OFHS Choirs Present HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS XI on Dec. 1

The Oconto Falls High School Choirs will be presenting HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS XI on Saturday, December 1 in the Falls Area Performing Arts Center, located in Oconto Falls High School. Pre-Concert music with soloists will begin at 6:10 p.m. in the Commons Area, with the concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the PAC.

This year’s concert will feature selections by the Chamber Singers, Cantabile, Chorale, and Concert Choir, as well as the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  The Combined Choirs will perform several selections and include a special rendition of The Polar Express.  Vocal selections will include Let it Snow!, Carol of the Bells,Believe, Cool Yule, and include children’s favorites Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town, and  We Are Santa’s Elves.  The Choirs will also perform O Holy Night, Silent Night, Away In A Manger, and Joy to the World as part of their traditional Candlelight Processional.

Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend!  Join us for this spectacular celebration of music to start your holiday season!

Nostalgic Christmas Show to Open in Abrams

Josh Blau (The Old Man), left, watches as Cate Kopkey (Mother) lectures Sebastian Surber (Randy) and Kael Pierquet (Ralphie) during a rehearsal of “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present the show at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams. (Photo courtesy of Ali Carlson)

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present a nostalgic and heartwarming Christmas show on Dec. 7-9 and 14-16. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” is an iconic holiday comedy set in the 1940s. Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas — a Red Ryder BB gun – but his wish seems hopeless.

“The story line is very familiar,” said Director Pamela Loberger. “For older audiences, it will bring back fond memories of Christmases of their youth.  For the younger audience, it provides a lot of humor and upbeat, fun music.”

The show has a mix of veteran and new talent. Bill Wons brings his comedic timing to his role as Jean, the narrator. Kael Pierquet shows spontaneity and determination as Ralphie Parker. Sebastian Surber, making his theater debut, brings a vulnerability to his role as Ralphie’s brother, Randy Parker. Josh Blau, “The Old Man,” Cate Kopkey, Mother and musical director, and Abby Frank, Ralphie’s teacher, contribute all-around musical and acting talent.  Audiences will delight in Jim Klein’s acerbic Santa.

“We are fortunate to have a solid ensemble filling out the cast, providing a truly enjoyable show,” Loberger said.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will celebrate opening night on Friday, Dec. 7, with a gala after the show. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast and crew.

Performances continue at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14; at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and 15; and 1 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16. All shows will be performed at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

A limited number of tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased at AbramsTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.

Hospital Sisters Health System Receives 2018 “Most Wired” Award

Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), which has four hospitals in Northeast Wisconsin, has received a 2018 Most Wired award for the second consecutive year from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Hospital Sisters Health System’s Northeast Wisconsin locations include: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls.

Hospitals and health systems at the forefront of using health care IT to improve the delivery of care have maximized the benefits of foundational technologies and are embracing new technologies that support population management and value-based care. The most successful organizations not only adopt technology but apply it strategically to achieve great outcomes, according to an analysis of the CHIME HealthCare’s Most Wired survey results.

HealthCare’s Most Wired, now in its 20th year, traditionally tracked the adoption of health care IT in hospitals and health systems. CHIME took over the Most Wired program and revised the survey questions and methodology this year to highlight strengths and gaps in the industry. The goal is to identify best practices and promote the strategic use of health care IT to elevate the health and care of communities around the world.

In addition to designating HSHS for 2018 Most Wired recognition, CHIME made a report based on an analysis of survey results available today.

“We’re proud that our innovative and knowledgeable IT team at HSHS is always taking steps to bring more advanced technology to our patients in clinics and hospitals,” said Mary Starmann-Harrison, HSHS President and CEO. “We have integrated technology into every part of our health system, from patient care to administrative operations. We are honored to have received this recognition twice.”

The report found two key areas that emerged in 2018: the use of foundational technologies such as integration, interoperability, security and disaster recovery; and the use of transformational technologies to support population health management, value-based care, patient engagement and telehealth. These foundational pieces need to be in place for an organization to leverage tools to effectively transform health care.

“Healthcare IT has the potential to revolutionize care around the world, but to meet that potential it must be used strategically,” said Russell Branzell, CHIME President and CEO. “The technology is important, but leadership and a strategic vision are equally important. The diversity of the organizations that earned Most Wired status this year shows quality care can be achieved almost anywhere under the right leadership. By sharing the best practices in Most Wired, we hope quality care will one day be available everywhere.”

The report findings fell into the two categories of foundational and transformational technologies.

Highlights under foundational technologies include:

  • 94 percent of participants used integrated clinical application suites and 86 percent used remote published applications.
  • About three-fourths send blood glucose, bedside blood pressure, bedside pulse oximetry and EKG data directly to the EHR but only 25 percent send data directly from IV pumps and 10 percent from in-bed scale.
  • Almost all physicians have electronic access to the EHR and other resources but only half have access to these resources using mobile applications.
  • 94 percent can consume data in some form from a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) and 97 percent can contribute to a CCD but only 60 percent can consume discrete data with a home health agency or a skilled nursing home.
  • Only 29 percent report having a comprehensive security program in place.
  • Nearly all use firewalls, dispose devices containing personal health information properly and secure mobile devices with passwords but many lack other fundamental authentication and safeguarding procedures.
  • 68 percent believe they could restore operations within 24 hours if a disaster caused complete loss of their primary data center.

Highlights under transformational technologies include:

  • 76 percent can perform retroactive analysis for care improvement and cost reduction but only 43 percent can manage bundled payments or do real-time identification and tracking of value-based care conditions.
  • 57 percent use clinical and billing data as well as health information exchanges to identify gaps in care.
  • Most provider organizations’ population health strategies target diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease and hypertension but few target behavioral health, sickle cell anemia and end-stage renal disease.
  • For patient engagement, 81 percent report capabilities like email and more than half offer satisfaction surveys; 67 percent offer secure email exchange with a member of home care team and 38 percent offer virtual patient visits.
  • Most offer conveniences such as requesting a prescription renewal or paying a bill through a patient portal; 90 percent offer a mobile patient portal; and nearly all offer access to test results and visit summaries.
  • 89 percent offer some form of telehealth service, but few offer focused telehealth services such as genetic counseling or rehabilitation.
  • About half use ePrescribing for controlled substances and 48 percent have their ePrescribing module connected to a prescription drug monitoring program.

In recent years, HSHS has made a concerted effort to leverage technology to give patients several treatment options, which is especially critical in small, rural communities when seconds count. For instance, the Telestroke programs at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital provide quick access to neurology specialists that may be more than 100 miles away.

“Our technology initiatives have strived to focus on patient-centered and patient-first care,” Dr. Ray Gensinger, HSHS Chief Information Officer, said. “Technologies have enabled us to serve patients and deliver safer, high-quality health care like never before. Our efforts are cost-effective and convenient for the patients and care providers.”

CHIME is an executive organization with more than 2,700 members in 51 countries and over 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms. For more information, please visit chimecentral.org 

HPV Vaccine Presentation and Community Discussion

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers will present an informational workshop on the HPV vaccine on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the YWCA Greater Green Bay.

The Nov. 14 event presented by HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers is designed to answer important questions about the HPV vaccine, such as:

  • Why should it be given?
  • Who should it be given to and when?
  • Does it work and is it safe?
  • How is the cost of the vaccine covered?

The presentation will be led by Leighann Heling, RN, BSN, and nurse navigator at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers. It is free and open to the community.

HPV Vaccine Community Discussion

  • 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14
  • YWCA Greater Green Bay – 230 S. Madison St. in Green Bay
  • Registration is requested by visiting: www.stvincenthospital.org/HPV

HPV, short for “human papillomavirus,” is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. According to the CDC, 80 percent of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. In some cases, HPV can also lead to cancer. The CDC reports HPV causes 33,700 cancers in men and women each year in the United States. HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers from ever developing. To learn more, visit: www.cdc.gov/hpv

Tips on Choosing a 2019 Health Insurance Plan

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and Prevea Health are proud to accept a wide variety of health insurance plans to better serve their patients’ and communities’ health care needs.

The HSHS hospitals in Eastern Wisconsin and Prevea Health recommend the following tips when reviewing health insurance plan options:

  • Learn if the insurance plan limits your access to certain doctors or hospitals. Doctors, hospitals and other providers may be in one of the company’s provider networks, but not in others.
  • Be sure to review the number of primary care physicians and specialists available to you within the health insurance plan, and the geographic locations of those physicians and specialists.

Below is a current list of the most common health insurance plans accepted by HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial Hospitals, and Prevea Health.


  • Arise Health Plan (excludes About Health Network)
  • Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
    • Blue Access, Traditional PPO, Blue Preferred HMO/POS (excludes Blue Priority)
  • Choicecare Network
  • Cigna HealthCare – Open Access, OAPlus and PPO
  • HealthEOS Network
  • Health Payment Systems (HPS)
  • Humana – PPO, HMO/POS/NPOS and Humana Preferred Network (HPN) (excludes Humana Value Network)
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Multiplan – Beechstreet and PHCS Savility
  • Network Health Plan
  • NorthCentral Employees Healthcare Alliance (NEHA)
  • Prevea360 Health Plan
  • Sheboygan Employers Health Network (SEHN)
  • Three Rivers Provider Network (TRPN)
  • Trilogy Health Network
  • Tricare
  • United HealthCare (UHC) – HMO/PPO, Options PPO
  • WEA Insurance – Trust, Trust Preferred, PPP, WEA Provider Network
  • WPS – Statewide PPO

Medicare – Traditional and the following Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Anthem BC MediBlue Medicare Advantage
  • Humana Choice Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Network Health Medicare Advantage
  • Prevea360/Dean Health Medicare Advantage
  • United HealthCare Medicare Advantage
    • AARP Medicare Complete, UHC Medicare Solutions, UHC Community Plan

Medicaid – Traditional and the following Medicaid HMO Plans

  • Anthem BC
  • Badgercare
  • Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP)
  • Care WI First
  • Group Health of Eau Claire
  • Managed Health Services
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Trilogy Health
  • United HealthCare Community Plan
  • WI Medicaid for SSI

ACA Exchange Plans (http://www.healthcare.gov/)

  • Molina Healthcare
    • Open enrollment is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2018

More information can be obtained by calling the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division Business Office at (920) 433-8122, or the Prevea Health Business Office at (920) 496-4775.

Northeast Wisconsin Families in Need to be Presented “Best Christmas Ever”

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of Best Christmas Ever, a non-profit organization aimed at providing families in need an unforgettable Christmas experience, is looking for nominations of local families deserving of this once-in-a-lifetime gift.

Best Christmas Ever partners with business leaders and communities to lift up families who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own by providing them the ultimate Christmas. Gifts provided to the families depend on their needs and can range from everyday necessities, to appliances, services or money to cover bills such as medical expenses, groceries and vehicle repairs.

Best Christmas Ever, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in Minnesota in 2011, surprised 100 families across the country last year and gave additional help to 200 others. The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of Best Christmas Ever was established in 2017, when members surprised a family in need in Manitowoc. This year, they hope to bless at least five families in Northeast Wisconsin.

“Our purpose is to make a long-lasting impact on families that have come upon hard times, and to truly change their lives for the better,” said Justin Spettel, leader of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of Best Christmas Ever. “It’s an amazing experience for everyone involved, and now, we need Northeast Wisconsin’s help in nominating families deserving of a Best Christmas Ever in 2018.”

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of Best Christmas Ever is taking nominations for families in need now through Thursday, Nov. 15.  Nominations can come from people in the community, or friends, relatives or co-workers of families in need; however, families cannot nominate themselves. To nominate a family, please visit: http://www.bcemovement.org/nominate-a-family

To see first-hand how Best Christmas Ever touches the lives of families, watch the short video posted on the organization’s web site, http://www.bcemovement.org/. For more information on the nomination process or to learn about how you can help, please contact Justin Spettel at (920) 750-8176 or Justin@coreinsurance365.com.