Providing exceptional care is at the heart of the $100 million modernization project underway at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah. Three newly completed projects in the ongoing work will help teams provide more advanced care to the people ThedaCare serves.
The “Inspired Past; Healthier Future Modernization,” which was announced in October 2021, is transforming health care for those living in the region and allowing ThedaCare to continue its commitment to keeping care local.
Most recently, the ThedaStar Air Medical Program began using a newly created, additional helipad. The helipad is adjacent to the emergency department for rapid transfer of patients. Teams are also providing critical care in a redesigned and modernized trauma center.
In June, specialized teams began caring for patients in the modern cardiac catherization laboratory and special procedure suite. The space, which is also called a cath and specials lab, is integrated into the surgery department. In addition, the new physical, occupational and speech therapy space opened for care.
“The modernization supports ThedaCare’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves, allowing our system to enhance and expand services,” says Lynn Detterman, Senior Vice President of ThedaCare South Region.
The project advancements are welcome additions to the campus, which provides critical care services to Northeast and Central Wisconsin, she says. This includes the region’s only accredited Level II Trauma Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center.
The completion of the second helipad marks an important milestone.
“Having an aircraft that is staffed and ready for immediate response 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is critical for the communities we serve,” says Dr. Raymond Georgen, ThedaCare System Trauma Medical Director. “Thousands of lives have been saved through the access ThedaStar provides. The experienced flight nurses, paramedics, pilots, mechanics, and communications specialists work together to deliver fast, reliable, and quality care.”
ThedaStar transports and transfers trauma patients and critically ill patients, including transport from rural hospitals, Dr. Georgen says. This collaboration allows teams from across the entire region to work in concert with one another.
In addition to the new helipad, there is a separate hallway for patients who are experiencing a trauma. This provides individuals with the privacy and dignity they deserve. The first ThedaStar helipad and hangar, located near the W.G. Bryan Bridge, will remain in use.
Redesigned Trauma Center
The redesigned trauma center offers specialized rooms designed to enhance patient care and experience. The Level II Trauma Center offers care for people in a 17-plus county area in Northeast and Central Wisconsin.
The center’s layout is centered on the patient. It features rooms updated with the latest technology, equipment, and space to provide each person with the best care experience. For example, in the new trauma rooms, imaging is available in an adjacent room.
“Having a CT scanner next to the trauma room will allow for rapid imaging of seriously injured patients, and that is extremely valuable during crucial moments,” Dr. Georgen says. “We’re on the clock, and our teams must work quickly.”
The advanced, convenient equipment uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce images of the body. This has a positive impact on the care teams can deliver.
Complete Stroke and Cardiovascular Care
A cath and specials lab is an area with diagnostic imaging equipment and technology that teams use to care for people with cardiovascular and stroke conditions. This specialized area provides a space for minimally invasive tests and advanced cardiac procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.
Teams also provide pacemaker and defibrillator implants, pulmonary embolism treatment, and other interventional radiology procedures. The equipment and technology allow teams to diagnose and treat blockages and address other concerns.
The cath and specials lab also provides an area for teams to offer the most complex care for patients suffering from stroke and other neurovascular conditions, including brain aneurysms. The space allows teams to provide emergency stroke care, such as surgical thrombectomies, clot removal, and coil procedures, as well as other neurological treatments.
The space features biplane imaging, which is one of the most advanced interventional medical imaging technologies available. It uses fluoroscopes, or a “live X-ray,” to produce highly detailed images of blood vessels, soft tissue, and blood flow in real-time. Teams can also use it to identify the precise locations of a condition a patient might be experiencing, such as a blockage or aneurysm.
“Because of the time-critical nature of stroke events, hospital systems must have the best teams and resources available, as well as the ability to act with efficiency,” says Dr. Todd Peebles, a Neuro-interventional Radiologist and Co-Medical Director of the ThedaCare Stroke Center. “The updated space enhances the team’s ability to care for patients.”
Updated Therapy Space
In June, teams began caring for patients in an updated occupational, physical, and speech therapy space.
ThedaCare’s therapy experts provide care for a wide range of conditions, including brain injuries; neurological conditions; muscle, bone, and joint pain; and sports and work injuries.
Updates to the therapy space include:
- Expanded care space in a bright, comfortable, encouraging environment
- Additional private treatment rooms
- Implementation of a walking harness with opportunities for patients to work on gait and balance
- Updated driving simulator
“Our goal is that the updated space will provide a healing place for treatment that empowers people and supports their recovery process,” says Melissa Schaefer, Manager of the ThedaCare Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Program. “It all really ties back to ThedaCare’s mission of helping each person live their unique, best life. Through our comprehensive therapy program, we’re helping patients get back to doing what they love.”
The next areas of focus for the modernization include:
- Developing a new Women’s Center, which includes mammography, diagnostics and imaging, and bone density testing.
- Improving and expanding behavioral health services through redesigning the inpatient space.
- Creating “Main Street,” where key diagnostic outpatient services will be located on the first floor of the hospital to ensure easier patient access.
- Designing a new dining area on the main floor for the convenience of visitors and team members.
- Updating the Family Birth Center, allowing families to welcome babies into the world in a modern, comfortable, and soothing environment.
The full modernization is expected to be complete in early 2024.