Monthly Archives: October 2015

Krista Keck: Expertise and Experience

Krista Keck is a physical therapist at Ministry’s Sister Bay Rehab Clinic. Read more about Krista’s interests and love for her job.

You’re a very experienced therapist. Tell us about your career.

I have more than 25 years experience as a therapist. I have special training in neurology, helping people with vestibular issues, dizziness and balance. There are so many reasons people can experience dizziness. Some need medication, others can be treated with physical therapy. It’s very fulfilling to be able to help people manage or overcome these issues.


Why do you enjoy working at the Sister Bay Clinic?

Like many Door County residents, I developed a love for this area by visiting here. My parents honeymooned in Door County! I love that we can treat all kinds of patients here for issues as varied as stroke, post-surgery, injury or therapy following cancer treatment or heart surgery. We work with everyone from high school athletes to our geriatric patients at Scandia.

What keeps you interested in your work?

It’s funny, after working as a therapist for many years, I got into health care administration for a while. It was okay, but I really wanted to get back to working with patients. It’s really all about the people.

To make an appointment at the Sister Bay Rehab Clinic, call (920) 854-4111.





Jenn Gaddes: A Sense of Community

Jenn Gaddes works as a physical therapist at Ministry’s Sister Bay Rehab Clinic in the Northern Door community where she grew up. Read more about Jenn and her approach to care.

Tell us about your practice.

I’ve been working as a physical therapist for Ministry since 2003. I provide all types of therapy, but I have a doctoral degree with specialties in balance and vertigo, as well as women’s care. This can include incontinence, pelvic pain and post-pregnancy issues. I help women build that strength in their pelvic muscles, which is strongly connected to back and hip health. I really enjoy working with women of a variety of ages, and with all of my patients.

GADDES_JENNIFERYou also work with athletes. What are some of their physical therapy needs?

I do a lot of work with running-related injuries. After an injury, your cardiovascular system may recover quickly, but your musculoskeletal system often needs more time. I help runners with a “return to running” plan including alternating running and walking, and planning days off. I also help them with strategies and exercises that can help prevent future injuries.

What’s the most fulfilling thing about your work as a physical therapist?

Physical therapy is just an amazing job. You get to know people because you see them several days a week. I provide support and knowledge to my patients, and then I get to see them deal with their challenges successfully. When they improve and reach their goals, it feels good.

You grew up in Sister Bay, and chose to return here to live and work. Why?

Northern Door has such a great sense of community. People take care of each other with everything from going to the grocery store for a friend, to providing transportation for a neighbor to get to an appointment. We see a lot of people pulling together when others are having a tough time. It feels good to be working in a community like that.

To make an appointment at the Sister Bay Rehab Clinic, call (920) 854-4111.

Dawn Lewen: It’s the Relationships

Dawn Lewen, physical therapy assistant, provides therapy at Ministry’s Sister Bay Rehab Clinic. Learn more about what makes Dawn tick.

You started your career in a large metropolitan area. What’s different about practicing here in Sister Bay?

In large cities, most therapists have one area of specialty. I specialized in assisting post-surgical patients and working with orthopedics patients. But here, we do everything, and we do it really well. I work in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) at Scandia, and I also travel around the community to provide home health services. It’s great to be able to have a variety of skills and help patients with a variety of issues.


Tell us about your work at Scandia.

Ministry’s Sister Bay staff provides physical therapy care at Scandia/Good Samaritan. It can be a little confusing because some people think we’re Scandia employees. Actually, we’re proud to be expert therapists at Ministry and we love our partnership with Scandia. At the SNF I work with a lot of patients who need short term care – people who’ve had knee or hip replacements who come here to get a head start on their rehab, or folks who are post surgery or post illness. I work with them on their mobility – being able to transfer in and out of bed, walking, stair climbing. It’s gratifying to work with patients to figure out what their challenges will be at home, and help them overcome those challenges.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

It’s the relationships you develop. There are so many patients at the SNF that I’ve enjoyed working with. I worked with a lady who had a significant condition that was slow-healing. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever recover. But she did. I remember that day she was first able to take some steps. She surprised everybody, especially herself. Now she’s home, and she’s doing well.

What sets Ministry’s rehab care apart?

We can see a patient through the whole process from the hospital, to the SNF, and to outpatient care and home health. We’ve also got great communication – we call that the “continuum of care” where we are checking in with doctors and other therapists to keep each other informed on a patient’s needs and progress. Also, it’s great that we’re community based. When I say goodbye to a patient, we’ll say, “See you at the Pig!” I see my patients out in the community all the time. I like it because it helps me identify more personally with my patients. This community has a lot of really good people.

To make an appointment at the Sister Bay Rehab Clinic, call (920) 854-4111.

Erin Shortall: Supporting the Hospital and the Community

Erin Shortall, Communication and Marketing Specialist, has seen a lot of changes during her 14 years working at Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC). “When I first started here as a part time assistant in Marketing, it was a small department. Now, with health care’s increased emphasis on prevention and education, we do so much more in terms of providing health opportunities for the community.”

Erin enjoys her work because no two days are ever the same. “My job is to be a support to other staff here. Our department meets the needs of every single other department in the hospital.” On any given day, you can find Erin organizing health presentations for a local church group, placing ads for Ministry’s “Living Room” educational series in the newspaper, helping fulfill sponsorship requests from local non-profit organizations, or developing ideas to grow Ministry’s orthopedic service line. “Every day brings new challenges and new rewards,” she says.


“I especially love being involved in the community events sponsored by Ministry,” says Erin. MDCMC donates to more than 100 local organizations each year, from youth programs through the Boys and Girls Club of Door County, local schools, and the Maritime Museum to local silent sporting events and events for seniors. “Ministry’s sponsorships touch all areas and ages in our community,” she says. “We support many of the excellent programs that help keep people healthy in body, mind and spirit.”

Erin says the most fulfilling part of her job is having the opportunity to share her smiling face and listening ear at community events. “People feel comfortable talking to me and sharing their stories with me,” she says. “It opens my eyes, too, to what’s happening in the community.” Recently, when Erin was staffing MDCMC’s sponsor booth at the BassMaster event in Sturgeon Bay, she had the chance to hear the story of a retired couple from Florida and the excellent care they received at MDCMC. “The woman had a scare and came to our Urgent Care Clinic, where she was immediately sent on to the Emergency Department due to some cardiac concerns. She and her husband were both so appreciative of the excellent, personal care she received. They told me that they just don’t find that level of caring at hospitals where they live.”

For Erin, working at the hospital is a family affair. Her mom, Donna Perlewitz, has worked in the Health Information Management department for nearly 30 years. “Our department feels like a family, too,” she says. “We have a great deal of autonomy so we can accomplish a lot, but we also communicate well and work together on important projects.” Erin says that since MDCMC began the Journey to Excellence in 2003, the culture at the hospital has continued to grow stronger. “No matter where a patient is in this facility, there is always someone willing to go the extra mile to help them find their way to their destination, ask them how they are doing, or answer their questions. It’s great working in a place that’s so friendly and welcoming.”

Ministry’s Rehab Clinics are Award Winning

Have you ever had an injury that prevented you from working or doing what you love? Have you needed help recovering from surgery? Have you ever suffered discomfort from overuse of a joint or part of the body? Chances are you’ve benefitted from some type of physical therapy in order to recover.

Ministry Door County Medical Center’s three Rehab Clinics serve Northern Door, Sturgeon Bay and Algoma, and offer a wide variety of physical, occupational and speech therapies. Ministry rehab staff are consistently recognized for the high quality of their care. Recently, they celebrated the fourth consecutive quarter of winning the Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO) award that recognizes consistently superior patient scores for patient improvement, treatment efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Therapists at the newly expanded Sister Bay Rehab Clinic

Therapists at the newly expanded Sister Bay Rehab Clinic

“We’re proud that our network of clinics and our experienced, local staff can meet the needs of the community in such varied ways,” says Whitelaw-Gorski. “Our clinic in Sister Bay was recently renovated and we have space for up to eight therapists to be working with patients at the same time, which really increases our impact.”

The Ministry Rehab Clinic in Sister Bay, located within the Scandia/Good Samaritan Facility, is the only provider of physical therapy north of Sturgeon Bay. “Although our clinic has been here for seven years, some people in Northern Door still aren’t aware that we’re here,” says Whitelaw-Gorksi. “We provide therapy to residents of Scandia as well as comprehensive outpatient therapy. In addition, our therapists provide home health, school system therapy, and a Parkinson’s class and free physical therapy screenings at the Northern Door YMCA. We’re proud that our Ministry clinics have such an impact on the community.”

Ministry’s Algoma and Sturgeon Bay Clinics are also fully staffed and open five days a week. For more information or to schedule an appointment at Rehab Services, call 920-746-0410 for Sturgeon Bay, 920-854-4111 for Sister Bay or 920-487-9888 for Algoma.

Free Breast Cancer Screenings Available to Those in Need

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and  Door County Medical Center (DCMC) encourages women to schedule an appointment at the Women’s Center for a breast cancer screening and to talk to their doctor about mammograms. “Breast Cancer will affect one in eight women in their lifetimes,” says Ann Bretl, RN, Nursing Supervisor at the Women’s Center, “and early detection is key to providing the best chances for treatment.”

Pink Ribbon Charity for Womens Health Awareness Tee Shirt.

DCMC is committed to providing reproductive cancer screening for all women, regardless of income. Through the Marti Spittell Foundation, Ministry provides free cancer screenings for eligible women that include a health assessment, pelvic exam and pap test, and a breast exam.

“Here at DCMC, we pledge to provide health care that leaves no one behind,” says Bretl. “We’re happy to be able to partner with the Marti Spittell Foundation to provide this important, basic health service for women.”

For more information about free cancer screenings, or to schedule an appointment, call the Women’s Health Center at (920) 746-3666.