Monthly Archives: February 2015

Relieving Pain by Being A Detective: A Conversation with Dr. Sarah Keller

As a rheumatologist, what kinds of conditions do you treat?

I specialize in the treatment of arthritis and undiagnosed pain as well as lupus and fibromyalgia. It’s not always obvious what is going on with patients who suffer from these conditions, so it’s kind of like being a detective.

How do you approach your patients?

I try to be very pragmatic, and go by the evidence. I want to help my patients get control of their symptoms. Helping relieve people’s pain is extremely rewarding. People are grateful for the relief.

Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?

My mom wanted me to be a brain surgeon, the first female pope, or the first female president. I’m really happy where I ended up.

dr keller

How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?

I love to cook. I’m addicted to Chopped and I enjoy trying my hand at international cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese. A few years ago, I became a pescatarian. Having grown up in Maryland, I especially love shellfish. We eat a lot of fresh vegetables, grains and herbs. My philosophy of cooking is to put a lot of color on the plate.

My husband and I also enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking with our daughter. We really enjoy the state parks in Door County: we love going up to Peninsula State Park and Whitefish Dunes and we live close to Potawatomi Park.

What’s the biggest health challenge you see, and how do you address it with your patients?

Obesity is the biggest health challenge, especially here in Wisconsin. It leads to conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee, and of course affects overall health. I encourage my patients to be active and exercise – it’s so important for mind and body. Sometimes people say they’re too tired to exercise, but I find it actually gives you more energy. If you force yourself, you’re halfway there. Changing into that clothing and putting your coat on, or taking your dogs out for a walk, like I do, is the best way to start.

Keep Your Heart Healthy, Deliciously

February is American Heart Month, a chance for me to remind you that keeping your heart healthy starts with what you eat. Did you know there are two types of fiber in foods, soluble and insoluble? As a dietitian here at Ministry, I like to remind my patients to do their hearts a favor and increase the amount of soluble fiber they eat…it’s been found to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Here are some surprisingly simple ways to get more soluble fiber in your diet:

  • Sprinkle oat bran or rice bran on cereal
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast
  • Choose more vegetables, such as brussel sprouts, acorn squash, broccoli, okra and eggplant
  • Use garbanzo beans, black beans or other beans in soups, casseroles and mexican dishes
  • Eat whole grain breads, cereals and pasta
  • Have hummus (bean dip) and veggies for a snack

Here’s one of my favorite soup recipes using heart-healthy barley, courtesy of Quaker Oats:

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup


      • 1/2 pound Lean Ground Beef
      • 1/2 cup chopped onion
      • 1 clove Garlic, minced
      • 7 cups Water
      • 1/2 cup Medium Quaker® Barley*
      • 1/2 cup sliced celery
      • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
      • 1/2 teaspoon basil
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 9-oz bag of frozen vegetables



In 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, brown ground beef. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is tender; drain. Add remaining ingredients except frozen vegetables. Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add frozen vegetables; cook about 10 or until vegetables are tender. Add additional water if soup becomes too thick upon standing.

Questions about a heart-healthy diet, or how to include more soluble fiber in your meals and snacks? Ask your Health Care provider for a referral to a Registered Dietitian.

-Judi Sowl, R.D., C.D., Clinical Dietitian

Ministry Plans Clinic Expansion

This April, Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) will break ground at its Sturgeon Bay facility for a clinic addition. The new clinic space will provide a more accessible and convenient clinic experience, from registration to doctor visits to radiology services.

“In the 20 years since the existing clinic was built, Ministry has grown to meet the expanding health care needs of our community,” says Jerry Worrick, CEO of MDCMC. “The new clinic space will meet increasing demand for our trusted, local primary and orthopedic care, and will also house our podiatry and diagnostic imaging services.” A new waiting and registration area, more conveniently located to the entrance, will also enhance patients’ experience.


Ministry conducted interviews with patients in the community as well as with their own staff to create a clinic design that will result in better flow and increased accessibility for patients. “What we discovered from our research is that while our quality of care was deemed very high, we needed to be better at coming to the patient to provide that care,” says Jodi Hibbard, director of clinic operations at Ministry. “Our new patient registration area will be easily accessible, and will flow directly into the patient care area.”

The clinic will expand east into the facility’s existing parking lot, and the existing footprint of Ministry’s campus will not change. Construction is slated to last about 12 months, with the new clinic opening in spring of 2016.

Door County Cancer Center Installs New Technology to Deliver Ultra-Precise Radiotherapy Treatments

The Door County Cancer Center (DCCC) is installing a new, state-of-the-art Trilogy linear accelerator with advanced imaging technology to offer patients image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). IGRT is an extremely precise form of radiation treatment that utilizes multiple imaging techniques to target tumors, resulting in faster treatments, greater patient comfort, and the potential for better outcomes.

“This state-of-the-art technology will enable us to treat patients with advanced radiotherapy techniques,” says Dr. Richard Auchter, radiation oncologist with HSHS St. Vincent Hospital who provides care to patients at the DCCC. “It provides us with tremendous versatility and precision for customizing treatments according to the specifics of each patient’s case.

Dr. Richard Auchter, radiation oncologist

Dr. Richard Auchter, radiation oncologist

The new technology performs precise imaging of the tumor and automated patient positioning, and enables clinicians to concentrate radiation doses on the tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue.  This means that high doses of radiation can be delivered quickly and with great precision. “The new accelerator also expands our ability to treat more types of cancer right here in Door County, providing cutting-edge care close to home,” adds Dr. Auchter.

Radiation therapy is used today in more than half of all cancer treatments due to its unique clinical advantages.  This new technology gives the providers at Door County Cancer Center the potential to substantially improve treatment outcomes by doing a better job of protecting healthy tissue while delivering more powerful doses to cancerous tumors.

The new linear accelerator is expected to be installed and operational by mid-April.

Experts Bring Passion, Vision to Door County Cancer Center Patients

Dr. David Groteluschen believes that cancer care has two essential elements: bringing innovative medical therapies and technologies to patients and providing social and emotional support to those experiencing the cancer journey. As a cancer expert at Green Bay Oncology, Dr. Groteluschen and his partners bring their expertise to patients at the Door County Cancer Center (DCCC), located at Ministry Door County Medical Center, every week. Groteluschen“Along with providers from St. Vincent, we bring expert cancer care to Door County so residents don’t have to travel when they’re experiencing the life-changing and stressful event of a cancer diagnosis,” he says. Not only that, but the DCCC team also brings the latest in clinical trials and the most advanced radiation technology to local patients.” Cancer care has come so far,” he adds. “And we are proud to be using the same targeted therapies and clinical trials here in Door County that patients would find at top cancer clinics around the country.” Groteluschen says that his local patients are very appreciative that they can receive cutting-edge care close to home. “They say it eliminates some of the stress, and gives them more time with family and friends, which is so important.” The Door County Cancer Center is currently installing a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator that will target radiation therapy with even greater precision, leading to more effective treatment and fewer side effects. “Recent advances in cancer technology mean that many people living with this difficult disease are able to live longer, and experience a greater quality of life,” he adds. “And quality of life is really what we are after.”