Working Together on Writing Your Health Success Story

Steven's StoryIf you’ve been in downtown Hilbert lately, you might have noticed a change at our clinic – a new sign shows the new ThedaCare logo. The change doesn’t end there. Inside, we have a colorful message board showcasing the story of a local patient.

It’s about Steven, who came in for what he thought would be just a normal check-up. When I saw his lab results – which I received as he was still in the office – I discovered he had diabetes. He was shocked even though there was a family history of the disease. I told him lifestyle changes were necessary and Steve rose to the challenge.

“(Scott) was frank with me. That’s what I want. That’s the kind of guy he is. He told me I needed to make some major lifestyle changes because diabetes has run in my family from my grandma to my dad and now me. He knew I smoked a lot and I drank a lot of soda,” Steven says. “He knew my diet wasn’t so hot. He was on my side. He wanted to see me succeed and if I started eating better, quit smoking and get some exercise I may just be alright. His approach was my wake-up call. The very day I was diagnosed was the day I made a change.”

I love stories like Steven’s where patients make real changes and take control of their health. By losing weight and quitting smoking, he saw big changes. One of the best parts of working in family practice is that you get to know people. You get to see them succeed when facing difficult challenges.

Steve’s story is also good to share because it highlights that I discovered the diabetes during a routine check-up. An annual physical is important since it allows me to focus on the entire patient’s health and not just the cough or sore knee that he came in to have checked. These regular contacts help all patients, not just those like Steve who have a chronic health problem, because we can work together on coming up with health goals and a plan on how to reach them.

The message board and sign with the new logo are part of an organization-wide rebranding initiative launched by ThedaCare at the end of 2014. The rebranding closely ties the seven ThedaCare hospitals, physician clinics and specialty practices together while emphasizing the commitment to providing patient-centered care as a community healthcare partner. It’s a reminder that all the ThedaCare clinics and hospitals are connected. That connection means improved care for our patients since I can easily refer a patient to a specialist when needed. It also means if one of my patients needs to be hospitalized, the staff there has access to my electronic records, providing vital information.

If you haven’t seen the new sign, it features “ThedaCare” in bold black lettering beneath four colorful, interlocking hearts. The heart has been part of ThedaCare’s visual identity for many years; the updated mark continues to provide easy recognition while underscoring the importance of care and caring, love and connection.

I invite you to come to the clinic and read about Steve’s story or better yet, call the clinic and set up a regular check-up so we can work together on your health goals and challenges and create your own success story.

Scott Schuldes is a certified family nurse practitioner and associate medical director at ThedaCare Physicians-Hilbert. He can be reached at