Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Theda Clark Medical Center celebrate 40 years of Neonatal Intensive Care in Neenah

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Theda Clark Medical Center celebrate 40 years of Neonatal Intensive Care in Neenah

NEENAH, WIS. (Nov. 1, 2011) – On Thursday, Nov. 17, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley and Theda Clark Medical Center will mark 40 years of neonatal intensive care services in Neenah. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opened at Theda Clark in 1971. Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley took over operation of the unit, which is located at 130 Second St., in 2002.  

"Forty years ago, we needed a neonatal unit in our area so the babies could stay close to home and wouldn’t have to be sent to hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison," said Roseann Kopetsky, a former Theda Clark nurse and recently retired Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley staff member who was instrumental in the opening of the unit. "We started with about three nurses. In those days, we didn’t have a lot of babies because a lot of preemies didn’t live."  

Since 1971, medical advancements have saved lives and improved outcomes for many babies. These advancements have improved lung function, nutrition and development of premature babies.  

In 2010, the 22-bed NICU had more than 300 admissions and was staffed by four neonatologists and 53 nurses.

Call to schedule interviews with:

  • Roseann Kopetsky, a former Theda Clark nurse and recently retired Children’s Hospital staff member who was instrumental in the opening of the unit.
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin neonatologists who can give some perspective on the advances made in neonatal care in the past 40 years.
  • Families who had multiple generations cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
  • A nurse at Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley who was born 9 weeks premature and cared for in the NICU in 1976.

Photographs from throughout the unit’s history also are available to accompany stories. 

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley operates an inpatient Pediatric Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The hospital, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011, is located at 130 Second St. in Neenah, Wis. Outpatient services are offered at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Clinics-Fox Valley, and child protection services are provided at the Child Advocacy Center. Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, rated among the best children’s hospitals in the nation. Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are members of Children’s Hospital and Health System. For more information visit the website at chw.org/foxvalley. 

ThedaCare is a community-owned health system consisting of Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, ThedaCare Physicians and other health care services. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with nearly 5,400 employees. ThedaCare has been recognized for the sixth year in a row by the American Hospital Association as one of the 100 "Most Wired" health systems in the nation. Learn more at thedacare.org.