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Trauma care: Marshfield Medical Center - Marshfield service spotlight

Monday, April 9, 2018

Because critical moments matter

Time and team – both can make the difference in trauma care. At Marshfield Medical Center-Marshfield, we understand timing is crucial. Our expert team is ready and waiting when serious accidents or sudden illness occurs. 

Marshfield's trauma center saw more than 1,100 patients, including 900 adults and 200 children last year who arrived from all over central, northern and western Wisconsin and even Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This year, we've already seen 175 adult patients and 26 youth for trauma care. As the only pediatric trauma care center in northern Wisconsin, Marshfield is among the top 9 percent highest-ranked trauma centers statewide according to the American College of Surgeons.

"This practice is fast-paced. You want to see quick results," said Dr. Ivan Maldonado, surgeon and trauma program director. "Our main goal is to make sure you get to go home."

24-hour helicopter service

From transport to rehab, our team is there every step of the way. In January 2018, Marshfield Clinic Health System joined the Life Link III consortium to advance access to critical care. Life Link III brings the highest quality air medical transport service to this region and surrounding communities. Marshfield is the eighth Life Link III base throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, including one in Rice Lake. This base will use hangar, offices and fuel system already in place.

Expert team care

Marshfield’s trauma center is a system of experienced providers in combination with a highly qualified staff.

"Our trauma center employees collaborate and communicate with each other daily to make sure the best care is provided to our patients," said Gina Brandl, hospital trauma program manager.

Six surgeons have a combined 50 years of experience, and each is board-certified by two separate specialty boards and fellowship-trained.

"All of us bring a little something different," said Dr. Jennifer Roberts, trauma surgeon and pediatric medical director.

Dr. Vivekananda Gonugunta, neurological surgeon, is one of just a handful of doctors in the United States who can perform both invasive and noninvasive vascular surgeries on the brain. In pediatric trauma, he specializes on repair of skull deformities, brain tumors and endoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus.

Orthopedic trauma specialist, Dr. David Polga, works closely with trauma surgeons to help patients recover from serious injuries.

General Trauma Surgeon Dr. John Cordova pays tribute to the nurses, lab and surgical technicians and staff who prepare the surgical suites.

"I really believe that I don’t save anybody. What I do is help people out," he said. "Even the very best surgeon cannot do it alone."

Care starts when the emergency happens

Because our trauma patients travel and fly from hundreds of miles away, our care begins as soon as the emergency starts, and continues through recovery and beyond when patients return home. It’s a comprehensive approach.

"Trauma care is about a system rather than an individual or a place," Dr. Roberts said. "It's about the care that you can provide to a community."

When recovery begins, the focus shifts to rehab

Marshfield has state-of-the-art rehabilitation facilities available and is one of the only trauma centers to have a pediatric rehabilitation facility. Dr. Roberts said patients come to Marshfield just for our adolescent and children's rehab program.

Our rehab services assist with physical or cognitive improvement after injury. Patients are evaluated to provide care unique to their needs with the goal of helping them return home. In addition, our pediatric rehab offers child life specialists, music therapy, school tutors and a pediatric psychologist to address all aspects of recovery.

Education can prevent injury

Trauma center team members want to help prevent injuries before they happen and accordingly offer inpatient and community-based injury prevention programs and resources for adults and children.

"We are educators in the community," Dr. Roberts said. "We are a trauma center that teaches."

MMC's Injury Prevention Coordinator Elizabeth Kracht collaborates with area schools, youth groups and organizations to provide a variety of programs like educating parents and children on bicycle safety and helmet fittings, alcohol and impaired driving, energy drinks and health, distracted driving and fall prevention.

Additionally, the team provides safety education related to farming injury prevention, and Amish buggies and road safety. The center also invests in research about farming injuries.

"Research is woven into the Trauma Center soul fabric," Dr. Maldonado said. "It is essential to advancing care of the injured and to grow medical science knowledge worldwide."

Critical moments matter. Marshfield's trauma center can help get you here quickly and our expert team is ready to care for you.

 Media Relations

John Gardner
Marshfield Clinic Health System Director of Communications
715 221-8659

Jeff Starck
Senior Media Relations Specialist - Marshfield, Eau Claire, Ladysmith, Minocqua, Neillsville, Park Falls, & Rice Lake
715 389-4978

Dan Baulch
Senior Communications
Specialist -
Beaver Dam
920 887-4152

Jim Korth
Communications Specialist – Wausau/Weston

Joe Rizzo
Director of Public Relations and Business Development –
Marshfield Medical