Russ Albert has been named director of Laboratory Services at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. He began his new role April 8. Albert will lead all inpatient and outpatient laboratory services for both hospitals and work closely with hospital pathologists and medical staff in providing quality care.
“Russ is a natural leader who always steps up to the plate,” said Patty Allen, Chief Financial Officer, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “He blends strong leadership skills with strong lab operational knowledge, and we’re excited to have him in this role.”
Albert has served Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals for 18 years, most recently as the laboratory manager of both hospitals. He has a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science from Michigan Technological University, and has certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology.
From April 29-May 13, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at UW-Eau Claire will present events in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A wide variety of events will include opportunities to take part in dialogue sessions, Asian American cuisine, a film screening, presentation of student research, a panel discussion and more.
Dang Yang, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, explains some of the historical significance of this month in the U.S., as well as the more immediate context of what it means for this campus to recognize this type of celebration.
"Historically, this month was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese migrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, for which Chinese immigrants played a significant role as laborers," Yang said, further pointing to the fact that those railroad laborers were subjected to racial and wage discrimination along with other forms of bias while they completed this monumental task.
He also emphasized the many and diverse contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders here at UW-Eau Claire, and the need to recognize these and national milestones. This month's lineup provides not only entertainment and education, but also goes more deeply into the important components of identity and intersectionality, and he invites all of campus to take part.
Allison Wilson, a nurse practitioner, recently joined Urgent Care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.
Wilson completed a master’s degree in nursing at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Health System, she worked at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson in Clifton Park, New York.
Wilson’s professional interests include patient education, sexual and reproductive health, and women’s health.
“I am originally from the great state of Montana but am happy to now call Eau Claire home,” Wilson says. “I look forward to serving the community as part of the Mayo Clinic Health System team.”
In her free time, Wilson enjoys baking, cooking, crafting, cross-country skiing, sewing, staying active with her family, and biking to favorite restaurants and coffee shops
In recognition for successful programs to reduce their environmental impact, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals each recently earned the Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.
The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably, and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.
In 2018, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals donated more than 15,000 pounds of medical supplies and equipment to developing countries though the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach program. Both hospitals also recycled more than 200 tons of comingled materials in 2018. The two hospitals also recently transitioned to hand hygiene products that do not contain triclosan. This move keeps anti-bacterial products used at the hospitals out of waste water and ground water.
“All of us in our HSHS division work as a team and we’re honored to be recognized for our efforts in helping to create an environmentally sustainable health care institution,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO, HSHS Western Wisconsin Division, which includes Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals.
Ingrid Fernandez, a nurse practitioner, recently joined the Emergency Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.
Fernandez earned her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner at Graceland University in Independence, Missouri. She also completed an emergency medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minnesota.
Fernandez is a member of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners. Her professional interests include emergency medicine and pediatrics. “I enjoy the atmosphere of the Emergency Department, as we never know what is coming through the door each day and also the wide scope of care that patients require,” says Fernandez. “I chose to join the practice in Eau Claire because of the strength in the advance practice provider team and focus on continuing education. Also, I think that Eau Claire is beautiful and I am looking forward to exploring the community. I was brought up in a big city and I never knew the beauty of living in a smaller town.”
In her free time, Fernandez enjoys outdoor activities, hot yoga and spending time with her grandchildren and dachshunds.
The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) has granted a two-year accreditation to the epilepsy program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. The accreditation certifies that Mayo Clinic Health System is a Level 3 Epilepsy Center — the second-highest possible certification available. It is the only accredited epilepsy program in northwest Wisconsin.
Epilepsy centers are specialized centers that provide a range of medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial services needed to treat patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disrupted, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and, sometimes, loss of consciousness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 1% of Americans, roughly 3.4 million people, have epilepsy.
“This accreditation is recognition of our excellent comprehensive care for patients and truly is a team recognition,” says Scott Spritzer, D.O., medical director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and electroencephalogram (EEG) at Mayo Clinic Health System. “Our team includes colleagues specializing in neurology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, and our inpatient and outpatient nursing team. Accreditation from the NAEC is an affirmation of the high-quality care provided to epilepsy patients in northwest Wisconsin.”
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Adam Kinnard executive vice president-chief technology officer. In this role he will be responsible for the development, selection, implementation, optimization, and maintenance of all systems and technology throughout the credit union. Kinnard will strategically lead and direct short- and long-term goals, policies, and procedures for Royal’s technology team and will oversee its development of technology solutions for Members and team members. Kinnard will also collaborate in strategic planning and organizational decision making as a member of the executive team.
“Adam is a collaborative, creative and result driven leader with a track record of delivering solutions that make a difference in the lives of those he serves,” said Brandon Riechers, Royal Credit Union president & CEO. “This is a critical time in IT development and Adam has the skills to guide our team through the rapid development process and management of Royal’s technology solutions for Members and team members. His commitment to Royal’s core purpose, core values and strategic mind-set make him an excellent addition to the executive team.”
Kinnard started his career at Royal in January 2001 as a network specialist. In 2016 he was named vice president of IT operations and development. Kinnard has an associate’s degree in computer information systems from Chippewa Valley Technical College. He also has a bachelor’s degree and is working toward his master’s degree in information and communication technologies from UW-Stout.
Adam lives in Eau Claire with his wife Nikki, who also works at Royal in the organizational development department, and their two sons. He is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Eau Claire and serves as a board member for the Eau Claire County Humane Association.
On Saturday, April 27, the public will have the opportunity to drive and learn about electric vehicles at a special event held at the Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Energy Education Center’s Energy Education Center at 3400 Campus Road, Eau Claire.
The event will feature breakout sessions including topics on Electric Vehicles 101, maintenance, a panel of EV owners, and the future of EVs. It will be an opportunity for the public to learn what all the buzz is about regarding EVs. Displays and breakout sessions will be available from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., providing valuable information, especially helpful for people who have never been close to an EV.
The event is sponsored by Eau Clare Energy Cooperative and co-sponsored by CVTC, Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative and Dunn Energy Cooperative.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Elizabeth Villa Branch Manager at both the Menomonie North and Menomonie East offices. She is responsible for overseeing general operations at both locations. This includes ensuring the branches meet financial, operational, and growth goals, as well as overseeing daily actions at both locations. The Menomonie North office is located at 2615 Hils Court and the Menomonie East office is located at 2412 Stout Road.
Villa brings with her several years of experience in a variety of roles including management, human resources, and lending. She also has a degree in Human Resource Management and looks forward to working with her team to provide an exceptional experience for Royal Members.
Villa currently resides in Baldwin, WI with her husband, three children, and pets. She is a very active member in the community volunteering alongside her daughter at nursing homes and the Humane Society.
Merchants Bank and The First National Bank of Northfield have reached a definitive agreement for Merchants to acquire the Northfield banking institution, according to Gregory M. Evans, President & CEO of Merchants Financial Group, Inc. and Merchants Bank, N.A. The agreement is subject to regulatory agency approval, but it is fully expected that the deal will close before year-end 2019.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to be joining the Northfield community and continuing The First National Bank’s tradition of high quality customer service and community involvement,” said Evans. “We are also humbled by the stewardship responsibility that comes with ensuring First National’s legacy with its customers and in the community will continue to be nurtured and never forgotten.”
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are pleased to announce that Kristi Brosnahan, MBA, CPA, has joined the two hospitals as director of finance. She began her new role April 22.
Brosnahan has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from UW-Eau Claire. She also has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified public accountant.
Prior to joining HSHS, Brosnahan served as a consultant for Sullivan, Cotter & Associates, Inc. Before that, she served as a manager of corporate accounting for Phillips Medisize and as senior financial analyst for Mayo Clinic Health System.
“Kristi brings us a strong background in health care finance and process optimization,” said Patty Allen, Chief Financial Officer, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “We’re excited to have her on our team.”
WNB Financial is pleased to announce Conn Walters, Business Banking Officer, as the recipient of its 2019 first quarter Community PRIDE Award. Awarded quarterly by the Bank’s Public Relations Committee, Community PRIDE Awards recognize WNB employees for exceptional volunteer service to programs, organizations, and initiatives that contribute to the strength and vitality of the communities served. This includes volunteering efforts made during and outside of work hours. Walters currently serves on the board of directors for the City of Wabasha Port Authority, the Wabasha-Kellogg Scholarship Foundation, and Wabasha Rotary. He has volunteered with Rotary since 2015 and currently serves as President-Elect, assisting with the Star of Hope program to provide clothes, toys, and gift cards to Wabasha-Kellogg children in need during the holidays. Walters also volunteers his time with the Cotter Schools Speech Team as a judge and timer. As a Community PRIDE Award recipient, Walters received $100 to donate to the non-profit organization of his choice, which he chose to donate to the Star of Hope program. In addition, he received a certificate of recognition and a Bank logo shirt. In 2018, 36 WNB Financial employees donated 2,211 hours of service to 91 local organizations. WNB gifted $378,000 to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
At its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Security Financial Services Corporation (SFSC), the holding company for Security Financial Bank (SFB), reported a record year for 2018.
SFSC reported net income of $5,958,000 for the year ending December 31, 2018, which was a 20 percent increase over the prior year. Earnings per share for the year of $522 were the highest ever for SFSC. In addition, SFB ended the year with $491,884,000 in total assets, which places it in the largest 50 banks headquartered in Wisconsin.
“Security Financial Bank continues to maintain a strong capital position, talent throughout the bank, stable deposits and strong credit quality,” indicated Paul Rudersdorf, CEO and president of Security Financial Bank.
SFB saw both loan and deposit growth in 2018 with year-end deposits of $402,004,000 and loans of $350,356,000. In July 2018, SFB acquired 100 percent of the stock of Pioneer Bank of Wisconsin in Ladysmith, paying $9.1 million in cash. With this acquisition, SFB added $33 million in loans and $65 million in deposits from Pioneer Bank. The newly acquired location also contributed approximately $420,000 in earnings to SFB in 2018.
“With the guidance of the Board of Directors, led by Chairman Jerry Bauer, SFB is in an ideal position to continue its strategic growth,” Rudersdorf said.
Also at the Annual Meeting, Board members re-elected to three-year terms included Bauer, Chuck Forster and Jim Mayo. In addition, Jack Kaiser was recognized for serving 10 years on the Board and Jim Price for serving five years. Additional Board members include Bob Komro, Steve Schultz and Rudersdorf.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.