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Kenosha County Eye

Kenosha Hospital CEO Ric Schmidt Reneges On Downtown Urgent Care – Probably The Plan All Along: Opinion

Froedert South (Kenosha Medical Center) 6308 8th Avenue In Downtown Kenosha
(Photo by Google Street View)

“Our commitment to the people of Kenosha and Kenosha County as a whole is strong,” said Kenosha Hospital (Froedtert South) CEO Ric Schmidt, only four months ago. He said that the ER near downtown was closing, but offered mitigating details to provide hope to the citizens. He said there would be a 24 / 7 / 365 Urgent Care Center. Schmidt also told residents that “we’re moving forward with plans to convert underutilized space at Froedtert Kenosha Hospital to host two much-needed services: inpatient and outpatient mental health and inpatient rehabilitation.” This statement tricked many into excitement, in the face of losing a valuable emergency department when violence is rising and shootings are becoming commonplace. For example, Kenosha County Board Supervisor Andy Berg (D) said the following on September 9, 2022: “We will soon have inpatient and outpatient MENTAL HEALTH in our community. I am glad that the planets have finally aligned and that the voices of Kenosha County have been heard. Stay tuned for who the occupants will be.” He dismissed the danger of losing the ER. Here is the thing: Hospital insiders told us the mental health component hasn’t manifested. Our insider also told us that any day Schmidt will be cutting the hours in half at the Urgent Care, with no warning or advanced community notice. The Urgent Care will soon be open only 7 am to 7 pm.

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Ric Schmidt CEO Kenosha Hospital

Schmidt has gotten rich off of Kenosha Hospital, and according to online records makes about $1.4 million dollars per year. Some healthcare providers from Froedtert who spoke to KCE says Schmidt’s decisions are based solely on financial reasons, not community service. The hospital, which is in a poor part of the City, receives many Medicaid and Medicare patients and that isn’t making what the hospital wants to make. One staff member shared the following with KCE:

“The administration at the Froedert South Healthcare System can not be oblivious to this. They are choosing to turn a blind eye to the reality that they are going to create by making these changes to a community that has been loyal to them, even though this loyalty has not been reciprocated. While their mission statement includes their values of integrity, respect, accountability, and commitment, they are doing nothing to practice them. They have not been honest to the community and are showing a blatant disregard for the commitment to them. When confronted with the changes being made, they take no accountability for the negative affects they have and will have in the community that had built their business from nothing. At what point do you finally think about why you are in healthcare and stop thinking about ‘business deals’ and money?

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Tom Duncan – Former Vice President and CMO of Froedtert South

KCE has usually corresponded with Vice President Tom Duncan (D), who was also the Kenosha Unified School District Board President. We emailed Duncan and got a “bounce back” saying that he has retired effective 12/31/2022. The automatic email said to contact Nick Galich, Duncan’s apparent successor, with any questions. We did, and did not hear back. We also called and emailed Ric Schmidt. No answer.

It almost seems obvious that the plan from the start was to close down Kenosha Hospital altogether. Apparently the City of Kenosha residents were not worthy of such information. Apparently the hard-working staff at the hospital wasn’t either. We were slow-played. We were offered hope – false hope. If Schmidt had been honest with the community from the beginning, maybe a better plan could have took form with another organization. Shame on you, Ric Schmidt. The community that made you rich deserves better.

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  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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40 Responses

  1. They also lied about keeping the cath lab open to treat heart attacks for when they came in through the ER. I worked there for many years and the geriatrics that are in management need to retire.

    1. Is there any way you can send me an email with more details or call me? I will keep you completely anonymous or you can even send me more details anonymously. I would like to include these details in my publication

  2. If true, this is sad for Kenosha. It is somewhat disingenuous to refer to the eastern half of the city of Kenosha as “poor.” Remember that Schmidt previously shut down St. Catherine’s on the north side.

  3. When he creates excitement it always turns into excrement. Saddest thing that ever happened to hospitals in Kenosha is Rick Schmidt.

  4. Let’s see if the democrats fight and make a stink about this, my guess is not because it has no foresight for them to gain anything, elections are over and their probably focusing on other un needed issues within the community

      1. Way to keep up. They have control and sway In their districts. Ya know the way the left riots and cries for what they want? Must it be important to them is the point einstien

  5. Typical move by Rick Schmidt who has far too long not had the people of Kenosha first on his list. Closed old St Cats because too close to KMH and we didn’t need two that close then they build across from Aurora. Now taking the only hospital care from East side and closing it. People’s lives have been or will be lost in the critical minutes between downtown and St Cats, especially with all the road construction. He has never made a decision with our city in mind first. I can’t believe the powers that be aren’t screaming about all the non coverage on east side of Kenosha.

    1. Don’t even get me started on the comment “At what point do you finally think about why you are in healthcare and stop thinking about ‘business deals’ and money?”. Has anybody made the connection with 2020 ,2021,2022, and the healthcare system and the control they have taken along with all the money they have made through it all? It’s ALL about business and money (and control).

      Wake up folks. Nothing is about “for your health” with the healthcare system any longer. I know nurses that say you can’t trust the healthcare quality anymore, and I totally agree! You can’t find a doctor you can trust to tell you the truth and THATS coming from nurses that still work in the hospitals! Unbelievable that even after you are clearly aware that masks don’t wok you are still wearing them. It’s all about money and control. SMH

      1. I couldn’t have said it better myself!! I gave them many years of service, to only be pushed to quit. I had no alternative when your values don’t align anymore.

  6. Personally I figured sooner or later hours of the transitioned Urgent Care would change. It’s too bad though that Administration didn’t give it a year to determine what hours should be open. The seasonal activities vary and needs differ.
    The City pushes to develop the lakefront and it seems every other business pulls away. Minimal healthcare, no grocery, no general merchandise store,….. it seems the list will continue to grow, except for high price apartments with insufficient parking and disproportionate taxes paid for services provided.

    What will be next???

  7. A very poor move and not elicited by what is truly needed by the community, only what is needed to put more money into already deep pockets.

    Right before the holidays my influenza turned to pneumonia but having a child with special needs, sitting several hours at St. Catherines ER was not a choice, and I don’t utilize Aurora. However, my son’s pediatrician told me I should go to the downtown location, which I thought was closed. I definitely capitalized on this option as it seemed the quickest resort to getting diagnosed, leaving, and feeling better. By reducing hours, it further reduces my future “urgent care” needs.

    Moreover, several of my relatives utilize the downtown location because they are very nearby and have ongoing health issues. Now that this choice will be further limited by reduced hours, they too will be limited on care. Further, what is going to happen to the already overworked hospital staff and if you’re lucky to get into an “urgent care” facility, how long will it take to get “urgent care”?

    Kenosha is my hometown and I continue to see a further degradation in multiple essential aspects to prosper as a city and community. It is extremely disheartening to say the least.

  8. Schmidt’s choice (board of directors choice) to close the ER at KMH was also financially “selfish” because the city residents just paid millions to build the new fire station at 52nd and 22nd. They would not have built it at that location had Schmidt been truthful with them about closing the ER, because response times/proximity would not have worked. This increases the response times for all citizens for a rescue squad to arrive. I would have hoped Freoedtert South would have had the decency to inform the city this was happening before placing the multi-million dollar investment in the wrong location. Perhaps Froedtert south will chip in to offset the cost of another new station in the correct spot. Thanks Ric……….

    1. It wasn’t just building that fire station. It means realignment of EMS in Kenosha, Somers and, to some extent, Pleasant Prairie and could require more EMS resources.

  9. Where is worthless mayor on this, his job is is to look out for Kenosha citizens? Keep building downtown apartments with no emergency support near by? This town is out of control with corruption!!!

    1. Comical you think the mayor gives a shit about this city. When’s the last time anyone even heard from him?

    2. The mayor sits over at gateway diner spreading BS with all his sycophant cronies. Seen him there many times acting as if he thinks he’s king. Worthless punk

  10. Poor Kenosha—You have voted Democrats into office for decades as they ran K-Town into the ground.
    Poor Kenosha.

    1. You know what’s crazy though? From what a neighbor told me, the actual Kenosha County overall voted on the conservative side this year.

  11. Ask 10 people about these two men and 9 of them in my opinion/ experience will use words like arrogant, short tempered, unreasonable, insensitive, unfaithful etc. Does Kenosha really need to suffer any more community leaders like this perpetually in love with their own country club shit. No one should be surprised.

  12. Froedert has to be calling some of the shots here. Why would they be associated with Ric Schmidt if they didn’t approve? They should not be held blameless.

    1. Froedtert North has little to no say about Froedtert South. It is Froedtert in name only. Nothing else changed. They have the public believing they are part of the big system, but they are not. Sad how they so dishonest.

  13. The Kenosha Snooze woke up to this story — and how. A very scathing story. Very.

    In addition to the hit job the Kenosha News story did consider that it was just a few weeks ago that the old KMH turned into a 24/7/365 urgent care center. With even less notice it’s now only a 12-hour a day operation.

    Would you want to be staying overnight in what’s left of that hospital without physicians on duty after 7 p.m?

  14. Wake up. People will die because of Ric the dick. He doesn’t care about people just money.

  15. $1.4 million per year annual salary in Kenosha, Wisconsin is not really that good.
    Well below the community average. Shame on Froedert Hospital Kenosha and their board not taking better care of those hard working executives working like slaves daily, for the good of the community. Rick and Tom should be compensated fairly.
    Would be very interesting to peel back this rotten onion and expose how many shitbag vendors, developers, contractors and other parasites in the community profit off of the hospital. My guess is that this sewer pit is much bigger than anyone can imagine. The good thing is that the other %99 of us can still sleep well at night.

  16. God Bless you Kevin and the good work you do !!!!!!!!
    Keep fighting the good fight …… have many friend that will rush to your defense.

  17. Unfortunately, it is all finally coming to light. Nothing that done at that hospital is done for the greater good of the patients. It is for the greater good of the management team. Has anyone ever completed a family tree of these people? A family member comes along , no experience, and boom gets a management position AND goes to school which is 100% paid for by the hospital. While the nurses busting their butts working full time get $1000 a year reimbursement to go back to school! It truly used to be a great place until they lost their hearts and started to care more about money than the patients.

  18. My only comment is the fact that the Out Patient Surgery Center has been renamed (Schmidt Surgery Center) I just find that very tacky.

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