Monthly Archives: February 2018

Door County Medical Center General Surgery Welcomes Michael St. Jean M.D.

Dr. Michael St Jean

Michael St. Jean M.D.

Door County Medical Center is pleased to announce Dr. Michael St. Jean, M.D., F.A.C.S. will be providing General Surgery at Door County Medical Center beginning March 6th, 2018.

Dr. St. Jean received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University. While there, he joined the Army ROTC, and then completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He completed his surgical residency training at the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center and following his training, served at several Army MEDDACs and the William Beaumont Army Medical Center. He completed a Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery Fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in 2005 and concluded his military career at Womack Army Medical Center, serving as residency director, Director of Medical Education and Chief, Department of Surgery. Following numerous combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2006 and 2011, he retired from active service. Prior to joining DCMC, Dr. St. Jean practiced Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine where he served as Surgeon Medical Director, overseeing all perioperative surgical services.

Dr. St. Jean’s practice includes all aspects of Minimally Invasive Surgery, endoscopy and robotic surgery. In particular, he is looking forward to bringing his years of experience with advanced robotic surgery to DCMC. “We’ll be using the da Vinci Xi Surgical System,” says Dr. St. Jean. “It’s really the latest advance in robotic-assisted surgery and in minimally invasive procedures.” The da Vinci Xi makes it possible for surgeons to perform complex operations through small incisions—operations, which would otherwise require large incisions and long recuperation times. Additionally, Dr. St. Jean points out that robotic-assisted surgery results in “decreased post-op pain. It gets the patient back to normal faster. Now that DCMC has one of these machines, Door County residents won’t have to travel to a major city for one of these procedures—we’re bringing the technological forefront to Door County.”

Dr. St. Jean is also looking forward to moving closer to his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, who live in Wisconsin. “My wife is from Northern Illinois,” he adds, “so in a sense, this move is about getting back to family.”

Edge Fitness Academy – Creating healthy, lifelong habits

As kids grow up, they tend toward less physical activity. In fact, one Washington State survey found that while 80% of 6th graders said they regularly took part in vigorous physical activity, that number fell to 65% in 12th graders. Staying physically fit is always important at any age, but it is equally important that, as children become teenagers, they continue to remain active, building appropriate exercise habits as they go from middle school, to high school, and move into their adult lives.

When teens stay active, they reduce their chances of becoming overweight or obese, and developing other weight related problems—like diabetes or heart disease—down the line. Additionally, physical activity has been shown to elevate mood and mental focus. By staying active, teenagers decrease the risk of developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and academic performance tends to improve.

Door County Medical Center (DCMC) has long been committed to promoting, supporting and maintaining the health and wellness of Door County teens and student athletes. Part of our support for that community takes shape in our desire to keep kids active during the summer months, so for the past decade, Edge Fitness Academy, powered by DCMC, has worked to provide middle school and high school students with high quality athletic and fitness training during the long summer break.

Edge Fitness Academy

Edge Fitness Academy is a 6-week, sports performance summer camp that brings DCMC’s experienced team of Athletic Trainers directly to every one of the Door County high schools. Originally called Athletic Edge, Edge Fitness Academy started in 2008, and since that time, has been dedicated to “educating, empowering, and challenging the next generation in health, fitness, and athletics.” In 2013, Edge director Jason Linzmeier joined the team and immediately began to expand the program. “I came out of college with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a Strength and Conditioning minor,” Linzmeier says, “and I saw what Athletic Edge was offering, and I thought ‘this is great, but we can take this up a notch.’ So now, we’ve moved from basic cardio and band exercises to high intensity cardio and full-body, multi-plane exercises that mimic the requirements of certain sports. Last year, for example, we finally got the kids into the weight room and started them on a regimented, progressive, weight training program.”

Edge: Essential and Elite

Edge Fitness Academy offers two programs. Edge: Essential is the core program. It focuses on strength, agility and speed. “Essential is 45 minutes in the varsity sports gym,” says Linzmeier, “focusing on strength training through body weight and locomotion—push-ups, sit-ups, jump-squats, squats, lunges, and things of that nature. If it’s a nice day, we’ll do 45 minutes on the track—the mile-long runs, the more cardio/endurance based activities. And, Essential is more time oriented—for example, ‘how many can reps can you do in 30 seconds. Okay, keep that score in mind, now try to beat your own personal score.’ That way these kids are always looking to push themselves—they’re not comparing themselves to someone else.” Essential provides a baseline of knowledge and is available to both middle school and high school students.

Edge: Elite is an additional 45 minutes following the Essential program, and is an advanced program for student athletes that want to take their game to the next level. Elite focuses primarily on high intensity weight training. “We try to keep it pretty basic,” Linzmeier adds. “Between the ages of 14 and 18, there’s a pretty big gap in levels of knowledge and maturity, so I’m not going crazy with a bunch of different styles. Essentially, I’m trying to find one style that’s good for every sport out there—I’m trying to cast the biggest net I can.” Because weightlifting first requires a certain level of knowledge that is provided by the Essential program, and because weight training can damage growth plates in young children, Elite is available only to high school students.

Edge: an opportunity and a learning experience

“I talk to the kids in high school all the time,” says Linzmeier, “and they say they don’t have a coach to help in the weight room, or a long-term class that teaches them how to lift weights. Often, when I initially enter the weight room with these kids, I see two things: that they’re not getting the most out of a lift because of poor technique, and the way they lift could lead to injuries. So, I view Edge as an opportunity—as a learning experience for the kids that sign up. They learn how to lift the right way, how to get the most out of their exercise experience, and how to manage a weight room. More than that, we’re teaching them appropriate exercise habits that they can use for the rest of their life—that will help keep them healthy and happy.”

Dates and Times

Athletic Edge Fitness Academy

Click to view Edge Fitness Academy poster

Edge Fitness Academy begins Monday, June 11th and ends Friday, July 20th. All sessions will meet in the varsity gym of the school you signed up for.

  • Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay sessions are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Southern Door from 7:00 – 8:30AM and Sturgeon Bay from 9:30 – 11:00AM.
  • Gibraltar and Sevastopol sessions are held Tuesday and Thursday. Gibraltar from 7:00 – 8:30AM and Sevastopol from 9:30 – 11:00AM.
  • General Registration begins March 17th, 2018 and ends June 10th, 2018 at 11:59PM (CST).
  • Early registration begins March 1st, 2018 and ends March 16th, 2018 at 11:59PM (CST). Register early to receive $10.00 off your final purchase price.

Note: All registration for Edge Fitness Academy will take place online at edgefit.org. There is no offline registration. For more information, please visit: edgefit.org, call Jason Linzmeier at 920.746.0410, or email him at jason.linzmeier@dcmedical.org.

“My Experience at Door County Medical Center was a Beautiful Experience”: Why One Nurse Decided to Join Our Team at the Birthing Center

Giving birth to your first child is one of the most exciting and profound experiences anyone will go through during their lifetime. For one of our newest labor nurses, her experience giving birth to her first child at our Birthing Center was so positive that she decided she wanted to work at Door County Medical Center. The following interview recounts her experiences at the Birthing Center, both as a mother and as a labor nurse. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

My name is Jessica Skinner and I’m a Registered Nurse working in the Birthing Center at Door County Medical Center. I’m also an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. So, I fill two roles here in the Birthing Center.

I initially trained at Aurora Sinai in Milwaukee and actually started as a post-partum aid. While there, I was able to work with some excellent lactation consultants as well as several really wonderful nurses. And at Aurora Sinai, they have their birthing center split into labor/delivery and post-partum, so following my training as a post-partum aid; I cross-trained over onto labor and delivery. It was a more high risk, high volume hospital, but also a good place to learn.

What brought you to Door County Medical Center?

My parents are from the Door County area, so following my training in Milwaukee, I moved back home and started working at Aurora Bay Care in Green Bay as a labor nurse. Again, it was a big place, many wonderful people—a lot more patients than we typically see in Door County—but also a great place to learn and get my feet wet. And then, I had my baby right here in this very room [where we are doing the interview] and I was so taken with the level of care that I received—that was available here—that I was blown away. So, I think my son was almost a year old when I decided to come to Door County Medical Center, and I have not regretted a day of it.

What about your experience at DCMC’s Birthing Center, thus far, has so impressed you?

At DCMC, we don’t have the patient volume that my previous hospitals did—the nurses here typically don’t have four mom-baby couplets that they are taking care of at one time, usually it’s just one or two. Sometimes you might even be the only mom-baby group here. What that translates to is a lot more personal care for our patients, and of course patients really appreciate that—as a patient at DCMC, that level of personal care really blew me away.

But more than that, nurses at DCMC also really appreciate the low nurse-to-patient ratio, because we typically get into this profession for the hands-on, bedside caring. I feel that, instead of going through tasks and just providing safe-care, what we really provide is personal care—we’re teaching men and women and their new babies how to become families. We spend a lot of time answering their questions; letting patients get comfortable with new tasks—we’re kind of standing by for moral support and talking over all the fears you have as a new parent and all the joys you can expect too. We do a really good job of preparing people for becoming parents.

And that preparation actually starts well before people even get to the birthing center. We provide pre-natal breast-feeding classes, which I teach once a month. We also teach prepared childbirth classes, which are held six times a year. We really try to cultivate long-term relationships with families in this community.

When you were in labor was there a specific moment or positive experience that you could point to as “eye-opening,” with regard to the high level of care you received at DCMC’s Birthing Center?

Yes, a couple of memories. This maybe sounds odd considering I’m a labor and delivery nurse, but I was actually really nervous about labor—it was a strange feeling for me to be on the other side. So, I remember that Barb Severinsen, who was my labor nurse during the day, knew that I was a labor nurse, so she turned the monitor away from me so I couldn’t see it, and turned down the volume so I couldn’t hear it. This little thing was really important, because what I really didn’t want was to be my own labor nurse, and she picked up on that. We [labor nurses] tend to calculate the baby’s heart rate in our heads, and Barb could tell I was listening to the monitor and was not fully focused on being in labor.

I also remember laboring in the bathroom after my water broke, and Barb just standing with me there for what felt like hours. I just put my arms around her—Barb’s not a very tall woman, so she’s kind of a perfect height—and I remember hugging her and saying “Barb, don’t leave me,” and Barb just stroking my hair and saying “I won’t. I’m going to stay right here with you.” So, yeah, every step of the way, my experience at DCMC was a beautiful experience. And especially for me, because being a labor nurse, you go into it knowing all of the bad things that can happen, and I didn’t think about that once after I arrived at the Birthing Center.

Is there was a single aspect—a service perhaps—you can point to, which is representative of the high quality of care you are able to provide at the Birthing Center?

One of the services we offer at DCMC, which is really important—and is hospital-wide, but I feel is especially important for our department—is we always follow up with a phone call.  Once a person leaves the hospital, one of the nurses from the unit they were in—often the nurse that took care of them—will call them within one or two days of discharge. Sometimes there is so much going on it’s difficult to make all of the new information stick. Often, people will go home and think, “I can’t remember what she said about this; I can’t remember when I’m supposed to do that.” The follow-up call provides a nice opportunity to reconnect and check in on the patient—people won’t always ask for help, but when it’s freely offered people tend to be a lot more open to it. And that phone call is especially important in a postpartum unit, because everything changes, hour by hour with a newborn, especially when it’s your first baby. That phone call is very different from other places I’ve worked. It opens up a dialog between labor nurses and new moms that can lasts for years—it’s something special that we get to do at DCMC.

For more information on the Birthing Center at Door County Medical Center please visit us online at: http://dcmedical.org/Medical-Services/Womens-Care or call us at (920) 743-5566.

Family Nurse Practitioner Ellen Knipfer is Coming to the Algoma Clinic

Ellen Knipfer, Family Nurse Practitioner

Ellen Knipfer, Family Nurse Practitioner

Door County Medical Center is excited to announce that Ellen Knipfer, Family Nurse Practitioner at our Sturgeon Bay Clinic, has started accepting patients at the Algoma Clinic. Ms. Knipfer is bringing over a decade’s worth of diverse experience to the clinic, having previously worked on the Medical/Surgical Unit at DCMC, then in Infection Prevention and Employee Health, and more recently serving as Director of the ICU and the Medical/Surgical Unit.

Now, Ellen is looking forward to working with the Algoma community to make the kind of choices that lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life. “After more than 10 years at DCMC, I decided to leave my job as director after completing a Master’s Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I’m really glad that I made that decision, because after working in internal medicine, I saw a lot of chronic illness. Now, I feel I am better positioned to help my patients make the lifestyle changes that I feel they need to make in order to address, and hopefully prevent, those illnesses.”

It’s about education

“It’s about getting off the couch,” says Ellen, “it’s about getting out from behind the computer; it’s about changing eating habits. In general, it’s really about education, and nurses really are educators. So, one of the things I’m interested in bringing to the Algoma clinic is education—I want to teach people how, on a daily basis, to make the kinds of simple choices that will positively effect their overall health.”

Beyond that, Ellen is interested in getting involved in the Algoma community. “I’m looking forward to the move,” she says, “and I’m looking forward to finding out what kinds of healthy lifestyle changes are needed in the community, and how best to effect those changes.”

Ellen Knipfer, APNP, started seeing patients at the Algoma Clinic on Monday, January 29th. To make an appointment please call (920) 487-3496. Door County Medical Center’s Algoma Clinic is located at 815 Jefferson Street in downtown Algoma.