Athletic Training - on the field and off

From football to ballet to the world of manufacturing, athletic trainers are an important part of our daily lives. As experts in their fields, athletic trainers prevent focus on the prevention of injury, diagnosis and evaluation, rehabilitation and nutrition, and provide emergency care onsite.

Thirteen years ago, Toni Wizner began her career as an athletic trainer to assist high school athletes. This year, Wizner, an athletic trainer for Columbus Community Hospital, is celebrating her seventh year as the athletic trainer for the Columbus School District.

 “I am typically at the Columbus High School two days a week. I see athletes before and after practices,” said Wizner. “I oversee exercises with them, evaluate their progress, and make referrals for them as needed.”

Wizner assists athletes in football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball and wrestling. Before a game, she is taping athletes and helping them stretch. During a game, she is on the sidelines ready to spring into action if a player is injured (sprain, strain, concussion, fracture or cramping) and evaluates players to determine if and when then are ready to get back in the game.

Wizner explains that athletic trainers take the pressure and stress off of the coach in terms of making the decision as to whether to allow an athlete to return to play after an injury. “I provide healthcare that is specific to athletes,” said Wizner. “Consider this, a coach’s job is to coach, a referee’s job is to ref, and an athletic trainer’s job is to evaluate, treat and make healthcare decisions in the best interest of the athlete.”

Wizner received her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in Kinesiology (the study of human movement) from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Over the past decade, the presence of athletic trainers has increased. “There is a big push to have a full time athletic trainer in every high school, especially in rural communities where students do not have access to healthcare,” said Wizner.

But athletic trainers are not limited to the sports industry. “A lot of athletic trainers also work in the industrial setting,” said Wizner. “Some companies have an athletic trainer onsite. These trainers evaluate employees to decrease time lost due to overuse or injury on the job.”

Athletic trainers also have a presence in hospitals and clinics, professional sports organizations, police and fire departments, the military, and even the performance world, assisting with dance, ballet, and cirque du soleil performers.

Athletic trainers are trained in prevention, CPR and AED use, manual therapy, recognition and treatment of a concussion, recognition of cardiac arrest, heat stroke, and cervical spine injury.

For more information about athletic trainers, visit For more information about Columbus Community Hospital, visit

Medical College Student Welcome

Medical students Ashley Dunton and Krysten Rutzinski, from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), are a part of a “high-caliber, fast-paced, contemporary learning experience which will allow them to graduate and enter the professional field more quickly”. Both students are building their skills at Prairie Ridge Health Clinic and Columbus Community Hospital in the hopes of practicing medicine in a rural community. We are very excited to have Ashley and Krysten with the hospital and clinic this summer as well as over the next two years! 

To learn more about the program, please visit

Kris Braker, Family Nurse Practitioner - a lifelong love of healthcare brings her home

Kris Braker, Family Nurse Practitioner A lifelong love of healthcare brings her home to care for the community

From the time she was a little girl growing up on the family farm, Kris Braker, Family Nurse Practitioner at the Prairie Ridge Health Clinic in Marshall, knew she wanted to be a nurse.

“Whenever we had a down cow, our vet would give them a dose of glucose intravenously, and I would serve as the IV pole,” Kris humored. “Many of my family members are nurses, so it has always been something I have been interested in as a career.”


Carol Black receives RWHC Rural Health Ambassador Award

RWHC Rural Health Ambassador Award presented to Carol Black of Columbus Community Hospital

The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) presented the Rural Health Ambassador Award to Carol Black, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, on June 7 at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH).

The award recognizes health care employees at RWHC hospitals who have gone above the call of duty in promoting their respective organizations, while making significant contributions to rural health. Each recipient demonstrates a history of fostering positive communication and relations within the hospital's respective service area by: serving on community boards/service organizations; taking advantage of volunteer opportunities; and supporting community health activities beyond the scope of the hospital.


Going beyond the scale - The InBody Experience at CCH

Do you eat right and exercise and the scale doesn’t move? Do you know increasing your muscle burns more calories? Do you know what you can do to maintain your ability to complete daily tasks at home?

Body Composition Analysis is a valuable tool that can help you understand the ratio of fat to muscle weight in your body. The Nutrition Services Department at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) now offers the InBody test to help individuals customize nutrition and lifestyle changes to reach health and fitness goals.


CCH receives Women's Choice Award

Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) is one of 17 Wisconsin hospitals to receive the 2018 Women’s Choice Award for obstetrics.

“The Women’s Choice Award has identified America’s Best Hospitals across the nation to help women make smart healthcare choices,” said Rachel Svendsen, CCH Manager of Women’s and Childbirth Services. “Women account for 90% of all healthcare decisions for themselves and their family. We are honored to be among the elite in patient satisfaction in obstetrics.”


Columbus 4K students make and donate quilt

What has 20 squares, filled with the imagination and made with love? Answer: a quilt.

Sherry Quamme and her daughter-in-law Sudha Quamme had the unique experience of instructing a Columbus Elementary School 4-year old Kindergarten class in the art of quilt making during two special days in the month of November. The opportunity presented itself when Sherry and Suhda were approached by the teacher to be a guest presenter to the class.  

The purpose of the project was to make a quilt and donate it to the Columbus Community Hospital Emergency Department for a child. Each child made a 9-inch by 10-inch square and the squares were then sewn into the quilt.

The children were asked to draw whatever was important to them and to use the colors they liked. Once fabric square was complete, Suhda pressed them so it was sealed and ready for placement on the backing.

Because the sewing machine had a speed adjustment, each student learned how to use the sewing machine and the pedal, with assistance from Sherry.

 “Four year olds have enough coordination with their feet, eyes and hands to be able to do the sewing,” said Sherry. “It’s all in controlling the speed in how fast the machine sews.”

Sixteen children participated in the project.

Pictured are Sherry Quamme, the Columbus Elementary School 4K class that made the quilt, and LuAnne Reuter, CCH Emergency Department Manager accepting the quilt.


Guardian of Excellence Award for Physician Engagement

CCH’s success relies on engagement from all areas of the patient care team, including the medical providers. In 2017, CCH was one of only five hospitals nationwide to receive the Guardian of Excellence Award for Physician Engagement.

Press Ganey, a leading provider of patient team engagement benchmarks, presented CCH the award in recognition of achieving and maintaining a score in the 97th percentile in the nation in overall provider engagement. The accomplishment places CCH amidst an elite group of 3% of healthcare organizations in the nation.