October 17, 2011
FORT ATKINSON – Recently, Fort HealthCare announced a number of developments occurring in Jefferson that are expected to have a long term positive impact on medical services provided in that community and beyond.
David Rutledge, MD, a family medicine physician at Fort HealthCare Jefferson for twenty nine years, has accepted an appointment as the full-time Medical Director at the Rock River Free Clinic. The free clinic cares for those with little or no health insurance under the auspices of the Rock River Free Clinic Board of Directors. Throughout its years of operation, the clinic has operated on a limited basis with volunteer clinicians and support staff. Dr. Rutledge’s full-time commitment helps the Rock River Free Clinic Board reach its goal of adding more regular physician services to this invaluable program. His new role will also benefit Fort HealthCare as patients with acute illnesses but no health insurance will be able to get the care they need when they need it.
While Rutledge is saddened to leave his practice, he looks forward to his new role, stating “I am excited to be a part of a project which will expand and enhance the medical services provided at the Free Clinic, and Fort HealthCare is providing major support to make the project a success. We believe that improving the health of the community is good for everyone.”
Coincident with Rutledge’s departure, Fort HealthCare welcomes family practice physician Linda Welniak, M.D., to Fort HealthCare Jefferson. Born and raised in Waukesha, Welniak trained at the Medical College of Wisconsin and brings 16 years of experience practicing in the Milwaukee and Waukesha area. Welniak is passionate regarding all aspects of Family Medicine from pediatrics through adult medicine and is very eager to start her practice in Jefferson. Noreen Lyons, Nurse Practitioner at Fort HealthCare Jefferson, will continue in her current role at the clinic. Welniak joins the Fort HealthCare Jefferson staff on January 3rd.
Last, extensive physical changes are anticipated for the Fort HealthCare Jefferson building where Dr. Rutledge has practiced for many years. A new clinic facility will be constructed on the site of the current building located at 840 West Racine Street. The new clinic will be significantly larger and allow for the merger of the both the Fort HealthCare Jefferson clinic where Rutledge is now based and the Fort HealthCare Rockwood practice, located at 152 West Garland Street, Jefferson. The Rockwood clinic is currently staffed by family physicians David Misorski and Geoffrey Smith. The new clinic will be a modern space ideal for supporting up to three providers practicing at the same time and will house a procedure room, new imaging equipment, a small lab area, and enhanced nursing and reception areas. The timing for this extensive re-build of the clinic is yet to be finalized, but a spring or summer 2012 occupancy is anticipated. On a temporary basis, and at a date still to be determined, patients of both clinics will be seen at the Fort HealthCare Rockwood location.
According to Fort HealthCare President & CEO Mike Wallace, “Our commitment to the Jefferson community remains very strong. We are excited to be able to demonstrate that commitment by bringing more physicians to the area and by constructing a new facility that will serve the people of Jefferson for many years.”