Divine Savior and Portage Family Skate Park Team Up to Reduce Injuries


Divine Savior Healthcare and Elements Board shop get together to present donations to Portage Family Skate Park. Pictured left to right Dawson Brandt Shop Manger Elements Boardshop, Mariya Little PFSP Volunteer; David Spannagel Emergency Department Director, and Kyle Little President of the PFSP.


On Thursday, June 8th, 2017 Divine Savior Healthcare joined the Portage Family Skate Park (PFSP), Portage Parks and Recreation and Elements Board shop in the Wisconsin Dells to encourage skateboarding safety by purchasing and donating twenty-four new helmets and sets of pads for participants of the new Skateboard Basics Class.


The PFSP in coordination with Portage Parks and Recreation recently launched a new Skateboard Basics Class open to community members. One important part of the class is skateboard safety and Divine Savior Healthcare’s trauma team recognized an opportunity to help.


According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 84,414 children ages 19 and under had skateboard-related injuries, and 59,316 had skating related injuries, in 2014. Divine Savior Healthcare is a level three trauma center. Part of the mission of the trauma and emergency team is to not only care for patients who experience injuries, but also to work with the community to prevent them.


“The trauma team at Divine Savior Healthcare is continually seeking ways to help prevent injuries in our community. This partnership with Portage Park & Rec and the Portage Family Skate Park is a great opportunity to help make sure kids have fun enjoying the Skate Park safely,” states Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeon Dr. Joshua Pogorelec. “We want to recognize and applaud the efforts of the Skate Park and Parks & Recreation for including safety as an important part of instruction.”


Divine Savior and Elements Board shop combined to provide protective gear, including helmets and elbow, knee, and wrist pads to each of the registered participants in the class. Kyle Little, President of PFSP, and the board for PFSP had desired to provide the course itself to encourage safe participation at the skate park. 


“The initial cost of getting all of the equipment can be discouraging to parents, so providing these items for the class along with the safety teaching seemed like a great approach to teach kids safe skate boarding habits,” said David Spannagel Divine Savior Emergency Department Director and Trauma Coordinator.  “Especially helmets!  We can usually fix a broken bone, and bruises heal, but head trauma can end a life or have life-long impacts.” 

        Hudson Maas shows off his cool new gear donated by Divine Savior Healthcare and Elements Board shop in Wisconsin Dells. He’s now ready to stay safe while on his board at Portage Family Skate Park.

It was reported in Safe Kids Worldwide that “helmets reduce the risk of head injury by at least 45 percent, brain injury by 33 percent, facial injury by 27 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent.”


The classes come at an exciting time where the PFSP has just been granted up to $37,500 of matching funds towards phase two of the Skate Park by the Lenz Charitable Trust.  PFSP is hoping to capitalize on that opportunity and start building phase two in 2018. 


“On behalf of the Portage Family Skate Park committee and volunteers we would like to thank Divine Savior for providing the youth of the PFSP the opportunity to stay safe while mastering the skills of skateboard basics. Not only will they be safe because of this wonderful donation they will continue to have the health benefits from being active as well,” shares Little.


Kids interested in the second session of skateboard basics class starting in August can enroll online at the Portage Recreation website: portage.recdesk.com


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Experiencing a dull pain in the pit of your stomach

Stomach PainGastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and gallbladder disease are two very common disorders. Knowing which one you have may be trickier than you think. Symptoms may be vague, such as a “dull pain in the pit of your stomach”, making it hard for you to explain to your doctor what’s exactly going on.

At Divine Savior Healthcare, General Surgeons, Dr. Eric Anderson and Dr. Joshua Pogorelec, have seen many patients with these symptoms and after further examination are able to help  diagnose and treat both diseases.

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD refers to stomach contents moving into the esophagus causing a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn. Other symptoms may occur as well, such as pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and an acid taste in your mouth.  If this continue, prolonged exposure of the esophagus to stomach contents can result in damage to the lining of the esophagus.  This in turn can result in difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing or permanent damage to the esophagus.

Although not all reflux results in symptoms or damage to the esophagus, common symptoms include:
• Heartburn
• Acid regurgitation
• Belching
• Difficulty or pain when swallowing
• Waterbrash sudden excess of saliva
• Dysphagia the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus
• Chronic sore throat
• Laryngitis
• Inflammation of the gums
• Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
• Chronic irritation in the throat
• Hoarseness in the morning
• A sour taste
• Bad breath
• Coughing at night

What is gallbladder disease?
The gallbladder is located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile, which is made in the liver and allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Any condition that affects the gallbladder is considered a disease, and there are many different scenarios that fall under gallbladder disease:
• Inflammation
• Gallstones
• Common bile duct stones
• Biliary Dyskinesia
• Infection
• Perforated gallbladder
• Gallbladder polyps
• Porcelain gallbladders
• Gallbladder cancer

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec share "the most common disease of the gallbladder is gallstones. Most people with gallstones do not even know they have them.  Once they cause problems, the gallbladder may need to be removed. Symptoms include pain below the right rib cage or in the “pit” of the stomach. This pain may radiate to the right upper back, chest, or shoulder. Other symptoms may include, bloating, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, chronic diarrhea, jaundice yellow-tinted skin, or unusual lighter-colored stools or dark urine.”

After taking a closer look at GERD and gallbladder disease, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec are able to provide helpful insight on common distinguishing factors between the two diseases.

Common distinguishing factors:
• Location: Although both may feel like a “pit in your stomach”, if you experience symptoms located closer to your throat or in your chest it is more likely to be GERD related. Symptoms located near your right lower rib radiating into your right upper back, chest and shoulder are more likely to be associated to your gallbladder.
• Pain: Unlike GERD, gallbladder pain usually begins suddenly, and changing positions, belching, passing gas or taking medications rarely helps pain symptoms go away.
• Timing: With heartburn being the most common symptom of GERD, symptoms of reflux are likely to occur shortly after eating, where symptoms of gallbladder disease usually occurs several hours after eating and have more consistent patterns of reoccurrence the same time each day.

What does treatment look like?
The symptoms of GERD are commonly and effectively treated with over-the-counter medications such as anti-acids and proton pump inhibitors. However, if relief does not go away from these medications your provider may recommend you be evaluated by one of our surgeons at Divine Savior.

After a thorough history and physical, our surgeons may recommend further evaluation of the esophagus and stomach with endoscopy.  Similar to colonoscopy, but without the need for prep, upper endoscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the esophagus, stomach and intestine to evaluate for damage to the esophagus, infection and a hiatal hernia.  Depending on the findings, further testing may be indicated to evaluate the function of the esophagus. 

Patients with severe GERD benefit from surgery to prevent reflux from occurring.  This procedure is commonly performed by both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec, is minimally invasive, and very effective at treating GERD.  In fact, most patients no longer require any antacid medications after the procedure.

If you are found to have stones in the gallbladder causing symptoms, the best course of action is to have the gallbladder removed.  Leaving the stones in place will continue to cause pain and may result in serious infection of the gallbladder and bile ducts, jaundice or pancreatitis. 

Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec routinely perform minimally invasive removal of the gallbladder.  This is most often an outpatient procedure and very successful.  After a short recovery, most patients will find their symptoms are gone and they are able to live a normal life. 

If you experience symptoms related to GERD or gallbladder disease, or have concerns about either, it is best to consult your provider for further examination. Treatment for either disease varies person to person, but taking action immediately and being properly treated can help you prevent problems from worsening.

To schedule an appointment with Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeons, Dr. Anderson or Dr. Pogorelec, call 608-745-5176.

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