News: Spencer – National Nurses Week (Nurse Luepke - 1975)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Luepke, Gennett

----Source: Tribune Record Gleaner (Loyal, Clark Co., WI) 2/13/1975

Spencer – National Nurses Week (Nurse Luepke – February 10 - 16 1975)

Mingling with Mary (By Mary Woods)

Mrs. Luepke, public health nurse, conducts a hearing test on one of the students at the Spencer Elementary School, Patrick Gennett.

For every week in the year it seems that some group or special organization is honored for their contributions of our society, and the week of Feb. 10-16 is no different, and has been named “National Nurses Week.” To honor the many nurses in our community a look at one involved in Public Health Nursing is the topic for this week’s column. From Spencer and involved in such a program is Mrs. Elroy (Eunice) Luepke.

As one of 11 nurses employed by the Marathon County Unit, Mrs. Luepke is assigned to the Village and Township of Spencer. She began her employment in August of 1974, and at the present time averages 30 – 35 hours of work a week. Commenting on why she began as a Public Health Nurse, she states that she had worked in the Pediatrics Department of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield for 12 years prior to the purchase of the Gambles Store in Spencer, at which time she left the nursing field to work with her husband. The store was sold only a year ago and since then her husband has taken over Luepke’s Gift in Spencer, but she is able to return to the nursing field. She received her nursing degree from Luther Hospital School of Nursing in Eau Claire.

Explaining the purpose and goals of the Public Health Nursing Services, Mrs. Luepke said, “We strive for prevention rather than progression in our services. By this I mean that we are unlike the hospital where the illness has already occurred, with curing and healing being the goals.”

As for the type of services that are provided, a numerous list could be printed. As for home visits, Mrs. Luepke deals with general health counseling to assist the family and physician in the promotion of health and prevention of disease, diet instruction, expectant parents, handicapped children, and demonstration of home nursing care procedures.

On the school level, she involves herself with immunization clinics, pre-school “Round-ups”, health guidance, and vision, and hearing screening programs. Scheduled to visit the school weekly, Mrs. Luepke notes that she works with the teachers and parents in the understanding of health problems, and answers any questions that are presented to her.

On the community level, she involves herself with the county-wide nutritional program, which has one of many sites located in Spencer three days a week, at which times she attends one of the meals, and checks blood pressures, and refers those who she believes should have medical attention to the proper physicians. Numerous programs, planning classes, movies, and talks, are also provided by Mrs. Luepke as part of her community service.

Another aspect of Public Health Nurse is the home nursing care. This portion of the services deals with the caring of individuals who need home care, after the patient’s physician has ordered such care. Mrs. Luepke states that now she has two home care calls that she makes. The nursing care program involves such help as bed baths, enemas, catheter care, dressings, injections, irrigations, exercises, guidance, and instruction regarding medications, nutrition, and self-care. Arrangements for services of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and male orderly are available, when required. The program also provides home health-aids who work in conjunction with the Public Health Nurse and she gives personal care and some household assistance.

Unlike the Public Health Nursing Services, the home nursing care program involves a fee. Such fees are charged upon the family’s ability to pay, but no one is refused care because of inability to pay. Payments of fees may be arranged through Medicare, Medical Assistance, private insurance companies, and families.

Both the Public Health Nursing Services, and the home nursing care program are available to all residents of Marathon County, excluding the Greater Wausau area. The services are provided upon request to mrs. Luepke or the main office in Wausau. Anyone may request the services, including teachers, friends of the family needing health services, etc.

For Mrs. Luepke helping prevent illness and caring for those who have suffered is very rewarding. The outcome may not be noted immediately, but the long-range plans, and efforts are, and will continue to be not only an asset to the Spencer area, but the entire community which she works around.

And so, to Mrs. Luepke and all the other individuals involved in the nursing field, our support and “Thanks” goes out to them for their dedication, and concern to all individuals.



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