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Emergency, Urgent & ExpressCare

From minor illnesses and injuries to severe trauma and emergencies—Gundersen Health System offers options to match the level of care you need.

For life-threatening illness or serious injuries, call 911 or go directly to Emergency Services.

For a non-life-threatening illness or minor injury, call your primary healthcare provider first.

If your primary care provider is unavailable or it's after regular clinic hours, go to Urgent Care (sometimes called Walk-In Care).

For common illnesses like an earache or sore throat, visit Gundersen ExpressCare (ages 2 and up).

For life-threatening illnesses or serious injuries

Call 911 or go to Emergency Services.

When your illness or injury is serious or life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go directly to Gundersen Emergency Services in La Crosse, Boscobel, Friendship, Hillsboro, Whitehall, West Union or the nearest emergency department. Gundersen Emergency Services in La Crosse is staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and is the region's highest verified trauma center.

Use Emergency Services for:

  • Chest pain/heart attack
  • Numbness or weakness on one side/stroke symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of consciousness/head injuries
  • Severe headache—sudden onset
  • Suicide attempt
  • Severe cuts
  • Alcohol or drug intoxication or overdose
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pregnancy-related problems (bleeding or abdominal pain)

For non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries 

Contact your primary doctor/provider.

Try to schedule an appointment with your regular doctor first. If possible, your doctor or another member of your Medical Home team will try to see you that day. For better service for all patients, please call to schedule an appointment. If your primary care provider is unavailable or it's after regular clinic hours urgent care or ExpressCare are options.

Go to Urgent Care

If the clinic is closed or your primary care provider is unavailable, go to Urgent Care (sometimes called Walk-In Care). You might seek urgent care for an illness or injury that's uncomfortable but not life-threatening and does not pose a significant health risk such as:

  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises
  • Skin rashes, insect bites and minor burns
  • Fever, colds and flu
  • Sore/strep throat
  • Sinus and upper respiratory infections
  • Ear pain/infection
  • Sudden back or neck pain
  • Strains and sprains
  • Urinary burning

For minor illnesses

Visit a Gundersen ExpressCare Clinic

For minor ailments, ExpressCare Clinics are easy, affordable and convenient. No appointment needed. Most services are only $64 and may be billed to insurance. For anyone ages 2 and up whether you receive your care from Gundersen or not.

ExpressCare Clinics treat:

  • Bladder/urinary tract infection (female, age 12+)
  • Cough/Bronchitis
  • Common warts (treated with acid)
  • Ear pain, infection, wax removal
  • Stomach Flu/Influenza (unable to perform test)
  • Insect/tick bites
  • Mononucleosis
  • Pink eye
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Sore/strep throat (may be sent for culture)
  • Swimmer's ear
  • Sinus/upper respiratory infections

Other services available at ExressCare (prices vary)

  • Vaccinations: flu, hepatitis B, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, meningitis, pneumococcal, Hep A & B, HPV, follow-up rabies
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Sports physicals & camp physicals
  • TB skin testing
  • Tobacco cessation

Still not sure

Call a Telephone Nurse Advisor

Gundersen Telephone Nurse Advisors can answer your questions or help you decide whether you need emergency or urgent care; if an appointment with your primary doctor is appropriate or if you can handle the problem at home with advice. This is a free service of Gundersen Health System.

Telephone Nurse Advisors
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
(608) 775-4454 or (800) 858-1050

Emergency Services in La Crosse and Gundersen Onalaska Clinic; Urgent Care are departments of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center so hospital co-pays may apply.

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Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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