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NEWS STORIES

State of the Art Surgical Robot in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/13/2012
Story By Michael Crusan

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WOODRUFF - Imagine a surgical procedure with faster recovery, less pain and fewer complications and risks.

Thanks to the efforts of area doctors and community members that dream is a reality in Woodruff.

Remarkable only begins to describe the da Vinci Surgical Robot.
Ministry Howard Young Hospital Director of Surgical Services Mike Gibbons says, "We were able to attain this technology in a hospital this size, which is pretty rare."

The Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Howard Young Hospital teamed up to perform some of the latest and most advanced surgeries in medicine.

Dr. John Twelmeyer with the Marshfield Clinic says, "The surgeon sits at the console and operates the arms of the da Vinci with just two fingers on each side."

At the helm of the da Vinci surgical robot the technology is something you might think that you'd find down at the Mayo Clinic or in the Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

But actually, it's found right here in the Northwoods.

That's because patients and doctors all got together because they wanted to see something they could bring into a Northwoods community here at the Howard Young Medical Center so patients could have quicker recovery times and more accurate procedures.

Gibbons says, "The people we've talked to have been incredibly amazed that they've been able to have this done here locally."

The robot can move past the limitations of the human hand with it's four robotic arms and high definition imagery.

Twelmeyer explains, "Instruments actually have more maneuverability than the human wrist does. So you can get in there and do very delicate dissections that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do with the regular laparoscopic equipment."

The da Vinci isn't able to perform every kind of operation, but the list is growing.

Gibbons says, "Currently, in addition to gynecology, we also offer urology services for operations of the prostate and kidney. As well as general surgery for colon surgery, gall bladder and things of that nature."

Twelmeyer says, even though the robot is reliable and can handle most procedures with ease, human hands are always on standby, "The whole O.R. crew is still in the room. The only difference is the surgeon isn't standing at the tableside. He or she is standing or sitting at the console."

Using the latest in medical technology and within a short drive for some of the most rural patients in the state.

The four surgeons who are trained to use the da Vinci Surgical Robot have already exceeded their operation goals in the first few months it's been up and running.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Tree of Hope helps families in MerrillSubmitted: 12/18/2014

MERRILL - Needy families in Merrill will have a better Christmas this year.

The Merrill Fire Department is sponsoring the Tree of Hope.

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Two men arrested after police chaseSubmitted: 12/18/2014

MARINETTE - Two men accused of shooting at police now sit in jail.

They were arrested following a manhunt in the woods of northeastern Wisconsin.

Marinette County deputies closed a section of Highway 141, evacuated some homes and locked down two bars Wednesday night.

They searched for the armed men near Middle Inlet.

Things started when the Marinette County Sheriff's Department got word from police in Michigan that two wanted felons were staying at a hotel in Crivitz.

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Perfect for the holidays- Northwoods woman donates kidney to friend Submitted: 12/17/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - You might find all the joy you need this Christmas between two best friends.

Jean Neumann and Patty Bonack fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.

They've shared a friendship for four years, but now they share something else.

Neumann found out she needed a kidney transplant in May.

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On the Wilderness Act's 50th anniversary, acquaint yourself with pristine areas of northern WisconsinSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - The first thing you notice in this forest is the silence.

That's the way it was meant to be at Blackjack Springs Wilderness east of Eagle River.

It's a venerable forest, to be sure, but the harvest here isn't timber.

"A Wilderness area," Bob Martini says, "what you're harvesting here feeds the soul."

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Plea deal in Tomahawk marijuana plant bustSubmitted: 12/17/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The second of two people arrested for having 44 marijuana plants reached a plea deal in Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jessica Teich pled no contest to a felony for having a drug trafficking place.

She also pled no contest to two misdemeanors for having THC and drug paraphernalia.

The felony charge will be dismissed if Teich successfully completes her 18-month probation.

Tomahawk Police arrested Teich and 34-year-old Jamaal Wilson last April.

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Study: Lincoln County professional departments well trained in hazardous materials, volunteer departments need workSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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MERRILL - Would responders in Lincoln County know how to best handle a hazardous material spill in their area?

It might depend on where that spill happens.

A study for a county committee found a big gap in how prepared certain departments might be to handle hazardous materials.

For the most part, professional fire departments and law enforcement are trained well to respond.

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Walker looking at 6 to 7 agencies for changesSubmitted: 12/17/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he's looking at consolidating or making ``major changes'' at six or seven state agencies.

Walker talked in general about his ideas for merging state government operations on Wednesday after speaking to Senate Republicans.

Walker says he doesn't think a special session will be necessary to do that, but he does hope the Legislature will act quickly on the ideas early on. He says he learned from the creation of public-private economic development agency that it's better to have more time to transition into something new than not.

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