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September 13, 2022

Construction Continues on $100M Investment to Modernize ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah

Advancements to Surgery Areas Underway, Services Open During Construction

Construction work continues at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah as part of the $100M investment to modernize the hospital campus, while enhancing and expanding services. The Inspired Past; Healthier Future modernization will transform health care for all those living in the region, and allow ThedaCare to continue its commitment to keeping care local in the Fox Cities. 

“It is exciting to see the enhancements taking shape with new areas that will advance coordinated care throughout the ThedaCare service area, including critical access hospitals,” said Lynn Detterman, Senior Vice President of ThedaCare South Region. “The Modernizations can provide patients with greater access to specialized care and an exceptional patient experience.” 

Since the groundbreaking in spring 2022, construction crews have been busy both outside and inside the hospital working on multiple components of the transformation that supports ThedaCare’s mission to improve health and well-being of the communities served.  

The next area of focus for construction crews will be to enhance and update surgical areas. Highlights include:  

  • Create and renovate nearly a dozen operating rooms to improve patient care and improve team member coordination. 
  • Create a Sterile Processing Department with new equipment which can support improved workflow and functional capabilities. 
  • Build a modern Cardiac Catherization Laboratory (cath lab) and Special Procedure Suite that is integrated into the Surgery Department. A cath lab is an area with diagnostic imaging equipment and technology that can be used to care for cardiovascular and stroke conditions. Plans also include the addition of a biplane to support comprehensive stroke services.  
  • Update Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) & Prep/Recovery to help patients as they begin to recover after surgery. 
  • Improve team member and support staff work spaces to help continue coordinated care, focused on the patient. 
  • Install a new canopy outside of the discharge area to keep patients out of inclement weather. 
  • Invest more than $10M to upgrade sterile areas, lights, processing equipment, surgical instruments and storage rooms. 

Care in the Emergency Department will remain open during the construction process. Select services will be temporarily relocated while extensive surgery construction takes place, including some gynecology, podiatry and urology surgeries. If changes will be made to the location of services, patients should expect communication from their provider and care teams.   

“Our team members are committed to helping patients and visitors navigate any changes they might experience during this time,” said Detterman. “We appreciate the community’s understanding as we work through construction at the Neenah campus. Our patients and families were our priority when we planned our intentional construction phases, allowing them to continue accessing critical services with ease.”  

Enhancements to better the patient experience at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah were funded in part through generous donors who support the ThedaCare Foundation-Neenah. The community has graciously contributed more than $15M to this historic project.  

The next phase of construction will include the Family Birth Center and Women’s Health areas. The full modernization is expected to be complete in fall 2023. 

Enhancing Robotic Technology  

As part of the surgery phase of construction, a major focus will be enhancing ThedaCare’s Robotic Surgery program. In 2007, ThedaCare was the first health system to offer da Vinci Xi Surgical System technology in the Fox Cities and continues to be a leader in robotic surgery.  

“We look forward to updating operating rooms to include advanced robotic surgical equipment through the Modernization Project,” said Dr. Raymond Georgen, ThedaCare Co-Medical Director of Bariatrics and ThedaCare System Trauma Medical Director. “We will also be creating four dedicated robotics suites to support better outcomes for patients and continue our development of a teaching environment for robotics surgery.”  

Robotic surgery is offered at the following ThedaCare locations: ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton, ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano and ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin.   

“With robotic surgery, there can be many potential benefits for the patient,” said Dr. Georgen. “Often, patients who undergo robotic surgery can experience shorter recovery times and possibly less pain. Offering the advanced technology in the Fox Cities and our rural communities allows patients to be close to family and friends, which can lead to improved recovery and can help reduce travel time for the patient and their families.” 

In addition to offering a variety of surgery options to patients, ThedaCare is a learning destination where surgeons from around the country come to learn from some of the leading robotic surgeons. ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah and ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano are case observation sites for robotic surgery in Wisconsin. Most sites only train in general surgery, ThedaCare trains in both general surgery and bariatrics.  

Since the robotic surgery program launched nearly 15 years ago, thousands of patients have been treated at ThedaCare.   

About ThedaCare 

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including eight hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique, best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. 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 not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.