Gregory Dobbins and his wife, Judy, didn’t plan to end up in Door County. But after taking early retirement, they decided to leave their native state of California for a new adventure. “We figured we’d put the house on the market and take some time to decide where to move.” When their home sold in just two days, they packed up their Subaru and fate led them to Sturgeon Bay. “We drove into town and thought it was the perfect blend of east coast and Midwest. And we decided to stay.”
The couple began volunteering and noticed many of the causes they worked for, including health events, silent sports and arts events, had ties to Ministry Door County Medical Center. “We saw immediately that Ministry was supporting so much good work in the community, and we really enjoyed the people we met who were from the hospital.”
When Gregory’s former employer folded and he lost his health insurance, he decided to go back to work. “I knew I wanted to work at Ministry, and luckily, there was a position in the Materials Management Department that was perfect for me.”
Now Gregory can be found working in the linens department, whose monthly output is nothing to sneeze at. “Last month, we processed 32,000 pounds of laundry,” he says. Gregory enjoys being “out and about” as he visits up to twenty different areas of the hospital to collect and drop off linens. “People here are friendly and really caring. Everyone smiles and says hello, and no one is better than anyone else.” He also helps with mail service, and is cross-trained to provide services to central supply, providing medical supplies and equipment throughout the hospital and clinic.
But what Gregory enjoys most about his job at Ministry is the opportunity to mentor high school students through the Door County Career Training Program. “We teach the kids about respect, and about responsibility. We talk to them about the quality and efficiency of their work. For many of them, it’s their first work experience. And I can tell that we help make a difference in their lives.”
Gregory likes sharing his knowledge of Ministry’s services and community involvements with his friends and neighbors. “I’m a Mason, and also an avid member of the Door County Pickleball Club,” he says. “A lot of people have questions about the hospital, and I like being able to answer them.” Gregory even spoke to a crowd of 2,000 at the Ministry-sponsored Wifee and the HUZZband concert at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center in July, sharing his pride in being part of Ministry’s community outreach events.
“We had a lot of people come up to the Ministry staff at the concert and thank us for all we do,” says Gregory. “It’s a great feeling to be a small part of that.”