ier options than beef. He also said, “If the bag crinkles when you open it, it probably isn’t good for you,” meaning processed foods are generally not good choices.

Schuldes also advises people to not give up if they are trying to do better and slip up every now and then. “I’m not very good at golf, but I know I can start over on the next hole,” he said, and people can do the same with their improved eating and exercise.

He also does some yoga and three other exercises daily, breaking them up throughout the day. He uses simple things to help him exercise—stretch bands, an exercise ball, and an exercise bike placed in front of his TV. “It just helps me feel better,” he said of exercising.

“The cost of things is going to go

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up—health care is going to go up,” he said. People can head off those costs by getting healthier now.

Spreading that message to more people has been another goal for Schuldes as he has wanted to grow the number of people ThedaCare Physicians is seeing in Hilbert. He said he would eventually like to see a second practitioner in Hilbert, but they are not quite there yet.

“Growth is still there, but it has been at a slower pace,” he said. “I think people have been conscientious on how they spend money.” Schuldes said he understands that people have to put food on their tables first, but he worries too many people are forgoing preventive health checkups and procedures such as blood pressure checks, mammograms and colonoscopies. He said it is not uncommon for those relatively simple tests to turn up something which needs attention. “We do a good job of reminding people, not beating them up about it,” he said. “I’ve been very pleased that people have been receptive.”

ThedaCare Physicians also seeks and receives feedback from patients following their visits to the clinic. “We take those messages to heart on how we can improve our care,” Schuldes said. “Are we meeting the needs of our patients?”

ThedaCare Physicians in Hilbert does several things to try to meet those needs. They can see patients as early as 7:30 a. m. every weekday, and they continue their pledge that anyone calling before 3 p. m. can be seen that same day.

Schuldes said they pride themselves on easy access and an experienced staff which does not change from year to year. That is all part of providing health care in a small community, something Schuldes said he really enjoys. “I’ve always enjoyed the stories behind the families,” he said.

When people need something beyond what the Hilbert clinic can offer, they can be assured they have some of the state’s best physicians and specialists waiting to help. ThedaCare Physicians is a group of more than 200 doctors, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners offering care at 22 locations through the Fox Valley, Shawano and Waupaca areas. Its physicians have earned national recognition from independent agencies over the years for their quality of care.

“When you need help and I make a phone call, people are quick to respond,” Schuldes said. “We’re just a piece of the puzzle.”