A colonoscopy never tops anyone’s to-do list as a favorite activity. However, when local patients John Acker and Pete Evans were diagnosed with colon cancer after undergoing the routine procedure, they were grateful to have caught their cancer in the early stages. They were also glad that the Door County Cancer Center at Ministry Door County Medical Center could offer them state-of-the-art cancer care in a local setting.
Acker is an active 80-year-old who still reports to work as CEO of Therma-Tron-X, Inc. three days a week. When his routine colonoscopy with Dr. Kurt Scheer of Lake Side Surgical Associates looked suspicious, he quickly sought care at the Door County Cancer Center. In addition to surgery with Dr. Scheer, Acker was cared for by Dr. Anthony Jaslowski of Green Bay Oncology. Green Bay Oncology and Radiation Oncology Specialists of Green Bay partner with the St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center to offer patient care right on Ministry’s main campus in Sturgeon Bay.
One year later, Acker is cancer free, and still reporting to work and enjoying life in Sturgeon Bay. “You couldn’t find a more caring bunch of nurses, doctors and receptionists than at the Door County Cancer Center,” says Acker. “And it’s such a convenience having such high quality of care right here in Sturgeon Bay.”
Pete Evans of Sister Bay was prompted to begin routine colonoscopies when his older brother was diagnosed with precancerous spots on his colon. Now 64, Evans was diagnosed with colon cancer after what was only his third colonoscopy with Dr. Shaun Melarvie. He too sought care at the Door County Cancer Center. “My oncologist, Dr. Mitch Winkler of Green Bay Oncology, was just fantastic,” says Evans. “And when I was in the hospital at Ministry Door County Medical Center after my surgery, the care I received was really something. Even the hospital administrators came in to check on me, to see if my stay was going well, and to ask if there was anything I needed. I think that says a lot.”
Two years later, Evans is healthy and enjoying retirement, finding time to play his guitar and mandolin. “We’re so lucky to have the Door County Cancer Center right here,” he says. “It’s excellent care, and when you’re going through a cancer diagnosis, it means so much to have it right here at home.”
On Saturday, October 18, 2014, Shop and Dine Day will help raise money for The Healing Project, a program that provides free integrative health care services to men and women in Door County who are living with cancer.
Shop and Dine Day is sponsored by Ministry Door County Medical Center, The Community Clinic of Door County, and the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center. Local businesses pledge to donate 10% or more of their sales on the day to provide services to local cancer patients including counseling, massage, therapeutic yoga, acupuncture, and healing touch therapy.
Local businesses participating in this year’s event are: Bliss, Bluefront Cafe, Child’s Play, Cornucopia, Door County Eye Associates, Door County Hardware, the Draft Haus, Glas, the Madison Avenue Wine Shop, Monticello on Jefferson, On Deck, Saguaro Day Spa, Scaturo’s Baking Company and Cafe, Sherry’s Hallmark, Sonny’s Pizza, T. Simon Jewelers, The Clippers Mate, Wilkins & Olander, The Hairapist is IN, and the Alley Katz Boutique.
We hope to see you out and about on October 18!
Southern Door Schools superintendent Patti Vickman knows that learning begins with health. That’s why she helped build a partnership with Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Occupational Health Department that brings a school nurse and other support services to the school. “Ministry is a trusted, local source for health care, and through partnering with them, we get access to so many other resources,” she says. “The bottom line is, they’re helping our students learn and achieve.”
Registered nurse Aprill Soto leads the partnership between Ministry’s Occupational Health Department and Southern Door by overseeing care plans for children and providing health information to staff. There is also a licensed LPN is at the school daily, administering medication and handling students’ immediate health needs, and Ministry pediatrician Dr. Amy Fogerty serves as medial director for the school. “We also work with the lunch staff to keep children with food allergies safe, and monitor children’s records to make sure immunizations are up to date,” says Vicki Zenz LeFevre, manager of Occupational Health and Wellness at Ministry.
The school nurse program is just one way that Ministry’s Occupational Health Program is caring for people at Southern Door Schools. “This fall, we’re busy providing new teacher and bus driver physicals, to make sure they’re ready to care for the children,” says Zenz LeFevre. Ministry provides vaccines for staff, as well as pre-employment screenings. Ministry also works closely with Door County Public Health to curtail disease outbreaks, such as the outbreak of pertussis that occurred in 2013.
Southern Door Schools are one of many Door County businesses that benefit from Ministry’s Occupational Health facility, located just across the street from Ministry’s main campus on 16th Place in Sturgeon Bay. “The goal of occupational health is to keep people – including students – safe, healthy and productive,” says Matt Luders, health and wellness executive at Ministry. “It’s a benefit to employers as well as employees.”
Lake Side Surgical Associates and Ministry Door County Medical Center are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Gwenn Pavlovitz to their general surgery team. “In response to community need and patient requests, we have been searching for a surgeon who specializes in breast surgery, and we’re thrilled to have found a surgeon with the outstanding qualifications of Dr. Pavlovitz,” says Mike Herlache, administrator of Lake Side Surgical Associates. “Her skills will complement our team of experienced surgeons, Dr. Melarvie and Dr. Scheer, and her specialization will ensure that local residents can get expert breast surgical care right here in Door County.”
Ministry’s chief nursing officer, Jody Boes, RN, says that Dr. Pavlovitz will add to the experience of patients at the Door County Cancer Center at Ministry. “When a women receives a breast cancer diagnosis, it can be devastating, and you can feel lost. It’s so important to have options. Dr. Pavlovitz brings expertise, compassion and dedication to women who choose breast surgery, adding to an already outstanding general surgery team.”
Dr. Pavlovitz has more than 30 years of experience in general surgery and breast surgery. She served patients in Milwaukee through Aurora Advanced Healthcare, as well as working as a clinical instructor in surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. As a surgeon at Lake Side Surgical Associates, she will have surgical privileges at Ministry Door County Medical Center, and serve as part of the integrated Door County Cancer Center facility.
“It’s so important to see the whole person through the journey of diagnosis and surgery,” says Pavlovitz. “Cancer patients see so many providers throughout their medical journey, and I enjoy being there throughout the process, to provide thorough follow up and appropriate care.”
Dr. Pavlovitz will perform image-guided breast biopsy, breast cancer surgery and a full complement of general surgery procedures beginning in October. “I am looking forward to joining Dr. Melarvie and Dr. Scheer to provide the best care possible to local patients,” says Pavlovitz.