Following hip surgery, a local man receives skilled care through the Transitional Care Program at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Bruce Sersland receives skilled care through the swing bed program at Winneshiek Medical Center.
Bruce says, “Someone asked me if I was going to recover from hip surgery at Winneshiek Medical Center. I knew I could recover in a long-term care facility, but I had no idea skilled care through the swing bed program was offered at Winneshiek Medical Center. It was exactly what I needed.”

Are you facing surgery? Where will you recover?

After years of pain, most likely a result of dairy farming, sports and genetics, Bruce Sersland decided his hip was affecting his quality of life significantly enough to take action. He says, “When I couldn’t walk, sleep, work – anything – without pain, I reached a point where it was time to consider replacing my hip. Not that I wanted to; that’s not for people my age…I just was tired of living in pain.”

Bruce went to Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse for hip replacement surgery, and four days later was discharged from the hospital.

“Although many do not want to admit it, my generation – the baby boomers – are starting to face these types of surgeries. I know a handful just off the top of my head. We don’t have the large families to take care of us like our parents did and it is too much for one or two people to manage. Where are we going to recover?” Bruce found his answer in the off-hand comment of a friend. Bruce says, “Someone asked me if I was going to recover from hip surgery at Winneshiek Medical Center. I knew I could recover in a long-term care facility, but I had no idea skilled care through the Transitional Care Program was offered at Winneshiek Medical Center. It was exactly what I needed.”

So, with the assistance of a friend, Bruce made the trip from La Crosse to Decorah and settled in at Winneshiek Medical Center. “I will spend about a week here recuperating and receiving therapy. My meals, medications and physical needs are taken care of and, best of all, insurance covers my stay. As we all know, insurance plans are different, so people need to check with their own plan before making any decisions,” stresses Bruce.

Bruce believes the biggest advantage to skilled care is the therapy. “After my surgery, I couldn’t even move my big toe, and the first day the therapists moved my leg…good thing they weren’t family! The therapists pushed me to move even when it hurt, and because of their persistence, I am up and walking just one week later. They are also teaching me new ways to bend or twist so I don’t re-injure my hip.” He adds, “I enjoy being here, though I miss my own bed. I know many of the medical center staff – or I know their parents – and it passes the time to be able to talk to them about things other than my hip.”

Bruce, can be seen visiting fellow patients or walking out to the lobbies for a new perspective. “I walked past the OB window on one of my strolls down the hallway.” He laughs, “I think I scared the two babies in there! One’s hair was standing straight up!” Bruce adds, “Only a week out of surgery and I am exploring the medical center with assistance of only my crutches – I wouldn’t be nearly this far along if I would have went home after surgery. I’d have sat on my couch as soon as I made it through the front door, and then I wouldn’t have been able to get up!”

Bruce adds, “Anyone having surgery needs to look into the Transitional Care Program at Winneshiek Medical Center. You will recover faster, without burdening anyone. It is a huge benefit to our community that we can recover from surgery performed elsewhere in our home-town medical center.”

If you or a family member are on your way to recovery and no longer need acute care services, but may need more help before you can care for yourself at home, skilled care provided through the Transitional Care Program at Winneshiek Medical Center may be for you.

On our Transitional Care Program, you receive daily therapy to meet self-care goals set by you and the skilled nursing team. Team members and services included as appropriate are:

  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Case Management
  • Social Services

If you are interested in learning more about skilled care through the Winneshiek Medical Center Transitional Care Program, contact Karen Humpal, RN at 563-382-2911or visit with the discharge planning social worker or nurse at the out-of-Decorah facility of your surgery or medical care. Skilled care is covered for Medicare participants and many private insurance policies when qualifying criteria have been met.

Back to Patient Stories