Monthly Archives: July 2018

58th Annual House & Garden Walk

58th Annual House & Garden Walk

Stop and smell the roses! The 58th Annual House and Garden Walk takes place on July 31st, offering visitors an inside look at some of Door County’s finest homes and outdoor spaces. The highly anticipated event is organized by Door County Medical Center Auxiliary, who curate a one-of-a-kind experience for ticket holders each year. The event begins in Sturgeon Bay, extending North into Ellison Bay, and features a free artisan pop-up shop at Egg Harbor’s Woodwalk Gallery. This day-long adventure is also a fundraiser for Door County Medical Center’s hospice and skilled nursing facility.

A History of Service

The Door County Medical Auxiliary has served our community through its support of DCMC programming and volunteers for nearly 75 years. The first Auxiliary hospital fundraiser was back in 1944, when the hospital -then Door County Memorial- was located in an old hotel. Auxiliary members raised $1,000 for the hospital’s new location by organizing a canned food drive, “all of the canned goods were homemade at that time” notes Auxiliary Board President Jeff Heck.

Averaging 200 volunteer members, including a Board of Directors and numerous committees, the Auxiliary puts on two signature fundraising events each year: the House and Garden Walk in July and The Angel Ball in December, which raises scholarship funds for area high-school students and hospital employees seeking advanced degrees in medical fields.The planning for these annual events is essentially neverending, “we’ll do a debrief after Tuesday’s event and then immediately start planning next year’s walk,” says Jeff.

Cheryl Wederquist, Marketing Chair for the Auxiliary, says it’s worth the sustained effort because “it all goes back to the hospital and our community.”

A Great Cause

The Auxiliary chooses the areas to focus their fundraising and are committed to raise $250,000 over the next five years for Door County Medical Center’s Skilled Nursing Facility and Hospice Care Project.

“As we get older, more and more of us have an experience with end of life care,” says Volunteer Coordinator Robin Hamm-Jackson, “you get to where it becomes significant in your life.” Having personally struggled to find resources for her aging parent, she shares, “My mom was not well, and facilities were full everywhere. She needed a temporary nursing home and there wasn’t an opening at that level of care. Our options were a CBRF or drive down to Green Bay, and we weren’t going to take her away from home.”

“That’s why there’s a lot of passion behind this project,” says Robin.

Even more, the Auxiliary is starting a partnership with Turning Point, an organization that helps people with disabilities find useful ways to spend their time. Volunteers will work with their Turning Point life coach at the skilled nursing facility, where they will help patients with small tasks like getting meals.

Tradition Worth Keeping

After 57 years, visitors to the House and Garden Walk have come to expect a high-quality and unique event. Ticket holders experience narrated history, architectural delights, as well as artists and exquisite gardens up close and personal. This legacy of success has helped the event garner what can only be described as a following.

“A number of people come back every year as a group. They will all dress alike, with matching t-shirts,” says Jeff, “This year there are at least three buses coming from out of the county.”

The allure of seeing how Door County residents live isn’t reserved for tourists. “You’ll see generations there, mothers and daughters who have been coming every year and now they bring their granddaughters,” says Robin.“Families living here tend to go to one spot,” adds Cheryl, “this allows people who live here to see more of the county.”

Gloria Heck, Committee Chair of the event, says it’s a win-win situation, “You can see five incredible homes you would otherwise not see and the proceeds go to a great cause.”

The House and Garden Walk is Tuesday, July 31, 9am-5pm. Tickets are available at sponsored locations up through the day of the event for $30 or $35 on July 31st. For more information or to buy tickets, visit Door County Medical Center Auxiliary’s website or check them out on Facebook. Questions? Contact Robin Hamm-Jackson at 920-746-1071, extension 3.

New Urgent Care Facility

On July 2nd, Door County Medical Center’s Urgent Care opened its brand new doors, showcasing a state-of-the-art facility designed to improve service for walk-in patients with acute needs. Open 12 hours a day, 365 days a year, these improvements make an exceptional facility even more accessible to our community.

Originally opened in January of 2012, Urgent Care was located in the former Emergency Room area. “The impetus for creating Urgent Care in the first place was our community and business partners telling us we need better access that’s not expensive like the emergency room. We needed a facility to address acute issues without an appointment. That’s how it started,” explains Sandy Vandertie, RN, Outpatient Services Director at DCMC.

Patient Needs First

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average number of people in Door County over age 65 is 25.4%. People ages 65-75 grew by 16% over the past 5 years and those over age 85 during the same period grew by 10%. The new Urgent Care facility addresses the needs of this demographic in a very noticeable way: the entrance is now located near the front of the ER.

“Our population of elderly and older retirees have multiple diagnoses or health issues that they are chronically managing and that’s what we’re here for,” says Vandertie, “but we needed to be more visible, not have them walk all the way around the building every time. We knew we could do better.”

The new design was a collaborative effort by a team of providers and staff who met regularly every other week. To ensure that patients’ needs were included in the planning, they used feedback from patient surveys and comments. Each member of the team brought in their unique perspective from working every day within their specific role at Urgent Care.

Privacy, Comfort, Technology

Within the new facility are six new rooms, three spacious bathrooms plus cubby areas to make things functional for folks in wheelchairs. “The first room a patient sees after registration is intentionally designed to be inclusive, especially for those seated in a wheelchair,” adds Vandertie.

The former Urgent Care had four rooms, two of which were across from a public hallway.
“In the spirit of privacy and confidentiality, we wanted to provide an area that we can absolutely guarantee both to all of our patients,” says Vandertie. The new waiting area was purposely designed to not be large for privacy reasons as well. “If there’s a lot of extra family or overflow, we’re going to encourage them to go to the other waiting areas where there’s a television. We want to keep this area as quiet and manageable as possible.”

Another improvement is the addition of computers and printers in every room, empowering providers to create and print discharge instructions right there with the patient. “Before, the nurse had to drag a shared laptop back and forth throughout each room. We try to be motivated with time, with the caveat that we’re still going to take care of you the right way. Having access to this technology is incredibly helpful,” says Vandertie.

The Choice is Yours

There are several reasons why a patient may feel more comfortable presenting to Urgent Care rather than the Emergency room. The advantage of being in Door County Medical Center is that both entities are literally across the hall from one another. “We offer flexibility for our patients to choose where they think they need to be cared for. If they happen to choose incorrectly, that they would be better served in the ER, then it is our job as health care providers to help them understand and explain why they are going to be better served in the emergency room,” says Vandertie.

“I think for somebody who’s really mindful about trying to utilize the right space at the right time for the right cost you have multiple options. Urgent Care is similar to an appointment in your provider’s office,” says Vandertie, “although we are separate departments with separate staff, my ER nurses are cross-trained to work in Urgent Care because, from a patient care perspective, I think it’s valuable for us to understand how each other works differently so that we work better together.”

Urgent Care is open 7am-7pm everyday, including all holidays. We are on schedule to transition Saturday outpatient lab from the clinic to the new urgent care area on Saturday, August 4. The hours for outpatient lab will remain 8am-12pm.

If you want to learn more about the differences between Urgent Care and our Emergency Room services, please call 920-743-5566.

Door County Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at Door County Medical Center

For first-time Sturgeon Bay parents Maxamillian and April Neubauer, breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with their newborn were at the top of their birth plan. But on June 26, April suffered two seizures caused by pre-eclampsia and had to undergo an emergency c-section. Newborn Rosalía Lupita Valentina Neubauer came into the world and turned her parent’s birth plan on its head.

Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at DCMC“Normally with a C-section we would bring dad back into the operating room, but because April had a second seizure, we had dad wait in the nursery. After surgery we transferred April to the ICU for additional monitoring,” said Cybil Martin-Dennehy, RN, “As soon as Rosalía was stable we brought her out to see her dad for the first time. Max was immediately excited to see his baby girl.”

Skin-to-Skin Contact and Breastfeeding

Rosalía was healthy but experiencing minor respiratory distress mostly from the shock of delivery. April was unconscious and wouldn’t be stabilized for a while, explained Cybil, “Even if we attempted breastfeeding with her, we still didn’t want to risk April having a seizure while nursing her baby. That’s when we decided to do the first feed in the nursery.”

Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at DCMCA strong proponent of breastfeeding, along with her desire to follow the family’s wishes for skin-to-skin contact and early breastfeeding, Cybil offered a creative, yet altogether commonplace solution, “I suggested to Max a supplemental nursing system, where we use a nipple shield over someone’s actual nipple and then thread a feeding tube with formula from a syringe through that nipple. That way baby can still nurse and stimulate the feeling of being at the breast.”

The first feed is crucial in helping to establish breastfeeding. Nipple confusion may occur in babies who are bottle-fed prior to breastfeeding, which can result in difficulty latching. Nipple shields feel more like teats and aid with the transition to breastfeeding. “Babies get their stimulation to suck from the roof of their mouth. It’s easy to get that stimulation at the roof of their mouth with a long bottle nipple. If we give a baby something easy like this, with a continuous flow of food, they don’t want to work so hard when breastfeeding from mom,” explains Cybil, “Skin-to-skin contact also encourages breastfeeding and helps to regulate baby’s temperature as well as heart and respiratory rates. In skin-to-skin contact, baby lays directly against a family member’s skin.”

Supplemental nursing systems are used in a variety of situations ranging from adoptive moms, moms with flat or inverted nipples, or a baby with additional supplementation needs. A noticeably proud Cybil admitted, “It’s not the first time I’ve asked a new father to do this but it is the first time a father stepped up and said yes- Max was completely game for it!”

Co-Parenting

Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at DCMCCradled in her father’s arms, Rosalía laid on her father’s chest and breastfed for the first time in her life. The nursing staff erupted with celebration. “It went fantastic! Baby was able to eat 8 ml of formula which is wonderful for a first feed. She was no longer in respiratory distress and everything went exactly as we hoped it would,” said Cybil.
Grandma and Great Grandpa were the third and fourth family members to meet Rosalía. Great Grandpa was initially a bit stoic and paced the room before he finally approached Max, patted him and said, “you’re going to be a great dad.”

Max, who works at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, has had coworkers joke that maybe it’s time the shipyard provides a pumping room- but maybe the joke is actually closer to reality than we realize.

Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at DCMC“We are in middle of a movement of trying to normalize breastfeeding. I think for so long, breastfeeding has been something that people try to shame,” says Cybil, “You’re supposed to keep yourself covered in public, not expose yourself to other people. Women are speaking up a lot more about their delivery experiences, about how wonderful breastfeeding is. I think it’s important because women can feel like they’re not alone in this. There’s also this stigma with men that they’re supposed to be a man and breastfeeding is typically thought of as a woman’s thing. So when there’s a man doing it, it’s kind of a big deal,” says Cybil.

“For me, as a nurse, I really think that raising a baby is a partner effort. Even though dad isn’t producing milk for baby, he can still play a huge role in mom’s breastfeeding journey.”

Trusted Team, Close to Home

Dad Breastfeeds Newborn at DCMCDoor County Medical Center Obstetrics team understands that every baby and every birth is special, which is why we tailor our services to fit your needs.

“I work with the greatest group of nurses. All across the hospital, with it being a smaller facility, we interact with a lot of the other departments. When I started in November, I was blown away that people were on a first name basis with everyone. It really is a culture of caring here.”

Baby Rosalía went home with mom and dad on Sunday, July 1 and everyone is healthy and enjoying the first week of being a new family.

For Cybil, the offer to fulfil a family’s birth plan was straightforward, “I was just doing my job.”

At Door County Medical Center, comprehensive care is just down the road. To reach our Women’s Center, please call 920-746-3666.