The Volunteers of Prairie Ridge Health 37th Annual Lights of Love will take place Monday, December 6 at 4:30 p.m. at Prairie Ridge Health, 1515 Park Avenue in Columbus.

The event will be available for viewing via Facebook Live. The memorial and honorarium program provides community members an opportunity to remember those they have lost or to show appreciation for family and friends through the purchase of a light in their memory or honor. White lights represent those being remembered and colored lights represent those being honored. Blue lights honor members of the United States Military, or a loved one living overseas.

Funds from the event will be used to purchase equipment for the PRH Lifeline program and the PRH Hunger Care food distribution program. Lifeline is a home emergency response system used by residents in the hospital’s service area. Lifeline enables elderly, handicapped or medically-fragile persons to live in­dependently, while assuring them that if they need help quickly, it will be available to them at the press of a button.

The PRH Hunger Care Program provides heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly food to food insecure individuals in the hospital’s service area. Eligible recipients are screened for food insecurity, diabetes, and heart health conditions. Recipes using items in the food package are provided each month and the Prairie Ridge Health nutrition team is available by phone to answer any questions about how to use ingredients.

“On average, 1 in 8 people in Wisconsin are food insecure, meaning that in the past 12 months they were worried food would run out before having money to buy more or the food they purchase did not last and they did not have the money to buy more food,” explained Rachel Selm, RDN, CD, Clinical and Community Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. “Poor nutrition can lead to nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, and an increase of health concerns, such as high blood sugar, heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression, lowered immune function, dizziness/falls, and poor overall health.”

If you would like to contribute to this year’s Lights of Love, mail your donation and list of names in memory or honor of to: Lights of Love, c/o Prairie Ridge Health, 1515 Park Avenue, Columbus, WI 53925.  A minimum gift of $5.00 per light per person is appreciated. Checks should be made payable to the Vol of PRH Lights of Love. Donations will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2022. A printed listing of those being honored and remembered will be distributed.

Donation forms are available by clicking on this link LIGHTS OF LOVE 2021 DONATION FORM or calling 920-623-1280.

The Partners of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) bestowed two awards to the Volunteers of Prairie Ridge Health and John Russell, President and CEO of Prairie Ridge Health (PRH), during the organization’s virtual state convention Oct. 5 and 6.

The Volunteers of PRH received the Partners of WHA 2021 Wisconsin Award for Volunteer Excellence in Community Outreach and Collaboration in recognition of their innovation, creativity, and leadership in the PRH Hunger Care Program.

In July of 2019, PRH and the Volunteers of PRH partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to provide heart healthy and diabetes friendly food to food insecure individuals in the hospital’s service area. Eligible recipients are screened for food insecurity, diabetes, and heart health conditions. Recipes using items in the food package are provided each month and the Prairie Ridge Health nutrition team is available by phone to answer any questions about how to use ingredients.

Without likelihood of funding from SHFB in 2021, the Volunteers of PRH secured funding for the Hunger Care program through their annual Lights of Love.  In addition, the Volunteers of PRH assist in organizing and packaging produce for pick up, staff the monthly pick-up day at the hospital, help load the food into the vehicles, and coordinated a drive thru pick up during COVID-19 to ensure the families received the support they needed.

“The COVID-19 pandemic required creative and quick thinking to secure funding, and to ensure a no-contact distribution to decrease the risk of potential transmission. The volunteers were instrumental not only in providing funding, but in coordinating the drive-thru plan for the program.” said Rachel Selm, RDN, CD, Clinical and Community Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Pictured are Patti Walker, PRH Community Relations and Volunteer Coordinator, John Marks, Hunger Care Program volunteer, Rachel Selm, RDN, CD, Hunger Care Program Coordinator, Hunger Care Program volunteers Darlene Marks, Chris Schleicher and Jerry Schleicher, and John Russell, PRH President and CEO.

John Russell was nominated by the Volunteers of PRH and named the recipient of the Partners of WHA 2021 Best of the Best Administrative Award, honoring one top, on-site administrator of a Wisconsin hospital who demonstrates a cooperative, supportive, enthusiastic, and well-defined relationship with the hospital’s volunteer organization.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic our administrator wrote letters to our volunteers every few months. These letters were mailed directly to each member of our volunteer organization,” said Jolene Gill, Volunteers of PRH Chairperson. “Because there was no face-to-face contact available at that time, it kept our volunteers informed as to the decisions being made and processes taking place at the hospital. Being included as a part of the organization during a time when many of us felt alone meant so much to all of us. It was through this communication, that our volunteers were brought back to the hospital slowly beginning in June 2020 and a new greeter position at our main entrance evolved.”

Pictured are Patti Walker, PRH Community Relations and Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Lauersdorf, PRH Volunteer and Partners of WHA Southern District President, PRH Volunteers Carol Black and Bobbi Schaefer, John Russell, Bonnie Webb, Volunteers of PRH 2nd Vice President, Diane Dhein, Volunteers of PRH Past President, Andrea Tamminga, Volunteers of PRH Treasurer, and Sherry Jelic, Volunteers of PRH Community Health Education Chair.



lets talk header


Prairie Ridge Health and the UW Carbone Cancer Center are seeking your help!  Together we are asking the women of our community to share your views about mammograms to help us understand what is preventing rural women from having mammograms.  By completing this 8-minute survey, you will help us save lives.

One in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, with 90% of them having no family history.  Early detection is our best fight against breast cancer, yet women in rural communities have lagged behind the state and national average when it comes to getting screened.  For example, in Columbia County, only 39% of eligible women receive their yearly recommended mammogram compared to the state average of 50%.  Help us learn how to educate the community, promote Breast Health and protect the lives of your sister, daughter, mother, grandmother and friends.

Thank you for your valuable feedback.

Thank you for your help in completing this survey (survey consent and link can be found below). If you have already completed a paper/mailed copy of this survey and sent it in, please do not complete the electronic survey. 

Consent Form                           Survey

In addition, if you would like to be a part of an upcoming focus group regarding women in rural communities and mammography, please complete the form below.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Michelle Bryan, MD, a new Family Practice with Obstetrics provider at Prairie Ridge Health in Columbus, originally intended to be an English teacher or a journalist.  

After graduating high school in the Chicago suburbs she attended the University of Illinois where her career choice changed quickly. “I took a psychology course and loved it,” said Dr. Bryan. “I studied psychology and also took courses in neurosciences. I went to my guidance counselor and decided to focus on neurology.”

She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and her MD from Rush University College of Medicine. She then had the opportunity to work with an Internal Medicine physician. “He taught me the importance of building a relationship with your patients,” Dr. Bryan said.  “After that, I decided to practice Family Medicine.”

It was at the University of Michigan during her residency in Family Medicine, where she met her husband Jake, who is also a physician. In 2012, the couple moved to Wisconsin and started a family. They have two children.

Dr. Bryan joined the team of physicians at Prairie Ridge Health in Columbus March 1. “I enjoy the opportunity to get to know my patients,” she said. “I like the breadth of the specialty. There is a lot of variety. I especially like delivering and taking care of both mom and baby.”

She received international medicine experience at Virika Hospital in Fort Portal, Uganda as one of two residents selected to develop and implement sustainable neonatal resuscitation protocol for the urban hospital.

Dr. Bryan values family time and being a mom. During the past year she, just like others, struggled with the stress of school and daycare for her children and other things as a result of the pandemic. Dr. Bryan encourages women to advocate for themselves during this time and remember to practice good self-care. “As caregivers, we are accustomed to putting the needs of others before our own, but it’s important to take care of yourself. I was proactive about identifying an experience that worked well for my family and I a.m. so excited to be here at Prairie Ridge Health.”

She is a member of the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Her medical interests include medical informatics, obstetrics, hospice and palliative care, preventative health, patient education, and primary care advocacy. In addition, she was a recipient of the UW Health Patient and Family Experience Award and a UW Health Physician Excellence “Rising Star” Award Nominee.

 "What I love about being a physician is the relationships that I can have with patients," said Dr. Bryan. "I really value medicine as a relationship-based practice, not a transaction. I think it’s imperative for patients to find a doctor that fits well with them, because your doctor’s going to be your advocate.”

Call 920-623-2200 to schedule with Dr. Bryan.

IMG950300.jpg - 89.14 kB

We are excited to announce we broke ground on the NEW Beaver Dam Clinic Location on Wednesday, April 14th! 

The new clinic is located at 134 Corporate Drive, just off of Hwy 151, near Exit 134, approaching East Industrial Drive. The clinic is scheduled to take about 10 months to complete, making a tentative grand opening date for early 2022. 

The new clinic will house the same services and team members that are in the current location (on Maple Ave in Beaver Dam):
• Family Medicine
• General Surgery
• Clinical Nutrition and Diabetes Services
• Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBGYN) - NEW TO BEAVER DAM CLINIC STARTING JULY 8, 2021!
• Rehabilitation Services: Physical, Sports, and Occupational Therapy

Beaver Dam Clinic Providers 

Stop the COVID Spread! Coalition:
 “The Fight’s Not Over Yet”

Coalition launches new ad campaign promoting continued use of face masks, social distancing and hand washing as key measures in the fight against COVID-19

Madison, WI -- The statewide coalition to combat the spread of COVID-19 launched a new ad campaign today calling on Wisconsinites to stay vigilant in the effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The ad campaign that will broadcast statewide on digital and broadcast media stresses the importance of wearing face masks, washing hands regularly, and continuing to practice social distancing as key, simple measures in the fight against the global pandemic.

“This past year, Wisconsin came together to take on COVID-19. Our frontline workers, businesses, and communities stepped up. And you are doing your part,” says the narrator in the ad. “We will stop the spread, but the fight’s not over yet. As many await vaccines, and our health care heroes battle new strains, we can’t let our guard down now.”

The launch of the Stop the Covid Spread! coalition’s public education announcement comes amidst a trend of falling COVID-19 cases, which could create a false sense of security. New strains of the virus that appear to be both more transmissible and potentially more deadly are spreading worldwide. Vaccine distribution in the state is also being hampered by a shortage of supply from the federal government, meaning much of the state’s vaccination capacity is being underutilized. By continuing to practice safe behaviors, including wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands, we not only stop the spread, we save lives.

“Given the current pace of vaccination in Wisconsin, it will take some time for the vaccine to take hold in the state,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “And regardless of the political debates taking place in Madison, masks and other mitigation behaviors are critical factors in our COVID-19 fight. We’ve made great progress, and the health care community is very thankful for all that Wisconsin has done to slow COVID down, but we need to keep at it - mask up, maintain social distance, and wash hands.”

Since its launch in October, the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition has advanced an aggressive campaign encouraging the use of crucial safety measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coalition messaging has included public education announcements featuring a wide range of Wisconsin voices, including frontline health care workers from health systems throughout Wisconsin, members of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Congressman Mark Pocan, and UW System President Tommy Thompson, many of whom appear in the most recent ad.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work and sacrifice that Wisconsinites have made over the past year, from the frontline workers in so many critical industries to the doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel fighting this virus on a daily basis,” said Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “It is time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We must continue to wear a mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing.”

The “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition currently includes more than 135 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations. Notable coalition members include the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers, and representatives of local governments, chambers of commerce, and visitors bureaus from every corner of the state. The organizations have joined together with a shared goal of furthering public education about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin and the critical need for preventative measures. A full list of member organizations is below.

You can watch the new video at:

You can watch the full video series here:


Thank you to these associations for coming together! The  growing coalition is currently made up of the following organizations:
  • Wisconsin Hospital Association, CO-CHAIR
  • Wisconsin Counties Association, CO-CHAIR
  • Wisconsin Grocers Association, CO-CHAIR
  • Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), CO-CHAIR
  • Wisconsin Restaurant Association, CO-CHAIR
  • Adams County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
  • Alliance of Health Insurers
  • Arts Wisconsin
  • Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Associated Builders & Contractors of Wisconsin
  • Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers, Inc.
  • Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions
  • Badger Bay Management Company
  • Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau
  • Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce
  • BioForward Wisconsin
  • Brown County Medical Society (BCMS)
  • Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
  • Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce
  • Deforest Windsor Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Destination Madison
  • Destination Wisconsin
  • Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Center, Inc.
  • Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Forward Janesville, Inc.
  • Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Fox West Chamber of Commerce
  • Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Green Bay Chamber
  • Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc.
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce
  • Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
  • Jefferson Chamber of Commerce
  • Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce
  • LeadingAge Wisconsin
  • League of Municipalities
  • Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Medical Society of Milwaukee County
  • Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce
  • Mequon-Thiensville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Metastar
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
  • Middleton Chamber of Commerce
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Monona East Side Business Alliance
  • Monroe Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Mosinee Area Chamber of Commerce
  • New Berlin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
  • New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
  • Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
  • Park Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin
  • Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Portage County Business Council
  • Pulaski Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce
  • Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
  • Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce
  • Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce
  • Skiing Wisconsin
  • St. Germain Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Stoughton Chamber of Commerce
  • Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce
  • The Arc Wisconsin
  • The Chamber of Manitowoc County
  • Tomah Chamber & Visitors Center
  • United Way Wisconsin
  • UW System
  • VISIT Lake Geneva
  • Visit Milwaukee
  • WAMD-Wisconsin Association of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
  • Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Waukesha County Medical Society
  • Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Waushara Area Chamber of Commerce
  • West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Whitewater Chamber of Commerce
  • Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians
  • Wisconsin Assisted Living Association
  • Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care
  • Wisconsin Association for Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Wisconsin Association of Health Plans
  • Wisconsin Association of Local Health Department and Boards (WALHDAB)
  • Wisconsin Association of School Administrators
  • Wisconsin Association of Surgery Centers, Inc.
  • Wisconsin Bankers Association
  • Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
  • Wisconsin Builders Association
  • Wisconsin Cancer Collaborative
  • Wisconsin Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Wisconsin Credit Union League
  • Wisconsin Dental Association
  • Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council
  • Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association
  • Wisconsin Health Care Association / Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living
  • Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum
  • Wisconsin Healthcare Human Resources Association (WisHHRA)
  • Wisconsin Immunization Advocacy Coalition
  • Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
  • Wisconsin Literacy/Wisconsin Health Literacy
  • Wisconsin Medical Society
  • Wisconsin Office of Rural Health
  • Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Leaders
  • Wisconsin Orthopaedic Society (WOS)
  • Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
  • Wisconsin Propane Gas Association
  • Wisconsin Psychiatric Association
  • Wisconsin Public Health Association
  • Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Wisconsin Safety Council
  • Wisconsin Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association
  • Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association
  • Wisconsin Swimming
  • Wisconsin Technology Council
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association
  • Wisconsin Utilities Association

For more information about the Stop the Spread coalition and the importance of safe behaviors for both public and state economic health, visit

COVID-19 Local Data
What you need to know about COVID
What we are doing about COVID
What's Happening at Prairie Ridge Health
FREE COVID-19 Testing in Columbia, Dane, and Dodge Counties
Watch COVID Videos - #LetsGoWI and #StopTheCOVIDSpread