LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - From expanding clinic locations all across the area, to building a hotel for patients' families, Gundersen Health System in La Crosse is looking back on an eventful 2017.
In the course of the year, the La Crosse health system built new clinics across the region.
Including locations in Sparta, Holmen and Moundview.
Gundersen Health System CEO Scott Rathgaber says having multiple locations is beneficial for patients, because the less they have to travel, the more likely they are to get the care they need.
"It's a lot easier for them as we try to continue to ease the financial burden that they have for an expensive thing like healthcare, we think having it close to home and having less travel is a very important part of what we do."
2017 also welcomed guests to the new Gundersen Hotel and Suites.
Tho hotel has a total of 67 rooms and includes 16 long-stay suites with full kitchens.
Rathgaber says it was built to better serve patients' families.
"It has been very successful and we continue to build more awareness of the hotel and it what it can be used for, for our patients."
One of Gundersen's top priorities in 2017 was to address drug addiction in the community.
The health system is working with the Coulee Council on Addictions and is already planning on ways to fight the problem in the coming year.
"What can we do to keep the drugs from getting in the hands of folks who are looking for them and part of that is what we're doing at Gundersen to decrease the amount of narcotics that are prescribed and distributed in the community."
Looking ahead to 2018, Gundersen Health System hopes to improve areas of mental health care and reduce the stigma around it.
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