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Fall 2011

your gui de to h e a lth & wellness

Healthy Game-Day Food Doctor Double Take GIVING BACK: Youth Matters

Unbreakable Orthopaedic teams and rehabilitation experts go beyond bones and joints

e m o c l We , e n i z a g a m allenge h c e h t d e v to YOUR lo I . d e compos ive and creatively


“Very informat owalke, Darboy K eb D – .” s k r @ ma of finding all the “These stories illustrate how important a positive attitude, patience, family chool is back in session, football is back on TV and cooler support and excellent medical care are.”

temperatures are back as well. In our effort to make a personal connection with you, we explore the topics that matter most to you this season – fighting influenza, eating healthy at game-day gatherings and “greening” your home for the winter weather to come. The orthopaedic patient stories in our sophomore issue of @Affinity are courageous, compelling and, most importantly, evidence that bones and joints may break and bother but heart and spirit are absolute. Not only do we care about the cause and effect, but also our patients’ families, passions and goals. When Becky McMahon broke both of her legs, our orthopaedic and rehabilitation experts got her back to her horse-riding hobby. When Leon Luker came down with a serious infection in his knee, his care team helped him heal and return to his favorite outdoor activities. It’s these acts of compassion and collaboration from our medical team that shed light on our commitment to personalized care. Read on for healthy snack options during tailgating season, explore an effective therapy for Parkinson’s disease, follow one doctor on her quest to help local youth and an Affinity team member’s adventure in eco-updating his family’s home, plus much more. Let us know what you think by posting your Our blog: comments on our blog. We’re listening! Sincerely, www.a

– Raylene Wauda, Appleton

ton le p p A e h t t a e u s st is “I received my fir read it cover to cover. I Farmers Market. nd information.” la Excellent materia – Brenda Johnsen, Appleton

“Move over G ood

een Bay

“I love all the local info and colorful pages. It definitely kept me reading!”

ffinityhealth .org/blog Follow us:

Daniel E. Neufelder, FACHE President and CEO Affinity Health System

“Inspiring, local stories that showcase health and wellness in the Fox Valley.” 2 | @Affinity

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Housekeepin g!” – Roberta B axter, Gr – Tammy Weeks, Berlin

AFFINIT Y HEALTH SYSTEM IS... • St. Elizabeth Hospital ‑ Appleton • Mercy Medical Center ‑ Oshkosh • Calumet Medical Center ‑ Chilton • Affinity Medical Group Clinics • Network Health Plan • Affinity Occupational Health For a complete list of Affinity clinic locations or to find a physician, go to our website at

– Aditee Shet, Menasha or call Affinity NurseDirect atw w1-800-362-9900. w. a f f i n i t y h e a l t h . o r g / b l o g

c o n t e n t s FALL 2011

F E AT U R E s

Affinity Health System Menasha, WI

10 Pedal to the Metal

President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel E. Neufelder, FACHE

 ith four artificial joints, an Oshkosh W man survives on faith in orthopaedic medicine and the fact that he can still feel his ATV accelerate beneath his feet.

Photographs by Shane Van Boxtel, Image Studios

Chief Administrative Officer Vince Gallucci Editorial Management Jennifer Wagner Mauk John Egan Alison Fiebig Volume 1, Number 2 The material in @Affinity is not intended for diagnosing or prescribing. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

14 If Recovery Had Reins

 he broke both of her legs, but one S Black Creek woman returns to her horse-riding hobby with a take-noprisoners attitude and the support of her family, a faithful team of orthopaedic specialists, therapists and others.

Photographs by Shane Van Boxtel, Image Studios

C o v e r i l l u s t r a t i o n b y N i c h o l a s Wi l t o n

@Affinity is published four times annually by Affinity Health System. For permission to reprint any portion of this magazine, change your address, discontinue multiple copies or stop receiving @Affinity, please contact us at


© 2011 Affinity Health System. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from Affinity Health System. RV

S ho rt Cl ips

4 With Women in Mind


Mission, Promise and Values



 A new Breast Center opens at St. Elizabeth Hospital by the n umber s

5 Pumpkins, Backpacks and @ Signs, Oh my!


At Affinity Health System, our mission guides our actions.


Mission The mission of Affinity Health System is to live out the healing ministry of Christ by providing services that promote the health and well-being of the communities we serve, especially the poor.


Interesting local and national figures

In Season FALL

6 Tackling Temptation

Tips on making game day more nutritious

good eat ’n

7 The Sloppy Joe Switch-Up

A reader-submitted Sloppy Joe recipe gets a makeover

We promise to provide personalized care by listening, treating you with respect and putting your needs and interests first.


Tips and recommendations to “green” your home for winter

The way we accomplish our mission is as important as the mission itself. These values and traditions of our sponsors, Ministry Health Care and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, guide our actions.

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Get gr een

8 The Fall Focus

10 Be we ll

9 Speaking Loud and Moving Big

The therapy program positively impacting those with Parkinson’s disease

Illustration by Travis Foster

afte r ca r e

18 Not Your Average Joes

Meet Dr. Joe McCormick and

Dr. Joseph McCormick, III, two orthopaedic surgeons with Affinity Medical Group at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton

giving back

20 The Gift of Time

One Affinity pediatrician cares for kids outside the clinic

l ear n & l ive

22 Snowmobile and ATV

Safety, plus Call It Quits

Educational opportunities @ Affinity

k ids@ affinity

23 Hand Turkey and

Autumn Puzzle Fun

Contests and games for children (and the young- at-heart) Fa l l 2 0 1 1




’Tis the Season

Check in for a mammogram appointment in the new lobby area that points patients to a reception room with hot tea and coffee.

With Women in Mind


n August 15, 2011, the new Breast Center opened its doors in St. Elizabeth Hospital. Innovation and smart design come together to create a friendly, state-of-the-art facility that enhances the patient experience. The new space was recently designated as a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The accreditation was achieved in mammography, breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided breast biopsy and stereotactic breast biopsy. It is also one of the few sites in Wisconsin accredited in breast MRI through the American College of Radiology. After registering or checking in for mammogram appointments, a patient can sit back with a cup of tea or coffee. Then, in the moments leading up to meeting the technologist, a patient will relax in a private, softly-lit space before their mammogram. The technologist accompanies a patient to one of three mammography rooms where they conduct exams using state-of-the-art digital equipment. St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Breast Center offers Walk-In Wednesdays, when women do not need to schedule an appointment for a screening mammogram. They can simply walk in on a Wednesday anytime between 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. The new Breast Center completed 85 mammograms on the first Wednesday it was open – the highest volume day since 2001. In August, Calumet Medical Center’s Breast Center completed 15 mammograms as part of their new Walk-In Weekdays program. Women can get their annual screening mammogram at Calumet Medical Center every weekday 4 | @Affinity

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without an appointment, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment at St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Breast Center, call: (920) 831-1200. To schedule an appointment at Calumet Medical Center’s Breast Center, call: (920) 849-7539, ext. 2406.

Night for Women Women of all ages from Chilton, the Fox Valley and beyond gathered for a night out on October 10 at the 9th Annual Night for Women event. Presented by Calumet Medical Center and Calumet Area Community Health Foundation, Erin Davisson, co-anchor at WFRV Channel 5, took the stage to share her emotional story about living with Wilson’s disease, a rare, inherited disorder that causes the body to retain copper. The disease can be life-threatening, as it was in Davisson’s case, because excess copper damages the liver and nervous system. Davisson was put on the transplant list and received a liver from an 18-year-old boy in Florida. That was 20 years ago. Today, a healthy Davisson talks openly about her experience as a transplant patient. “I hope women took away the idea that attitude is everything, that life approached with humor, courage and hope will always be a life well-lived,” she says. Attendees also heard from Dr. Kathryn Meyer, obstetrician and gynecologist with Affinity Medical Group, and enjoyed refreshments and interactive booths by community organizations.

As October wraps up, flu season starts up. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses and is most commonly spread through coughing or sneezing by someone who has been infected with the virus. The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in January or February but seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. “This year’s influenza vaccine includes protection against three types of the virus, including H1N1 (swine flu),” says Dr. Ben Heinzen, an internal medicine physician for Affinity Medical Group. “It is important to receive the vaccine early as it takes two weeks for immunity to develop.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year as the first, and most important, step in protecting against flu viruses. To schedule your flu shot, call your primary care provider. Take an active role in reducing your risk for and the spread of influenza by doing the following: • Wash your hands often. • Eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of rest. • Avoid contact with people who are sick. • If you get the flu, stay home from work, school and social gatherings to avoid spreading illnesses. • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs often spread this way. • Get a flu shot.

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is the new phone number for The Center for Spine and Brain Health at Affinity Health System. It opened in April to better serve the individual surgical and non-surgical needs of Affinity patients. (A fool-proof way to remember: 1-888-SPINE-11.)


In our summer issue of @Affinity, we asked readers to guess how many ‘@’ symbols were printed throughout the magazine. While people set out to win a T-shirt by submitting their best guess, only 34 individuals guessed right with the number 60! Turn to page 23 for details on how to submit a guess for ‘@’ signs in this issue.


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From August 22-28, the virtual reality tour of St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Breast unique visitors. Center had


Your spine consists of 33 bones called vertebrae, which are separated by discs that act as natural shock absorbers. These discs are put to work when your child straps on a backpack five days a week. When carrying a heavy backpack, kids have to compensate by bending forward at the hips or arching the back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally. It is recommended that kids carry packs of no more than of their body weight.

to 15%

Lambeau Field, home to the Super Bowl XLV champions, has 73,128 seats, but the Green Bay Packers revealed in August 2011 that a $143 million expansion will add almost 7,000 seats to the south end zone (among other updates). Projected to be finished for the 2013 season, the expansion will make Lambeau Field one of the biggest stadiums in the NFL.



On October 9, 2010, a Wisconsin man overturned the Guinness World Record for heaviest pumpkin ever grown with a 1,810.5-pound orange giant. His pumpkin knocked out the previous record by 85 pounds and inches – that’s more than 15 feet! measured in with a circumference of


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@Affinity | 5

in season fall

fall 6 • good eat’n 7 • be well 8 • go green 9

Tackling Temptation Fall is in full swing and so are tempting tailgate spreads. We sat down with Julia Salomón, corporate dietitian and nutrition educator at Affinity Health System, for tips on making game day more nutritious — and delicious — this football season.


By Samantha Zinth eekends in northeast Wisconsin are for friends, family and football. The beverages are flowing, the grill is sizzling and counting calories is the furthest thing from your mind. Before you know it, you’ve had two brats and the only vegetable you’ve seen all day is a plate full of potato chips. According to Salomón, overindulging is especially easy to do at parties. Although we eat to satisfy hunger, our food choices are often influenced by external factors like the occasion and the environment. “When we tailgate, we are usually with friends and family, cheering on our favorite team. This celebratory aura influences what and how much we eat,” Salomón says. “It’s often easier to be in the moment celebrating, rather than being mindful of what we’re putting in our mouths.” Luckily, making healthy choices at your next tailgate party doesn’t mean spending the entire celebration hovering over the veggie tray. But you’re going to need a good game plan. Salomón recommends taking a proactive approach to eating before you even leave the house. She offers up a few tips to follow this football season: If you are prone to overeating, have a light snack before you go. Or take menu

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Easy Game-Day Alternatives Salomón hands over a list of simple menu substitutions to help lighten up your next game day spread.

Mayonnaise vs. Plain Greek Yogurt and Hummus

Use plain Greek yogurt when preparing traditional mayo-based salads. The yogurt will add a nice tangy flavor, similar to sour cream. You can also use it to make dips instead of using mayo or sour cream. Yogurt has less calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium than mayonnaise. So does hummus, a creamy and delicious spread made from chickpeas.

Potato Chips vs. Pita Chips

Per serving size, pita chips generally tend to be lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. They have a wonderful crunch and can be used for dipping into hummus or other healthy dips.

matters into your own hands by bringing a healthy dish to share. Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to confuse hunger for thirst. When you’re feeling the urge to snack, drink a glass of water and wait five to 10 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. Drink alcohol responsibly. For some people, beer is a part of the tailgate experience, but it should be enjoyed in moderation. A good rule is to drink eight ounces of water after every eight ounces of beer. Be conscious of portion sizes. Taking a small plate, if there’s one available, will help you feel like you’re eating a lot, when you’re really only eating a little. Eat slowly to help establish that brain-stomach connection. “Your stomach knows it’s full 15 minutes before your brain does,” adds Salomón. Allow yourself to splurge once if you want to, but then cut down on other calorie-dense foods for the rest

Bratwurst vs. Chicken Kabobs

With 25 grams of total fat and nine grams of saturated fat per link, a bratwurst may be a grilling favorite, but it really is the “wurst” option for your health. Try chicken kabobs for a fun, delicious and healthier grilling option. Marinade ahead of time and grill with pieces of colorful peppers, onions, zucchini or pineapple.

Ground Beef vs. Ground Turkey

Ground turkey is a healthier alternative for ground beef in chili, soups or burgers. Many folks prefer the taste of ground turkey to ground beef. The key for a healthier turkey burger is to choose ground turkey that is made from the turkey breast or the lean white part of the turkey meat. If beef is preferred, choose lean ground beef such as ground sirloin or ground round.

of the day. It’s important not to get down on yourself if you slip up. “It’s not about what we do in one meal,” Salomón says. “It’s how we approach food throughout the entire day. The key is balance and moderation.” Samantha Zinth is a freelance writer and stayat-home mom living in Neenah. She spends many Saturdays in Madison cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers.

Julia Salomón, RD corporate dietitian and nutrition educator, Affinity Health System

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Your recipes with a wholesome twist

good eat’n

The Sloppy Joe Switch-Up


n the l ast issue, we asked @Affinity readers to send us recipes to be considered for our “Good Eat’n” feature. Joanne Ripley, of Green Bay, submitted a recipe for Sloppy Joes, a comfort food favorite. Ripley’s recipe called for hamburger but Julia Salomón, nutrition educator at Affinity Health System, suggests:

“Ground turkey breast would be the best choice as the breast has more white meat and it tends to be leaner. Sloppy Joes are relatively easy to make and, as our reader points out, delicious.” Every family has its own version of this classic, but Salomón made a few health-conscious tweaks.

Sloppy Joes

Ingredients 1 lb. ground turkey or soy crumbles (*if using soy crumbles, rehydrate in low sodium broth before sautéing). 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup green or red peppers, diced 1 large carrot, finely diced or shredded 15 ounce can tomato sauce 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil 6-8 whole wheat buns Preparation 1. In a large bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and brown sugar. Set aside.

2. In a skillet, over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until just translucent (or use non-stick skillet and skip the oil). Add green or red peppers and carrots and sauté for another minute or two. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add ground turkey, mix and sauté until lightly browned. Add tomato mixture to the turkey and vegetables sauté and mix well. 3. Season with salt and pepper and heat everything through. Serve on whole wheat buns. Enjoy with a fresh green salad.

* If using soy crumbles, add tomato sauce mixture to the vegetables first, then add the crumbles to the skillet. Mix well.

To submit your favorite recipe for consideration in an upcoming issue, please email us at

get green

The Fall Focus “ ” “ ” The watt and watt nots of energy efficiency as the season changes

By Iqbal Mian, sustainability team leader at Affinity Health System


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uring autumn, a new balance occurs. Electricity wanes as air conditioner use is traded for natural gas to power our furnaces. It’s the perfect time to ensure regular maintenance like furnace filters are replaced. As you gear up for winter, make sure the energy personality of a home is set straight. When John Egan, creative director at Affinity Health System, asked me for an energy personality diagnosis for his household, it was a chance to prove any home can be tamed. Egan had reason to believe his family of four contributed toward high energy use when devices like the Xbox and TV were left on. Sure enough, a closer look revealed his house was not shy when it came to eating electricity. After meeting the Egan clan, my first point of business was acquiring baseline data: age of Here is what you can do to reduce energy this autumn: • Check insulation and weather stripping on doors. • Install furnace filters with a MERV rating greater than 8. • Adjust HVAC temperatures (76-78F in summer, 68/70F in winter). • Check window conditions for leaks • Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent. • Install power strips with kill switch (on/off).

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home, square footage and annual utility. The Egan’s home is fairly new with great insulation and extra features like radiant floor heating, which makes it ready for Wisconsin winters. Utilities became the next focus and included lighting (10%), appliances (25%) and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, or HVAC (50%). After going room to room in search of potential vampire devices on standby with a kilowatt meter, I made important discoveries, such as cell phone chargers drawing more electricity than a traditional stationary phone and a TV drawing 60 watts while on standby. These problems were solved by using surge strips with the on/off switch to prevent drawing electricity. Finding low-hanging fruit was great, but the search for bigger prey continued. The biggest opportunities for the Egans became apparent when counting light fixtures and looking at set points for the HVAC system. Inside, the home had wonderful lighting, but with too many incandescent and flood lamps at 100 watts each, it all added up quickly. Additionally, exterior perimeter lights were on during hours that didn’t require light. The controls for both lighting and radiant floor heating weren’t optimized causing the system to pump warm water into piping under floors during summer resulting in excess energy use. The prescription was quite simple; in addition to shutting down and unplugging

4 1 Mian replaces an incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent. 2 Check the furnace filters for a MERV rating greater than 8. 3 Mian used a kilowatt meter to measure the electricity usage of individual appliances around the Egan house. 4 The Egan kiddos show off the remotes for their favorite video game devices!

unused devices, switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps, and adjusting the controls for lighting and HVAC, consumption for the Egan household is anticipated to decrease by 25%. That is the carbon equivalent of consuming 7.8 barrels of oil, growing 85.5

For more information on Affinity’s sustainability efforts, visit

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be well tree seedlings for 10 years, grilling with 44 propane tanks, or recycling 1,310 pounds of waste. So where does the Egan clan fit nationally? Benchmark numbers indicate their home will use less energy than 55% of homes respective to size after the right measures are taken.

Speaking Loud and Moving Big It’s big. It’s loud. And it’s improving the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease.


arkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressive nervous system disorder that results in the loss of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. But one therapy – LSVT® BIG & LOUD – has been found to effectively improve the quality of life for people with PD through high effort and repetition to make positive changes in the brain. In 1993, LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) Global developed a speech therapy called LOUD, but about three years ago, that the organization created the BIG program. Both programs are amplitude-based therapies to address impairments in sensory processing. The LOUD therapy teaches intensive, higheffort exercise through both simple and complex speech tasks to help improve articulation, inflection, facial expression and swallowing. The BIG program trains PD patients to exercise bigger movements so that everyday activities, such as walking, can become continuous again. Four therapists at Affinity Medical Group in Appleton are treating PD patients with BIG & LOUD therapy. “Patients with Parkinson’s disease talk with a soft voice and have difficulty being understood,” says Ellen Christiaansen, speech therapist at St. Elizabeth Hospital. “The purpose of the treatment program is to train the person to use a normal vocal loudness.” She explains that every LOUD therapy session starts with the patient trying to produce an “ah” sound 15 times using normal loudness and sustaining it as long as they can. Next, they produce another “ah” sound first using a high pitch and then a low pitch 15 times. After that,

What is a Watt? Watt is the unit of measurement for electricity. The energy required to burn one watt is the equivalent of burning 3.4 wooden matches. Therefore, a 60-watt incandescent bulb burns 205 wooden matches every hour to be kept on. A 15-watt compact fluorescent uses one quarter of the energy of its older brother. Holiday Lights For those desiring energy efficiency in holiday lights, have no fear! Mini lights use significantly less lighting than the larger C7/C9 bulbs. A strand of 50 mini lights uses 20 watts of power whereas a single C9 bulb uses seven watts per bulb. Be conscious of how early you set up for the season and how late you take them down.

Vampire devices

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Learn about rehabilitation services at Affinity Health System by visiting: and click on “Services” and then “Rehabilitation Services.”

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f your coffee machine could show its fangs, it would be easier to identify that it draws electricity on standby. This is exactly why these electronics are known as vampire (or phantom) devices. They draw power from the outlet to keep components like transistors and main boards warm and ready to use when they are needed. This is also where the electrical savings opportunity exists. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the range of residential consumption is 6-13% of electrical usage from vampire devices. Installing surge protectors with an on/off switch can cut the circuit and stop power from being drawn. Modems, TVs, entertainment systems, stereos, coffee machines and cell phone chargers are all devices that can benefit from being unplugged.

they read 10 functional phrases, repeating the list five times. The high effort in the program has been known to decrease what is called the “Parkinson’s pause.” “They progress the first week from the word/phrase level, to the second week with sentences, the third week paragraphs, and by the last week, conversation,” Christiaansen explains. The BIG program has helped improve patients’ balance, gait, coordination, cognition, rigidity, posture, upper and lower extremity strength and range of motion. “One patient we had was told by her doctor that she would likely never walk again,” says Andrea Kriese, physical therapist at Affinity’s Outpatient Rehabilitation in Appleton. “After the program, she was not only walking with her walker, she was walking without her walker for 50 feet.” “This program has been wonderful,” says Kristen Barbiaux, an occupational therapist at Affinity’s Outpatient Rehabilitation in Appleton who conducts functional testing related to hand fine motor and gross motor coordination, such as handwriting assessments. “We see results with literally every patient, which is difficult at times in the therapy world. I truly believe this is the most rewarding thing I have been a part of in my life so far.”

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METAL Leon Luker lives with four artificial joints

and severe arthritis, but he survives on faith in orthopaedic medicine and the fact that he can still feel his ATV accelerate beneath his feet.

L c o v e r s t o r y

eon Luker finds pleasure in simple joys, like picking wild asparagus, tending the garden and taking long rides on his Honda ATV through and over 400-some acres of land that his family owns. He’ll be the first to tell you it isn’t always easy, the last to say “I can’t” and slowing down is something that he generally detests. This is because Luker, who lives in Black Wolf with his wife, Jane, has had nine orthopaedic operations and is living with four artificial joints. Most days are accomplished with the help of a catnap, the support of his family and optimism like none other. The 60-year-old has lived a labored life. His first taste of contact sports was as a 10-year-old and his active lifestyle carried on through high school where he was considered one of Oshkosh’s top athletes. “As a young man, I knew I was putting myself through a lot,” Luker says. “But I pushed myself. That’s just who I am.” He bounced between football, basketball and track and field in high school before joining the men’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Not long after starting college, he dropped out to work for his father, Leon Luker, Sr., in construction. Labeled as the “big guy,” coworkers would request Luker to help with heavy lifting. From strains and dislocations to bumps and falls, Luker’s body took a beating. A couple of short decades later, the damage control would begin.




l i s o n


i e b i g

P h o t o g r a p h s b y S h a n e Va n B o x t e l , I m a g e S t u d i o s

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c o v e r

s t o r y

Disjointed: Operations and replacements

Luker had his first reconstructive surgery performed by Dr. Roy Buck at Mercy Medical Center in 1983 to repair the ligament and cartilage in his right knee. A doctor at a different hospital performed an arthroscopy on his right knee in 1995, and that same doctor operated on Luker when he was in a serious accident at work involving a forklift in 1999. He suffered a right leg fracture, right ankle injury and left leg injury. Severe arthritis was the reason Luker had surgery twice in 2007 – his right rotator cuff in January and a right knee replacement in November. But three years later, Luker experienced a rare orthopaedics emergency. Half way through the day on February 14, 2010, Luker noticed his right knee was stiff and he started to feel ill. Forced to cancel Valentine’s Day plans with Jane, he went to bed. The next day he was running a fever and experienced tremendous swelling in his knee. Trying to bend it was no easy task. He decided to go to the hospital, but even that proved difficult. The only way Luker could get to Mercy Medical Center was by laying down in the back of his suburban. After a short visit in the emergency department, Luker was admitted to the hospital’s second floor – orthopaedics. Dr. Davis Tsai, orthopaedic surgeon for the Kennedy Center at Mercy Medical Center, arrived to assess Luker’s knee. The unusual illness and stiffness Luker experienced was caused by septic arthropathy (disease of the joints) with sepsis (an infection in the bloodstream). According to Dr. Tsai, the professional rule of thumb is the surgeon who did the surgery should take care of the joint. But a doctor in Green Bay had performed Luker’s right knee replacement and since he had been admitted to Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Tsai had to step in. “At that point in time he was fairly ill,” explains Dr. Tsai. “The leg looked horrible with ankle ulcers, but his organs were threatened and had not begun to fail.” Dr. Tsai removed the hardware of the implant and positioned a cement block with a high concentration of antibiotics in his knee. After the surgery, Luker was restricted to a hospital bed without a right knee. He was now considered an “explant” patient (when a joint is “explanted” from the body) and the long journey to recovery began with basic rehabilitation. Dr. Tsai couldn’t replace the knee until the infection healed. “My leg moved like a snake,” Luker says. “It would go in every direction. The nurses knew just how to position and move my leg to relieve my pain.” Luker was moved up to the subacute unit on 12 | @Affinity

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The Bionic Man January 2007 ■ Right shoulder arthritis ■ Right rotator cuff surgery

September 1983 ■ Right knee injury (sports related) ■ Right knee ligament and cartilage reconstructive surgery February 1995 ■Right knee arthritis ■Right knee arthroscopy August 1999 ■ Right leg fracture/right ankle injury (legs run over by a forklift) ■ Right ankle reconstructive surgery with screws November 2007 ■Right knee arthritis ■Right knee replacement February 2010 ■Right knee infection ■Eight week admission: right artificial knee explanted, sepsis treatment and eventual re-implantation of his right knee

the fifth floor in Mercy Medical Center, which is an in-hospital based nursing home. It was there that he met two individuals, Chris Barczak and Tami Morrow, who worked in two different departments. Both Barczak and Morrow would be crucial to his recovery.

On the mend

Barczak is a physical therapist and the clinical coordinator of inpatient rehabilitation services at Mercy Medical Center. He has seen cases like this before, sometimes even a couple of times a year, but he had never met anyone like Luker before. “He’s a big and tall guy, and I’m 5’4” and 140 pounds,” Barczak says. “We’re a mix-matched duo that way.” Luker’s size made rehab a little difficult. Therapy started with the basics: rolling side-toside, sitting up and lying down. It took Barczak and the assistance of a student therapist just to help Luker stand. “The problem was the pain he was in because of the whole body infection,” Barczak explains. “The infection attacked both shoulders, both hips and his good knee, which also needed to be replaced. He basically didn’t have a ‘good leg’ to stand on.” “Chris would get me up without a knee,” Luker says, his voice giving way to a great sense

June 2010

■ Left shoulder arthritis ■ Left rotator cuff surgery

February 2011

■ Left hip arthritis ■ Left hip replacement

August 1999

■ Left leg injury (legs run over by

a forklift)

■ Set left leg; left knee arthroscopy

September 2010 ■ Left knee arthritis ■ Left knee replacement

Condition Procedure

of pride in his therapist. “He said I had to stand and I would.” Having only been a registered nurse for about a year, Morrow had never cared for an explant patient before Luker. From the very first time they met, the two were like old friends. “When patients tell you what their goals are, it makes you feel really connected,” she says. “He called himself a bionic man. I remember him saying he wanted to get back on that four-wheeler.” Changing his dressings caused Luker a great deal of pain. The two developed a system where they would lift up his jointless leg together at the same time. There was a great deal of swelling in the lower part of his legs because of his venous stastis, a condition where blood flow is slow in the veins. Morrow, along with other staff, would assist in putting on “special” tube socks each day, sometimes twice a day. “The tugging and pushing that was required to get the socks on was excruciating for him, but he’d describe what I had to do,” she says. When he wasn’t doing rehab, Luker was in the company of his family and also received regular visits from the spiritual services team at Mercy Medical Center. Six weeks later, Luker returned to orthopaedics to have Dr. Tsai replace his right knee again.

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After Dr. Tsai completed the replacement surgery, Luker returned to the fifth floor where the plan was for him to finish about one more week of rehabilitation. After many long weeks in the hospital already, Luker asked Barczak point blank what he had to do to go home sooner. Luker had to walk to the end of the hall and back. So he did that. Then, he had to go up and down a series of steps. He did that, too; not without pain, but he did it. His nearly 12-week hospital stay had finally come to an end. “It was Leon’s hard work that got him through it – gritting his teeth, pushing through the pain, actively working on getting better and moving better,” Barczak says. “It was meaningful for me to be a part of that and see him through.” Today, Luker walks with the help of a cane, but enjoys it most when it’s strapped to the front of his ATV. Luker’s most recent surgery was in February 2011. Dr. Jeffrey McLaughlin, orthopaedic surgeon with the Kennedy Center, replaced his left hip. “The cartilage around his hip bones had worn away and was like sandpaper rubbing together,” Dr. McLaughlin explains. “I don’t know how he walked on it as long as he did.” According to Dr. McLaughlin, the techniques of orthopaedic surgery have modernized. Today, he can accomplish a hip replacement surgery in about 40 minutes. “It’s not a small operation, but it used to be a very big operation,” Dr. McLaughlin adds. “You used to be in the hospital for 10 days and recovery took about four months. Now, a patient spends only three days in the hospital and six weeks to recover.”

Invited to Share on the National Stage

On September 25, 2011, Luker and a team of Affinity staff traveled to Salt Lake City, UT, to attend the 17th Annual International Patient-Centered Care Symposium. The yearly event brings together health care professionals to share and explore the best practices in patient experience and clinical performance. Affinity Health System was invited to speak at the industry-leading conference, and Bill Calhoun, president of Mercy Medical Center, Tom Veeser, vice president of patient care for Affinity Health System, and Bernadine Nitz, service excellence coach, presented lessons and strategies of personalized care across an integrated health system. Luker also took the podium to deliver his testimony of individualized care in his orthopaedic journey. We are honored that Luker was willing to attend and share his extraordinary experience with the best in the industry.

Luker with physical therapist, Chris Barczak, at Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh

Dr. Davis Tsai, orthopaedic surgeon at The Kennedy Center, with Luker and Jane

Leon Luker and his wife, Jane, share a moment on the family plot in Van Dyne

Strength of steel

Dr. McLaughlin predicts that Luker’s right hip will have to be replaced sometime down the road, but until then, Luker pushes on putting his pedal to the metal. If you ask him about the support system he has in his parents and Jane, he gets choked up. “Jane never missed a day,” he says. “She was my rock. She’d watch the nurses and catch on after seeing it once.” Morrow fondly remembers Luker’s mother, Ann Marie, and father, Leon Sr., and the amount of devotion they had for Luker while he was in the hospital. “His family was there to bathe him so the nurses never had to,” Morrow shares. “They wanted to be involved and they’d do anything for him as far as his personal needs went. They were remarkable.” Ann Marie, who fits snuggly in the underarm of Luker as he pushes up against her for a hug, says simply, “We made it.” But not without the help and dedication of the hospital team at Mercy Medical Center. w w w. a f f i n i t y h e a l t h . o r g / b l o g

Luker contributes his recuperation to the surgeons, nurses, therapists, pastoral staff, administrators and Network Health Plan representatives. “The only time I don’t feel handicapped

is when I’m on my ATV,” he says. “But who knows if I’d even be able to ride that thing if it weren’t for Dr. Tsai and Dr. McLaughlin. They have given me the opportunity to have my life back again.” Fa l l 2 0 1 1


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Becky McMahon became an orthopaedic patient

when a car accident broke both her legs. But with a dedicated team of orthopaedic surgeons and medical staff, her take-no-prisoners approach to rehab and a faithful family, Becky,s story results in a courageous return to her horse-riding hobby.


here was a big puff of snow and all of a sudden I was facing the oncoming car,” she recalls. It was minutes before six o’clock in the morning on a Sunday in February and Becky McMahon was physically pinned between two vehicles, her legs crushed between the front grills. Becky and her husband, Mike, had pulled up roadside to help their daughter, Bree, who had skated into a ditch with her own car. Shortly after they determined the car wasn’t going to budge and with the wind chill reaching into the negative 40-somethings, Mike and Bree watched as a truck hit Becky. This accident wasn’t the first to happen to the McMahon family, but the outcome is second to none.

Rehearsal for rehab

About a year earlier, Becky’s horse, Cocoa, was on her way home along with two other horses after working cows in Manawa when the door on the stock trailer unhinged and the horses fell out onto the road. Cocoa suffered from a serious open joint wound, deep lacerations over the carpal joint in one knee, road rash and other muscular-skeletal injuries. The road to recovery seemed narrow and long, but Becky couldn’t give up. “Here I was rehabbing this horse, walking her on a leash, doing chiropractic treatments,” Becky remembers. “After a week in an equine hospital, Cocoa was allowed to be walked twice a day for five minutes each time. That continued for months.”




l i s o n


i e b i g

P h o t o g r a p h s b y S h a n e Va n B o x t e l , I m a g e S t u d i o s

14 | @Affinity

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c o v e r s t o r y

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c o v e r

s t o r y

Week in and week out, Cocoa’s tolerance for exercise improved. It was during this time that Becky learned patience for healing and devotion to rehabilitation. Little did she know that understanding such qualities in her good friend, Cocoa, was practice for what was to come that winter. “I had put a saddle on her maybe once before my accident happened,” she says, and in the same breath she jokes, “People often call us ‘two witches with the hitches.’”

Watched over and cared for

It all happened so fast. Mike was able to lift Becky out from between the vehicles through a small gap. “I knew my legs weren’t working,” she says. “I was just trying to concentrate and manage my pain.” The ambulance ride and time in the emergency department are a blur for Becky.

16 | @Affinity

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The trauma surgeon on call, Dr. Chris Wagner, examined Becky for internal injuries and treated her for other bumps and scrapes. While she was being cared for, Bree (who rode in the ambulance with her mom) met a chaplain who stayed with her until Mike could get to the hospital. “The chaplain scooped Bree up,” Becky says. “For Bree, that was a major part of this whole journey. She is very spiritual and our family is very connected. It was good for [Bree], to have someone there with her until Mike could get there.” That chaplain was Sister Annette “Netty” Johnson. She is one of three full-time chaplains comforting patients and families at St. Elizabeth Hospital during crisis or trauma situations. When it comes to youth, like Bree, Chaplain Netty keeps it simple and conversational. “An ideal chaplain must keep a calm, nonjudgmental presence in the midst of chaos,” she

says. “With a younger person, it’s a matter of talking through the situation. I may ask if they want to pray but I always leave it up to them.”

From triage to treatment

A thorough examination performed quickly by the emergency department determined that Becky’s legs were ready to be operated on. Dr. Wagner paged Dr. Joe McCormick, an orthopaedic surgeon with Affinity Medical Group, to take it from there. “We ruled out other really bad things that could have happened because of this incident,” Dr. McCormick says. “I knew we could work on the legs.” His examination concluded that Becky broke her left leg at the tibia and fibula and her right leg suffered from a plateau fracture, meaning her upper tibia broke into her knee. A plate, pins and screws were necessary to fix it. The left leg was repaired by inserting a rod into the tibia bone. Becky was in the hospital for eight days before she faced the decision of either being admitted to a nursing home facility or having a physical therapist care for her at home. Her family persuaded her to choose the home health services through Affinity Visiting Nurses. She received visits from nurses to check her vitals and change her bandages. Also visiting her at home, a licensed physical therapist helped her regain everyday skills and movements. About 10 weeks after her accident, Becky paged Dr. McCormick after experiencing an unusual pain in her left knee. From her description, he knew that a screw broke in the original reconstruction. “He was so interested in my legs,” Becky says. “I knew that I could go to him at any time for any reason.” Dr. McCormick ordered Becky to come in for surgery. “It is very common for a small screw to break,” Dr. McCormick explains. “When this occurs, the suspicion that a bone is slow to heal is confirmed and a secondary procedure is mandatory to try to get the injured bone to heal. In Becky’s case, this was the repeat rodding and removal of the old screws and rod.” Jamye McGraw, physician assistant to Dr. McCormick, assisted in re-rodding Becky’s left leg and reconstructing the ligament. “I first assisted Dr. McCormick in surgery, and then I did a lot of her care in the hospital and helped with her follow-ups,” McGraw says. “I continued to see her for a series of months.” Another surgery meant another round of therapy. Becky met Tom Flatley, a physical therapist with St. Elizabeth Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. “Our orders were to work on her knee, but as we kept going we found other areas of weakness,” Flatley explains. He started Becky on closed kinetic chain exercises, when the foot is in a weight-bearing

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position. Flatley says these types of movements are high functioning. “Every time she’d come in we had to reevaluate her, what she was noticing, sensation changes, how she felt,” he says. “It’s a holistic thing. You don’t just center on one area, you have to dive in and assess what’s problematic.” Flatley pushed strengthening when Becky was with him in the clinic, which was about twice a week, allowing for muscle recovery time between sessions. “The mere fact that she had a couple of surgeries for the same thing was hard because some of the weakness that she had was very long-standing,” he adds. “The realignment of her leg changed the mechanics.” But where the alignment really happened was in the provider/patient relationship between Flatley and Becky. “I do everything by the book, so I always had a lot of questions (for Flatley),” Becky says. “He always took the time for me. If he didn’t know the answer, he would check into it. He pushed me on certain things, and he always knew what was going on with me.”

When the going gets tough, the tough goes riding

Later that summer, severe nerve pain that Becky had been experiencing in her ankle and foot since the accident was at an all-time high. The chronic pain is called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), an irritation of nervous tissue w w w. a f f i n i t y h e a l t h . o r g / b l o g

that leads to abnormal impulses along nerves that affect blood vessels and skin. It is a painful, bothersome side effect of the trauma. She set out determined to find someone who could help her cope with the pain. That is when she met Jean Dill, an advanced practice nurse practitioner (APNP) in neurology. “We would talk about the pain, what it was doing to her body and how her body was talking to her with this pain,” Dill explains. “Medications have side effects, pain has side effects. We had to work to find a balance. I didn’t want her out there alone suffering. I wanted to make sure we were on the right track and going in the right direction.” Dill worked closely with Becky until the pain was at a manageable level. “Accidents happen,” Becky says. “Just because this happened to me doesn’t mean I have to settle. I knew I was going to pound on doors and get some help for this. I may look stupid sometimes, maybe when I run or get on and off my horse, but I didn’t settle.” But what she did settle back into was Cocoa’s saddle. Today, Becky and Cocoa travel on the weekends to participate in group rides. “I got to see and enjoy that she made a recovery for a reason,” says Dr. McCormick. “She had a purpose.” With the help of her daughters, husband and Cocoa, a team of medical experts who now double as friends, and an attitude that can bind any break, Becky got her reins back.

Meet Becky’s care team (l to r): Tom Flatley, physical therapist; Jean Dill, advanced practice nurse practitioner; Dr. Joe McCormick, orthopaedic surgeon; Sister Annette Johnson, chaplin; Jamye McGraw, physician assistant

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after care

Dr. Joe McCormick

18 | @Affinity

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Get to know your care provider

By Samantha Zinth

ith 10 years of experience at Affinity Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Joe McCormick has made quite a name for himself. But if it seems like he’s doing the work of two men lately, you need not do a double take. The St. Elizabeth Hospital practice recently welcomed a new physician with a shockingly similar name. Dr. Joe McCormick, meet Dr. Joseph McCormick, III. Dr. Joe McCormick (the “original” Joe) went to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his residency at the University of Colorado in Denver. He now lives in Appleton with his wife, Kari, and their three children. When asked to be part of the hiring process for a new orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Joe McCormick had to look twice when he saw his own name come across his desk. “We asked the recruiter if it was a joke at first,” he recalls. “But once we took a look at his resume, we thought, ‘Hey, this guy is pretty impressive’.” Originally from Green Bay, Dr. Joseph McCormick, III (the “new” Joe) moved to Appleton in August after completing a sports medicine fellowship at the Minnesota Orthopedic Sports Medicine Institute. He’s happy to return home with his wife, Jen. Like the “original” Joe, Dr. Joseph McCormick, III also went to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He even had an interesting run-in with his colleague-to-be as a student. “It’s actually not the first time we crossed paths,” says Dr. Joseph McCormick, III. “There was some confusion in the registrar’s office. It turned out they had accessed his record from a few years ago instead of mine. I brushed it off as a funny coincidence, but I never thought we’d end up working together!” Same name aside, the doctors also share a number of similar interests outside of the office. Both men have a passion for baseball, although Dr. Joe McCormick roots for the Milwaukee Brewers, while Dr. Joseph McCormick, III can be found cheering for the Chicago Cubs. “My grandfather, the first Joseph McCormick, was a Cubs fan,” explains Dr. Joseph McCormick, III. “The loyalty just stuck.” “I’m pulling for the Brewers this year though,” he adds. “After spending nine years in Milwaukee, I feel like I can claim some loyalty to them.” Don’t expect much of an inter-office rivalry though. Both doctors appear ready to play peacemaker when it comes to the baseball border battle. “I’m a Brewers fan at heart,” Dr. Joe McCormick says. “But I grew up w w w. a f f i n i t y h e a l t h . o r g / b l o g

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.”

— B abe R u th

Meet Dr. Joe McCormick and Dr. Joseph McCormick, III, two orthopaedic surgeons with Affinity Medical Group at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. Aside from their name, they also share a passion for sports, photography and fine arts. So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

watching the Cubs on WGN. I can talk Cubs ball all day. And you really can’t dispute the magic of Wrigley Field.” Outside of sports, they also share interests in the arts. Dr. Joseph McCormick, III and his wife both play the piano, while Dr. Joe McCormick and his wife chose the Appleton-area partially for its fine arts scene. “We really enjoyed the theater when we lived in Denver, so we were surprised by all the big city amenities Appleton had to offer,” Dr. Joe McCormick says. “The PAC and all the music and theater offerings are pretty impressive.” Additionally, both doctors dabble in amateur photography. Dr. Joseph McCormick, III likes to shoot candid family moments and scenic landscapes, while Dr. Joe McCormick prefers to photograph his kids. Armed with their cameras, these two shutterbugs can be found clicking away all over Appleton. “I’ve picked up a few tips along the way from the nurses,” says Dr. Joe McCormick. “But maybe the other Joe and I should get out there and take an amateur class!” Although seemingly unprecedented outside of a parent-child medical practice, neither of the doctors seems too fazed by working with a colleague with the exact same name. “It’s really a matter of us each crafting our own niche with the patients,” says Dr. Joe McCormick. “We each have our own surgical interests and we’ll each bring our own personality to how we deliver care.” As the new guy, Dr. Joseph McCormick, III is eager to start developing relationships with patients, but he’s thankful for the legacy the other Joe has laid down. “For me it’s a no brainer,” says Dr. Joseph McCormick, III. “I’m coming into a name that’s already well recognized and respected in the community.” Besides, when you already share your name three ways, what’s one more? “I’m already the third Joseph McCormick in my immediate family,” Dr. Joseph McCormick, III says. Together, the Drs. McCormick are poised to make quite a team: two men, one name, unparalleled personalized care. “We’re thrilled to have him here,” Dr. Joe McCormick says. “He’ll keep the good name going.”

Dr. Joseph McCormick, III

Samantha Zinth is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom living in Neenah. Like the Drs. McCormick, she dabbles in amateur photography in her spare time. w w w. a f f i n i t y h e a l t h . o r g / b l o g

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giving back

By Dr. Susan Szabo as told to Samantha Zinth Photographs by Shane Van Boxtel, Image Studios

The Gift of


In each issue, we share the story of an Affinity Health System team member who volunteers at a local nonprofit organization. Affinity is committed to supporting local organizations and charitable events aligned with our mission of providing services that promote the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

Dr. Susan Szabo

Stats 50%

of Boys & Girls Club members come from single-parent families.


In 2010, over Boys & Girls Club members received more than in scholarships to attend the Club. This number reflects a 25% increase over the prior year.


90% of Boys & Girls

Club alumni surveyed said the Boys & Girls Club improved the quality of their life and 50% of alumni surveyed across the country said the Club was responsible for saving their life. – Provided by The Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Inc.

20 | @Affinity

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Walking into the Radford Center at the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, it’s hard not to have a smile on your face. Everywhere you look children of all ages are talking, playing and bustling about from one activity to another. As a pediatrician, I love working with kids. I know that’s not surprising to hear, but I genuinely enjoy spending time with them. To have the opportunity to volunteer with the after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club really excited me. I was aware of the Boys and Girls Club from the supply drive our clinic does for the Wet Hair Club, a health and hygiene program that the organization provides to ensure every Club kid has a shower and clean clothes to wear. Our clinic collects items like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash and laundry soap. Last year, this program provided nearly 1,000 showers and washed over 600 loads of laundry. Something so simple can make all the difference in the life of a child, such as improving their grades and behavior, and helping them gain acceptance among their peers. The Boys and Girls Club has been around for more than 40 years, making it one of the most recognizable and respected organizations in the community. Its mission is simple and to the point: improve the lives of children and families. The Club serves 3,600 youth annually in membership and outreach activities. It strives to make membership affordable for all children regardless of their socioeconomic status. Though membership only costs $25 a child, over 350 Club kids received more than $75,000 in scholarships to attend last year. The Boys and Girls Club offers more than 150 programs for Club members, teaching things from life study and dating skills to basic health,

wellness and hygiene. The Club is a safe place for kids to explore interests in the arts, sports and the great outdoors, where everyone can participate and no one is turned away based on ability. The Club strives to provide fun with a purpose. Amidst all the games and activities, the staff can build relationships with the children to help address the root cause of the challenges they’re facing at home and school. Once my volunteer check-in was complete, I was given a quick tour of the facilities and put to work. I joined about 10 children in the art room where the day’s activity was a coloring contest. I jumped right in and joined them. While drawing and chatting with the kids, six-year-old Ethan told me that he had scraped his knees on the playground earlier that day. I told him I was a doctor and asked if I could take a look. He obliged and showed me his scrape; it wasn’t too serious, but a bandage helped. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, the kids started lining up for a snack. I made my way into the kitchen and put on gloves to help serve. The Boys and Girls Club is big on providing nutritious meals. I served hot dogs, carrots, grapes and yogurt. I was really encouraged to see fruits and vegetables on every plate and not too much in the way of starches. I noticed that many children took seconds, which made me realize this might be their last meal until morning. Last year, the Boys and Girls Club served over 49,000 snacks and 41,000 meals. Fiftyfive percent of Club kids qualify for free and reduced meals at school. According to Lori Fields, the club director, many of these children would go hungry without the meals they get at school and the Club. After snack time, it was time to put on our thinking caps for homework help. During the school year, about 90 children a day participate in the Club’s homework help program, known as Power Hour. The homework room is a bright and quiet space, with cozy groups of tables and chairs and a wall full of books. Since it was the beginning of the school year, not too many children had assignments they

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Foundations for Giving Back

By Alison Fiebig

needed assistance with, so six-year-old Aaliyah and I sat down to read one of her favorite books: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I’ve always loved reading to children. When my kids were little, I read to them every night. Reading the book with Aaliyah was such a treat. As she pointed out the funny illustrations and asked questions about the story, I was reminded how important our time is in the life of a child. Kids thrive on a little adult attention. Just physically being there is so important. And really, that’s the magic of the Boys and Girls Club. It’s someone to help when their parents can’t or simply aren’t interested. It’s a place for kids to be safe, a place for them to feel loved and cared about, which may very well be the difference between going the wrong or right way in life. I left that day thinking about Aaliyah and Ethan and all the children I had the pleasure of meeting, knowing my time was well spent and I’d most certainly be back again.


Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Inc. inspires and enables young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The Boys & Girls Club provides young people ages six to 18 with a safe place to learn and grow. In addition to three clubhouses, the Boys & Girls Club also provides after-school care sites in seven elementary schools.

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mag eMzas oo stoc k i l l u st r at i o n so u r c e C ioco u/da

Caring for Children and Families @ Affinity


ll babies born on November 18 will share a birthday with Mickey Mouse (and, as it turns out, Minnie Mouse). To celebrate, they will receive an outfit decked out in Disney cartoon celebrities courtesy of Shirley and Albert Schmidt who, with a love for all things Disney, donate both their time and money to the Women and Families Center through the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation. “We have a soft spot for children,” Shirley says. “When people think of needs, very few times are women and children thought of. It is something that we see as under-funded.” The Schmidts make regular donations to the BirthPlace and pediatrics unit at St. Elizabeth Hospital, including a variety of Disney-themed items, such as clothing, knitted hats, toys, coloring books and crayons, on behalf of the hospital for newborns, siblings and families in the inpatient unit. “We serve so many families in our community and Albert and Shirley really help make it possible,” says Tonya Dedering, executive director of St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation. So, on November 18, the Schmidts will join the staff and families in the Women and Families Center at St. E’s to celebrate Mickey’s 84th birthday, and maybe a few others that day, too. Donations to the Women and Families Fund support projects and services focused on the unique care needs of women and children at Calumet Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital and the surrounding Affinity Medical Group clinics. Shirley serves on the committee for the annual Women’s Golf & Luncheon Benefit, which raises money for various needs across Affinity Health System, and Albert serves as a board member for the Foundation. The Mercy Health Foundation at Mercy Medical Center uses the Children’s Health Fund to support projects that benefit children in the Oshkosh area. This year, donors to the fund have helped make two new technologies available for babies and young children at both the hospital and outreaching Affinity clinics. The equipment used to screen for hearing loss in newborn babies at Mercy was due to be replaced, so the Children’s Health Fund supported a grant to buy newborn hearing screening technology to ensure accurate results. At the Affinity Medical Group clinic in Ripon, a grant from the fund made it possible to upgrade vision screening of children with new infrared, laser technology. “The manual screening process that was being used was time consuming for nurses, less accurate and very difficult with younger children,” says Vicki Schorse, executive director of Mercy Health Foundation. Now, vision screens during check-ups for children only take seconds.

To make a tax-deductible, charitable donation to support the Women and Families Fund with St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation or the Children’s Health Fund with Mercy Health Foundation, please visit and under ‘About Us’ click on ‘Foundations.’

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learn & live

Educational Opportunities at Affinity



tart your engines! But before you do, a refresher course on ATV and snowmobile safety wouldn’t hurt. Taught by Chris Ryden, security officer at Mercy Medical Center, these classes will cover topics including: preparation, operation and handling; accident reduction; injuries and fatalities; safe, responsible and ethical use of the environment; maintenance and repair; and regulations and laws. Remember that all ATV and snowmobile users who drive on public riding areas (trails, frozen waters, routes, permitted county and/or forest lands, etc.) must be at least 12 years old and have completed a safety certification course. Both ATV and snowmobile classes will be offered throughout October, November, December and January at Mercy Medical Center. The snowmobile class will also be offered at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Contact NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900 for dates, times and locations.

“I en joy sharing my know ledge of these sports. My family has sold ATVs, boat s and snowmobiles since 19 69 and I worked fo r them until moving to the Fox Valley in 1995. The overall goal of these courses is to keep people safe and re sponsible. The laws are constantly changing and it’s important to stay up-to-date,” says Ryden.


Throughout the Journey


he American Cancer Society declares November 17, 2011, as The Great American Smokeout, an annual event encouraging millions of smokers to say “no thanks” to cigarettes for 24 hours. The day-long rally aims to inspire them to use the date to put their tobacco addiction to bed or make a plan to quit. To help with breaking the habit, Affinity offers a year-round tobacco cessation program called Call It Quits. Individuals speak directly with a health professional by calling Affinity NurseDirect to assess the habit, discuss the readiness to quit, and address obstacles, high-risk situations and coping strategies. Those looking to end their addiction to tobacco will receive educational materials to assist in the quitting process. There is also free, 24-hour telephone counseling and support classes held throughout the year. For more details on the Call It Quits Tobacco Cessation Program, call 1-800-362-9900 or visit 22 | @Affinity

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Individuals in the Call It Quits program are invited to hear informative and encouraging voice-activated recorded messages from the Affinity NurseDirect Health Information Line. Dial 1-800-362-9900, press option 3 and then enter the four-digit number listed below for the topic you wish to hear: 2809: Affinity Call It Quits Tobacco Cessation Program 2614: Are You Ready to Quit Using Tobacco? 1205: Benefits of Quitting Tobacco 2610: Chemicals in Cigarettes 1202: Coping with Stress While Quitting 3332: Hazards of Tobacco Use 1206: Help! I Want to Use Tobacco 1201: How to Stay Quit for the Holidays

2615: I Had a Relapse 1203: Medications for Quitting 1208: NHP Reimbursement 1204: Positive Attitude While Quitting 3361: Smokeless Tobacco 2620: Weight Control While Quitting 1219: What to Expect When Quitting 3362: Tobacco – Ways to Quit

To review all classes and seminars offered, visit, click on “health resources” then “class registration.” Register online or call NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.

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ki d s

Gobble, gobble! It’s turkey time! We invite children to create their own hand turkey masterpiece. We’re looking for color and creativity (who says you have to stay in the lines?). Email a digital photo of your child’s turkey to

Fall Fun Maze for

start here

a chance to win a free T-shirt! May the best bird win!

L@st ch@nce (for all ages)

end here

@ How many @ symbols can you find in this issue? The first five people to answer correctly will win a free T-shirt! Submit your answer to

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| 23

Affinity Health System 1570 Midway Pl. Menasha, WI 54952

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Every summer , Affinity Hea lth System se at EAA to trea ts up two med t pilots, visitor ical buildings s and their fa ailments. The milies for min effort runs on or injuries an donations an volunteer thei d d clinicians an r time. Mercy d physicians Medical Cente (left to right): r volunteers pi Alice Olson, vo ctur lunteer; Conni director; and e Campbell, pa ed here Betty Dean, un tient access it coordinato r.

We do n’t jus t care we’re p for the roud t comm o be an unity, Here i active s a glim p art of pse of activit it. some o ies in t f our r he com ecent munit ies we serve.

edical Affinity M This fall, ers b m am me Group te otball fo l a c lo d sponsore port for show sup games to at a Little re e tics. H local athle chool home game hS Chute Hig McCormick, III, ph se o J is Dr. on; dic surge nt orthopae r, preside e g ri G ine Dr. Christ edical Group; Dr. yM n; of Affinit ediatricia Marsho, p itre, a y th o im T nP heryl-Lyn and Dr. C tioner. ti c ra family p

A local grou p of kids in VEX, a program des igned to en cour science, mat h and engine age ering through rob otics, were invi try the da V inci surgical ted to sy perform ta sks on a pum stem to pkin. Dr. Chris Wagne r, general su rgeon with Affinity Medical Gro up, and Travis Ander sen, presid ent of St. Elizabeth H ospital, wer e on hand to assist in the present ation of the techno logy.

elization In just two years, SPIRITUS, the young adult evang d over inspire has ha, Menas in r Cente Tabor Mount of team nsin. Wisco hout throug ts retrea 300 10,000 youth on nearly young people SPIRITUS offers spiritual experiences to inspire community. to build positive relationships with self, family and ed by SPIRITUS team members’ health insurance is provid Plan. Health rk Netwo

n silent auctio ’s ort, exciting on pp ti su da r un so spon ospital Fo ests, strong , raised Elizabeth H 11 . St 20 e 1, t th With 239 gu us s, efit on Aug d 142 golfer packages an ’s Golf & Luncheon Ben . Elizabeth Hospital St en at e om it W su al annu cancer 0 for a new over $93,00 ter. Cancer Cen

Leon Luker, an orthopae dics patient, Affinity staff was asked to at the 17th A join a team of nnual intern Care Sympo ational Patie sium in Salt La nt-Centered ke City, Utah, experience w where he sp ith personal oke about hi ized Leon and his s wife, Jane, po care at Affinity Health Sy stem. Here, se with Bill C Medical Cen alhoun, pres ter, and his w ident of Mer ife, Patti. Flip cy to page 10 to read Leon’s story.

@Affinity Magazine - Fall 2011 - Unbreakable  

The fall 2011 issue of Affinity Health System's quarterly magazine dives into orthopedic medicine.

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