Langlade Hospital Unveils Important Step With Cardiac Facility

Langlade Hospital unveiled an important milestone in cardiac health care in Antigo on Wednesday.
The hospital has earned the designation as a satellite center for the Aspirus Heart and Vascular Institute in Wausau, meaning patients here can be assured of receiving the same level and continuity of care as at the main campus in Wausau.
“This has a profound message for our community,” Dave Schneider, hospital CEO, said. “This brings state-of-the-art cardiac care to our community.”
Langlade Hospital has had a close working partnership with Aspirus for years, but the formal designation brings the exact same protocols to a patient in Antigo as in Wausau. That includes equipment and technology, staff and professional competencies and continuous quality improvement.
“We have been able to replicate the quality of care here as a patient receives in Wausau,” Ruth Risley-Gray, director of patient services, said. “A patient should see no difference if they come here or if they go to Wausau. We have standardized our work and how we treat patients and do diagnostics.”
And the completion of a new suite of offices and exam rooms for the Aspirus-based Cardiovascular Associates means that cardiologists will be seeing patients in Antigo four, and perhaps five, days a week.
The new designation brings more than an assured level of care, Risley-Gray said. It also allows a seamless transfer of patients suffering a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, between Antigo and Wausau. In a health care situation where time is critical, a patient entering the urgent care center in Antigo can be diagnosed, stabilized and on his or her way to advanced treatment within minutes.
At Wednesday’s luncheon, Sister Dolores Demulling of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, who operate Langlade Hospital, said that the designation “symbolizes who we are, what we are about, and why we do what we do” in the local community.
“I am proud to be a part of this anticipated achievement,” she said. “This brings a new level of cardiac care for our community.”
Dr. Noel Deep, an internal medicine physician with Aspirus General Clinic, applauded the designation as well.
“We are blessed to have some of the best physicians right here in our backyard,” he said, adding that the list of specialty services, now expanded to include cardiac care, “are unparalleled for a small community like us.”

Other speakers included Dr. Paul Luetmer, who is affiliated with Cardiovascular Associates, who said the collaboration between the cardiac institute and Langlade Hospital is “a little ahead of the curve” in the health care model.
“Antigo has been a tremendous partner,” Luetmer said. “Working together, we will do the best job for the patient.”
But while Wednesday was a celebration of the culmination of years of study and work, it does not mean an end to the process, he warned.
“This is not a graduation, it is a commencement,” he said. “This is not a process that is finished, it is a process that has just started.”
The program also included a testimonial from hospital employee Linda Meeks, who related her experiences when she arrived at Langlade Hospital with a sore elbow, only to learn she was suffering a life-threatening heart attack.
“I know I still have things to do,” she said. “This wasn’t my time.”
To cap the program, Scott Garavet, Aspirus Heart and Vascular Institute sfrvice line administrator, presented a new automatic external defibrillator to Antigo High School Principal Tom Zamzow and nurse Rita Stowe.
Aspirus Heart and Vascular Institute has been recognized by the American Heart Association for performance, has been named the number one heart program in Wisconsin and among the top five in the nation, and has received several designations as among the best hospitals nationwide for cardiovascular services.
“This has been a win-win situation for us,” Dr. Deep said. “This is something that will benefit the community for years to come.”