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News: Foundation Names Health Care Advocate for 2011

October 11, 2011

Foundation Honors Wanda Brown as 2011 Health Care Advocate

The St. Croix Valley Health Care Foundation was pleased to select Wanda Brown, Adult Nurse Practitioner of St. Croix Falls as its 2011 Health Care Advocate award at the Foundation’s 16th annual fundraising gala dinner. The award, always a well-kept secret, is presented each year by the Foundation to recognize the efforts of an individual who promotes the ideals of healthcare as well as contributing countless hours to further the mission of healthcare in the local community.

Sandra Williams, who introduced and presented this year’s award, ‘warned’ those in attendance that Brown had contributed so much to SCRMC and to our community that she would “need more time than we have to mention all Brown’s accomplishments! “To say our Healthcare Advocate has often been and still is a step ahead—a true leader and an amazing innovator—is simply an understatement,” said Williams. “From the beginning of his/her career at SCRMC, our Advocate was envisioning ways to improve patient care.”

Those accomplishments include helping develop SCRMC’s first Intensive Care Unit, its first inpatient alcohol treatment program, and its Infection Control department in the early 70’s when “infection control” was still a new concept in medicine. In addition Brown created and directed SCRMC’s first Community Education Program and helped develop SCRMC’s first Occupational Health Department.

Brown’s work and commitments have extended well beyond the walls of the Medical Center. She was the first Wisconsinite to be President of MN APIC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc or APIC – the largest in the country. This contribution included a year as Past President and President Elect. Brown also has held a certification in Infection Control for the past 15 years, and has mentored many infection control practitioners in clinics and hospitals, especially in our region.

This year’s Advocate has also given much time and effort to many volunteer activities. She is a lifetime member of the Wisconsin and American Nurses Associations, is currently the local political action chair. For the Red Cross, she has been the Polk County Chair of the county’s bloodmobiles for 18 years.

Having grown up in Montana in a family of eight children, Brown attended Montana State University in Bozeman, and later met her husband Dave, who was stationed in the Air Force in Great Falls, MT. Eventually, they relocated to St. Croix Falls, where she joined the SCRMC nursing staff in 1971. She and Dave have two children, Brett and Bryan, and 5 grandchildren.

There is no doubt that our medical center, and yes, our communities, too, are healthier, safer, and better places to live today than they would have been without this year’s Health Care Advocate of the Year.

With over 230 people in attendance, the annual Foundation Gala Dinner raises thousands of dollars to benefit patients at St. Croix Regional Medical Center. This year’s theme was New Orleans Mardi Gras.

Once again, the “Key Raffle” culminated the evening’s excitement. Dave Lundin and wife Angie of St. Croix Falls will enjoy a 3-night trip to New Orleans, and Orval Johnson and wife Edna Mae won a $1000 travel voucher.  Elvira Schmidt, President  recognized special guests:  Rev. Mark and Marina Peacock, who served as the Honorary Couple, and Featured Artist, Barbara Young of Taylors Falls.

The Foundation gratefully acknowledges everyone whose contributions helped make this a very successful fundraiser, especially LeeAnn VandeKamp, Auctioneer; Trollhaugen (JR and Jeanne Rochford) for hosting the champagne reception and offering their facility to the Foundation for the event.  Andrie Electric (Deane Andrie) for the evening’s dessert. “We especially want to thank the many businesses and individuals who contributed to the event’s success through their gifts and auction items, and Uptown Floral for assembling the beautiful centerpiece arrangements,” said Williams

Williams specifically acknowledged the generosity of our Foundation Board members and SCRMC staff who work so hard to make the event’s arrangements. “We also wish to recognize the event’s major sponsors St Croix Valley Anesthesia, LLC, and Voyageur Radiology for their generosity,” said Williams, Director of Development.

Also sincerely appreciated were the event’s Table Sponsors which included Dr. Michele Armstrong, Bremer Bank, City of Saint Croix Falls, Dave Dobosenski/Harlan Hegdal, Drs. Bill and Marsha Beyer, Financial Strategies Group – Kathy Anderson/Tim Hagen,Health, Partners/Regions Hospital, Dr. Tom Hinck and Rev. Nanette Hagen Hinck, Johnson Motors, Life Link III, Virginia M. McBride, River Valley Pharmacy, Dr. Joseph Ruegemer, Sentry Data Systems, The RiverBank-SCF, The RiverBank Insurance Center, The RiverGroup Financial Advisors, Trollhaugen, US Bank.