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New ThedaCare program reveals connection between Theda and the head of the program

Theda Clark house
Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 11:06:13-04

NEENAH (NBC 26) — ThedaCare opened its doors 113 years ago. They have announced a new program fulfilling Theda Clark’s legacy.

“We’re pleased to announce that we are creating an obstetrical emergency department and Hospitalist Program,” Lynn Detterman, Senior Vice President of ThedaCare South Region.

This program will take obstetrical care to the next level.

“Through the OB-ED, women who are more than 16 weeks pregnant would bypass our current emergency department and go directly to the obstetrical triage area,” said Detterman.

Theda Clark died just days after giving birth to her only child. Her last wish was for a hospital to be opened in Neenah.

Dr. Eric Eberts is president of Women’s Care Wisconsin & head of the Hospitalist Program.

“The irony of Theda Clark hospital when it was formed was that she left half of her fortune to start a hospital because there was no local hospital, so that you could have more immediate care,” said Dr. Eberts.

Now 113 years after they opened their doors, they’re opening another for obstetrical care.

“And finally, we’re addressing the original problem,” said Dr. Eberts.

This program will be the first of its kind for the Fox Cities.

“And I think if Theda Clark were alive today, she’d be ecstatic to cut the ribbon on opening this program because that truly is the ultimate version of what took her life,” said Dr. Eberts.

According to Dr. Eberts, the program could save lives.

“It is going to save women's lives here in the Valley. And so, I love that, this is a paradigm shift,” said Dr. Eberts.

In a bizarre twist of history, Dr. Eberts lives in Theda Clark’s old house.

“We know exactly which bedroom was hers, and her mom's, and her siblings',” said Dr. Eberts.

He feels her legacy in his home and is now bringing it to his workplace.

“This changes the game. This will have a demonstrated improvement in safety,” said Dr. Eberts.

The OB-ED and Hospitalist Program is set to begin in late summer 2023.

It's one of many ways ThedaCare is keeping Theda’s legacy alive.