June 25, 2017

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Dr. Richard Wehseler and Gina Hatlestad, LPN: Working Side-by-Side in New London-Spicer for 16 Years

Dr. Richard Wehseler and Gina Hadlestad, LPN, ACMC-New London/SpicerCheering on the New London-Spicer Wildcats on a Friday night—or any night there’s a game for that matter—is a regular occurrence for Dr. Richard Wehseler. But he’s not there to cheer on his own children—they’re still a bit young for high school sports. He’s there to cheer on his nurse’s son and young patients.

“That’s what you do here,” Dr. Wehseler said. “It’s a small, tight-knit community, where we support one another.”

That can certainly be said of Dr. Wehseler and Gina Hatlestad. This August, it will have been 16 years since the pair first began working together. In that time, they’ve experienced first-hand just how lucky they are to be a part of ACMC and the New London-Spicer community.

A Special Part of the Community

“Our patients are so kind and thoughtful,” Gina said. “We get thank you notes, Christmas cards, photos and pictures colored by our youngest patients. We even get to enjoy a special goodie when a patient drops off a basket of fruit or a homemade pie. We love our patients and what we do. It’s these little gestures that show how much a patient cares about you, too, that really make your day.”

“As a community, we’ve been through a lot—some good, some bad, some very sad,” Dr. Wehseler said. “We do what we do day in and day out because we want to help people. The best part is that we also have the unique opportunity to get to know and care for our patients. We sometimes get the opportunity to watch some of our patients grow from toddlers to teens or see them get married and start their own families. We become someone our patients can count on.”

And every patient—young or old—makes an impact and leaves them with a lasting impression.

“One day we saw a young boy who was about three and a half years old. He was getting a wart removed, but he was so mad that he had to be at the clinic. As he was walking out, he looked back at me with a scowl and told me he was never coming back,” said Dr. Wehseler, laughing at the memory. “But of course he did.”

The duo agrees that it’s one of the greatest privileges to care for their patients—to be there when they’re needed most.

“One of the sweetest patients we’ve ever had was a woman who had just been diagnosed with dementia,” said Gina. “One day she came walking in to the clinic to see Dr. Wehseler and me. She was barefoot and the ground was covered in snow. She didn’t have an appointment, but she had gotten confused and knew she could come to us and we would help her.”

Supporting One Another and New London-Spicer through the YearsDr. Richard Wehseler and Gina Hadlestad, LPN, ACMC-New London/Spicer

Supporting one another—and their community—has become second nature, not only when it comes to their patients, but their lives outside of clinic as well.

“A lot has happened in the 16 years we’ve worked together. When you work as closely as we do, you learn what happens in one another’s lives—the stressors, the celebrations,” Gina said. “And you’re there for one another when those things happen.”

“But above all, we share a common goal. We’re committed to serving the people—our friends, families, neighbors—of our community. We want to give them the support they need to lead the healthiest lives possible,” said Dr. Wehseler.  “It’s humbling to see our patients out and about—whether you run into them while picking up groceries or you’re watching a patient play in a basketball game—knowing that they’ve trusted you to be part of their lives. And I’ve been lucky enough to do that with a great nurse by my side.”