Medical School

Joanna Lagatta

How do you spell success? Joanne Lagatta, MD

In 1991, a 13-year-old girl from Clintonville, Wis., a town in Waupaca County (west of Green Bay), stood in the national spotlight, one of two finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She’d stood that way for the last 90 minutes, trying to become Wisconsin’s first National Spelling Bee champion in history.

Joanne Lagatta shook, just a little, as she spelled “inappetence.” She bit her lip before taking on the final word of the competition: “antipyretic.”

 “Is it coincidence that it was a medical term? Kind of,” Lagatta remembers.

Dr. Lagatta, that is. “I didn’t know yet that I would become a doctor.”

Not only did she win the National Spelling Bee, but she went on to attend medical school at MCW, and now treats the tiniest babies at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Dr. Lagatta also serves as an assistant professor of neonatology at MCW.

“I love caring for babies right here in my home state,” said Dr. Lagatta.

When Dr. Lagatta went to medical school, MCW – Green Bay didn’t yet exist. “I am proud to be a part of MCW during this exciting time for our medical school, with increasing opportunity for medical education and health care so close to where I grew up.”

Now, Dr. Lagatta is not only a practicing doctor, she’s also a researcher who teaches medical students how to care for Wisconsin’s smallest, sickest babies.

“I look forward to partnering with physicians and educators in Green Bay and Central Wisconsin, to help students across our state learn to care for sick newborns.”

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