Monthly Archives: April 2017

DCMC Collaborates with Schools to Promote Teen Health and Combat Social Injustice

For the third straight year, Door County Medical Center (DCMC) is collaborating with Door County high schools to present LEAP -The Human Kindness Project, an innovative multi-media performance featuring teen performers from throughout Door County. The performance encourages conversations on anti-bullying, compassion and inclusion as well as promoting mental health in teens.


“The most effective tools anti-bullying advocates have are prevention and education. LEAP is triumphantly raising awareness through art, while involving youth in a worthwhile project that enhances their own health and well-being,” says Kevin Grohskopf, chief business development officer at DCMC.

LEAP (Learning to Empower and Appreciate all People) promotes a violence-free message and presents themes of acceptance and social justice. The performance encourages positive thinking, community, and personal growth through dance, spoken word, music, and the visual arts.

Since 2014, LEAP performances have reached more than 2,100 local high school students and general audience members. More than 90 teens have participated in the show.

This year’s performance, titled “A New World: Building a Healthy Community” centers on the theme of healthy relationships. Community performances are scheduled for Friday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Southern Door Auditorium.

Advance Care Planning: Why to Do it Now

Imagine…you are in the hospital and you can’t speak for yourself. Who will speak for you? With an advance directive, your loved ones are empowered to make choices about your health care, and can act with the knowledge that they are following your wishes. An advance directive is a document that states a person’s choices for medical treatment and/or names a health care agent, usually a family member or close friend.

April 16 marks National Health Decisions Day (NHDD), when people are encouraged, regardless of age or health status, to create an advance directive. The task is surprisingly simple. But while 90 percent of Americans have heard of advance directives, only 29 percent have them. The staff at Door County Medical Center want to help change this, by offering free counseling, to help individuals create their advance directives.

Notary pen lying on testament. Notary public working accesories

“An advance directive makes your health care and end-of-life wishes known, including medical, emotional and spiritual care,” says Katie Graf, social worker at DCMC. “But it also relieves the burden on family members,” she says. “Too often, we see cases of people hospitalized or on life support who don’t have this document, forcing the family to petition the court for guardianship of their own loved one.” This is both a financial and emotional burden on the family.

While nobody goes out of their way to discuss end-of-life care, Graf says the best time to plan is when you are healthy. “We encourage families to discuss end-of-life wishes and create advance directives when they are together. This could be around the dinner table or when a family is on a vacation together.” But to be legally valid, advance directives must be written down and witnessed. Copies of your advance directive should be given to your doctor and your health care agent, and stored in an easily accessible place.

Here are some ways to get help with an advance directive:

  • Any day of the year, Call DCMC at 920.743.5566 and ask to speak with a social worker or chaplain, who are available 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • April 26th from 2-4 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, DCMC staff will present a program on advance directives through Aging Mastery Program. Contact the Door County Senior Center for more information.
  • Visit for more information.

Top Mistakes Runners Make (And How to Avoid Them)

Bill Herbst, physical therapist and athletic trainer at Door County Medical Center (DCMC), is part of the medical team that supports athletic events and schools throughout the county. During his ten years working the Door County Half Marathon, he’s seen a variety of ailments, many of which are preventable.


Here are a few of the missteps athletes make, and what you can do have a more comfortable, safe and enjoyable run:

Shin splints. “Running in worn-out shoes can lead to overuse injuries such as tendonitis and what runners call shin splints. Invest in high-quality shoes, and replace them every 300-500 miles,” says Herbst.

Dehydration. It’s important to hydrate well the day of the race, and for a couple of days before. “Sometimes people think because it’s early May, they don’t need as much hydration, but that’s not the case.” Take advantage of water/sports beverage stations along the course

Cramps. Eat healthy food, including protein and carbohydrates, one to two days before the race. “I encourage runners to take advantage of pasta dinners the night before; they’re fun and they offer good nutrition.” Reduce alcohol consumption before the race, and opt for bananas or other fruit the day of.

Blisters. Blisters on the feet can be prevented with properly fitted shoes, but blisters and chafing on thighs, underarms or chest can also be avoided by applying petroleum jelly to these areas before the race.

Young runner having an accident outside in spring canola fieldExercise-induced asthma. If you’re prone to asthma, bring your inhaler. Any other critical medications should be accessible as well.

Overextension. “Runners should have a general idea of their timing goal, and stick with it.” There are several pacer groups that accompany runners to help them gauge their speed. “Touch base with pacers before the race, they are a great resource.”

Sunburn. With a huge variation in possible weather, it’s important to remember that May sun is potent, especially as most athletes will be outdoors for several hours. Apply a water-resistant sunscreen that will protect from glare and reflection.

If these or any other problems still occur, Herbst reminds runners to take advantage of the many medical stations along the course, or see the DCMC athletic trainers, physicians and nurses in the medical tent. “We’re looking forward to being here for athletes and to another great event this year,” says Herbst.

Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know

Cyberbullying – mean, threatening or hurtful messages sent via text message or social media – is more common in kids’ lives than ever. Recent data shows nearly 36 percent of Door County Middle school students and 20 percent of high school students report being electronically bullied. Since kids are connected to their phones for most of their waking hours, cyberbullying can happen anytime. “It’s easier to do, since perpetrators don’t have to see their victims and often act anonymously. Because technology is ever-present, victims may not even feel safe in their own homes,” says Barb Johnson-Giese, licensed clinical social worker at Door County Medical Center.

Teenage Girl Victim Of Bullying By Text Messaging

There are ways to combat cyberbullying. Here are some tips for parents and kids from Johnson-Giese to help cope with and minimize exposure to cyberbullying.

  • Involve yourself. Know what your kids are looking at on their phones, including being aware of what social media sites they’re using. “Just as we ask children to let us know where they will be when they leave the house, parents should be asking kids where they are spending their time online.”
  • Model responsible phone use. Make phone use expectations clear with children. “Being respectful to others in communication and making sure others are respectful of them are two key messages,” says Johnson-Giese. Above all, adults should be examples of these behaviors.
  • Have conversations. Kids don’t always have the experience or ability to understand the long-term effects of their actions. Open conversation about online communication can help kids sort out how to act and react online.
  • Be proactive. If kids are on the receiving end of bullying behaviors, let them know it’s not okay or acceptable. Blocking bullies, not responding and reporting bullies are all ways to deal positively with the situation. “Although some parents are inclined to take away a child’s phone if they’re being bullied, that can feel like a punishment to the child.”
  • Use the news. Cyberbullying situations are often in the news. Use the opportunity as a chance to have a neutral discussion about the topic, asking questions like “What would you do in this situation?”