• New Technology for Aging Veins at Appleton Area Health Services

    Did you know that half of all Americans over 50 (and two-thirds of women over 60) suffer from the pain and swelling of those big ropey leg veins? The condition is caused by failing valves in the primary veins that allow blood to pool up in the legs, and symptoms can range from aching and fatigue to skin ulcers and blood clots. Women who have had more than two pregnancies are at particular risk, and heredity, weight and careers that require a vertical position throughout the day, like nursing or teaching are risk factors as well.

    Back in the old days – the 20th Century –  the only surgical option for patients with severe varicose veins was a gruesome and painful procedure called vein stripping that left the patient scarred and laid up for weeks. Today, however, we have the next-generation medical technology to treat the problem – minimally invasive catheters that close the diseased main vein from within. The physician pulls the device through the vein, delivering bursts of energy through the catheter’s  heating element to heat and contract the vein walls. With the primary vessel sealed, the body automatically re-establishes healthier circulation and the varicosity symptoms quickly dissipate.

    Catheter devices fall into two categories – radiofrequency (RF) devices and lasers. Both are fast and effective, but Dr. Slater uses an RF device because it is a lot easier on the patient. Laser devices operate at over 800 degrees Fahrenheit, causing pain both during and after the procedure and leaving big bruises that take a while to heal. The latest RF device, the VNUS® ClosureFAST™ catheter, operates at far cooler temperatures, sealing the vein in three to five minutes with virtually no discomfort to the patient. The procedure is done in Appleton Area Health Services’ Operating Room and the patient is in and out in a few hours, usually resuming normal activity the next day. The leg pain and heaviness disappear almost immediately, and visible changes are evident in a few weeks.

    Clinical studies have found the new procedure to be more than 97% effective, and because it is considered a medical necessity in most instances, it is covered by most Medicare and private health insurance plans. Patients are delighted to have the zip back in their legs – and to be able to wear shorts – for some, the first time in decades.

    About Jared Slater, MD

    Jared Slater, MD is an outreach, general surgeon at Appleton Area Health Services. Slater attended Medical School at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his Undergraduate at St. Olaf in Northfield, MN, and did his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Dr. Slater is married to Julie Slater, and has a daughter, Madeline and Havanese dog named Murphy. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, boating, and relaxing at the lake.


    To schedule a FREE screening on September 12 or 26, call Amber or Bess at 320.289.2422 ext. 328.

    Indication: The VNUS closure treatment is intended to treat blood vessels with superficial venous reflux, the underlying cause of varicose veins.

    Contraindications: Patients with thrombus in the vein segment to be treated.

    Potential Risks and Complications: As with all medical procedures, there is the potential for complications including vessel perforation, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, infection, hematoma ,arteriovenous fistula, nerve damage, and skin burn.

    Consult with a physician to receive more information.

  • AAHS’ Foundation Raises over $10,000 at Recent Golf Tournament

    The Appleton Area Health Services’ (AAHS) Foundation would like to take a moment to thank everyone that supported our facility at our recent fundraising event. We had a total of 44 business sponsors, 71 golf participants and served over 100 dinners that evening. While golfers at all levels were encouraged to participate, we want to recognize the team with the best score – Craig Strand, Lucas Strand, Mark Irgens and Richie Voorhees.

    Participants also got a first look at our new logo plus had the opportunity to meet Appleton Area Health Services new nurse practitioner, Jana Lilyerd and administrator & CEO, Jeff Cook. Jana started with the facility in July while Jeff starts later this month. Fortunately, our facility has had the pleasure of Kathy Johnson’s leadership while we searched for a permanent CEO. Kathy has been with Appleton Area Health Services since October of 2011 and has helped see our facility through many successes.

    Dinner participants were entered into a drawing for door prizes; winners were announced after the logo unveiling and were: Keith Schueler (AAHS fleece), Steph Eschen ($100), Chris Aasland ($250) and Doug Gronholz ($500). Congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to Doug Gronholz for generously donating his winning to AAHS’ Foundation.

    The Appleton Area Health Services’ Foundation is led by a board of directors that consists of Sydney Masse, Rollie Schmidt, Craig Wilkening, Kerry Bonk and Dan Enke. We are grateful for the support of this group of individuals and look forward to seeing you at upcoming Foundation events.

  • Visit the LqPHN Booth at the Swift County Fair

    The Lac qui Parle Health Network will have a booth at the Swift County Fair Wednesday August 15 through Sunday August 19, 2012 at the Swift County Fairgrounds in Appleton. Stop by to learn more about the group and sign up to win a $100 Visa Giftcard! Learn more at

  • Join AAHS at the Healthy Food Fair!

    Join AAHS at the Healthy Food Fair — Fascinating presentations, handouts, and Q&A!

    September 4-6 from 6-8pm at the United Methodist Church in Appleton. $25 per person or $35 per couple. Reservations appreciated but not necessary—320-289-2247.

  • Jeffrey A. Cook Named AAHS’ CEO & Administrator

    Jeffrey A. Cook was named Appleton Area Health Services’ (AAHS) Chief Executive Officer and Administrator, beginning in August, 2012. Jeff grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota and currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota. Jeff is married to his wife, Elizabeth (Lisa) and has two children, son Noah (19) and daughter Hannah (15). Jeff is currently searching for a home in the Appleton community and will move to the area in the coming months.

    Cook received his AAS  in Accounting from Northwest Technical College in Moorhead, MN, then went on to receive his BS in University Studies  from the University of Minnesota-Moorhead in Moorhead, MN. In 2005, he received his MBA and a MSM in Management with an HR emphasis from the University of Mary in Fargo, ND.

    Prior to coming to AAHS, Jeff served as Essentia Health’s North Dakota  Division Manager for the past ten years. Essentia Health is a large health system with a presence in Minnesota, North Dakota and Idaho that employs 11,500 employees with over 40 clinics and 15 hospitals within the system. Cook recruited over 20 multispecialty and primary care physicians, developed an OB/GYN practice in one facility adding 100 births per year, facilitated a multi-million dollar construction project and consistently operated under budget.

    Cook also served as chief financial officer to Bridges Medical Center, a 25-bed critical care hospital and 49-bed nursing home for one year; recruiting two physicians, reducing inventories in excess of $50k and increased days cash on hand from 34 to 75. Jeff also gained 3 years of experience at Lisbon Medical, a 25-bed critical care hospital with a 56-bed nursing home as their chief financial officer. There, Jeff recruited three new physicians and two mid-level providers.

    In 2004, Jeff became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a professional certification sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Candidates for the certification must meet certain educational and experience requirements, join and maintain tenure in ACHE, and pass an examination before the designation is awarded.

    Jeff is looking forward to re-entering the hospital and care center (nursing home) world after being in the clinic side for the last ten years. As our society ages there will be more community members moving toward retirement and more of a need to accommodate the aging population through our senior living apartments and care center.

    Cook is expected to have his nursing home administrator’s license by the end of 2013. In the meantime, Kathy Johnson, who has been serving as interim administrator and CEO at AAHS will act as the nursing home administrator.

    Jeff enjoys hunting, fishing, racquetball and watching the outdoor channel. Drop Jeff an email at

  • AAHS welcomes Jana Lilyerd

    Jana Lilyerd, MSN NP-C will join the family at Appleton Area Health Services (AAHS) on July 23, 2012. She comes to AAHS with over 25 years of nursing experience; most recently in Mora, MN. Jana received her AAS degree in nursing from Tacoma Community College, then went onto receive her BSN degree from Seattle Pacific University. In 2012, she received her master of science degree in nursing from the College of St. Scholastica.

    Jana is the third generation in her family to choose nursing as her career path. She is currently taking appointments for all ages; specializing in Geriatrics. She is looking forward to being with patients for the long haul.

    Jana has managed two health clinics, the build out of an electronic health record with a project team and telemedicine technology. She is passionate about community education and will be hosting educational events on a regular basis. Have a health topic that you would like to learn more about? Email it to

    Growing up in Washington state, her dad worked for a military brokerage company. She also lived in Colorado and Virginia for a period of time. So what drew Jana to Appleton? She loves open fields and country life and was impressed with the friendliness of the community during her visits to the area.

    Jana and her Siberian Husky, Blue are excited to become members of the Appleton community. Some of her interests include quilting, sewing, gardening and scrapbooking. She is also an avid outdoor person – you can find her fishing, hunting, biking and even rollerblading on a regular basis.

    Jana states it simple, “I am giving back what gifts I’ve been given and am very blessed to have this opportunity.” Meet her in person at Appleton Area Health Services’ Foundation 1st Annual Best Ball Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 28 at the Appleton Golf Course, social hour takes place at 4:30 p.m. with the brand unveiling to follow. To schedule an appointment with Jana, please call 289.1580.

  • June Happenings

    It’s hard to believe a month has passed since my last update. While we had many exciting things taking place in May, the momentum continues into June and July.

    Upcoming events & happenings include:

    ­          1st Annual Foundation Best Ball Golf Tournament – Save the Date – Saturday, July 28, 2012. Register your four-person team by contacting Janae Olson at 320.289.1580 ext. 416 or at

    ­          ­Facebook Promotion – We recently hit over 100 fans on Facebook. Be sure to like our page to get real-time updates and chances to win our giveaways.

    ­          ­Brand Re-launch – Last week, AAHS employees had the opportunity to vote on a new logo and color scheme for the facility. We’re excited to unveil our new look at our golf tournament in July. Even if you aren’t a golfer, join us for dinner and the unveiling. Contact for more information on purchasing a meal ticket.

    ­          ­FREE VNUS Procedure Screening – AAHS will be hosting a no-cost VNUS Procedure screening on Wednesday, June 27 from 9am-noon. Hurry, spots are limited. Call 320.289.1580 to schedule a screening.

    ­          ­FREE Car Seat Clinic – AAHS will offer a FREE car seat clinic by trained staff on June 28, 2012. If interested in participating in this event, please call 320.289.2422 and ask to speak with Char. Pre-registration is required; car & booster seats will be available if needed.

    ­          CEO Search – As some of you may recall, I came on board as interim CEO at AAHS in October 2011. In the coming weeks, we will have candidates onsite as we continue our search for a permanent CEO. Candidates will interviewed by our board, executive team and a group of employees. In the meantime, I will remain interim CEO. The board and I will continue to update you as we learn more.

    I also want to take a moment to remind our patients about our financial policy at AAHS. We appreciate every customer that walks through our doors and are passionate about providing high quality services that our patients have come to expect. To do so, we must receive payments for the services we provide.

    We offer a number of programs, including Charity Care to assist our customers with paying their bills. We ask that you partner with us to find a solution that fits your needs if you may need assistance. Tammy and Pam in the business office can be contacted during regular business hours and are here to help all patients that may need assistance determining a payment plan.

    Until next month, Kathy

  • Appleton Area Health Services Implements New CT Scanner

    From left to right: Toni Cam, RN, Char Lehne, LPN and Steve Nelson, Radiology Tech

    Doctors and technicians at Appleton Area Health Services (AAHS) are using the latest in CT technology. The Aquilion 16 CT system is among the most advanced in the field, making CT exams at AAHS safer, more comfortable and more accurate than ever before. For the patient, this new technology provides reassurance because the detailed images captured by the new scanner allows the radiologist to make more accurate diagnoses.

    The new scanner performs multi-slice CT scans in a matter of seconds. Multi-slice imaging means that more than one image is recorded at a time. This allows for a smooth transition through the machine and eliminates the abrupt starting and stopping motions common to single slice CT systems. Multi-slice systems reduce the amount of time patients must hold their breath or change position during the exam. This benefits trauma patients and others who are acutely ill. It is also safer; special filters reduce the amount of radiation patients are exposed to during the test.

    The 16-Slice scanner is an upgrade from the 4-Slice machine previously used at the hospital. The superior speed cuts the average CT exam time by more than xx percent. This means shorter exams and may lead to more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

    “We’re excited to have the opportunity to share this state-of-the art equipment with the community,” says Jason Boonstra, AAHS Lab & X-ray Manager.

  • May 2012 Happenings

    Great things are happening over at Appleton Area Health Services, but we sometimes forget to share the good news. In an effort to keep community members, patients and employees in the loop, we are ramping up our communication efforts! In fact, we recently hired Janae Olson, marketing manager to focus specifically on this topic. Jodi Cooley, human resource director also came on in the first quarter and has brought a total of 10 new employees to our team so far this year. We are excited to have Janae and Jodi bring their experience and insights to our leadership team. And, we continue to hire qualified employees that are dedicated to enhancing the health of our community. If you’d like to learn more about our open positions, please email

    Now, remember I mentioned there are great things happening over at AAHS? I should have said there are A LOT of great things happening. In fact, see for yourself:

    • National Hospital Week –This week (May 6-12), the AAHS team is celebrating National Hospital Week. National Hospital Week is the nation’s largest health care event, and is a celebration of the history, technology and dedicated professionals that make our facility provide quality patient care to the residents of Appleton and surrounding communities. I would personally like to thank each and every employee at AAHS. I am so proud to work with a team of such highly skilled, caring and compassionate people. If you are at our facility this week, please take a minute to thank those people that help keep you healthy.
    • Appleton Area Healthy Lifestyles Event –AAHS will also have a large presence at the upcoming Appleton Area Healthy Lifestyles Event May 10,from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. located in the ‘52 Wing. Be sure to stop by and say hello; special discounts and educational opportunities will be available for event attendees only!
    • National Nursing Home Week –National Nursing Home Week (May13-19) spotlights nursing home residents and staff and encourages all to celebrate those that make a positive difference in their lives every day. A supportive and caring environment, such as a skilled nursing care center, pro-vides enrichment for residents and families to continue growing, learning, and teaching through various ways. Did you know our facility is rated five stars? To see how other nursing homes in the area compare, go to And again, I want to express my gratitude for all of the people that make our nursing home such a great place to live and work.

    Want to continue to stay up-to-date on what’s happening over at AAHS? Be sure to read my future articles here in the press and like us on Facebook –