NWTC Partnership a Gift to Community

Posted 1 October 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

By Dorothy Erdmann, CEO, Shawano Medical Center

When a community undertakes the challenges and expense of building a new hospital, there’s a lot of talk about large gifts, usually of a financial nature. Already, the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano has been on the receiving end of truly generous gifts and pledges that will help us build and shape the future of health care in the Shawano area.

Last week I was honored to announce yet another set of gifts exchanged in our community, among our own people, in support of each other. Together with Dr. H. Jeffrey Rafn, president of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, we announced an agreement to offer Shawano’s NWTC nursing programs on site at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano starting next fall. It’s the first such collaboration in Wisconsin, and our agreement will bring more than 50 nursing students onto our campus each year to be trained as CNAs, associate’s degreed nurses, practical nurses or health care business services professionals.

But how is this considered a gift exchange, you wonder? Dr. Rafn was in search of a solution to the overcrowded NWTC campus in Shawano. At about the same time, SMC’s leadership was strategizing methods for hiring the next generation of nurses for service within our small rural hospital. NWTC was able to offer us the gift of motivated nursing students as potential employees. They come from our own city and towns, and now they’ll be trained with the exact same equipment that we hope they’ll someday use as TCMC-Shawano nurses. We were able to offer 5,000 square feet of customized space within tour new medical center, including a lab to house a high fidelity simulator and an exact replica of a ThedaCare patient room. NWTC will also make the simulator available to our current physicians, nurses and their assistants for continuing education coursework as well as their faculty to assist us in ongoing training of our clinical staff.

I like to think of this fascinating partnership as a gift to all of you. We’ve worked hard to be good stewards of our community’s health care and education resources. We’ve affirmed our belief in excellent quality health care close to home. How wonderful it is to have more of our own friends and neighbors be part of the team that delivers that care. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.