ThedaCare Honors Namesake, Theda Clark, with New Branding
ThedaCare today announced that Appleton Medical Center becomes ThedaCare Regional Medical Center- Appleton on Wed., April 6 The new name is part of an organization-wide rebranding effort announced two years ago so all locations throughout Wisconsin are identified with the same name. The change officially happens when the new exterior signs are installed.
“We’re excited to see our rebranding efforts come to fruition,” said Brian Burmeister, senior vice president, ThedaCare Medical Centers. “This helps reinforce that ThedaCare is one system and we are all connected. We like to say we have one hospital – with seven locations. “Our name, ThedaCare, carries a legacy of excellence in healthcare in our communities,” Burmeister continued. “That name honors a remarkable woman, Theda Clark Peters, who dreamed of a better life for the people of northeastern Wisconsin.”
On October 18, 1903, Theda Clark Peters gave birth to a baby daughter. Three days later, Theda died from complications of childbirth. True to her visionary nature, she had prepared for this possibility. Shortly after learning she was pregnant, she asked her brother, Bill Clark, to administer her estate to develop a community hospital in Neenah if something happened to her. Bill honored his sister’s wishes, and in 1909, Theda Clark Memorial Hospital opened its doors.
The renaming of the Appleton hospital continues its strong legacy. In the 1940s, a group of citizens saw a need for a second hospital in Appleton that was non-sectarian and that the community could call its own. On Feb. 20, 1958, Appleton Memorial Hospital – now ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton – opened its doors. Fifty-eight years later, the hospital has grown in size, scope and reputation, becoming one of Wisconsin’s premier community hospitals and a regional destination for cardiovascular, orthopedic and other specialized care.
In the 1940s, the two visionaries, LeRoy G. Stohlman and Erwin W. Sailberlich, pursued the idea of a quality hospital for Appleton in spite of numerous challenges. Sailberlich met with area church representatives who joined him to form the Appleton Memorial Hospital Association, which received its charter of incorporation from the State of Wisconsin in 1948. In 1950, $14,000 was donated to the hospital campaign, and 23 acres of farmland was purchased at Meade and Grant streets. The Appleton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary donated an additional $1.5 million. Groundbreaking took place in August 1955.
On Nov. 10, 1957, the cornerstone was laid, signaling construction was nearly finished. In order to recognize the role various churches played in the hospital’s opening, the building was originally constructed in the shape of a cross. Today this can still be seen in the layout of the “north” tower.
“The name ThedaCare already dons our clinics, some hospitals, home health, behavioral health and other facilities. This renaming not only provides more clarity for our patients and employees about our facilities, but reflects our century-long commitment to delivering care with compassion and empathy,” Burmeister added “Over a century later, Theda Clark’s name resides throughout every ThedaCare facility that bears, and will bear, her name, as a symbol of her compassion and deep care for the community she loved.”
The decision to develop a rebranding strategy in 2014 was made after thoughtful, extensive research with health system leadership, team members and the community. Many ThedaCare facilities have already rolled out the new branding. In March, Theda Clark Medical Center became ThedaCare Regional Medical Center- Neenah. This spring Berlin Memorial Hospital and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital will also become ThedaCare Medical Center- Berlin and ThedaCare Medical Center- Wild Rose.
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 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. The ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.