Firework Season is Here

12 tips to stay safe this summer
Though fireworks can be exciting, festive and fun – they can also be very dangerous. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and Prevea Health recommend the following tips and reminders to ensure a safe experience:

  • Children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. If you give sparklers to kids, make sure they keep them outside and away from their faces, clothing and hair.
  • Store properly and buy legally. Only buy legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Don’t DIY. Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Be prepared. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and hose nearby.
  • Keep a distance. Steer clear of others and never throw or point fireworks at someone.
  • Take precautions. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.
  • Know your surroundings. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brushes, leaves and other flammable substances.
  • Quality, not quantity. Light one firework at a time and never relight a dud.
  • Fireworks stay hot. Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as they may still be hot.
  • Make sure the fire is out. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
  • Know the law. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Better yet, leave fireworks to the experts. This is the recommended course of action by the National Safety Council.

If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately call your doctor or go to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn and then call your doctor immediately.

Sports Physicals Proceeds to Benefit Area Schools’ Athletic Departments

The HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center, located at 853 S. Main St., is now scheduling appointments for sports physical examinations for athletes wanting to participate in a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) sport.
Sports physicals are performed by Prevea Health providers and licensed athletic trainers. “We are examining everything from heart issues to musculoskeletal issues,” said Mike LaMere, Prevea Sports Medicine Outreach Manager. “We want to make sure athletes are healthy and ready to compete.”
Sports physical examinations cost $20 and all proceeds will be donated to the athletic department of the school the athlete/patient plays for. Athletes/patients can also request their payment be donated to their sport club. Please see below for available appointment dates and times.

Sports Physicals at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center

  • Tuesday, July 10, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 31, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Call (920) 846-8187 to make an appointment

For more information, visit:
Downloadable physical forms are available at:

Oconto Falls High School Students Receive Scholarships

The Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts were proud to present scholarships to four deserving students who exemplify the highest caliber of achievement in the arts.  This year’s recipients are – CHOIR – Camden Jackson, son of Jeff and Pam Jackson; BAND – Ethan Winkler, son of David and Melissa Winkler; ART – Madeline Witt, daughter of Tom and Linda Witt, and DRAMA – Madison Pecha, daughter of Lori Carlisle and Monty Pecha.

The Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts has been presenting scholarships to deserving high school students in the area schools for the past sixteen years and continues to promote the arts throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

Stephanie Peitersen, daughter of Dave and Lisa Peitersen, was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2018 Lester and Rosemary Korbel Business Scholarship at Oconto Falls High School.

Stephanie has taken numerous business courses during her four years at OFHS, including Business Concepts, Personal Finance, and Career Success.  She has also been an active Future Business Leaders of America member for the past four years, taking on leadership roles as Promotion chair in 2016-2017 and serving as President in 2017-2018. Through the volunteering opportunities offered through FBLA, Stephanie has donated over three hundred hours participating in FBLA events and has been the leader of the partnership with the local senior center for the past two years. In FBLA competitions, she has placed 1st at state two years in a row in the Partnership with a Business event and has been a two-time national qualifier. Last year, Stephanie placed an impressive 11th at Nationals.  Stephanie plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to major in Psychology and Physician’s Assistant program.

The Lester and Rosemary Korbel Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize the tremendous dedication and commitment to excellence required in the field of Business Education.  As the former teachers of the Business Education department at Oconto Falls High School for over 30 years, Lester and Rosemary dedicated their lives to the students at Oconto Falls High School, setting an exceptional high standard for business education students.

Romandine Selected for MCT Next Step Prep Program

Connor Romandine selected for Missoula Children’s Theatre Next Step Prep Program

Connor Romandine, son of  Ron and Carrie Romandine, was recently selected to participate in the prestigious Missoula Children’s Theatre NEXT STEP PREP program in Missoula, Montana.  The Next Step Prep program is a very unique, practical, high quality program for students who are considering the performing arts as a major in college or as a career.  Combining a focused curriculum of classroom instruction, private voice lessons, and specialty workshops taught by professionals from the worlds of theatre, television, and dance, the Next Step Prep Program is designed to give students the skills needed to prepare themselves for post-secondary studies in the performing arts.

Connor is currently a freshman at Oconto Falls High School and actively involved in the choral music program as a member of Chorale and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  He recently earned firsts at the District and State Solo and Ensemble Festival and is a member of the OFHS ensemble CHORALE, which earned a WSMA Exemplary Ensemble award.  In the past nine years, Connor has participated in numerous Missoula Children’s Theatre productions sponsored by the Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts and coordinated through the Oconto Falls School District’s Summer School program.  He will attend the Next Step Prep program summer session from June 18-July 27.

Nurse’s Nook Receives $30,000 Grant from Bond Foundation

Money will help hospital program boost aid to local children in need

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation, Inc., has awarded a $30,000 grant to the Nurse’s Nook program.

Nurse’s Nook provides aid to children in need in the Gillett, Suring and Oconto Falls school districts. Aid provided includes basic needs items, non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, winter clothing and boots, medical supplies/devices and vouchers for transportation to medical appointments. These items are kept stocked within each of the school districts throughout the year and given to students free-of-charge on an as-needed basis. School nurses, guidance counselors and secretaries work as a team to identify the students in need.

The Bond Foundation grant will allow the Nurse’s Nook program to expand into the Lena and Oconto school districts in the 2018-2019 school year, and will allow for the purchase of more supplies to be provided to children in need.

Nurse’s Nook informally began in 2014 when Nuala Nowicki, a Prevea Health school nurse for the Gillett School District, recognized that poverty in the region was negatively impacting students’ abilities to learn and succeed in school. She expanded the program to the Suring School District in 2015. In 2017, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital joined Nuala in her efforts and assisted in expanding Nurse’s Nook to the Oconto Falls school district. Today, Nurse’s Nook operates as a collaborative effort between HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, Prevea Health, Nuala, local school districts and countless volunteers and donors who dedicate time and effort to collecting supplies, operating the program and helping children in need.

“We are immensely grateful to the Bond Foundation for this generous donation, which will greatly enhance our abilities to serve more children throughout Oconto County,” says Nuala. “It is our mission with Nurse’s Nook to provide local youth increased opportunities to learn and succeed in school, and become healthy, contributing members of the community.”

The Nurse’s Nook program relies solely on support and donations from the community to operate. Anyone who would like to learn more information or donate to Nurse’s Nook should contact Nuala Nowicki at or (920) 272-3415.

Prevea, Hospitals Launch Mobile 3-D Mammography Unit

Now taking appointments in communities throughout Northeast Wisconsin

Green Bay – Prevea Health and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) – Eastern Wisconsin Division are pleased to announce the launch of a 3-D and digital, mobile mammography unit to provide residents in rural areas greater access to breast health screenings.

The mobile mammography unit is now traveling on a regular basis to Prevea Health centers in Kewaunee, Luxemburg, Manitowoc, Shawano, Pulaski, Seymour, Oconto, Marinette, Gillett, Mountain and Lena – with additional locations to be added in the future. Appointments can be made now by calling (888) 277-3832.

“High-quality health care, especially preventive health services and screenings should never be difficult for anyone to find,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO of Prevea Health. “It should be readily available and close to home when you need it – and that is why we’re here. This is state-of-the-art technology on wheels that, with just some gas in the tank, can provide life-saving care to communities all across Northeast Wisconsin.”

The mobile mammography unit is equipped with mammography technology that has the capability to provide 3-D and/or digital images. It also features two changing rooms and a waiting room, and is staffed by a registered mammography technologist.

“Mammograms provide us an X-ray image of the breast, which can help us detect any tumors or other abnormalities,” said Brittany Demeuse, certified mammographer at Prevea Health who cares for patients in the mobile mammography unit. “They play a key role in the detection of breast cancer, a disease in which an estimated 266,120 women have already been diagnosed with this year alone, according to the National Cancer Institute. If we can catch cancer early with a mammogram, it is likely more treatable. Mammograms can even help us detect some forms of cancer before they develop.”

All women should talk with their health care provider about the appropriate timing for screening mammograms, especially women who are age 40 or at high-risk. A schedule will be based upon an individual’s health. At age 40, any woman may wish to begin regular screening mammograms. By age 45, women should have a screening mammogram and continue to have one at least every other year.

The mobile mammography unit was purchased with funds that were donated by private donors to HSHS St. Vincent/St. Mary’s Foundation – the philanthropic, charitable arm of HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay. HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center are part of HSHS – Eastern Wisconsin Division, which also includes HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls.

“As a not-for-profit health care system, we rely on donations to help us enhance the care that we provide – whether it be through the addition of new services or the purchase of new technology and equipment, such as the mobile mammography unit,” said Therese Pandl, President and CEO of HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division. “We are immensely grateful to the donors who made the purchase of this unit possible and are honored to partner with Prevea to deploy it into communities throughout Northeast Wisconsin.”

To learn more about the mobile mammography unit, visit:

Oconto Falls Students Receive WSMA Exemplary Awards

(Row 1 – L to R) Alex Kamke, Camden Jackson, Hunter Ryczek, Hunter Schaden, Aidan Spillane (Row 2 – L to R) Keith VanDornick, Connor Romandine, Colter McCormick, Ethan Winkler, and Gustav Frisack

The Wisconsin School Music Association announced in May, 2018 that the Oconto Falls High School Ensemble CHORALE has earned the WSMA EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE AWARD. The men, representing grades 9-12, sang the three-part (TTB) selection BALLGAME by Albert Von Tilzer, a song based on the popular tune Take Me Out To the Ballgame. This ensemble earned a State First and a perfect score at the UW-Green Bay State Festival, as well as earned a State First on their 4-part (TTBB) performance of Fergus ‘N Molly by Vijah Singh.
“I am so proud of these amazing student musicians!  They absolutely love to perform and share their enthusiasm for singing everywhere they go!”, commented OFHS Choral Director, Amy Thiel.
This is the first year that the WSMA has included ensembles to be eligible for the honor as top exceptional performances at the WSMA State Solo and Ensemble Festival.


Garrett Wons, son of Bill and Suzie Wons, was recently the recipient of the WSMA Exemplary Soloist Award at the UW-Green Bay State Solo and Ensemble Festival.  Garrett plays alto saxophone and is a junior at Oconto Falls High School.
This is the second year in a row that he has been selected as an exemplary soloist!  He is a member of the Oconto Falls High School Band and will be performing with Wisconsin’s Ambassadors of Music European Tour Band this summer.

Dr. Stacee Goedtel Birr Now Seeing Patients in Gillett

Dr. Stacee Goedtel Birr

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and Prevea Health are pleased to announce that Dr. Stacee Goedtel Birr, a board-certified family medicine physician, is now seeing patients at the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Gillett Health Center, located at 340 N. Green Bay Ave. in Gillett.

Dr. Goedtel Birr also continues to see patients at the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center, located at 835 S. Main St. in Oconto Falls.

Dr. Goedtel Birr specializes in the following:

• Routine care for children, adults and elderly
• Preventive medicine and health maintenance
• Osteopathic medicine and manipulative treatment
• Women’s care
• Pregnancy care up to 28 weeks
• Dermatology
• Minor skin procedures
• Minor psychiatric illness

Dr. Goedtel Birr, originally from Lena, Wis., completed medical school at Des Moines University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and residency at Fox Valley Family Medicine Residency in Appleton.

“My approach to providing quality patient care includes getting to know the patient and involving them in choosing a treatment plan that works best for them,” said Dr. Goedtel Birr. “I believe we must agree on a course of action that is simple and cost-effective, yet complex enough to accomplish all our goals.”

Appointments with Dr. Goedtel Birr in Gillett can be made by calling (920) 855-2823, and appointments in Oconto Falls can be made by calling (920) 846-8187.