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ThedaCare Meets Diverse Needs of Community Members

Last updated: December 22, 2022

“[Food insecurity] is not just about hunger. It can lead to chronic disease, and it can lead to mental health, trauma, and social isolation issues.

Jean Blaney-McGinnis, Community Health Coordinator, ThedaCare

I love to run, so I think I have a better understanding of some of the passion that goes into that. As a runner, having that taken away is sometimes taking away a part of me and part of what makes me feel good and helps me get through the day.

JP Larson, Physical Therapist, ThedaCare

ThedaCare is inspired by you and your experiences — from everyday events to milestone moments. The Life Inspired movement is all about creating a healthier, more vibrant future for everyone.

ThedaCare is carrying out the work on many levels: from large-scale and far-reaching efforts like dedicating itself to becoming a population health organization to the day-to-day work of providing exceptional care when and where you need it most.

Forging meaningful partnerships is key to helping ThedaCare deliver on its mission of improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves and empowering individuals to live their unique, best lives. Two of the many partnerships that stand out from 2022 are ThedaCare’s involvement with Make a Difference Day and the Fox Cities Marathon.

Make a Difference Day

ThedaCare partnered with Volunteer Fox Cities this fall to address food insecurity. According to Feeding America, approximately 415,400 Wisconsinites face hunger. That’s one in 14 adults, and one in eight children. For children in particular, the effects take a toll, as hunger impacts a child’s academic and social growth.

“It’s not just about hunger. It can lead to chronic disease, and it can lead to mental health, trauma, and social isolation issues,” said Jean Blaney-McGinnis, Community Health Coordinator for ThedaCare.

To help address the issue, ThedaCare team members came together to build 1,000 food boxes at seven locations throughout the region. The boxes included nutritious, non-perishable food, a list of additional local resources available, and “Creations of Kindness” — 3D hearts with positive messages and colored coasters, handmade by ThedaCare team members. ThedaCare is distributing the boxes in the communities it serves.

Estimates show that only around 20% of health is created inside the walls of health care systems. That’s why helping meet people’s basic needs, including having access to healthy food, is one part of ThedaCare’s dedication to population health.

“This is ThedaCare’s mission in action,” said ThedaCare President and CEO Dr. Imran Andrabi, who helped assemble food boxes as part of the event. “I was super proud of the people at ThedaCare who were taking the time out of their personal lives to be there to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Events like Make a Difference Day are made possible thanks to ThedaCare’s strong community partnerships with organizations like Volunteer Fox Cities, Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin, and United Way Fox Cities, Blaney-McGinnis said.

Fox Cities Marathon

ThedaCare also promotes health and well-being through its support of events like the Fox Cities Marathon. ThedaCare is the title sponsor of the Fox Cities Half Marathon, and ThedaCare sports medicine physician Dr. David Hirschi serves as medical director for the event. ThedaCare Orthopedic Care also develops a training guide for runners each year.

JP Larson, a ThedaCare physical therapist, is one of many team members who supports the Fox Cities Marathon in his work and his personal life. As a PT at ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain, he helps runners and walkers who are experiencing injuries. Outside of work, he’s a running enthusiast himself and gives time to supporting fellow runners through PaceSetters, a running and walking nonprofit organization.

“I love to run, so I think I have a better understanding of some of the passion that goes into that,” Larson said of the help he provides to athletes. “As a runner, having that taken away is sometimes taking away a part of me and part of what makes me feel good and helps me get through the day.

“For some people, it’s I want to run a marathon. For some people, it’s ‘I just want to not have pain,’” he continued. “That is the highlight of my day, when someone comes back and says, ‘Remember, I said I wanted to do this? I did it yesterday. Thank you.’ There’s no better pay than that for me.”

Dr. Andrabi said Larson is one example of many ThedaCare team members who give it their all both inside and outside of work. The partnership with the Fox Cities Marathon shows that you don’t have to be sick to be a part of a health care system, he said.

“This is what population health and Life Inspired are all about. This is not about sick care,” Dr. Andrabi said. “This is about health and well-being, and that you are physically well and mentally well and spiritually well. Then you are truly living your best life, whatever the definition for you may be.”

Learn more about how ThedaCare gets involved

Tags: Fox Cities Marathon Life Inspired Make a Difference Day ThedaCare Mission Volunteering

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