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Medical center earns star rating

Watertown Regional Medical Center announced it has been awarded five stars in the latest Hospital Quality Star Ratings released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This rating puts WRMC among the top 14% of all eligible hospitals in the U.S. with respect to patient safety and the overall patient experience. Only 455 of the more than 3,300 hospitals rated received five stars.

“Our team works to constantly evaluate and improve the quality of care and experiences our patients and their families receive,” said Richard Keddington, chief executive officer of Watertown Regional Medical Center. “We are so proud to have received this recognition from CMS and look forward to continuing our efforts to enhance healthcare delivery and advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”

The star ratings program is designed to increase healthcare transparency and help patients and their family members make informed decisions about healthcare. CMS’ Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings measure hospitals based on their performance across seven quality areas, including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging.

Recently, WRMC has focused on several initiatives aimed at further enhancing the quality of care provided to patients. These initiatives include reviewing and communicating best practices to prevent hospital readmissions, collaborating with long-term care facilities and hospice partners to ensure a smooth transition of care, and leader rounding to make sure patient’s experiences are meeting and exceeding expectations.

In addition to these initiatives, WRMC continues to bring new services to the people of Watertown and the surrounding communities. Within the past 12 months, quality providers have been brought in to provide hepatology services, and pediatric mental health care. Also, WRMC recently started a 24/7 cardiac STEMI (heart attack) care program which is provided by only one other hospital in the 20-mile radius surrounding Watertown.

“We are honored to serve the healthcare needs of our communities,” Keddington said. “We thank our providers, clinical teams, and staff for their commitment to our patients and to one another. It is their dedication that made this five-star rating possible and that will continue to drive our quality improvement initiatives going forward.”

For more information on the Star Ratings Program, visit the CMS website at Medicare.gov. For more information on Watertown Regional Medical Center, visit watertownregional.com.

DNR seeks comments on Waterloo drinking water loan

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced the City of Waterloo is an applicant for funding through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program to address deficiencies in its public drinking water system. The project includes the replacement of lead service lines throughout the city.

Activities related to this project are minor actions for which no environmental analysis is required; however, following the SDWLP federal requirement, an environmental review must be conducted before funding this project.

The SDWLP has determined that the project will not result in significant adverse environmental effects, and no further environmental review or analysis is needed before proceeding with funding the project.

The public can submit comments regarding this decision and the potential environmental impacts of this project. Submit comments by May 26 to the Department of Natural Resources, C/O Kevin Olson, Community Financial Assistance, CF/2, 101 S. Webster St. P.O. Box 7921 Madison, WI 53707 or call 608-234-2238 or Email: Kevin.Olson@wisconsin.gov.

Based on the comments received, the SDWLP may prepare an environmental analysis before proceeding with the funding process. The analysis would summarize the DNR’s consideration of the project’s impacts and reasonable alternatives.

Juneau Mayor Dan Wegener accepts a $5,500 donation from Dan Jahnke of Jahnke’s Piggly Wiggly in Juneau. Jahnke said the donation was for the city to purchase additional Christmas lights so they can welcome drivers as they come into the city on State Highway 26 from Watertown.