How a health care hero can make a difference in a child’s life and a community

Recently, I was privileged to attend the Health Care Heroes Awards program sponsored by BizTimes, a biweekly news magazine here in Milwaukee. During this event, Robert Rohloff, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Medical Group Southwest Pediatrics, was honored as a health care hero.

Dr. Rohloff was recognized for his work instituting a more family-centered way of caring for kids that led to a change in the clinic’s approach to health care. This medical home model is being implemented more widely across the country, and thanks to Dr. Rohloff, Southwest Pediatrics is …Continue reading this post

Wellness winners

I’m pleased to announce that Children’s Hospital and Health System has received the Well Workplace Gold Award from the Wellness Councils of America – again!

This is Children’s Hospital’s second time earning this national award. It recognizes our high level of quality and excellence in employee wellness initiatives. It is an honor to be recognized for this award as it is given to very few companies and seldom presented to a company more than once.

Our wellness initiatives stem from our web-based Healthy Steps program. The program features a variety of health-focused challenges, educational opportunities and nutrition and fitness activities. Participating employees and their spouses or same-gender partners earn wellness credits to qualify for savings on their health insurance premiums. Other wellness initiatives include free health screenings, participation in and sponsorship of fitness and nutrition events, special programs and free flu vaccinations for employees.

We also offer low-cost fitness classes at many of our locations and sponsor a variety of live and online learning opportunities. We even host a seasonal farmer’s market within steps of Children’s Hospital’s front door. It’s open to our patient families, too.

By providing these opportunities, we help our employees to reduce their health risk factors and live a life of healthy habits. When our employees are healthy, they can be their best at work and at home.

Leave us a comment! What are you doing to reduce your health risks?

~ Judy Stellmacher, BSN, RN, wellness coordinator, Children’s Hospital and Health System

What does it take to keep a children’s hospital running during a storm like today’s?

What does it take to keep a children’s hospital running during a storm like today’s? A lot of preplanning and dedicated, caring staff!

We began preparations yesterday as the storm approached. We have a structured way we approach challenging situations. The model we follow is the same one FEMA uses to manage disasters.

Yesterday afternoon, our Warehouse and Distribution staff made extra deliveries of food and supplies to our inpatient operations. We made plans for the visiting siblings and family members who would be unable to safely leave the hospital during the storm. Staff members who were already on duty yesterday signed up to spend the night, knowing that …Continue reading →

Why I love working at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley

As the 10th anniversary of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley approaches, I was asked to share my favorite memory of working here. I am fortunate enough to have seven great years of memories with Children’s Hospital. When I try to think of a single, favorite memory I am flooded with thoughts and stories of patients and co-workers.

Each day I see patients who hold a special place in my heart. Each day, I work with people …Continue reading →

New clinic opens “south of the border”

Before relocating from the Milwaukee area to northern Illinois four years ago, whenever I thought of Illinois the first things that came to mind were things like road construction, toll roads, Bears fans, toll roads, Cubs fans, toll roads, speeding drivers…did I mention toll roads?

One thing most people don’t think of when they think of Illinois is Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I know what you’re thinking…Wisconsin? In Illinois?? That’s not possible. Well, not only is it possible, we’re here and we’re doing our best to make Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin one of the first things people think of in Illinois when it comes to top-notch pediatric care. We recently opened our sparkling new clinic in Vernon Hills, which is about 13 miles south of two other Illinois things many people think about – Great America and Gurnee Mills. While we may not offer the thrill rides of the former or the shop-’til-you-drop experience of the latter, I can say with confidence that your child will receive the best medical care this side of the state line.

Our specialty clinic is home to programs such as Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Pulmonology and a “non-ology,” Asthma/Allergy. These services are provided by nationally recognized Children’s Physician Group specialists who share a common goal – to provide the best care possible for the kids of northern Illinois. In addition, our primary care clinic offers the full spectrum of pediatric care from two board-certified pediatricians who have treated children in our community for years. So, whether your child has a serious heart condition or just a cold, we offer both primary and specialty care, all under one roof.

I realize that for most kids, going to the doctor isn’t as exciting as going to Great America or even Gurnee Mills. We don’t have a roller coaster or a food court. What we do have is a passion for kids and partnering with their families to ensure their well-being and their brightest possible future. I hope you’ll bring your kids to meet our doctors.

To learn more about the services we offer and the doctors who are ready to partner with you in the care of your child, visit our website at

~Gary Bishop, Specialty Program Manager, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Vernon Hills Clinic

New video tells about family’s experience at Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley

At Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley, located in Neenah, Wis., we see families in the midst of crisis every day. The families we serve often are going through the most difficult days of their lives. That’s why our staff takes extra care to help make each patient’s stay as easy as possible.

Our hospital is dedicated exclusively to treating children. We are the only hospital in the Fox Valley with pediatricians on site 24/7. But, as you will see, our services go way beyond …Continue reading →

A peaceful retreat: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Noel Family Healing Garden

Last month, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin opened the Noel Family Healing Garden. Thanks to a generous contribution from John and Patty Noel, our patient families and staff now have an outdoor space where they can escape, take a break and regroup.

The Noel Family Healing Garden is more than just a beautiful outdoor space. In fact, studies show that being exposed to peaceful, outdoor areas such as this one can help our patients heal. …Continue reading →

The mission of caring for others

In 1989, I took a job with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a nursing instructor for the recently opened Intermediate Intensive Care Unit. In the intervening years, I have been a staff nurse and educator. I’ve served on shared governance committees, participated in research and quality improvement initiatives and served on professional boards. Currently, I am a clinical educator at Children’s Hospital. My work has given me the privilege to travel to developing countries to provide much needed medical care.

I have traveled on 10 medical mission trips in the past 25 years. I have been to the state of Chiapas, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.  Seven of these trips were to Haiti. I spent time in small villages and in the famous slum, Cite Soleil, in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. It took a catastrophic earthquake earlier this year to reveal to the rest of the world what I learned years ago – the needs of Haiti are enormous, and the people of Haiti are beautiful, kind, gracious and deserving. …Continue reading →

Lab in the lab

Boone with a patient.Having blood drawn is rarely something to look forward to. When you’re only 3 years old or even 12 years old, it might even be scary! That’s where we come in. I’m Boone, a black Labrador retriever. My brother Hoss and I are proud members of the Animal Assisted Therapy Program here at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. There are 17 of us dogs in all. We allow handlers – who happen to be humans – to come along with us when we make rounds. But really, it’s all about the children we help.

Doctors, nurses, therapists and parents may request our help for any number of reasons. We make rounds just like the doctors do. Our rounds include clinics and the hospital, from imaging, oncology and Herma Heart Center, to occupational, physical and speech therapies and the lab. On any given day we average 27 service requests and we visit the hospital Monday through Friday.

…Continue reading →

Embarking on an adventure

Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa

Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa

As a member of a team assembled by the Center for International Health, I visited Johannesburg, South Africa this year to consult with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust on a project to build the city’s first children’s hospital.

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, with a population of more than 9 million people. I was overwhelmed with the state of the city – poverty, shantytowns and the devastating effects of AIDS.

Currently, one-third of all pregnant women in Johannesburg test positive for AIDS. This …Continue reading →