WMC Transitional Care keeps patient close to home

Leona Rosendahl chose to recover from a knee surgery at Winneshiek Medical Center. Six weeks of nursing care and therapy through WMC’s Transitional Care program helped Leona regain her strength and continue recovering at home. Leona (center) is pictured with members of her care team: Jamie Wagner, registered nurse (left), Kathleen Schutte, physical therapist assistant (left, standing), and Pat Carey, physical therapist (right)

Leona Rosendahl is a familiar face in the hallways of Winneshiek Medical Center. Faithfully, she and her husband, Robert, exercised in the Rehabilitation gym twice per week for many years, making friends with staff and patients alike. So when Leona needed transitional care following a knee surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she turned to the place where she already felt at home.

“I’ve spent a great deal of time here,” she says. “I feel comfortable and Winneshiek Medical Center – it is kind of like home.”

Transitional care is a level of care for patients recovering from illness and/or surgery who no longer require acute care, but need more therapy and care before successfully returning home. Patients receiving transitional care work with a team of professionals, which include: doctors, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, rehabilitation professionals such as physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapists, pharmacists, dietitians, and, if requested, spiritual leaders. The group focuses on meeting the patient’s physical, spiritual and social needs to aid in a successful recovery. Although transitional care is offered in a hospital setting, patients are encouraged to participate in activities and perform his or her daily care to maintain independence.

Leona spent nearly six weeks at WMC recovering from her surgery. She says, “I chose to recover at WMC because the doctors and nurses are right there if something unexpected happens.”

And something unexpected did happen. During her stay at WMC, her husband, Robert, passed away. She says, “The staff here made sure I was able to visit Robert at Wellington Place to say my goodbyes… they were very helpful that week.” She adds, “I was so thankful to be just down the road from him instead of miles away in a larger facility.”

Jamie Wagner, RN, was one of the nurses who cared for Leona during her recovery. She says, “Nursing, especially in smaller communities, is more than providing quality health care. We are here to meet our patients’ needs – whether they need a good laugh, to talk to someone, or a hug and encouraging word.” Jamie continues, “We would have moved mountains to make sure Leona could be with Robert before he died, and to attend his funeral.”

Leona continued to recover under the watchful eye of her care team until she was ready to transition home again. “The nurses and therapists helped me keep up my strength and move around, even with the cast on my leg,” says Leona. “And the food was great – they actually fed me too much!”

Leona concludes, “I am thankful that Winneshiek Medical Center offers a program to care for people like me who are recovering from surgery. I knew I was in good hands in Decorah.”

Choosing Transitional Care

There are multiple local options for transitional care. Benefits of choosing Winneshiek Medical Center are:

  • Winneshiek Medical Center staff are able to administer certain intravenous medications that long term care/nursing home facilities cannot give.
  • Winneshiek Medical Center offers a more intense rehabilitation program to accelerate your recovery.
  • Winneshiek Medical Center offers post-surgery nursing care for critical patients (example: heart surgeries).
  • Physicians are available on-site should complications arise.

To learn more about transitional are at Winneshiek Medical Center, contact Karen Humpal, RN, at 563-382-2911 or visit with the discharge planning social worker or nurse at the facility of your surgery or acute medical care. Medicare and most private insurance plans cover transitional care the same as skilled care when qualifying criteria have been met. Learn more about transitional care and other inpatient services at Winneshiek Medical Center by visiting www.winmedical.org/inpatient-services.

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