Respiratory therapists at Marshfield Medical Center Park Falls used their 30-plus years of experience to help a local dentist office continue to serve rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April of 2020, Northwoods Dentistry, which serves rural Price County in northern Wisconsin, reached out to Marshfield Medical Center Park Falls for guidance on obtaining and properly using N-95 masks to continue providing emergency dental care during the initial phase of the pandemic.
“We’d never worn N-95’s before,” said Hannah Palecek, registered dental hygienist at Northwoods Dentistry. “We weren’t sure if they were fitting properly.”
Denise Korittnig, a registered respiratory therapist, provided information that helped Northwoods Dentistry decide what masks and fit testing materials to buy. Korittnig, along with Michael Tyrrell, RRT from the Respiratory Therapy department at Marshfield Medical Center Park Falls, visited the Northwoods Dentistry Park Falls and Phillips offices to complete fit testing and train staff on how to fit test others.
“My dentist is at Northwoods,” said Korittnig. “It was actually pretty fun to be the person in the driver’s seat for change. We answered a lot of questions that day in the clinic about various things. I give them a lot of credit—they were really looking out for the community.”
As a result, Northwoods Dentistry was able to fit test every clinical employee and provide N95 masks.
“They made the training very simple,” said Dr. Mike Murphy, owner of Northwoods Dentistry. “Michael did a great job and was able to teach me how to fit test the rest of our offices.”