New Shawano Doctor Practices Full Spectrum Family Medicine
Amanda Bernath, MD, of ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano, is profoundly shaped by her early experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country of Senegal. As a recent college graduate, she worked in remote communities for two years to care for pregnant mothers and young children and educate families about issues related to malaria and nutrition. “I came away with a great appreciation for grass roots intervention, the seemingly small ways that can have a big impact on helping people lead healthier lives,” Dr. Bernath said. “I feel I really honed my skills in assessing the needs of a village or population.”
The Brookfield native is rooted in a family of care providers having grown up with a physical-therapist father, healthcare-administrator mother, and a sister who went on to become a registered nurse. “I look across my family and see a lot of RNs and teachers. As far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a doctor.” Dr. Bernath earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in biochemistry and her medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. During her third and fourth years of medical school, she studied in Marquette, Michigan, to pursue her special interest in rural medicine.
Dr. Bernath completed her residency within the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she spearheaded a prenatal outreach program for Somali immigrant women in the metropolitan area. It was a heartening opportunity to reconnect with a community that shared many characteristics of the families she came to know in Senegal. “These women have very different beliefs and ideas about pregnancy and medicine in general. The learning went both ways,” she said. Dr. Bernath’s outreach to the Somali women earned her the 2017 Department of Family and Community Medicine Community Partnership Award granted by the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Bernath and her husband Dan moved to Shawano last fall where she began work at ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano as a full-spectrum family practice doctor, a position where she cares for pregnant women and helps deliver babies in addition to customary family practice responsibilities. As a hospitalist, too, she occasionally supervises the care of inpatients at the adjacent ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. The variety of Dr. Bernath’s days in Shawano is complemented by a time-share agreement that affords her the flexibility to travel and practice international medicine in the future.
Dr. Bernath and her husband have two young daughters Adeline and Emily, ages 3 and 1. They bought a home in Shawano that requires just a quick three-minute commute to the clinic and hospital. While Dr. Bernath’s travel schedule is light these days, she still enjoys hikes with her family and the dogs or a good game of dress-up with her little girls. “I am learning about our community and finding ways to help people lead healthier lives.”
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a nonprofit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, and stroke, orthopedic and cardiac programs, as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.