News

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 6-12

Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

Navigating a pandemic and national unrest may contribute to this troubling statistic, as fear and anxiety may overcome us as we’re trying to understand what’s happening around us.

As National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 6 – 12) approaches, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial hospitals remind everyone that if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you should call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or dial 911.

Alyssa Van Duyse, an HSHS colleague and suicide prevention instructor certified by the national QPR Institute, says it’s important to not only take note of your own feelings during this uncertain time, but also of those around you.

“The word ‘suicide’ is still thought of as taboo – especially in the Midwest because we’re not so great at talking about our feelings,” says Alyssa. “That’s why it’s important to recognize the clues a person may be contemplating suicide.”

Four ways someone may tell you they are contemplating suicide:

  1. They give a direct verbal clue by saying something like “I’m going to end it all,” or “I wish I were dead.”
  2. They give a coded verbal clue by saying something like “I”m tired of life. I just want out,” or “I can’t take it anymore.”
  3. They exhibit behavioral clues like increased risk-taking, self-injurious behavior or drug or alcohol abuse.
  4. They should situational clues like being fired from a job, being diagnosed with a serious illness or being bullied or humiliated.

During QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention classes, Alyssa instructs participants to practice asking the question, “Are you thinking about suicide?”

“If you practice it, it won’t be so hard to ask if you ever have to ask someone in a real-life situation,” she says. “Also, sometimes people who are considering suicide are relieved if you ask because it indicates that someone noticed their struggle.”

For more information about how you can help someone struggling with mental health, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Helping Children Become More Comfortable With Wearing a Mask

Wearing a cloth mask, in addition to practicing physical distancing and frequent handwashing, plays a critical role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital and Prevea Health offer the following guidance for parents and caregivers in helping children become more comfortable with wearing a mask.

Should all children wear a mask?

Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask due to suffocation and choking hazards. In addition, parents of children with cognitive or respiratory impairments should exercise caution with masks for their children. If you have any questions or concerns about whether your child is healthy enough to wear a mask, it is important you consult with their primary care physician.

How can I help my child become more comfortable and/or less afraid of wearing a mask?

One of the most effective ways to help your child become more comfortable with wearing a mask is by being a role model. When you also wear a mask, and do so with a positive attitude, your child is likely to follow your lead! Here are some more helpful tips to help your children become more comfortable with masks:

  • Look in the mirror with your child while you each wear a mask, and talk about it.
  • Put a mask on a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Decorate the child’s mask(s) so they’re more personalized and fun.
  • Show your child pictures of other children wearing masks.
  • Draw a mask on their favorite book character.
  • Practice wearing the mask at home to help your child get used to it.

How can I talk to my child about wearing a mask?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that for children under the age of 3, it’s best to answer their questions simply in language they understand. If they ask about why people are wearing masks, explain that sometimes people wear them when they are sick, and when they are all better, they stop wearing them.

For children over the age of 3, the AAP recommends you focus on germs. Explain that germs are special to your own body. Some germs are good and some are bad. The bad ones can make you sick. Since we can’t always tell which are good or bad, the masks help make sure you keep those germs away from your own body.

Additional resources:

Dr. Josh Rankin, pediatrician at Prevea Health, recently shared these tips and much more on our most recent episode of Plug in to Health, Kids and Masking. Plug in to Health is a podcast produced by Prevea Health and available on major podcasting platforms such as Apple and Google Play, and at: www.prevea.com/podcast

Prevea Health has more resources dedicated to helping adults and children navigate mask-wearing, including: How masks work, how to clean cloth masks, avoiding fogging glasses and skin irritation, and debunking mask myths. All of these resources are available in one convenient location at: www.prevea.com/masking

Understanding Universal Masking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend the practice of universal masking when in public and interacting with others. Universal masking, in addition to the practices
of physical distancing and proper hygiene, helps to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial Hospitals, in partnership with Prevea Health, offer the
following answers to some of the most frequently-asked-questions about universal masking.

What does “universal masking” mean?
It means that everyone (if able) should wear a mask. There are some exceptions, including children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

What type of mask should I wear?
Medical-grade masks, such as surgical masks or N95s, should be reserved for medical personnel only during this critical time. Therefore, the CDC recommends cloth masks for community members. There are tutorials for making masks with and without a sewing a machine, here. Some tutorials call for the use of common items, such as t-shirts and bandanas, with no sewing required.

When should I wear a cloth mask?
You should wear your cloth mask if you must leave your home for any public setting such as a grocery store, gas station, pharmacy or other essential business. You should also wear it if you are interacting with anyone outside your home for any reason.

Will wearing a cloth mask prevent me from contracting COVID-19?
Wearing a cloth mask is not guaranteed to prevent you from contracting COVID-19, and it is important physical distancing (stay at least 6 feet from others) is still practiced while wearing one.

If wearing a cloth mask will not guarantee me full protection from COVID-19, then why is it important I wear one?
Studies show a significant portion of individuals infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus before showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth mask can help to keep your respiratory secretions (where the virus can live) contained and prevent them from spreading to others. A mask can also prevent you from touching your nose and mouth, where the virus can easily be spread.

Should cloth masks be washed or cleaned?
Yes. They should be routinely washed in a washing machine, or with soap and water, depending on frequency of use.

How does one safely remove a used cloth mask?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their mask, and wash hands immediately after removing.

A new episode of Prevea Health’s podcast, Plug in to Health, is dedicated to helping listeners better understand
universal masking. COVID-19: Understanding Universal Masking is available now on Plug in to Health, which can be
accessed on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple and Spotify, as well as at: www.prevea.com/podcast.

Update Regarding HSHS Hospital Visitor Restrictions

In an effort to further control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) into our hospitals as well as throughout the community, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is implementing updated visitor restrictions at the following hospitals, effective 7 a.m. on March 21, 2020:

  • HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay
  • HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital, Green Bay
  • HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Green Bay
  • HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, Sheboygan
  • HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, Oconto Falls
  • Libertas Treatment Center, Green Bay and Marinette

Visitors are not allowed at any of the above-mentioned locations until further notice. The new and only exception to this policy allows for ONE (1) approved adult visitor, who is cold/flu symptom-free, for the duration of a patient’s stay under the following circumstances:

  • Obstetrical patients may have ONE (1) support person.
  • Pediatric patients under the age of 18 may have ONE (1) parent or guardian present.
  • Patients nearing end-of-life may have ONE (1) support person; extenuating circumstances will be evaluated.
  • Outpatient services patients should ask their support person to wait in the car until their service is complete.
  • Patients having surgery may have ONE (1) support person.
  • Patients seeking emergency care may have ONE (1) support person who is required to be in the patient room at all times; extenuating circumstances will be evaluated.

It is imperative to make these changes for the safety of all patients and hospital staff to reduce the risk of infection and to preserve important health care resources during this time of a public health emergency. We understand how important it is for loved ones to be able to connect to patients during times of need, and so we encourage the use of cell phone calls, text or video chat if available. Loved ones can also call our hospitals directly to be connected to patients’ rooms via telephone.

  • HSHS St. Vincent: (920) 433-0111
  • HSHS St. Mary’s: (920) 498-4200
  • HSHS St. Nicholas: (920) 459-8300
  • HSHS St. Clare Memorial : (920) 846-3444

Abrams Theater to hold auditions for Mark Twain Show

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will hold virtual auditions for its summer play, “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Adam and Eve.” Adults and teens 16 and older are encouraged to audition. The play calls for a variety of roles, both male and female. Newcomers are encouraged to audition. No previous experience is necessary.

The play is a light-hearted look at the world’s first love story through the eyes of America’s great humorist, Mark Twain. Throughout the play, the Garden of Eden bursts with wit, laughter, and the lyric poignance of the first love and the first loss.

The show is scheduled to be presented June 19-21 and 26-28 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

Anyone interested in auditioning should email theater.aspi@gmail.com or call 920-826-5852. Individuals will be asked to record themselves reading from the script and send the recording to ASPI electronically. ASPI will provide the reading. Submissions are due by 8 p.m. Friday, March 27.

Anyone interested in helping out behind the scenes should call 920-826-5852 to volunteer.

First produced for “American Playhouse,” on PBS, “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Adam and Eve” is a uniquely American theater piece. The show has been produced well over 200 times in both extended runs and touring engagements at regional theaters, university theaters, and performing arts centers across the country.

OFHS Choir Students Selected to WCDA All-State Choir

L to R: Connor Romandine, Autumn Canavera, Isabella Rennie, Cedar Olson, and Keith Van Dornick

Oconto Falls High School Choirs were proud to have five students selected to perform as part of the WCDA All-State Choirs in January, 2020. Approximately 100 -120 singers from the state were selected for each of the choirs, which represented outstanding choral students from throughout the state. A final All-State Choir performance was held at Lawrence University in Appleton.

Representing the All-State Bass Clef Choir were Connor Romandine, son on Ron and Carrie Romandine, and Keith Van Dornick, son of Wendy and James Van Dornick, Jr. Autumn Canavera, daughter of Scott and Jennifer Canavera, Cedar Olson, daughter of Scott Olson, and Isabella Rennie, daughter of Chad and Heather Rennie, were selected for the All-State Treble Clef Choir. Students were nominated by their high school choral director, Miss Amy Thiel.

The conductor of the All-State Bass Clef Choir was Dr. Anthony Trecek-King, President and Artistic Director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Choir. The 108-voice men’s ensemble representing 38 high schools choral music programs in Wisconsin performed Ho Boys Cancha Lin’em, Song of the Blacksmith, Arrow, The Warrior, Sit Down Servant, and Hard Times Comes Again No More.

The conductor of the All-State Treble Clef Choir was Professor Giselle Wyers of the University of Washington, where she conducts the University Chorale. The 119-voice women’s ensemble representing 46 high school choral music programs in Wisconsin performed Vidi Aquam, Flower Duet, In Freezing Winter Night, Nada te Turbe, Woodsmoke and Oranges, and Barso.

The All-State Choir program is one of four signature programs offered by the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association that promotes its mission to foster musical excellence through education, collaboration, and inspiration.

Abrams Theatre Postpones “My Fair Lady”

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. has postponed the upcoming musical “My Fair Lady.” Future show dates are currently being reviewed.
The suspension is in support of the well-being of the theater-going public as well as those who work on the production, subject to ongoing assessment by county and state health authorities. ASPI takes the health and safety of our patrons, staff and community seriously and urge everyone to follow the guidelines set forth by public health officials.
ASPI customers with tickets to the show will be contacted via phone or email with further information.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present the award-winning Broadway musical, “My Fair Lady,” March 20-22 and 27-29. Originally produced in 1956, “My Fair Lady” depicts the transformation of Eliza Doolittle under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins. Alan Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s most popular musical collaboration earned nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Director Tim Rutten- Kempees described “My Fair Lady” as a classic Broadway show known for its songs, including “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “The Rain in Spain.”

“There’s so much to enjoy about this show, but in particular will be the music and dancing,” Rutten- Kempees said. “I look forward to the audience leaving after curtain call humming their favorite tune from the show.”

Bobby Buffington, Justin Norman, Abby Frank rehearse a scene from the musical “My Fair Lady,” to be presented by Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. March 20-22 and 27-29.

The cast of “My Fair Lady” represents a mix of ages from 10 to 60-plus and features newcomers and returning veterans with a diverse range of experience. Portraying the lead roles of Eliza and Professor Henry Higgins are Abby Frank and Bobby Buffington.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 20, 21, 27 and 28, and 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21 and 28, and Sunday, March 22 and 29, at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. The audience is invited to an opening night gala after the March 20 performance. The gala features complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments with the cast and crew.

Tickets are available at AbramsTheater.com or by calling the box office, 920-826-5852.

The show is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, a Concord Theatricals Company.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Although colon cancer is a preventable and curable disease if caught early, it remains the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The experts at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and Prevea Health provide highly-effective screening, prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends people at an average risk of getting colon cancer receive a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. Increased risk patients may need earlier and more frequent screening depending upon recommendation by a health care provider.

People at an increased risk for colon cancer include:

  • Those with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
  • Those with a personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
  • Those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

In addition to regular screening for colon cancer, you may also be able to lower your risk by:

  • Avoiding foods in high fat
  • Adding plenty of vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods to your diet
  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation

Warning signs of colon cancer can include:

  • Blood in or on the stool
  • Recurrent shifts in normal bowel habits such as experiencing diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
  • Thinning of the stool
  • Increases in stomach discomfort (bloating, gas, fullness and/or cramps that last more than a few days)
  • A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Constant and unexplained fatigue

Those interested in recognizing Colon Cancer Awareness month are encouraged to wear blue for National Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 6. For more information about colon cancer screening, prevention and treatment, or to schedule an appointment, call (920) 429-1700.

An Important Message during American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and Prevea Health are committed to raising awareness about the symptoms of heart attacks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States. If you notice symptoms of a heart attack in yourself of someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately. The chances of survival are greater the sooner emergency treatment begins.

The five major symptoms of a heart attack for men and women include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed or faint
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest comfort

In addition to these symptoms, women are more likely to experience:

  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness
  • Nausau or vomiting

How cold weather may play a role:
Cold weather does not increase the risk of heart attack for the average healthy person, but it can be problematic for someone with underlying heart disease. Those with underlying heart disease may already have narrowing of the blood vessels. Cold weather, especially sub-zero temperatures, can cause the vessels to constrict even further, limiting blood flow to vital organs and potentially resulting in a heart attack.

For more information about heart attack and heart disease, please visit the “Heart Care” resources section of www.prevea.com. A podcast episode featuring Prevea interventional cardiologist, Dr. Todd Fergus, and his experiences in caring for those affected by heart attack, is also available now on Prevea Health’s new podcast, Plug In to Health on Apple, Spotify and www.prevea.com/podcast. Look for “Heart Attack: What You Need to Know.”

Partners of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Annual Luncheon and Love Basket Raffle

Oconto Falls and surrounding communities are invited to the Annual Luncheon and Love Basket Raffle, hosted by the colleagues and Partners of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital on Friday, Feb. 14 at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., in Oconto Falls.

The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the hospital’s dining room and will feature steak, shrimp, and a variety of sides, as well as coffee, milk and desserts. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. For more information, please contact Sue Allshouse at (920) 373-7685.

In support of the Annual Luncheon on Feb. 14, colleagues of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital will host the Love Basket Raffle in the hospital’s Assisi Room from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the same day. A variety of themed baskets will be up for grabs! Popular baskets from previous years have included I Love the Packers, I Love Wine, I Love Gardening and I Love Birds. Those interested in donating a basket should contact Dawn Coppens at (920) 846-3444.

All proceeds from the Annual Luncheon and Love Basket Raffle will help the Partners support programs at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital.