NEENAH, Wis. – After more than two years of navigating a global pandemic, COVID numbers continue to decline overall. Our communities are taking a moment to catch our collective breath and begin our path toward healing and moving forward safely.
“As we get to this promising milestone, ThedaCare would like to thank patients, families and community members for their support throughout this pandemic,” said Imran A. Andrabi, MD, President and CEO of ThedaCare. “From food donations to helping us secure necessary PPE at the beginning, to rallying with us, encouraging masking and safe vaccinations, our teams appreciate every partnership that helps us continue empowering people to live their unique, best lives through the pandemic and beyond.”
ThedaCare leaders would also like to extend their gratitude to the organization’s caregivers and team members for their unwavering commitment to patients, communities and each other during the pandemic.
“Through our team member’s determination, compassion, expertise and innovation, we can continue to live our mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities we serve,” said Dr. Andrabi. “Through the most challenging of times, our teams stood true to our calling to do what it takes to care for our communities.”
Since March of 2020, ThedaCare has discharged more than 3,100 COVID-19 patients from our hospitals following acute care, treated 84,000 patients in our COVID respiratory clinics and provided 4,700 monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people receive care, when and where care takes place, and what they expect from care partners. ThedaCare’s responsiveness to COVID-19 allowed teams to make changes, ensuring safe access to the most important services, including testing, vaccinations and more.
As they have throughout the pandemic, ThedaCare continues to monitor COVID numbers in our region and update services. ThedaCare is implementing the following adjustments to COVID-related services to ensure our communities have access to needed care.
Vaccinations to Protect Against the Virus
COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters will now be available at primary care clinics throughout the ThedaCare system, as well as ThedaCare Physicians-Appleton Gateway, which will offer afternoon/evening and weekend appointment options. Vaccine appointments can be made at mythedacare.org, as a standalone appointment or part of a wellness visit.
From December 24, 2020 through April 3, 2022, ThedaCare administered 116,556 COVID-19 vaccine doses to help protect patients, team members and communities from COVID-19.
“We know that to best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination and boosters,” said Mark Cockley, MD, ThedaCare Chief Clinical Officer and President of the Clinically Integrated Network. “To help protect our communities and team members, it was important to provide easy access to vaccines.”
In addition to vaccines administered through the system, ThedaCare also partnered with many community organizations, local health systems and public health departments to stand up community vaccination sites around Northeast and Central Wisconsin.
Access to COVID Testing
For those who need a COVID-19 test, please visit doineedacovid19test.com.
As the virus surged in Northeast and Central Wisconsin in fall 2020, ThedaCare worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and community partners to provide expanded testing access for community members. ThedaCare Physicians-Neenah became an original federal COVID-19 testing site in October 2020, which launched a series of mobile testing sites throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin, in an effort to curb significant increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during that time.
ThedaCare leaders collaborated with government officials, public health departments and other community partners to ensure access to expanded testing in the region. ThedaCare created a mobile testing program, providing tests to thousands of community members at dozens of sites in Northeast and Central Wisconsin.
From November 2020 to February 2022, ThedaCare has administered 370,000 COVID tests through mobile units. The testing was free and available to all community members who were experiencing symptoms.
Primary Care Clinics Reopening
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ThedaCare has implemented enhanced safety protocols at care sites, including required masking and screening for COVID symptoms, allowing team members to continue safely providing in-person, urgent and emergency care. Delaying care like important vaccinations, emergency care, timely screenings and even regular checkups can have a lasting effect on a person’s health. ThedaCare encourages community members to stay up-to-date on all of their health care needs.
At this time, all primary care clinic locations are open, empowering patients and the community to improve their health and well-being through access to convenient, comprehensive care.
To meet the needs of communities, at the height of the COVID pandemic, select clinics were temporarily closed, repurposed as respiratory hubs or transitioned to appointment only. Since the creation of the respiratory hub locations, more than 84,000 patients received care for COVID-related symptoms.
ThedaCare is committed to making care accessible. To make a health care appointment for yourself or a loved one, and learn more about the care options available, visit thedacare.org/get-care-now/.
Healing and Moving Forward, Safely
As the world continues to respond to COVID-19, it is important to note that the virus is not completely gone. ThedaCare continues to prepare for future surges or new variants, as well as other potential health care crises. Securing the necessary tools and processes will allow the system and communities to move from reactive measures to proactive plans. ThedaCare also asks community members to continue practicing safe behaviors, that can protect against COVID and other common viruses.
“COVID-19 has likely challenged every single person – emotionally, physically and spiritually,” said Dr. Andrabi. “COVID is now a part of who we are. Many of us are ready to move forward safely, together, and there are those who are still processing what we’ve lived through these past two years.”
ThedaCare has created an outlet for community members to share their thoughts and feelings about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them personally, professionally, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually, so we may heal together. A special Kudoboard page has been created for community members, where they can view a video of ThedaCare team member sharing their memories of the pandemic and share their own stories.
“As we’re beginning year three of the pandemic, we must process our experiences, and learn from yesterday, live today, and prepare for tomorrow,” said Dr. Andrabi. “We thank our communities for rebuilding and healing, so we may move forward, safely together.”
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.