Community Breakfast Blasts Healthcare Myths

Annual Event Informs and Educates

Lynn Marie Hopfensperger looks forward to attending ThedaCare’s annual Community Conversation. “I learned so much,” said Hopfensperger, Community Development Officer with Fox Communities Credit Union. 

This year’s event, held on Thurs., May 31, at Crystal Falls Banquet Facility in New London, did not disappoint, she said. “I just think it’s good information,” she said. “It was exciting to learn that ThedaCare is ranked so highly as a healthcare provider in the state and even nationally. To think that representatives from healthcare systems as far away as California and visitors from Harvard Medical School have toured ThedaCare facilities and plan to follow their lead speaks volumes to the processes and daily work ThedaCare has already implemented.”

She enjoyed that community members had a chance to ask questions of New London Family Medical Center President and CEO Bill Schmidt and ThedaCare President and CEO Dean Gruner, MD. “Answering the community’s questions is half the battle,” said Hopfensperger.

Jim Williams, who serves on the board of directors for NLFMC and also serves on ThedaCare’s Quality Council, agreed. “I think it’s a great way to let the community know what’s happening,” he said, noting that data shows quality, affordable care is available locally. “Everybody needs to be an activist so we can be a viable venue out there.”

The event, sponsored by The Wolf River Area Healthcare Foundation (WRAHF), explored ThedaCare’s work in advancing health care in the communities it serves. Using a “MythBusters” concept, along with charts and testimonials from local providers, Schmidt and Dr. Gruner helped blast away age-old healthcare myths like: more expensive care is better care; standardized care is less effective, impersonal, cookie cutter medicine; the more hospital care, the better; and ThedaCare is a little fish in a big healthcare pond.

Schmidt thinks the community conversation is an important way to educate the community and get feedback. “We are not trying to hide anything in healthcare,” he said. “We are trying to show how hard we are working to continue to provide top-notch care close to home.”

The Wolf River Area Healthcare Foundation was founded in 2003. Its mission is to seek and secure financial resources that ensure New London Family Medical Center has state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, outreach and education. New London Family Medical Center and the Wolf River Area Healthcare Foundation serve Waupaca, Outagamie and surrounding counties.

New London Family Medical Center is a 25-bed, critical access hospital serving New London and nearby communities in Outagamie and Waupaca counties. The hospital, which has been in operation since 1930 and is part of ThedaCare, provides inpatient and outpatient surgery; a 24-hour emergency department; physical, occupational and speech therapies; diagnostic services including laboratory and imaging; pain management; transitional care; and a ThedaCare At Home retail store. The New London Birth Center opened in 2005, featuring a warm and inviting atmosphere along with a process to help families create the ideal birth experience. ThedaCare Physicians-New London shares the campus of New London Family Medical Center. The medical office building opened in 2003 and integrates space for family physicians, a wide variety of visiting specialists, and new hospital services. An expansion of the medical campus opened in 2010.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare at Home, ThedaCare At Work and The Heritage Community. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!