News Room

The Giving Circle of Fort Memorial Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce the grants that were awarded from funds raised during its 2013 program year. The grants totaling $14,550 were awarded to three health and wellness initiatives at Fort HealthCare.

A grant for $6,500 was awarded to support the services of Dr. David Rutledge at the Rock River Free Clinic. Fort HealthCare’s commitment to Dr. Rutledge’s service on a full-time basis has allowed the clinic to nearly triple the number of children and families being served in the past year. The Rock River Free Clinic provides preventative care and treatment for at risk and vulnerable children and families who live in Jefferson County.

A grant for $6,500 was awarded to the Community Health & Wellness initiatives of Fort HealthCare in collaboration with the Healthiest Community Coalitions in Jefferson and Walworth Counties. These coalitions improve the health of their local communities through activities and education that fit local interests and needs. Coalitions in Cambridge, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, and Whitewater are planning activities for the coming year.

A grant for $1,550 was awarded to the Pediatric Wellness Team at Fort HealthCare to combat childhood obesity. Funds will be used to expand opportunities for children and families seeking to incorporate healthier eating and fitness habits into their everyday lifestyle. Programs such as Movin’ & Losin’, Railyard Obstacle Course, and Camp 911 continue to grow due to increased interest from local families.

The Giving Circle invites women who are interested in improving the health and well-being of our community to become members in 2014. A series of four lunches is held each year to educate members about healthcare issues important to the Fort HealthCare service area. Members are asked to contribute a minimum of $100 to participate. At the end of the program year, the membership awards grants to Fort HealthCare to support the healthcare needs of children and families in our community.

If you are interested to learn more about the Giving Circle, you are welcome to contact the Foundation office at (920) 568-5404 or email at

grandparents talking to granddaughterMost of us are ready to say goodbye to the ice, snow, and cold.  Icy conditions can contribute to a slip hazard.  When that happens to you, it’s easy to want to stay inside until the Spring thaw.  But inactivity can be equally harmful.  If you or someone you know would like to overcome a fear of falling, the Wisconsin Institute of Healthy Aging offers a variety of instruction to increase your strength and balance.  “Stepping On” is a 7-week course that meets once per week; class members learn from each other as well as from an array of guest experts related to balance, home environment, footwear, vision, and more.  This year I will be teaching “Stepping On” during the summer so that participants will be able to approach the cooler weather with confidence; if you are interested in taking the class locally you will find it at and in the monthly Health365eNewsletter published by Fort Health Care.  I encourage you to browse the Wisconsin Institute of Healthy Aging webpage to explore the variety of classes available in the counties throughout the state:  From the homepage you can click on the “Find a Program” tab to learn more about criteria for each course, or “Find a Workshop” to see the scheduled classes.   You owe it to yourself to stay as active as possible during all four seasons.

When an injury does occur from a fall or other activity, you may consider cold helpful.  Ice is a common component of conservative care, RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.   Whereas sore or tight muscles can benefit from heat, ice can help provide pain relief and minimize swelling from physical strain.  This is especially beneficial in the first 24-48 hours after injury.  You may benefit from using ice longer than that, especially if you have had a more severe injury or surgery; your healthcare provider will let you know after making sure that it is “just a strain.”  When an injury occurs to the fingers, wrists, or hands, a bag of frozen peas can work well to mold around the injured area.  Alternatively, at The Center for Hand Care, we recommend an ice pack recipe you can keep ready in your freezer.  In a secure Ziploc bag, combine 1 part rubbing alcohol with 2 parts water.  Place this mixture inside of another Ziploc bag to prevent leaks.  This will become a gel consistency within a day.  Use a protective cloth between your skin and the ice pack, and keep it on up to 10 minutes (or as soon as area feels numb).   If you are using the ice pack on a larger body area, it may take up to 20 minutes before the area feels numb.  Use ice with caution if you have poor circulation, a previous cold injury, or arthritis.  See, cold can be useful!

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