Monthly Archives: September 2016

Shop and Dine Day Supports The Healing Project

Saturday, October 8 is Shop and Dine Day throughout Sturgeon Bay. Local storefront and virtual businesses will donate a portion of their profits to The Healing Project to benefit individuals living with cancer.

The Healing Project, now under the auspices of Door County Medical Center (DCMC), provides free integrative health care services to those living with cancer. Services include acupuncture, energy therapy, massage therapy, nutrition counseling and behavioral health counseling. Integrative therapies have been shown to benefit the physical, mental and spiritual health of those living with cancer at any stage.

healing project_brochure“We are grateful for the participation of a variety of businesses whose support will help local patients receive integrative health care,” says Kevin Grohskopf, chief business development officer at DCMC. Healing Project participants receive services from DCMC staff, and the program is overseen by Healing Project Medical Director Dr. Chona Antonio, a primary care physician who also provides acupuncture services. DCMC also partners with HSHS St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center to provide a full range of oncology services through the Door County Cancer Center.

Shop and Dine Day is presented by DCMC and the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center. Participating businesses include: Alley Katz Boutique, Bliss, Cornucopia Kitchen Shop, Door County Eye Associates (shop Friday 10/7), Door County Habitat for Humanity – Restore, Madison Avenue Wine Shop, Monticello on Jefferson, Rogue Theater, Scaturo’s Baking Co. and Cafe, Sherry’s Hallmark, Sunflour Artisan Bakery, T. Simon Jewelers, Wilkins and Olander, Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort, Zoerb’s Paint Store, and online businesses Door County Lavender and Lemon, and Delphinus Naturals.

For more information on The Healing Project, call 920.746.0726.


Sandi Smith: Serving up Hospitality

When checking out at the hospital cafeteria register, chances are you’ll be greeted by Sandi Smith. Sandi celebrates 10 years as a nutrition technician at DCMC this year. She came to the hospital from her job as a baker at The Inn at Cedar Crossing, hired the same day as Doug Meyer, also an accomplished chef. “That started the trend of hiring top people from local restaurants,” she says.

But you won’t find any temperamental chefs here. The Nutrition Services Team works together to provide patient care in the form of personalized, nutritious meals. “We’re proud to offer room service to all our inpatients,” says Sandi. “We have nearly a dozen specialty menus, designed for different health needs, that patients choose from.” And because patients decide what and when they want to eat, the department has dramatically reduced food waste and costs. “That means more money can go towards patient care, medical equipment…the things that really matter,” says Smith. The team takes patient feedback seriously, and it shows; nutritional services is consistently rated at a 99% satisfaction rate.

Sandi Smith, nutrition technician

Sandi Smith, nutrition technician

In addition to providing patient nutrition, the cafeteria serves three meals a day to staff and guests. “We’re the best kept secret in town,” says Sandi. “Our food is delicious and reasonably priced. We’ve got regulars who eat here daily, just like any other restaurant.” All the cafeteria’s food is made from scratch, including soups which start with homemade stock, fresh produce and meats. DCMC’s CEO Jerry Worrick is a regular who never misses the Thursday breakfast special, grits with cheese. Another local couple comes in for the salmon, and many employees never miss the Thursday fresh salad bar. “We always have a healthy choice item on the menu,” says Sandi, “and we work closely with our in-house dietitians to design our menus.”

Sandi’s role as the “front of house” manager, to use restaurant lingo, keeps her in touch with the community. “I grew up here, so the people I see in the cafeteria every day were my classmates, neighbors and friends. There are so many reasons someone might be here – an illness, a sick child, or a family member in the Skilled Nursing Facility. We don’t know why they’re here, but being the friendly face who asks after them and their family provides comfort.” For Sandi, just connecting with the community through her daily work is a privilege. “I find myself praying a lot behind the counter,” she adds.

Sandi plans to work at DCMC until she retires. “The culture here is so strong,” she says. “All of us – from our staff to medical staff to senior leaders – take pride in what we are trying to accomplish: excellent patient care.”

Although Sandi worked in food preparation for many years, she has embraced her new hospitality role, into which she transitioned a year ago. “I’m kind of like the bartender,” she says. “People tell me how their day is going, what’s on their mind. People coming to the cafeteria need a break, whether it’s from their work day or from being at an appointment or visiting a family member. It’s nice to be able to be here for them – hopefully we make everybody’s day just a little better.”

HSHS St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center Receives National Recognition

Hospital Sisters Health Systems (HSHS) St. Vincent Hospital Regional Cancer Center was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the 100 hospital and health systems with great oncology programs in 2016. The Door County Cancer Center, located on campus at Door County Medical Center (DCMC) in Sturgeon Bay, is part of the St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center. The Door County Cancer Center has provided state-of-the-art radiation and chemotherapy oncology care to local patients since 2005.

oncology-programs-2016Since 2002, the Cancer Center at HSHS St. Vincent has collaborated with the National Cancer Institute to deliver access to cutting edge clinical trials, drugs and prevention studies to local residents. The center received an outstanding achievement award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (Coc) for 2015, and is currently recognized by the CoC as an Integrated Network Cancer Program, the highest level of accreditation for non-teaching hospitals.

“We congratulate our health care partners, HSHS St. Vincent, for this honor,” says Jerry Worrick, President/CEO of DCMC. “We are pleased to provide state-of-the-art cancer care close to home because of the relationship we have built with the HSHS St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center and Green Bay Oncology.” DCMC is in the process of forming a partnership with HSHS that will permit the two organizations to continue to deliver high quality health care to Door County and northeast Wisconsin.

September 15 Silent Auction Benefits Ministry Fund

Since its founding 16 years ago, Door County Medical Center’s (DCMC) Ministry Fund has given more than $500,000 to local individuals struggling to meet their basic needs. Funds are given to patients in need of everything from durable medical equipment to prescription medications. The fund also provides help in paying utility bills or getting transportation to receive medical care, or finding temporary shelter while receiving medical treatment.

Little girl holding a red heartThe 2016 auction raised nearly $9,000, a significant part of the annual budget of the fund. On Thursday, September 15, DCMC will hold its annual Silent Auction to benefit the Ministry Fund. “Last year we had more than 65 local businesses who made donations,” says Katie Graf, social worker at DCMC who helped establish the fund. “In addition, every department in the hospital donates a gift basket of some kind. It is a team effort.The 2016 auction raised nearly $9,000, a significant part of the annual budget of the fund.

The Ministry Fund also receives assistance from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Fred Marcon Foundation, as well as numerous private donations and memorial gifts. Within the Ministry Fund are two additional areas, the Life Direct Fund, which helps the elderly and disabled with the cost of a personal emergency response service to ensure their safety, and the Brighter Day Fund, used for community members struggling with mental illness.

“The Ministry Fund reflects our mission as a hospital,” says Graf. “We aim to further the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of all, especially the poor.”  She says that the many handwritten thank you notes she receives each year are a testament to the impact the fund makes on individuals and families:

I am writing to thank you for the work you do helping others. I recently had an emergency situation and needed to be in Green Bay to have my eye checked for a possible retina detachment. Your program helped me pay for what I could not. Thank you for going above and beyond for helping me with that unexpected doctor’s appointment.

-Ministry Fund recipient

The auction is open to the public, and runs from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in all three conference rooms on the lower level of the hospital. For more information, or to make a donation to the auction or the Ministry Fund, call Katie Graf at (920) 746-3622.

The Healing Project: Integrative Health Care for Cancer Patients

Now under the auspices of Door County Medical Center (DCMC), The Healing Project provides free integrative health care services to individuals with cancer. Services include acupuncture, energy therapy, massage therapy, nutrition counseling and behavioral health counseling.

healing project_brochure

Integrative therapies have been shown to benefit the physical, mental and spiritual health of those living with cancer at any stage. “Through The Healing Project, we offer opportunities to experience the interrelation of body, mind and spirit, and we educate people about the benefits of integrative health care,” says Jennelle Berg, program coordinator.

Studies have shown integrative therapies to be helpful in boosting the immune system, alleviating pain and managing the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. “Integrative health services can also be tremendously helpful in coping with the emotional side effects of the disease, including anxiety, stress and depression,” says Berg.

A recent Healing Project participant spoke to the program’s impact. “I was truly broken after going through surgery, chemo and radiation,” she says. “You listened, aided me in finding answers, and helped put my aching body back together. Thank you.”

Healing Project participants receive services from DCMC staff. The program is overseen by Healing Project Medical Director Dr. Chona Antonio, who also provides acupuncture services. The program is funded by the Cancer Healing Fund at the Door County Medical Center Foundation.

For more information on The Healing Project, contact Jennelle Berg at DCMC at 920.746.0726.

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Being the caregiver for a loved one with chronic or severe health issues isn’t easy. “Caregivers often put the needs of their loved ones first. Over time, this takes a toll physically, emotionally and spiritually, and can lead to caregiver burnout,” says Door County Medical Center social worker Lauren Daoust. But there are ways to cope.

Be aware of your own health. Fatigue, anxiety, sleep problems and weight change can all be signs of caregiver burnout. “Caregivers often put off their own health care or surgeries because they feel there’s no one else to care for their loved ones.” Keep up with doctor’s appointments and take time for exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood.

Be proactive. Caregivers can get to a point when their emotional or financial resources are depleted they simply say, “I can’t do this anymore.” Reach out for help before the crisis point hits.

Granddaughter supporting her senior grandpa

Start with your network. Call on family, friends, church and your social group. “Our culture tends to value being proud and doing it all ourselves,” says Daoust.  “It’s okay to ask for help, and in the end, it’s better not only for the caregiver, but for the patient as well.”

Use local resources. The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County is a good starting point for those needing help. Sunshine House has a new adult day program for adults needing respite during the day. And DCMC has an award-winning Skilled Nursing Facility, for those needing full-time care. “Your doctor can also connect you with resources including social workers or counseling,” says Daoust.