Aspirus Wausau among top hospitals in the countrySubmitted: 07/17/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

WAUSAU - We know the Northwoods has great hunting and fishing, but we also have some of the BEST hospitals in the nation. Aspirus Wausau was recognized TWICE in the last week.

They were listed as one of the 100 Best Community Hospitals by Becker's Hospital Review. The US News and World Report also ranks Aspirus among the top 15 percent of hospitals in the nation.

Marita Hattem is Aspirus's Interim President and Chief Operating Officer. She says Aspirus doctors bring exceptional value to the area.

"It's our mission to deliver the best quality of care we can at the lowest possible cost to the communities that we serve. This is just a way of a third party looking at us and recognizing that we're really getting the results we're looking for. Our quality is exceptional for a community of this size and for this kind of region," said Hattem.

She also gives credit to the quality of life in this area for drawing in top notch medical talent to a relatively small community.

"When you first say, 'Hey come to Wausau,Wiscosin!' people usually say, where is that?' But once you get people here they realize what an amazing community it is. North Central Wisconsin, the heart and soul in these communities, the quality of life in these communities makes people want to live here. And then when they realize that scientifically, especially as clinicians, they can get all the challenge and reward that they're looking for. The research that we do here is amazing, driven by the quality of people that we're able to lure here."

Ten of Aspirus's specialty areas were recognized as "high performing" including cancer, cardiology, neurosurgery, geriatrics, and diabetes care.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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