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OSP Building Exterior
July 25, 2023

ThedaCare Medical Center–Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Celebrates First Year of Caring for Community

Teams Dedicated to Providing Personalized, Comprehensive Care

ThedaCare Medical Center–Orthopedic, Spine and Pain (OSP), located in Appleton, is celebrating the first year of providing care for communities in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The facility, a combination of multiple medical disciplines and services, opened its doors on July 25, 2022.

With the goal of aligning to ThedaCare’s mission to improve the health and well-being of communities served, OSP was designed to help teams proactively understand patients, anticipating health wants and needs, by supporting each person in their health goals. In the first year of operation, there were more than 60,000 patient clinic visits at OSP.

“We aimed to create a center of excellence, bringing orthopedic, spine and pain care all together,” said David Corso, Vice President of ThedaCare Medical Center–Orthopedic, Spine and Pain. “Our care teams provide a full range of orthopedic and spine care, including total joint replacement, arthroscopy, foot and ankle surgery, sports medicine, fracture care, spine surgery and procedures, physical rehabilitation and pain management, all delivered with options ranging from non-surgical treatments to complex surgeries.”

Corso added the facility houses all the ancillary services needed to support those activities, such as x-ray and other imaging methods, labs, pharmacy and physical and occupational therapy.

“We were very purposeful in the design and services that would be offered at OSP,” said Corso. “We are the only facility in the Fox Valley area that has orthopedics, sports medicine, spine specialists, physiatrists and pain doctors all under one roof.”

Corso emphasized that care at OSP is centered around the patient.

“Our mission, and the way the building was designed, focuses on bringing services to the patient as much as possible,” he said. “For example, when a patient comes for an office visit, if an x-ray is needed, we have units just down the hall from the exam room, minimizing the movement of the patient. If we need to perform phlebotomy services, like drawing blood, we do that in the exam room. If the patient needs a specific type of brace or casting, those specialists come to the exam room.”

Continuing Partnership with Neuroscience Group

ThedaCare partnered with the Neuroscience Group (NSG) of Neenah to bring together the needed team of medical professionals to staff OSP. NSG joined with ThedaCare in the ownership and operation of the outpatient services at OSP, while ThedaCare solely owns the hospital facilities.

“NSG has been proud to partner with ThedaCare for more than three decades, and when leaders approached us to join in the development of OSP, we knew it would continue the strong partnership,” said Steven Price, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Administrator for the Neuroscience Group.

Through the partnership, NSG is the exclusive provider of spine surgery services and joins with ThedaCare physicians in providing pain management. NSG surgeons and pain management providers hold office hours and do procedures at OSP, including neuro-diagnostic studies, providing comprehensive care for patients.

“NSG shares the same values as ThedaCare in that we want to do the right thing for our community, which means making sure we provide the full spectrum of services in a way that maintains the highest standards of quality and ethics,” said Dr. Price. “That means providing the care that’s necessary to get patients back to doing what they love.”

Providing Comprehensive Care in the First Year

In addition to the 60,000-plus office visits, OSP and NSG physicians have performed more than 7,500 surgical or pain management procedures. Occupational and physical therapists have provided more than 26,500 therapy sessions in the first year.

The therapy area has a pool for aquatic therapy, and multiple floor surfaces to help patients work through rehabilitation for various sports.

“We have a basketball court, a track surface and artificial turf,” said Corso. “There’s also a pitching mound, and a net that comes down from the ceiling to allow therapists to rehabilitate patients playing baseball, softball, golf and lacrosse. The variety of areas allows our teams to treat individuals so they can return to their passion.”

OSP also has a simulation home apartment, which allows therapists to work with surgical patients after hip and knee replacements or spine surgeries to help them safely re-engage in activities of daily living.

Corso said the hospital imaging department performed more than 9,000 imaging tests in the past year, including x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds for patients.

He noted that OSP is currently the only ThedaCare location with a 3 Tesla MRI. 

“A 3T MRI offers higher quality images and shorter scan times,” he explained. “Not only does it provide better images to assist with the accuracy of injury assessment, it also lowers scan times for patients. That is particularly helpful for individuals who may not feel entirely comfortable during an MRI.”

The ThedaCare Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic is also located at OSP. Patients may come in with a simple bone break, muscle injury, work injury, pain, swollen joint, sprain, strain, back pain, fracture or dislocation. At their first visit, they can have X-rays or other imaging taken, meet with a specialist provider, and receive an initial treatment, if recommended. 

Providers also will arrange for follow-up care as needed, which can include pain management, physical therapy, a surgery consultation or other therapies.

“Understanding the needs of our communities, in the first year, we expanded our walk-in care services to seven days a week, allowing our teams to provide additional care options for patients, including on weekends,” said Corso. “In reality, the vast majority of musculoskeletal injuries do not require an emergency department visit. Instead, the patient can see a provider to evaluate the injury. If an x-ray or bracing and casting is needed, we can provide that at OSP. And, if a broken bone requires surgery, we can schedule that here, too. Having these patients come to our walk-in clinic relieves pressure on our local emergency departments, allowing those teams to care for emergencies such as heart attacks or strokes.”

Corso noted that OSP’s patient assessment surveys, part of the nationally standardized Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems monitored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ranked OSP in the top 5% of 2,300 hospitals.

Right Care for the Patient

Joshua Blomberg, M.D., an orthopedic trauma care physician and surgeon, splits his time between OSP and ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah’s Trauma Center. He primarily provides fracture care, including surgery, at both facilities. He said OSP represents the next evolution in health care, and puts ThedaCare into a category with other systems providing care for the future.

“With OSP, we have a hospital and out-patient facility that provides very focused care for orthopedic, spine and pain problems,” explained Dr. Blomberg. “That narrow focus really increases the quality and efficiency of care for the patient, from check-in to discharge, and all the treatments in between. It was very forward thinking for a health care system of our size to undertake this revolutionary approach to health care, and it has been a success.”

Dr. Blomberg added the care teams include fellowship-trained ThedaCare orthopedics, sports medicine and pain providers along with top-ranked Neuroscience Group providers. In addition to creating the best experience possible for patients and their families, OSP offers a more efficient work area for health care teams.

“When teams are dedicated to one aspect of medicine, they become experts,” said Dr. Blomberg. “When they’re working with the same surgeons, day-in and day-out, doing the same procedures, they get very good at it. They know what is best for the patient. It also extends the coordination behind-the-scenes with the care delivered during and after surgery.”

Throughout the first year of care at OSP, teams continue the commitment to getting patients back to doing what they love most, as quickly and pain-free as possible. That commitment remains true for the future.

“Our teams are looking forward to year two at OSP,” said Corso. “We are proud to play a role in ThedaCare’s mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities, and continue to offer the right care, in the right place, for generations to come.”

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 650,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 providers and team members. 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 about a patient’s care. ThedaCare is proud to partner with Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network to enhance convenient access to the most advanced levels of specialty 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.