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Amanda Nelson (left), chief therapist at the Radiation Therapy Center of Western Wisconsin, shows off a radiation therapy machine to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) during their tour of the Western Wisconsin Cancer Center on Friday, April 11. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Governor tours Western Wisconsin Cancer Center

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visited New Richmond on Friday, April 11, to meet with members of the community and tour the Western Wisconsin Cancer Center.

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Walker arrived just after 2 p.m. and was whisked to a conference room where he met privately for a short time with State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), New Richmond Mayor Fred Horne, New Richmond City Administrator Mike Darrow and a few other key members of the community.

After emerging, Jackie Nelson, director of Oncology Services at the Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin, led the governor and his entourage on a tour of the facility showing off the facility’s high-tech equipment while explaining the center’s cooperative approach.

The center, through a collaboration among six area hospitals, offers cancer care in Amery, Baldwin, Hudson, New Richmond, Osceola and St. Croix Falls.

During the tour, Walker took time to chat with Cancer Center staff members as they showed him equipment or explained the center’s services. At one point he even shared some personal stories about his family’s struggles with cancer and how treatment gave them additional time together.

After the tour, Walker addressed a gathering of staff from Westfields Hospital as well as the Cancer Center.

“I appreciate the tour, but more importantly, I appreciate the vision to have this kind of collaboration between health care providers in northwest Wisconsin,” Walker said. “It’s something that can be aspired to not only elsewhere in health care, but in government and everywhere else in life, and we appreciate that very much.”

The governor’s remarks touched on oral chemotherapy legislation he signed into law earlier this month that was designed to lower the cost of chemotherapy pills. He also touted Harsdorf’s work on the state budget and tied health care to the economy by linking it as a vital part of a healthy environment to create jobs.

“Part of the reason I came by here today is to see that,” Walker said. “I think it’s a tremendous asset, not only to the individual citizens here, which is first and foremost of importance in terms of quality of life, but also in terms of as you look to grow jobs and opportunity in this part of the state. Having this type of quality health care this close and accessible to where people are at really makes a key difference.

Walker closed his remarks by thanking the caregivers.

“You are, in no small way, miracle workers in terms of helping people overcome diseases like cancer as well as helping provide the comfort and courage people need to tackle that and other acute diseases out there,” Walker said. “Thank you for what you do every day.”

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley joined RiverTown Multimedia in July 2013 and serves as editor at the New Richmond News. In the past he has worked at several news outlets including Patch.com in Hudson, Wis., the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. He began his career as a Marine Corps journalist. He served as a reporter and photographer in Okinawa, Japan, and editor of the base newspaper at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
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