Congratulations! CCH team member celebrates over 50 years of service

After devoting over 50 years working in healthcare, Carol Black has not lost her passion for caring for others, learning about new advances in technology, and giving back to the community.

In 1966, at age 23, Carol accepted a position as head Laboratory Medical Technologist at Columbus Community Hospital, then located at 633 West James Street in Columbus.

“I had been working at Madison General,” said Carol. “The pathologist there was the pathologist in Columbus. He knew that I was getting married and moving to Columbus.”

After just two weeks being married to Bob Black of Columbus, Carol started her position at Columbus Community Hospital making a salary of $415 a month.

The hospital’s patient census grew over the next 13 years and in 1979 a new hospital opened at 1515 Park Avenue in Columbus. “My husband was president of the Columbus Community Hospital Board of Directors at that time,” said Carol. “It was an exciting time and our hospital has grown since that time.”

Carol also donated her time to CCH by becoming a member of the CCH Auxiliary. “I joined the auxiliary in about 1969. Then I became involved as a volunteer buyer in the Cottage Gift Shoppe and soon the volunteer manager of the shop.” Carol continued volunteering as the shop’s manager into the 1990s. In addition, she served as president of the CCH Auxiliary (now the Volunteers of CCH) in 1992, 1993, and 2009. “I enjoy helping out the organization that I work for.”

Processes in the laboratory environment have changed dramatically over the past 50 years according to Carol. “When I first started we had manual tests, then slowly added machines to ensure better results, and then we  first went automated with chemistry and hematology,” she explained.  “Automated meant you never touched the sample once you placed it in the instrument.”

Carol explained that when technology began advancing in the laboratory setting, changes would happen every 6 months or once a year. “Now almost every day something new is added. The pace of change has increased that much,” she said, commenting on the number of regulations and quality control standards a laboratory needs to adhere to in today’s world . “It’s challenging. It is a faster pace than it ever was.”

The laboratory provides the information the physicians and other providers need in order to treat their patients and assist with diagnosis. “You have to be able to troubleshoot and be a detective,” said Carol. Carol remembers running about 40 tests a day during a five-hour work day back in the 1960s.  Now, the CCH laboratory runs 10,000 inpatient and outpatient tests each month and 24-hour lab services are offered.

A medical technologist degree was a four-year degree when Carol began. Now lab careers are also available to graduates with one and two-year degrees.

What keeps Carol working after over 50 years in the laboratory? “The people,” she explained. “I like working as a team with other departments to make the patient better.” Carol explained that in a small hospital, a medical technologist is able to meet the patient, run the patient’s sample, and then see the patient again. “In a larger hospital you don’t have as much of a connection with patients.”

In her spare time, Carol enjoys quilting, gardening, and cooking every Sunday for her children and grandchildren.  And she plans on continuing to work at Columbus Community Hospital.

“I like the people I work with. I’ve been working with some of them for 30 years,” said Carol. “I enjoy working with a group of people who want to do a good job and take care of patients.”


Road construction begins March 6 in Columbus

Beginning March 6, Hwy 16/60 (James Street) between Hwy 73 and River Road in Columbus will be closed to through traffic in order to allow the reconstruction of this section of roadway. This portion of the project is expected to last until July 2017.

Meet Kate Skaggs, MD, OB/GYN

From Midwest living in Wisconsin to the mountains of Colorado, Kate Skaggs, MD, OB/GYN at Columbus Community Hospital and mother of four children and two step-children, has balanced life, family, friends and a successful medical career.

She was raised in Oconomowoc, WI and completed her undergraduate degree, medical school and residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Be prepared during an electrical outage - Visit

Be prepared during an electrical outage

Our society relies on electricity for heat, food, and medical needs. Even some gas appliances need electricity to run. And when a power outage follows another emergency—like a tornado, or winter storm – that makes it even more important to be prepared in advance.

“We don't realize how dependent we are on power until we are without it,” says Karen Sell, RN and Columbus Community Hospital’s Disaster Preparedness Chairperson. “Sudden power outages can and do happen in Wisconsin. Are you ready?”


Be prepared when crisis hits - visit

Each year millions of Americans resolve to better themselves by making a New Year’s resolution. This year, why not make a resolution to be prepared?

For most, when crisis hits, community members look to those in healthcare, police and fire, emergency medical services, and local utilities to handle the problem. But in the event of a disaster, being dependent on others may not be the first line of defense in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe.

“In a disaster, 911 will prioritize calls,” said Karen Sell, RN and Emergency Preparedness Chairperson at Columbus Community Hospital. “There may be trees down, roads blocked, and it could be days before anyone can move or get to you. Those services we take for granted every day may not be accessible.”


Every month is breast cancer awareness month

While October is designated to breast cancer awareness, every month is breast cancer awareness month at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH). That’s why the medical imaging staff at Columbus Community Hospital encourages women to perform regular self-exams, have a clinical breast exam and begin having mammograms at the appropriate age. “If you are 40 and older, we recommend having an annual mammogram and clinical breast exam by your physician or provider,” said Denise Buzzell, RTR, M, CT, CCH Medical Imaging Manager. “And women who are in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years.”


ER team receives 2016 Guardian of Excellence Award

The Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) Emergency Services Team recently received the Press Ganey 2016 Guardian of Excellence Award for patient experience. The Guardian of Excellence Award is given to organizations which have achieved and maintained a 95th percentile or higher in overall patient satisfaction throughout a 12-month period. “Delivering consistent high quality patient care is a team sport,” said LuAnn Reuter, RN and CCH Emergency Department Manager. “Our ER team is dedicated and committed to the community. We strive to provide compassionate, connected care.”

Support and information provided through Breast Health Program

As the Breast Health Nurse Specialist at Columbus Community Hospital, Cathy Butterbrodt, RNC, CBPN-I; ONC, regularly answers questions from patients and their families with one goal in mind – to help the patient.

“Breast cancer and even benign breast findings can be very confusing and complicated,” said Butterbrodt. Why do I need chemotherapy? Why do I need radiation? What did I do that caused my breast cancer? I don’t have a family history, so why do I need to even have a mammogram?