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August 28, 2018

Welcome New Board Members

ThedaCare Medical Center-New London recently appointed Dean Steingraber and Melissa Sylte to its Board of Directors. These new members replace retiring Board members Doug Noel and Jim Williams, each of whom served on the Board for nine years.

Two Join the Board of Directors

ThedaCare Medical Center-New London recently appointed Dean Steingraber and Melissa Sylte to its Board of Directors. These new members replace retiring Board members Doug Noel and Jim Williams, each of whom served on the Board for nine years.

Steingraber, a lifelong resident of New London, is a professional engineer and currently the Highway Commissioner for Outagamie County. He and his wife Rhonda and their four children make their home in New London. He has served the local community for 34 years, working on both the Outagamie and Waupaca county highway departments. He is also an active member and volunteer at Emanuel Lutheran Church of New London, and he coaches a number of youth sports teams in the area.

Sylte was born in Plainfield, Wisconsin, and has lived in the state most of her life. She and her husband Craig Sylte, O.D., own and operate Griebenow Eyecare in New London and Clintonville; she is the office manager for those clinics. They live in New London with their daughter. Sylte had been active with the ThedaCare Foundation New London (formerly the Wolf River Area Healthcare Foundation) for several years, helping to raise money for different programs and facilities for the Medical Center. She has volunteered for the Friends of New London Public Museum and is also active with the Wisconsin Association of FFA, serving as its “Day of Service” project co-manager.

“Board members are selected based on their ability to make a commitment to the hospital’s charitable mission as a not-for-profit community hospital,” said Bill Schmidt, vice president of critical access hospital operations for ThedaCare Medical Center at New London and Shawano. “They must be thoughtful leaders, able to function on a team and deal with difficult issues, be capable of strategic, creative thinking and problem solving, and have time availability and interest in the position.” The Board also seeks to have diversity in age, gender, and race, and to always have a rural community member represented on the board.

Steingraber said, “Having been born and raised in New London and recognizing what a huge asset our hospital is to our area, I felt joining the Board was a great opportunity for me to learn more about our hospital and healthcare. I hope that some of the experiences I’ve had can offer different ways to approach healthcare problems and processes. But, most importantly, it’s a way for me to give back to my community and learn something new.”

He continued, “I think my wife, Rhonda, and I are both recognized as approachable people in the community…people are comfortable discussing problems and issues with us. As Highway Commissioner, I’ve had lots of experience with people bringing problems to me. I think I’m a good listener, and I ask questions to get to the root of a problem to figure out a solution. I know the hospital Board is very interested in having the pulse of the community, so I think that’s another role I can play as a member of the Board.”

Sylte said, “I’m always interested in giving back to the community I live in, and I think having been active with the Healthcare Foundation makes serving on the Board a good fit. Also, with our eyecare business, my husband and I are very healthcare-oriented and eager to provide great healthcare options close to home.”

She continued, “Our area is really fortunate to have such a great healthcare facility with the hospital and ThedaCare Physicians right here. For a relatively rural area, it’s a great asset. I’ve lived in other states where you have to drive an hour or more for decent health care. Having such good medical care available here is also a great boost for attracting new businesses and professional people. If I can help in any way to provide input from community members to make sure the hospital fulfills all the needs of the community, then that’s a great thing to do.”

“We are pleased to welcome Dean and Melissa to the hospital’s Board,” said Schmidt. “I’m confident their leadership skills and dedication to this community will help us lead ThedaCare Medical Center-New London into the future.” Steingraber and Sylte will each be eligible to serve three three-year terms on the Board, if they so choose.

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 and the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton. 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. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.