Froedtert & the Medical College
An Academic Medical Center
Academic medical centers are partnerships between a medical school and its affiliated teaching hospitals and clinics, working together to provide high quality patient care, offer the most advanced technology, teach future healthcare professionals and provide treatments driven by research.
|The academic medical center formed by the partnership of Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to excellence in patient care, research and medical education. Froedtert & The Medical College form one of only 118 academic medical centers in the country and the only academic medical center in eastern Wisconsin. This strong and enduring partnership has benefited patients, healthcare professionals and the community for more than 25 years.
A national scorecard places Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin among the elite
of academic medical centers.
Froedtert & The Medical College play a critical role in contributing to quality of life in the region. Together, Froedtert & The Medical College:
- Provide the highest quality patient care — the more than 700 physicians who practice at Froedtert Hospital are Medical College of Wisconsin faculty members. These physicians — among the top in their specialties — collaborate as teams to provide the highest level of care for patients. With 37 specialty and subspecialties, Medical College of Wisconsin physicians are all located on-site, rather than all over town. They, along with more than 4,000 Froedtert staff members, offer patients a heightened level of expertise, knowledge and advanced care that only an academic medical center can provide. Patients have access to a variety of specialists, the latest diagnostic and treatment options, and the most advanced medical technology.
- Educate tomorrow’s physicians — Froedtert & The Medical College have a long-standing commitment to teaching the next generation of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Tomorrow’s doctors are guided by a team of experienced physicians who are themselves world-class researchers, clinicians and educators. At every level of undergraduate and graduation education, future physicians have access to top-notch research facilities, advanced technology and a diverse patient population in stimulating environment that offers many opportunities to pursue advanced education and specialization.
- Conduct breakthrough research — Froedtert & The Medical College conduct clinical research trials and other studies that continually enhance the quality of health care in our community and beyond. The Medical College of Wisconsin receives a high level of support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as other government grants to conduct research. In 2005, the Medical College of Wisconsin was in the top 50 of organizations receiving NIH funding for medical research. Physicians at Froedtert & the Medical College have been part of many scientific discoveries of new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Patients benefit from new life-saving drugs, medical devices and breakthrough surgical techniques.
FirstsFroedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin are proud to claim many “firsts” in the state and the country in bringing the latest treatments and technology to patients. These include:
- In 1998, opened eastern Wisconsin’s first Cancer Genetics Screening Program.
- One of the first in the country to offer intra-arterial chemotherapy for head and neck tumors.
- The first in Wisconsin to offer TheraSphere®, an innovative treatment for inoperable liver cancer. TheraSphere® is a targeted treatment for liver cancer that spares healthy tissue while providing radiation directly to liver tumors.
- One of only 20 centers worldwide to first offer TomoTherapy®, a highly precise radiation therapy for difficult-to-treat cancers, and one of the nation's first TomoTherapy Centers of Excellence.
- First in Wisconsin to install IntelliDose, an electronic chemotherapy order system.
- The first in Wisconsin to treat brain tumors using the Gliasite® Radiation Therapy System, a new type of radiation therapy device that delivers radiation directly to the site of the cancer. Gliasite® advantages include shorter treatment time and a lower incidence of side effects.
- One of the first in the country to use PET/CT imaging technology that allows physicians to “see” cancerous tumors earlier.
- One of the first in the nation to use magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to predict the spread of brain cancer. MRSI allows neurosurgeons to look at a large area of the brain and see changes in brain chemistry that could point to a growing tumor.
EpilepsyThe Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Froedtert & The Medical College was one of the first facilities in Wisconsin to offer surgery as a treatment option for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. The program was also among the first in Wisconsin to perform “awake” surgery to treat epilepsy, during which the patient with epilepsy responds to stimuli, allowing the surgeon to pinpoint the location of brain functions. The program is also a leader in the use of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, an implanted device that “blocks” many seizures before they occur.
- The state’s first cochlear implant on a profoundly deaf person was performed in 1985. In 2001, Ashley P. Wackym, MD, was the first in the country to restore a person’s hearing with the bilateral cochlear implant.
- The first in Wisconsin to use Auditory Brainstem Implant technology to provide some hearing capacity after surgery for patients who suffer from tumors on their auditory nerves.
Heart and Vascular Disease
- Among first to use a drug-eluting stent to remedy arterial blockage.
- The first 3-D echocardiogram machine in the state.
- One of the first facilities in the state to offer Cardioseal and Amplatzer devices to treat congenital heart defects in adults.
- Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin were the first in Wisconsin to use a new retrievable IVC blood clot filter, which can be removed without surgery weeks or months after placement, reducing the risk for vessel clotting. Previous blood clot filters were permanent.
- First to acquire Aquadex™ technology allowing the removal of excess fluid in heart patients for whom diuretics no longer work.
- First cardiac ultrasound laboratory in Wisconsin to take delivery of a real-time, 3-D cardiac ultrasound system.
- Among the first in Wisconsin to use intravascular brachytherapy, a minimally invasive treatment for relieving clogged, stented heart vessels.
- Cancer patients diagnosed with previously untreatable tumors are being treated at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin with the new TomoTherapy Hi-Art System®, the latest evolution of cancer radiation therapy. Froedtert & the Medical College were among just 16 institutions in North America to install the system and the first in eastern Wisconsin.
- Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin are among the first to offer TEVAR, or thoracic endovasular artery repair, a minimally invasive procedure that uses a covered sleeve, or stent graft, to channel blood past an abnormal area of the aorta. Compared to open-chest surgery, patients experience less pain, fewer complications and a greatly reduced recovery time.
- Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin are home to the only academic Pulmonary Hypertension Program in the state, dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals affected by pulmonary hypertension.
Palliative CareThe Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Palliative Care Program was established in 1993 as the first program of its kind in Wisconsin. It remains the only such program in the state that combines clinical care, health professional education, community outreach and efforts toward institutional change — all aimed at improving care for the dying.
- One of the first hospitals in the country using an error-reduction method called Six Sigma.
- In 1997, “Rosie the Robot” makes the inpatient pharmacy the first to use robotic technology to increase speed and accuracy in filling medication orders.
- Among the nation's first medical facilities to join the 100,000 Lives Campaign, an initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Sleep DisordersThe Sleep Disorders Program at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin was the:
- First in the world to use coblation (noninvasive radiofrequency energy) to shrink lingual tonsils causing sleep apnea.
- First in the nation to treat obstructive sleep apnea with a tongue suspension suture, a simple procedure that helps keep the tongue base from collapsing during sleep.
- First in the nation to treat sleep apnea using a technique to lengthen the jaw bone.
- First in the region to treat airway obstruction using the Restore™ implant (small polyester inserts that stiffen the soft palate).
SpineCareOne of only a few in the country to perform kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to help patients suffering from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis.
StrokeIn 2004, the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Stroke and Neurovascular Program was the first program in Wisconsin and the second in the Midwest to achieve certification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.
- Reproductive specialists at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin were among the first in the state to offer new minimally invasive hysterectomy surgery that greatly reduces the traditionally long recovery period.
- In 1983, the state’s first nuclear magnetic resonance machine was made available to patients.
- Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, along with three eastern Wisconsin healthcare systems, formed a first-of-its-kind partnership to provide electronic intensive care services to five hospitals affiliated with these systems. An electronic ICU makes the services of intensive care specialists available to ICU patients through the use of remote monitoring technology.
- In 2004, the first in the world to perform patient scans using GE’s revolutionary new CT scanner, LightSpeed® volume computed tomography (VCT). In less than one second, the system creates 64 thin images as it rotates around a patient’s body. These images are combined to form a 3-D view of the anatomy for physicians to analyze. The LightSpeed VCT is able to capture images of any organ in one second, scan the whole body in less than 10 seconds, and capture images of the heart and arteries in fewer than five heartbeats — something no other CT system can offer.
For the more than 23 years, GE Healthcare has worked with Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin as the primary clinical site for the company’s CT imaging equipment. Froedtert & The Medical College have long been a leader in research and clinical application of these tools. Other “firsts” with GE include:
- In 1998, Froedtert & The Medical College were the first in the country to install a multi-slice scanner.
- In 2003, the first in the country to install a 16-slice multi-detector-row CT.
- One of the first in the world to acquire the GE Lightspeed RT, computed tomography with software that fuses PET/CT and MRI images in order to plan radiation therapy.
- One of the first in the country to offer PET/CT imaging.
- The Maternal Fetal Care Center at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin was one of the first to use four-dimensional (4D) ultrasound from GE Medical Systems. In addition to showing a fetus from all sides, 4D shows real-time movement in utero.
- The state’s first liver transplant was performed in 1983, and Wisconsin’s first liver transplant from a living donor was performed in 1999.
- The state’s first laparoscopic surgery to remove a kidney from a donor was performed in 1999.
TraumaFroedtert & The Medical College have the only adult, Level I Trauma Center in eastern Wisconsin. Trauma centers provide the most advanced and highest level of care for injured patients. Recent studies show that receiving care at a Level I Trauma Center lowers an injured patient’s risk of death by 25 percent.
Author: Marla Fraunfelder
Last Review Date: Dec. 20, 2010