Ascension leaders showcase Woodruff based
outreach efforts to Representative Rob Swearingen
September 20, 2019
34th State Assembly District Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander recently visited with leaders of Howard Young Medical Center, part of Ascension, to learn how the organization is partnering and responding to needs of the Lakeland area community.
The first stop of the visit was the Lakeland Pantry where a newly created private space allows care givers from Howard Young Medical Center to provide health screenings and health information in a more private setting to clients of the Lakeland Pantry.
Based on county statistics, Vilas and Oneida County have a higher percent of children and adults that are uninsured compared to state average.
Working in collaboration, Lakeland Pantry and associates from Howard Young Medical Center have formed a health committee and developed a plan to provide regularly scheduled blood pressure checks and glucose checks to screen those with hypertension and diabetes — two leading chronic diseases in our community.
“We were pleased to share how we are reaching our community in innovative ways and helping manage chronic disease management to Representative Swearingen,” Howard Young Medical Center chief administrative officer Laurie Oungst said.
At the next stop, Noble F. Lee Memorial Field in Arbor Vitae, Representative Swearingen learned about the capabilities of Spirit III, the fixed wing air transport vehicle that is part of the Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport Fleet.
Spirit Regional Manager Charlie Kotke highlighted the newest transport tool available for patients who need transport out of the Northwoods to a higher-level trauma center.
“In our first few months of service, Spirit III has flown 49 patients to higher levels of care with fast response times,” Kotke said. “While we prefer to use the helicopter because it can land at a hospital rather than an airport, the fixed wing ensures that even in dangerous weather conditions, we can make sure patients have access to the care they need.”
The fixed wing Spirit III is one of two fixed wing air ambulance transports based in the state.
Lastly, Representative Swearingen toured the Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) Lab at Howard Young Medical Center which brings students with autism into the hospital environment to learn job skills and training.
“While there are eight other PAES labs in the State of Wisconsin, this is the only lab that is located in the community — outside of a school,” Oungst said. “We thank Representative Swearingen for taking the time to learn about all these efforts and the important impact they have on our community and beyond.”
All three programs showcased during the visit received support from the Howard Young Foundation.