Current News




(Spooner)—Spooner Health System (SHS), in collaboration with North Ambulance, Washburn County Health & Human Services, Washburn County Emergency Management, Washburn County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Essentia—Spooner Clinic and other community partners, is preparing in the event the Ebola virus is suspected here.


“At this time, there are no reported cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and the risk of contracting it remains extremely low,” said Jerri Pederson, Washburn County Public Health Officer. “Preparing and collaborating on the federal, state, and local level will ensure that the public and health care providers receive prompt public health information.”


“People are understandably concerned about the Ebola virus, especially with the cases recently diagnosed in the United States,” said Dr. Mark Van Etten, SHS Chief of Staff and Board Member. “While we work together to prepare, it’s also important to reassure everyone that Ebola can only be transmitted through contact with the body fluids of people who are sick with the virus, or who have died from it.”


Health care workers and first responders are aware that they must be especially cautious and follow precise safety practices in the event they are ever called on to assist or care for a patient with Ebola.


“Our hospital takes infection prevention seriously,” said Clint Miller, SHS Director of Patient Care. “As CDC guidelines change, we have a team reviewing the changes and updating our plans for isolating and transporting a patient with Ebola. We will be providing additional education and training to our staff as needed.”


“We want to stress that there are no reported cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and the risk of contracting it remains extremely low in Wisconsin,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. “DHS remains vigilant in its monitoring of the Ebola virus, and will continue to provide our partners and the public with the most current information and guidance concerning this disease.”   
For more information about the Ebola virus and Wisconsin’s preparedness efforts, visit:





Spooner Health System Receives Two


Excellence in Patient Care Awards from Studer Group



Spooner Health System (SHS)received two Excellence in Patient Care awards given by Studer Group®, an outcomes-based healthcare performance improvement firm. SHS received the awards at Studer Group’s 12th annual What’s Right in Health Care® conference in Chicago earlier in August. The Excellence in Patient Care awards are based on various categories and are given to select organizations that are coached by Studer Group. To be eligible for an award, an organization must demonstrate outstanding performance in patient care.
One award recognized SHS’ exemplary results for the “Communication with nurses” composite on the HCAHPS patient survey. During the reference time period (3rd Quarter 2012 through 2nd Quarter 2013), 87% of patients completing the HCAHPS survey answered that their nurses “always” communicated well. When compared to the other 1,758 hospitals using Press Ganey to administer their HCAHPS survey, Spooner Health System’s result of 87% ranks them at the 94th percentile nationally. Press Ganey’s database includes all sizes of organizations from small rural hospitals all the way up to large major medical centers. The 94th percentile in the area of nurse communication is quite an accomplishment!
Secondly, SHS received an award recognizing them for showing substantial achievement in employee engagement scores over recent fiscal years. SHS also contracts with Press Ganey to conduct a confidential employee survey each year. Out of all the organizations using Press Ganey for their employee partnership survey (measuring both employee satisfaction and engagement), SHS’ scores for the last three years equated to the 94th, 98th and 98th national percentile ranks.
Clint Miller, Director of Patient Care Services at SHS, was among four employees who were able to be at the What’s Right in Health Care® conference to receive the two Excellence in Patient Care awards. “Many of the organizations who received these awards are among the best in the country,” says Miller. “It was an honor to be among those incredible organizations and receive these prestigious awards on behalf of Spooner Health System.”
Miller is proud of the staff for the work they do and their commitment to make Spooner Health System a great place for patients to receive care. “These awards align with the positive things we’ve been hearing from our patients and their families during patient rounding, the discharge process and follow-up phone calls,” says Miller.
“We’ve been partnered with Studer Group for just over five years now,” says Mike Schafer, SHS CEO. “We are not chasing numbers, scores or awards. However, they are an objective measure of the work we are doing and confirm that we are doing what’s right for our patients. Our community should feel confident that they can get excellent care right here in Spooner.”
“In addition to our patients being more satisfied,” continues Schafer, “it is clear that our employees are much more satisfied and engaged than they were five years ago.”
“Though we are very pleased with the progress our organization has made,” says Schafer, “we are not going to settle and get comfortable where we are at. We are committed and will continue to strive for excellence always.”


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About Studer Group®


A recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Studer Group is an outcomes-based healthcare performance improvement firm that works with healthcare organizations in the United States, Canada, and beyond, teaching them how to achieve, sustain, and accelerate exceptional clinical, operational, and financial results. Working together, we help to get the foundation right so organizations can build a sustainable culture that promotes accountability, fosters innovation, and consistently delivers a great patient experience and the best quality outcomes over time. To learn more about Studer Group, visit




ALS Ice Water Challenge in Memory of former employee, Craig Norheim

Spooner Health System asked their employees to consider making a donation to the ALS cause. Employees contributed $1,028 which was matched by Spooner Health System for a total contribution of $2,056 for a great cause!

Craig worked at Spooner Health System for over 35 years and fought a courageous battle against ALS. He passed away in January 2012.

Click on the link to watch a video:


























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