the U.S. every year.

“This is partly because it’s hard to diagnose,” she said. “Symptoms can be generic like feeling full or bloated, pelvic or back pain, or issues with urination, and these are symptoms of many other medical conditions. So, it is not often caught as early as it needs to be for the best outcomes.”

Hartenbach said the new project is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is led by Irene Ong, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of biostatistics and medical informatics, and Manish Patankar, professor of obstetrics and gynecology – both at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Ong said in collaboration with UW, the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota, the team will use machine-learning models – a subcategory of artificial intelligence, that refers to the process by which computers develop pattern recognition, or the ability to continuously learn from and make predictions based on data, then make adjustments without being specifically programmed to do so – to investigate data from electronic health records.

“If this work can lead to a mammography equivalent for ovarian cancer, whether it is through imaging, molecular testing or risk prediction and screening through electronic health records, it will make an incredible difference in outcomes for patients,” she said.

Annual ‘BRAs of the Bay’ held during awareness month
ASHWAUBENON – The annual event to raise awareness of breast reconstruction was back this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The 8th annual BRAs of the Bay event, presented by Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic in Green Bay, was held Oct. 13 at the Resch Expo Center in Ashwaubenon.

BRAs of the Bay – BRA being an acronym for breast reconstruction awareness – is part of a national effort to educate women about their rights under the law.

Federal law mandates coverage of breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients, even if the reconstruction is delayed until after treatment for cancer.

“Patients need to be made aware of their rights under the law,” Elizabeth O’Connor, a plastic surgeon with BayCare Clinic, said. “Insurance must cover the cost of breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients. Many patients are still unaware of this important fact.”

In connection with the awareness campaign, O’Conner said the clinic invited Green Bay-area businesses and individuals to decorate and display a bra in conjunction with National BRA Day on Oct. 19 – with online voters responsible for choosing a favorite.

She said 80% of proceeds raised during the event went to Ribbon of Hope, a nonprofit organization that is a financial, informational and emotional resource for breast cancer patients in Northeast Wisconsin, with the remaining 20% going to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day USA organization.

Bellin Women’s Half Marathon, 5K attract more than 1,000 participants
GREEN BAY – More than 1,000 people participated in the 8th annual Bellin Women’s Half Marathon and 5th annual 5K held Oct. 1.

The event also welcomed six teams from myTEAM TRIUMPH, an organization that pairs athletes of diverse abilities together for an inclusive race experience.

Organizers said the event welcomed hundreds from Northeast Wisconsin, but also attracted participants from New Hampshire, Georgia, Washington, Oregon and Canada.

The Bellin Women’s Half Marathon was created in 2015 aimed at celebrating and motivating female athletes of all levels and abilities.

The 2023 event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7.

Other healthcare news:
St. John’s Ministries in Green Bay was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Crime Prevention Foundation of Brown County.
“These funds will be used to upgrade an important room at our Men’s Shelter, the medication room,” Michael Barribeau, security director at St. John’s Ministries, said. “Our staff oversees the recording and monitoring of each guest’s prescription medication to ensure they are taken properly and stored safely.”
The Crime Prevention Foundation of Brown County was formed to support programs that successfully target a variety of at-risk populations.

The Oral Health Partnership (OHP) has opened its fifth dental clinic in Green Bay (138 Siegler St.) to care for underserved children.
Support for the project came from a variety of sources – including the Brown County Health & Human Services American Rescue Plan Act grant, Thomas and Carole Guyette and the Schneider Foundation, as well as Humana, Green Bay Preble Optimist Foundation Inc., Optimist Club of Green Bay Foundation and Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allouez.

For the sixth consecutive October, the Green Bay Packers, Bellin Health and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation teamed up for the Packers vs. Cancer campaign, which helps raise awareness for all cancers, research and early detection.
The Packers Pro Shop is selling a new Packers vs. Cancer hat, with $5 from each hat sale going directly to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. 

The Oct. 6 “Run with the Cops” on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus was held to support Special Olympics athletes and to bring positivity to law enforcement.
Representatives from about a dozen agencies participated in the run.
Organizers estimate $350,000 has been raised over the past eight to nine years.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2023 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) course at Bellin College in Green Bay.
The program runs for eight semesters (two years, eight months), allowing students to enter the workforce earlier than traditional programs.
According to Bellin College, the DPT program is the lowest in cost among Wisconsin private schools.
For more information, see

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