WMC leads the way in general surgery

Released: 11/22/16

“We can’t stop cancer or disease,” says Caroline Schwickerath, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System general surgeon at Winneshiek Medical Center Decorah Clinic. “But we can help patients understand and make them feel as comfortable as possible while treating them.”

That sums up the philosophy she and her Decorah Clinic general surgeon partner, Steven Davis, M.D., share when caring for patients at Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC) in Decorah and at Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in Waukon. From 2013 to present, more than half of all general surgeries performed in the region were at Winneshiek Medical Center – more than all other area hospitals combined. In addition to the Mayo Clinic Health System general surgeons, Gundersen Health System general surgeons, Scott Bierman, M.D., Michael LaBelle, M.D. and Phillip Yee, M.D., also provide general surgery care for patients at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Dr. Schwickerath recently joined WMC Decorah Clinic after several years working in Grand Rapids, MI. “I really enjoy working here and I’ve been so impressed with the expertise of the nurses and staff,” says Dr. Schwickerath. “This hospital is a treasure to have in rural America.” Dr. Schwickerath brings expertise in treating benign and malignant colorectal diseases with surgical intervention and general surgery expertise for issues like gallbladder disease, appendectomies and hernias, to name a few. She also has a special interest in women’s health care and melanoma. “Dr. Schwickerath has become a valuable part of our surgical team,” says Dr. Davis. “From inpatient procedures to outpatient surgery, Winneshiek Medical Center has the facilities and technology to handle most health issues, right here, close to home.”

Surgeons at Winneshiek Medical Center often perform laparoscopic procedures for patients. This type of surgery is minimally invasive and can include significantly less blood loss and scarring, shorter recovery time and a faster return to normal activities for a better quality of life. “We serve a large number of patients from our region at Winneshiek Medical Center,” says Mary Sender, director of emergency and surgical services at WMC. “We perform approximately 2,500 procedures each year, which translates into a lot of experience for our nursing staff in caring for patients prior to and after their surgeries – and that experience means our patients can be confident in our care.” The surgical and same day services departments include a staff of 24 registered nurses and surgical technicians, many with advanced certification in the delivery of drug therapy for cancer and chronic illness.

“It’s this quality of care that sets us apart,” says Lisa Radtke, WMC chief administrative officer. “We are the second largest critical access hospital in Iowa, named one of the Top 20 in the nation and recently received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with rigorous national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. All this is possible because our staff is committed, at every level, to putting the needs of our patients first and building lifelong relationships to improve the health and well-being of everyone who seeks care here. ”

Learn more about Winneshiek Medical Center at www.winmedical.org or to make an appointment, call 563-382-2911 or visit us online at www.winmedical.org/make-an-appointment.

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