Advanced ultrasound equipment contributes to life-saving diagnosis of college student

Released: 11/29/16

While attending Luther College, Jake Doty was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Today, he is thankful to Mayo Clinic Health System specialists and the advanced technology at Winneshiek Medical Center for the quality care he received during his years in Decorah.

Jake Doty, an aspiring musician and outdoor enthusiast, was attending Luther College when he noticed troubling symptoms. He spent nearly a month deciding whether or not to make an appointment, but finally called Winneshiek Medical Center. “It was after 4:00 o’clock one afternoon, but Dr. Orvis’ care team told me to come right in,” says Jake. Brad Orvis, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Health System urologist at Winneshiek Medical Center, confirmed symptoms of testicular cancer, and sent Jake down the hall to Winneshiek Medical Center’s radiology department. Jake says, “I had an ultrasound yet that afternoon. The staff was fantastic when my world was suddenly spinning out of control. I was thankful the technology was available locally and I could get answers right away.”

And answers he got. Within a few minutes of the ultrasound, Richard Remark, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System radiologist at Winneshiek Medical Center, sat down with Jake. “He told me I had an aggressive, but curable form of testicular cancer. I remember appreciating his ability to talk to me; at the time, I was a 20-year old college student. His humor and empathy made everything seem okay,” says Jake. He adds, “From my initial phone call to my appointment, ultrasound and diagnosis, it was all within one hour.” Dr. Orvis shared his cell phone number with Jake so his parents could have a direct conversation with the doctor. “My parents really appreciated the personal connection to Dr. Orvis so they could ask all their questions as they drove to Decorah. They were put at ease right away,” Jake says.

The next morning, Jake was in surgery with Dr. Orvis to remove the cancerous tissue. He did not require any additional treatments. “I followed up regularly with Dr. Orvis and the Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare oncologist, Dr. Paula Gill, who sees patients in Decorah,” he says.

A few years later, Jake is a fourth-grade teacher in Boone, Iowa with thankfulness in his heart. “Only at Winneshiek Medical Center would I have been so quickly cared for by such quality providers, staff and equipment,” says Jake. For that reason, he continues to travel back to Winneshiek Medical Center for follow-up appointments, even though other health care organizations are closer and more convenient. He also has another reason to make the drive north. “I try to schedule my appointments at Winneshiek Medical Center to coincide with certain hunting seasons… I have friends in the Decorah area that enjoy the outdoors just like I do.” He adds, “Winneshiek Medical Center’s standards are really high and they treat you well. I’m glad I was diagnosed in Decorah.”

2016 Annual Fund

There is still time to be part of something special and help people just like Jake.

The goal of the 2016 Annual Fund is $175,000 for new ultrasound equipment with 3D/4D capabilities. The new ultrasound will provide more clear and precise pictures of the soft tissue structures of the body, vessels and reproductive organs, allowing doctors to perform precision biopsies and provide the best care, diagnosis and treatment for each individual patient without radiation exposure. Additionally, with 3D/4D ultrasound, expectant families will receive enhanced imaging of their new baby’s growth, weight and position.

Please join us in raising funds for WMC Foundation’s 2016 Annual Fund and offer your helping hands for local health care. Gifts can be made online at or by calling the WMC Foundation Office at 563-387-3129.

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