• WisBusiness

Monday, March 7, 2016

MaryBeth Matzek: Three new cancer centers call Appleton home

By MaryBeth Matzek

Appleton is becoming a treatment destination location for those battling cancer, with three new cancer centers opening in the past nine months.

In the past, some patients might have traveled to Madison or Milwaukee for care. But that’s changing with the opening of two centers from ThedaCare and Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology, and the expansion of another from Ministry Health Care.

“The vision with the cancer center was to create a regional cancer destination and to be the premier location north of Madison and Milwaukee,” said Jenny Redman-Schell, a senior vice president at ThedaCare. “It’s more than just the building; it’s the high quality of care and services that patients can receive locally so there’s less need to travel.”

Last September, the specialists and physicians with Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology opened a 70,000-square-foot standalone, independent healthcare facility after seeing patients for 25 years at Appleton’s two hospitals, Appleton Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital.

ThedaCare, which owns AMC, then opened the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in January, while Ministry Health Care opened an updated and expanded cancer center at St. Elizabeth Hospital. After the FVHO physicians left, ThedaCare hired its own oncologists to work at its cancer center while Ministry contracted with Green Bay Oncology to provide services at St. Elizabeth’s.

Redman-Schell, ThedaCare’s senior VP overseeing the areas of physician services, behavioral health and transitions of care and home, says AMC’s cancer center wasn’t large enough to meet patients’ needs. The expansive new center measures offers 84,000 square feet of space.

“There was a need for additional space as well as space for us to grow into since the way cancer is treated today is very different than it was 10 years ago. Who knows what it will be like 10 years from now?” she says. “The new center offers more choices for patients. For example, there is more room for treatments so patients can more easily have family members of friends sit with them. We also offer space that’s more private if they would prefer treatment in that type of surrounding.”

Located just off Interstate 41, ThedaCare’s Regional Cancer Center is adjacent to Encircle Health, an ambulatory care facility ThedaCare operates with partnering independent physicians. That connection means both facilities can use the same high-end imaging technologies for MRIs and PET scans.

“The center is a one-stop location for all the care someone with cancer may need. We not only have the radiation and chemotherapy, but also other services, such as having a social worker on staff and in the future bringing in financial counseling or other therapies, such as music therapy, in the future,” Redman-Schell says. “It’s also convenient and easy to reach.”

Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology Health & Wellness Center also provides services that 10 years ago no one would have ever thought of, says Dr. Timothy Goggins, FVHO’s chief medical officer. The center offers a wig salon, chiropractic care, counseling, massage therapy, acupuncture, support groups and yoga and “we continue to increase our services to meet our patients’ needs,” he says.

Also adjacent to Interstate 41, FVHO offers weekend hours for patients, who need hydration services, support therapy or chemotherapy treatments. Goggins says those services, especially hydration, can keep some patients from going to local emergency rooms if they’re suffering from dehydration due to their chemotherapy treatments.

Like its larger and freestanding counterparts, the 12,000-square-foot St. Elizabeth Cancer also offers patients a variety of services from traditional services including radiology and chemotherapy to complementary medical treatments, including reiki and massage therapy.

New Valley hospital?:
ThedaCare, the Fox Valley’s largest employer, announced it is looking at the idea of building a new regional hospital in the Fox Cities to replace both AMC and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. Organization leaders say they will study the idea for the next couple of years before making a final decision. One leading reason for the new facility is the cost of retrofitting aging buildings with new technologies and saving money by eliminating the duplication of services.

While the Neenah and Appleton hospitals specialize in different areas – AMC for example focuses on cardiovascular care while Theda Clark focuses on stroke care – there is still duplication of services between the two locations, ThedaCare officials say.

Foundry merger:
Waupaca Foundry, Inc. is joining forces with Hitachi Metals Automotive Components USA LLC (HMAC). The merger is part of a larger reorganization within Hitachi Metals Foundry America, which owns both companies. Once the deal is complete, HMAC will become a division of Waupaca Foundry, but still use the HMAC name.

The merger will position the integrated organization for growth and help it to better meet customer demand, says Waupaca Foundry CEO Gary Gigante.

“The merger with HMAC allows us to further integrate castings and value added services for our customers in diverse markets,” he says. “We are committed to being the world’s leading casting solutions provider and this is a critical step in achieving that goal.”

Waupaca Foundry employs 3,900 at six manufacturing facilities, including three in Wisconsin and one each in Indiana and Tennessee.

-- Matzek, a freelance writer and editor, is the owner of 1Bizzy Writer. She has worked in the past as a news editor at Insight Publications and as business editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wendy Riemann: Advantageous Advocacy: Agree to disagree

A funny cartoon in The New Yorker last week featured two siblings yelling at each other, "You're a big, fat liar." "No, you're a big fat liar!" With the mom telling the dad, "You're the one who said, 'Let them watch the debates, it will be educational.'"

When we feel passionately about a topic, we can easily succumb to our emotions. It is why some families avoid discussing politics at the holiday table and why some Facebook friends won't engage in conversations about social issues online.

Groups traveling to the nation's capital to advocate for their cause are often filled with great energy and inspiring passion. They researched an issue and solutions, and are eager to bring about positive change.

Meeting with a staff person who does not share the group's opinion can be disheartening. Yet, as infuriating as that may be, and regardless of how right group members think they are, or how much someone pays in taxes, it is NOT appropriate to yell in a meeting. It is not professional. It does not benefit the cause. It diminishes the message. It often demonstrates an inflated ego with a lack of control; and quite frankly, it makes the person and the group look more like bullies and jerks rather than advocates an office wants as partners.

In my advocacy research, I surveyed high-level staff in dozens of Capitol Hill offices. Staff are accustomed to emotional constituents - it comes with the job. However, while infrequent, more than 50 percent of staff surveyed experienced being yelled at in a constituent meeting at levels far beyond a verbal disagreement.

Not one found the yelling productive or helpful. Several felt threatened.

In response, many staffers said they would never meet with that group again. Others said any future meeting would likely be delegated to a lower-level staff person. Neither of these outcomes is helpful in moving a cause forward.

Staff, are just that, staff. They are moms and dads, friends and relatives. Most are overworked, underpaid, and entered public service to make the world a better place.

So, don't shoot the messenger. Express your views, but do not make personal attacks, yell, or threaten. Find a way to agree to disagree.

That can actually be easier than expected because most elected officials have a voting record. If a group does its proper homework before a meeting, they should have facts and a general idea of where an official already stands on the issue. This knowledge is helpful in managing a group's expectations, setting a meeting goal - which may perhaps just be getting someone from against an issue to neutral - and remaining calm. Do not take staff asking questions or pointing out alternative facts and statistics as a personal attack. Listening to those comments can sometimes provide a better understanding of where the office stands and why, and may even lead to an opening for a group to calmly correct inaccurate information.

Since a group may need this office in the future, it is good to remember that there is some truth to the adage that you catch more flies with honey.

-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: wendy@1492communications.com.

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