Western Wisconsin

Western Wisconsin

Founder’s vision for exceptional neonatal care continues

The extraordinary vision of James Opitz, MD, the founder of Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), continues to be a reality.

Achieving excellence, the NICU offers the highest level care in central and northern Wisconsin. Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s NICU and the Birth Center have been designated as north central Wisconsin’s Perinatal Center.

The NICU started when Dr. Opitz began his neonatology practice in 1969. “I got a call asking if I’d be interested in developing a perinatal center in Marshfield,” said Dr. Opitz. “Wisconsin was becoming more regionalized in perinatal care and it was a good fit.”

His initial task was overseeing education and training in neonatal intensive care. From this humble beginning, the 24-bed NICU has grown to be staffed by five neonatologists, a team of specialized NICU nurses and a team of on-site pediatric specialists who provide hands-on care.

“Building a neonatal unit was dynamic and challenging work,” Dr. Opitz said. “We recruited physicians in pediatric subspecialty areas such as cardiology, neurology, infectious disease, endocrinology, surgery and genetics. We also started the neonatal transport service.”

Neonatal transport is the critical first step of care for these tiny patients. Specialized knowledge, skill and equipment are also necessary. The advancements in technology, including high frequency ventilators, nitric oxide therapy for pulmonary hypertension, I-Stat for lab work at the bedside and during transport, and bubble nasal CPAP for respiratory support, have increased the chances of survival and normalcy for these small babies.

But according to Dr. Opitz, the main reasons for improved quality of care are the experienced, specialty trained nursing staff and constant peer review by fellow providers who care for these littlest patients.

It is the combination of technology, excellence and specialized staff that makes Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s NICU the best choice for care in north central Wisconsin for the most premature, critically ill babies.

Primary care is your ally for good health

Having a primary care provider you trust allows you to develop a long-term, powerful, healing relationship. By seeing the same person over the course of your life, you establish a relationship that allows

your primary care provider to:

  • Understand your values and views on care.
  • Make referrals to a specialist or surgeon that complements your values and personality.
  • Help you minimize health care costs.
  • Make health recommendations that are best for your circumstances.
  • Act as a medical manager for your health when serious problems arise.

Primary care providers can help you keep your quality of care high and your health care costs low as they work with you to develop lifestyle changes that prevent disease, maintain health or minimize the symptoms of chronic illnesses.

Your primary care provider is your first point of contact in your personal medical system. Primary care providers may be Doctors of Medicine (MD); Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO); Physician Assistants (PA), or Nurse Practitioners (NP).

NPs and PAs provide the same level of care for patients and are able to prescribe medication and other treatments, perform physical exams and histories; diagnose and treat common medical problems; order and interpret diagnostic tests and studies such as lab work and X-rays; diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infection, and injuries; manage a patient’s ongoing health care; and provide patient education and counseling.

Although they are able to perform the same services, their training is different. NPs are registered nurses with advanced education (most have master’s degrees) and advanced clinical training. PAs graduate from an accredited Physician Assistant program, and candidates for the profession must sit for the certifying examination developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Wisconsin requires the candidate to pass this examination prior to licensure as a PA.

Which primary care provider is right for you?

Family medicine providers can take care of the whole family regardless of age. Knowing patients and their health histories over long periods of time gives these providers added insight into a person’s health.

Internal medicine providers, sometimes called internists, specialize in adult care. They provide preventative care and diagnose and treat adult disorders, from common illnesses and chronic diseases to rare and difficult conditions. Internists can treat people who are dealing with many health conditions at once.

Pediatric providers are dedicated to the physical, mental and emotional health of infants, young children and adolescents. They can also provide support and advice for raising healthy children.

When your health condition requires surgery or specialized care, your primary care provider will refer you to the appropriate specialist. After you are seen by a specialist, you will still see your primary care provider as well, for general health care. To find a primary care provider, visit ministryhealth.org/findadoctor.

Pundeep Kahlon, MD, joins Ministry Victory Medical Group in Thorp

Family physician Pundeep Kahlon, MD, has joined Ministry Victory Medical Group’s Thorp Clinic and the medical staff of Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital.

Cindy Eichman, president of Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital and Ministry Victory Medical Group, says, “We feel Dr. Kahlon will do an excellent job treating patients of all ages and will help meet the needs of our female patients who would prefer to see a woman physician. She was elected Chief Resident by her peers, which is the highest compliment and reserved for only one resident, based on her clinical knowledge and working relationships with patients and staff.”

Dr. Kahlon is a family medicine physician who can take care of the physical, mental and emotional health of you and your family through all the stages of your life. Family doctors are trained in all areas of medicine and can diagnose and treat a full range of health problems. Dr. Kahlon also treats patients in the hospital along with the other medical staff members.

Dr. Kahlon and her husband came to the United States from Canada to pursue their medical residency programs.

To make an appointment with Dr. Kahlon, call 715.669.7279.

High school students receive free physicals

Ministry Victory Medical Group’s Stanley, Thorp and Owen Clinics gave 181 high school students free sports physicals which comply with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) requirements for participation.

“Sports physicals are not always covered by insurance and some families may not have the financial ability to pay, especially if they have more than one child involved in sports,” said Ministry Victory Medical Group’s Clinic Manager, Cindy Lindgren.

“These physicals can help parents identify potential health risks, as they did in 5 percent of the students we screened.” During the physicals, health care providers evaluate the prospective athlete’s overall appearance, eyes, ears, nose, throat, lymph nodes, heart, pulse, lungs, abdomen and skin. They also evaluate the musculoskeletal system and look at the neck, back, shoulder /arm, elbow/forearm, wrist / hand, hip/thigh, knee, leg/ankle and foot.

Senior Fair

Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital Atrium
Monday & Tuesday, November 1 & 2, 2010

  • Flu /Pneumovax Vaccines Available
    Monday: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Tuesday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Refreshments will be provided by the OLV Partners Group during this time.
  • OLV Partners Gift /Book Sale
    Monday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. • Tuesday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Seniors, here’s your opportunity to get some holiday shopping in at the same time that you get your flu shot. Save 70 percent off retail prices!
  • Information on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance will be available both days. 

Sponsored by Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital

Questions? Please call 715.644.5571 for more information.