time. When I walk into the room, I try to have that human touch. I don’t open up the computer right away to start typing.”
Chapman’s undergraduate degree, medical degree and residency were all completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So she’s used to rooting for red. But running parallel to her work as a cardiologist is her participation in the American Heart Association (AHA). As part of her work with the AHA, Chapman plans to provide a keynote address at the May 3 benefit at The Bridgewood Resort Hotel in Neenah. This year
she plans to use her time on stage to speak to a health topic she is passionate about: vaping among teens.
Chapman has spent the last two years as a member of the AHA advocacy committee, which means she and other physicians lobby state lawmakers to steer policy in a more hearthealthy direction. “I started to do this because I wanted to make statewide changes,” Chapman
said. “It’s eye-opening. You can reach so many people through policy. Enacting policy changes sounds so boring, but it’s the best way to help the most amount of people. That’s what I want to do: Reach more people.”
With about four days of meetings in Madison per year and many more Fox Valley work sessions, the group chooses which topic they’d like to
steer lawmakers to correct. “Our most recent policy changes, which I am very proud to support, have been the passing of laws requiring high school seniors be trained in CPR prior to graduation and that all 911 dispatchers be trained in coaching CPR over the phone,” Chapman said.
This year, they’re eyeing clean drinking water availability for all Wisconsin school children and addressing the dangers of teens and vaping.
With three children of her own, it’s a topic she’s anxious to tackle. Chapman and husband David have three sons: Johnathan (12), Thomas
(10) and Andrew (7). It’s a lot to juggle with such a demanding job. How does she do it all?
“I’m a superwoman,” Chapman laughs. “ ... and I have a very supportive family. You can’t do anything like this alone. They’re the best part of my life, so I just do it.”
SETTING THE EXAMPLE
Chapman spends a lot of time emphasizing activity and healthy choices for her patients. So it’s important for her and her family to practice what she preaches.
Each Sunday, Chapman sits down with her children to make a meal plan for the week. Sometimes they’ll grocery shop together, and sometimes they end up competing with each other in meal challenges that incorporate nutritious ingredients.
“We still have pizzas and ice cream like everyone, but we really do concentrate on fresh, home-cooked meals,” she said.
And to Chapman, what’s even more important than ingredients is who’s sitting at the table.
“We eat dinner together as a family even when I’m on call,” she said. “I’ll run home and have dinner before running back to the hospital. I really believe that families that eat and play together are the happiest.”
As for exercise, Chapman tells patients to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. She follows her advice and tries to squeeze a workout in before her family wakes up in the morning. She trained for and completed the 2018 Fox Cities Marathon in September – the first time she’s completed a 26.2-mile running race.
“I don’t think I’ll do another one. That was more of a bucket list experience,” Chapman said. She’d rather fold her free time into activities with her kids – from summer evening hours to vacation days.
“We do almost everything as a family,” she said. “I work so much. Why on earth would I want to take a vacation without my kids?” They spend a lot of summer nights at the baseball diamond, where all three boys play and David coaches.
And the whole family is quick to head out for water-skiing together.
Instead of purchasing a vacation home, the Chapmans have turned their Fox River waterfront property into a getaway without the effort of going anywhere. They have a dock to hop into the boat and water-ski along the river. They installed an outdoor kitchen complete with a pizza oven for warmer weather meals. They plan and tend a garden and even terraced some of their water frontage for a small vineyard. With 12 each of red and white grape plants, the operation is still in its infancy, but Chapman said eventually their setup could produce enough for about 100 bottles of wine.
“We haven’t actually bottled any of it yet ... we’re still learning how to do it all,” Chapman said. “It’s like a science experiment with testing the pH levels and adjusting things.”
A NEW VANTAGE
David, who had been in pharmaceutical/medical sales, reduced his hours last year and has now been spending most of his time helping behind the scenes as Chapman and her colleagues start a new venture.
Originally a private practice called Appleton Cardiology, the group of what is now 15 physicians were absorbed by ThedaCare in 2011. In what is the group’s 50th anniversary, Chapman said the time has come to strike out on their own again.
Beginning in April, they’ll be leaving their offices at ThedaCare and launching a private practice. Heart & Vascular of Wisconsin will open on W. Grande Market Drive in Appleton, just behind the Fox River Mall. As the physician leader for Heart & Vascular of Wisconsin, Chapman is helping lead the charge for the new facility. And David is assisting by helping set up the institute and meeting with contractors.
“As stressful as starting a new business is, I can sleep at night because what we’re doing is going to provide a wonderful service with great access,” Chapman said.
“I’m so excited about the investment in the latest and greatest cameras and technology,” Chapman said.
“We’ll be offering patients a step above what’s available in the Fox Valley.”
When the institute opens in April, the first phase will feature clinics, stress testing, diagnostics and basic procedures. By 2020, the second phase is expected to include a full surgical center allowing for heart catheter procedures and pacemaker surgeries. w
Heart & Soul: Dr. Carrie Chapman
“I get up several hours before my family in the morning so I can get as much work done as possible,” Chapman said. “Because when they’re up, I want my focus to be on the kids.”
As a cardiologist, Chapman specializes in cardiovascular imaging, which means she focuses on performing and evaluating echocardiograms, nuclear imaging and CT imaging to diagnose diseases or malfunctions of the heart. She spends about 80 hours per week reviewing patient charts, seeing patients in clinic, reviewing studies and test results and occasionally working overnight call at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center.
“Before I go into a room, I’ll review everything and have a game plan so we can have a real conversation when I sit down with them,” Chapman said. “That’s usually one of the first things I’ll ask: ‘So how are you doing?’”
Chapman’s goal is to truly get to know her patients and help them be as healthy as possible. The way she treats her patients stems from a hospital stay she had as a 9-year-old. She spent a month in traction for a badly broken arm.
“That’s where I learned compassion for patients. How little things can go a long way,” Chapman said. “I know how much it can mean for someone to hold your hand and spend a little