This was a very interesting talk about health care, with specific information about Mayo and the Red Cedar clinic and hospital in Menomonie. The slide deck for the talk is attached below. 

WisCommunity will livestream this Community Conversation on Sept. 30 at Noon. The meeting will take place at the Menomonie Public Library, 600 Wolske Bay Road in Menomonie. 

The next Community Conversations is this Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 - “The Future of Healthcare” - cosponsored with the Menomonie Public Library.  The session will be from 12 noon to 1:45 PM.  Our speaker will be Dr. Horvath from the Mayo Clinic.  The presentation will be in the Meeting Room of the Menomonie Public Library.  Hope to see you there!  Lorene Vedder

Summary  of the event by Lorene Vedder:

Dr. Paul Horvath, the Physician Leader for Mayo Clinic Health System, Red Cedar, presented his vision for the future of healthcare in our country.

The healthcare of today has become big business with few independent physician practices.  Most physicians work in large clinics and in hospitals.  Unfortunately the expense of healthcare in this country is greater than in the rest of the world and, for that, we have poorer health outcomes as compared to other developed countries.

The stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in our system.  Our staffing of both physicians and allied healthcare workers was stretched and many professionals have left the field.  Ancillary staff has also been stressed from housekeeping to registration clerks.  Workplace violence has threatened our registration clerks.  Paying staff is challenging as small hospitals have to compete to retain vital employees.  Nursing home care is also more limited.  There have been many facility closures.

Inflation is a problems with the worst inflation coming in private health insurance coverage.  Our training of physicians is limited by a cap on the number of residencies offered post medical school.   In the future, this lack of physician care will continue to worsen because of the cap on what our federal government allows for these programs to train the doctor workforce.

On the bright side here in Menomonie we have a hospital rated as a Level IV Trauma Center.  We have a 5 star hospital.  We have top critical care access status.  Our surgical center is innovative as our operating room now does plastic and vascular surgery.   We have general, orthopedic, and podiatry surgery.  Surgical patients come to Menomonie from Eau Claire.

Dr. Horvath regrets the closure of our birthing center and our internal medicine departments.  Gynecologists are limited in number nationwide and are difficult to recruit.   There are also a limited number of general internal medicine specialists.  Most young internists go into medical specialties and the older internists are retiring.

One audience participant wants to have Gerontologists or Internal Medicine Physicians here in Menomonie.  She was concerned that Family Medicine doctors would not have the time for the complicated health issues of the elderly.  Dr. Horvath feels that his Family Practice Physicians are well trained to care for complex health issues.

Another participant asked about the future of End of Life options.  Dr. Horvath spoke about the importance of “End of Life Advanced Directives.” Social workers and nurses have been assisting in getting these directives on the electronic medical record. In regards to medical aid in dying, there is no legislation in Wisconsin for this. Palliative care and hospice are offered in this state.  Our speaker strongly recommends that patients set up a POA for healthcare in a trusted individual to follow directives when he or she looses the capacity to make medical decisions.

Dr. Horvath says that healthcare is becoming a team sport.  With less physicians in the future, a physician will be the head of a team that cares for patients.  Care can also include family members trained to help at home.  Internet can aid in virtual visits.  Lab draws can be done in the home.

The home care issue was addressed.  Our Dunn County Home Healthcare , due to funding limitations, was discontinued several years ago.  A former home health professional was one of our audience participants.  She related how important it is to have a nursing professional in the home to assess conditions of the home and the needs of the patient.  With private organizations competing with the county to provide services, the county could not generate income to continue their program.  

The next Community Conversation will be Saturday, October 21.  David Stanley, Community Coordinator of the Milkweed Alliance in Menomonie will be our speaker.  "Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance, Inc. (WIMA), is a non-profit peer-run peer support organization based out of Menomonie, WI. We are governed by a board of directors, and 100% managed and run by people with lived experience of mental health or substance use challenges, trauma backgrounds, or other difficult life experiences. Services include Monarch House Peer Run Respite, Kaleidoscope Peer Recovery Drop-in Center (located in Menomonie City Hall), and a 24/7 peer support warmline. All of these services, plus various activities and support groups are 100% free and available to those living in Wisconsin."

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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