Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Dr. Tom Wilson, island dentist, monitors progress as Jesse Messersmith (L)
and Paul Sefcik (background) of Patterson Dental completed
installation of new equipment Monday afternoon.

Washington Island, Wisconsin -

The island dental office has undergone a facelift, and despite the disarray of tools and equipment Monday afternoon, technicians completed the installation before the 5 p.m. ferry.  As a result, Dr. Tom Wilson arrived by ferry from Sister Bay this Tuesday morning to open his office for patient appointments.

Thanks to the many island organizations and individuals who donated toward this project, new equipment and cabinets were installed from Patterson Dental.  These items included a left/right delivery system (water, air, suction), an operatory patient chair, doctor's stool, a pivoting light post, tubing and valves.   Just prior to the arrival of the new equipment, during a routine examination, Dr. Wilson noted that the X-ray head had failed.   Timing being what it is, that, too, will be replaced within a week's time by a new unit.   Total cost, once the entire project is completed, will approach $23,000, which is the sum accumulated through donations and memorials.

Immediately following Memorial Day Monday, the dental office was closed while Town of Washington crew painted, installed new carpeting, and assisted with relocating plumbing.  Tony Young of Tony Young Electric, Inc., modified wiring to accommodate the new equipment.

Tony Young (L) and Steve Beekman
assisted with modifications early Monday
morning to receive
 new dental office equipment.
This dental office upgrade is the first major improvement in some 38 years, dating back to when Dr. Wilson began his practice on the island.  The Island Medical Memorial Fund, Inc. hopes this remodel will serve Dr. Wilson's needs in the near future, and that of his successor at such time as Dr. Wilson retires.

Island Optical Care Currently Not Available

In February, Optometrist Dr. Paul Filar of Sturgeon Bay informed the Island Memorial Medical Fund Inc. and his island patients by letter that he would not be traveling to Washington Island this summer for appointments.  His letter cited the commitment of time, travel and expense for his weekly visits here, and the need to balance his time between career and family.

It was not clear whether this was intended as a temporary break in island service, or if this would mark the end of a long, approximately 35-year, relationship begun by Dr. Filar's predecessor and former partner, Dr. Richard Weisner.

Dr. Filar wrote that "...it is very hard for me to take a break from this service - I do not like to disappoint people."   He also stated "...at this point, this decision only extends to this summer; we will see what the future holds.  Thank you very much for all of your support over the years, and I hope to continue to maintain a positive working relationship with you."

In lieu of traveling to the island to see patients, Dr. Filar has offered several benefits for island patients who wish to have eye care appointments through his Sturgeon Bay clinic.

Following discussion regarding Dr. Filar's letter, and noting the many years of providing consistent, supportive eye care for the island, and while not wishing to close the door on the possibility that his service might be reinstated, the Island Memorial Medical Fund committee did opt to find a replacement for continuation of service as being the best possible outcome for island patients.

Finding a new provider for island eye care would be challenging, it was acknowledged, but the Committee wishes nevertheless to open the door to possibilities.   If there should be knowledge of a professional who might fill this need, please contact any of the following members of the Island Memorial Medical Fund:   Marlene Mann;  Joan Blair;  Charlotte Hansen; Leon Shellswick;  Dick Purinton, as well as the Town of Washington.

 -  Dick Purinton

1 comment:

lasik eye surgery raleigh nc said...

Kudos to Dr. Filar for his decades of service. While losing him for more than the summer is sad to hear, I’m sure there are lots of other eye doctors who will open their arms to help. Allow me to recommend the fantastic Dr. Alan Carlson at the Duke Eye Center in North Carolina, his expertise in the field is unrivalled.