Author Archives: Door County Medical Center

Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month w/3D Mammography at Door County Medical Center

3D-Mammography-machineThree-dimensional (3D) mammography, also know as tomosynthesis, is a state-of-the-art service available at Door County Medical Center.

3D Mammography imaging is a type of digital mammography that, instead of taking a flat 2D image of breast tissue, creates a 3D image from a composite formed of image layers. One common way to describe the process is to compare the 3D image to the pages of a book, allowing doctors to examine breast tissue layer by layer.

“I am incredibly excited that we have this technology,” says DCMC’s Diagnostic Imaging Director, Amanda Feldbruegge, “Because of the greater detail that 3D mammography provides, the early detection rate is far higher. So, we are going to be able to detect cancers much sooner, and at a much smaller size. As a result, doctors will be able to start treatment sooner—we can catch the disease at stage 1 rather than at stage 3 or 4.”

Fewer Cancers Missed

As many as 20 percent of breast cancers will be missed by 2D mammography. 3D mammography has been shown to detect on average 41% more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammography.

 

Less invasive treatments

Catching cancer early means less invasive treatments. The likelihood of a mastectomy is greatly reduced, the number of unnecessary biopsies is reduced and the radiation dose is the same as a 2D machine.

Reduced Callback Rate

3D mammography results in fewer false positives and fewer callbacks. In 2016, DCMC performed 3,200 mammograms. According to Ms. Feldbreugge, “With 2D mammography, our call back rate was around 10%. We expect our callback rate to decrease, probably down to something near 5%…” According to numerous studies, 3D mammography can reduce callbacks by as much as 40%.

Even though it has been estimated that a woman born in the United States today has a 1 in 8 chance of developing some form of breast cancer during their lifetime, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100% when breast cancer is detected early.

Contact Door County Medical Center to schedule your mammogram today.

DCMC Hosts Annual Ministry Fund Silent Auction Thursday, October 4, 2018

Door County Medical Center will be holding a Mission and Values Week Silent Auction to raise money for the Ministry Fund. Since its founding 17 years ago, DCMC’s Ministry Fund has given more than $500,000 to local individuals struggling to meet their basic needs. This Silent Auction is open to the public and is the primary source of funding for the Ministry Fund.

The mission of The Ministry Fund is to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well being of all people, especially the poor. The types of needs funded through The Ministry Fund are as unique as the many individuals to whom they are provided. Some examples include shelter, clothing, durable medical equipment, car repair, fuel/utilities, transportation, medications and dental bills.

Through the resources made available from employees and other donors, this fund has been able to fulfill over 3,900 requests for assistance since the fund was created.

Katie Graf, a veteran Social Worker at Door County Medical Center is the coordinator of the Ministry Fund. Through Katie’s energy and drive to help those who are poor or in any way afflicted, the original grant has multiplied nearly four-fold since it was established in 1999. The fund is replenished through a variety of grants and ongoing fundraising events, most important of which is this Mission and Values Week Silent Auction.

“We don’t always see it every day, but people are desperate – falling through the cracks. This program is vital to our community and the members it serves. Helping someone with their utility bill to bridge the gap until their next paycheck or making sure they have enough funds for a taxi ride to the doctor’s office can make an immeasurable impact in the quality of their lives. It can mean the difference between a home and homelessness, sick or healthy and even life or death.”

All of the proceeds from the auction will be directed to the Ministry Fund for the benefit of Door County residents in need. Packages are provided by area businesses, different departments of Door County Medical Center, and even Door County Medical Center employees to help this incredible cause.

The silent auction will be held on Thursday, October 4th from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the conference center at Door County Medical Center. Winning bids will be announced at 2:30 p.m. and the lucky winners will be asked to pay for and claim their items between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Special arrangements can be made for those individuals unable to pick up their items until the following day.

For more information on The Ministry Fund or The Mission and Values Week Silent Auction, please visit www.dcmedical.org.

End The Stigma: A Conversation About Suicide

More than 40,000 people die by suicide every year, leaving friends and family to navigate the pain associated with such tremendous loss. As neighbors, we have the opportunity to raise awareness and to build community around an issue that impacts the lives of so many. Sharing stories and connecting with others is something we can all do: sharing stories can save a life.

September is Suicide Awareness Month and we caught up with DCMC’s Behavioral Health Coordinator, Barb Johnson-Giese, MSW, LCSW, CSAC, ICS to discuss this important topic.

Q) How do we prevent instances of suicide from occurring within our community?

Barb Johnson-Giese (BJG): First and foremost, community members need to acknowledge that suicide is a community concern, and not just the individual who has suicidal thoughts and attempts or dies by suicide. Although it is slowly changing, stigma surrounding mental illness continues to deter others from seeking services and support.  Educating our community members to recognize signs that a person/loved one may be experiencing thoughts of suicide is key to our community preventing further instances of suicides attempts and deaths.

Q) How is DCMC helping to prevent suicide in Door County? What other organizations does DCMC collaborate with to address this issue?

BJG: DCMC is an active member of the Door County Mental Health Focus Group, which was developed in partnership with Door County Public Health as a result of the Community Needs Assessment which identified a lack of behavioral health services in Door County. This group is charged with providing awareness and education to our community. Other member organizations include Prevent Suicide Door County – Nathan Wilson Coalition, Door County Human Services, JAK’s Place, Door County Partnership for Children and Families, Little Eddie Big Cup, Door County United Way, UW-Extension and others.

Q) What should a person do if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts?

BJG: My wish for anyone who experiences thoughts of suicide is to know they’re not alone, and that there are people who care and want to help. If you or someone you love is having thoughts of suicide, please contact any of the following resources:

  • Door County Mental Health Crisis Line at 920-746-2588
  • Mental Health Text Line: Text “HOPELINE” to 741741 or “APOYO” to 839863 (Spanish)
  • National Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255
  • Contact your primary care provider or another health provider

If you or someone you know is planning to hurt or kill themselves:

  • Go to the nearest Emergency Department, or Call 911

Q) What if I don’t know a person very well but have heard that they are contemplating suicide? What should I do?

BJG: It can be a scary and uncomfortable situation, and there is a myth that talking about suicide with someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts will increase the likelihood they will kill themselves. However, this is FALSE – talking with someone about suicide actually REDUCES their chance of harming themselves. Take the person seriously, and acknowledge their thoughts of suicide. Offer to listen and help them connect with community resources. Remember that depression and other mental illnesses are similar to heart disease, diabetes, etc. Think about what you would do if you saw someone who was having a heart attack or a stroke, and get them help!

Q) What educational tools are available to our community members to help us understand suicide?

BJG: The best way to prevent suicide is to remain proactive. Help reduce the stigma of mental illness and consider participating in community events to increase awareness and education about mental illness. Prevent Suicide Door County – Nathan Wilson Coalition provides free Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training for all community members to recognize, respond and get help for someone who is thinking of suicide. For further information on QPR training, contact Monica at 920-495-7832. You can also check out their website for additional information.

Shop and Dine to Support The Healing Project Saturday October 6, 2018

healing project_brochureDoor County Medical Center, with the support of the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, invites you to participate in the 7th annual Shop and Dine Day on Saturday, October 6, 2018, to benefit The Healing Project.

The Healing Project provides free integrative health care services to individuals with cancer.

Help us help those with cancer by shopping and dining throughout the city on Saturday, October 6! Participating Sturgeon Bay businesses will donate a portion of their sales to support The Healing Project.

Additionally, Door County Medical Center is giving away three Sturgeon Bay Visitor Gift Certificates. Customers that sign up in participating businesses on the day of the event will have a chance to win a certificate worth $300, $150 or $50!

A cancer diagnosis takes a toll on more than the just the body. Integrative therapies have been shown to benefit the physical, mental and spiritual health of those living with cancer at any stage.

The Healing Project provides a limited number of free integrative health care services to Door County residents living with cancer. Services include acupuncture, energy therapy, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, behavioral health counseling and mindfulness.

“I was truly broken after going through surgery, chemo and radiation. You listened, aided me in finding answers, and helped put my aching body back together. You helped me in so many ways. Thank you.” – The Healing Project Participant

Healing Project participants receive services from DCMC staff at the Sturgeon Bay campus. The program is overseen by Integrative Health 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.

To learn more about The Healing Project or to participate in the Shop and Dine event, contact Jennelle Berg, The Healing Project Coordinator at (920) 746-0726.

Get event details at www.doorcountymedical.org or follow Door County Medical on Facebook!

DCMC Features Robotic Surgery Demonstration October 4, 2018

Free Hernia Screenings + da Vinci® Robotic-Assisted Surgery Education

To showcase Door County Medical Center’s state-of-the-art surgical services, members of the community are invited to watch a robotic-assisted surgery demonstration on Thursday, October 4. Our skilled surgeons will also provide free hernia screenings to any interested members of the public.

da Vinci Surgical System

This past winter, DCMC welcomed its newest member to our surgical services team: da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System is an advanced, robotic computer that uses 3-D technologies to assist our surgeons with an operation. The robot’s mechanical wrists bend and rotate inside the body more effectively than a human wrist, resulting in a less invasive surgery.

The system can be used across a spectrum of general surgical procedures like colon removal, gallbladder removal and especially, hernia repair. About 27% of males and 3% of females develop a groin (inguinal) hernia at some point in their life. Inguinal, femoral and abdominal hernias may occur at any age, however, inguinal hernias occur most often before the age of one and after the age of fifty.

DCMC’s Dr. Michael St. Jean, M.D., F.A.C.S. 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.”

On October 4, we hope you come for the demonstration and stay for a hernia screening! The following schedule of activities is free and open to all members of the public:

2 pm – 6 pm : da Vinci® Robotic Surgery Demonstration
2 pm – 5:45 : Hernia screenings performed by Drs. Scheer and Melarvie in clinic exam rooms
3 pm and 5:15 pm : Educational presentations by Dr. St. Jean in cardiac rehab area

After your screening, visit the Ministry Fund Silent Auction. Since its founding 17 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. This Silent Auction is open to the public and is the primary source of funding for the Ministry Fund.

Please contact our General Surgery Department at 920-746-1060 for more information.

Join Us As We Celebrate the International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace gathering in Egg Harbor, WI

Honoring International Day of Peace September 21, 2018

Community Gathering at Peg Egan Performing Art Center & Kress Pavillion

Each year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

In observance of International Day of Peace, Door County Medical Center is proud to sponsor a free outdoor Community Gathering, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Peg Egan Performing Art Center. Afterwards, participants are invited to the Kress Pavillion to enjoy a community social along with free refreshments. The following schedule of activities will take place on the green space at Peg Egan Performing Art Center. All are welcome:

  • Meditation Walk
  • Dances of Universal Peace
  • LEAP the Human Kindness Project/ Music
  • Drumming Circle

The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”. “As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
enters its 70th year, we reflect on its enduring importance. Lasting peace and security can
never be achieved in any country without respect for human rights.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Peg Egan Performing Art Center, 7840 Church Street, Egg Harbor
Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion, 7845 Church Street, Egg Harbor
For more information, please call 920-493-5979

Room to Grow at The Community’s Garden

Door County Community's GardenAs we head into late summer, The Community’s Garden (TCG) is teeming with a variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers and pollinators. Located on DCMC’s campus at 16th Place in Sturgeon Bay, TCG is a 501c3 organization which leases the garden space from the hospital for $1 a year. The 20’ X 20’ plots are rented to individuals for $40 each year. In promoting good health, DCMC offered employee discounts on 10 plots this growing season, plus there is a 50% reduction on the rental fee for families who receive SNAP benefits through FoodShare, WI.

The mission of The Community’s Garden is to showcase the connection between a community’s well-being and nature. This year, 43 gardeners are harvesting 42 plots, rounding out yet another successful growing season at TCG. “The garden is a laboratory for learning,” says Carmen Schroeder, a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist at DCMC and board member of TCG, “it provides access to gardening, a place for healing and camaraderie, and a way for the community to work together to be good stewards of our land.”

Carmen says it has been exciting to see the garden evolve and to meet new strategic goals over the years. At the start of this year’s season, five raised garden beds were added to accommodate gardeners. Whatever your level of gardening proficiency, there is room for you to grow at The Community’s Garden!

Growing food at Community's Garden

Carmen’s Top 9 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food at The Community’s Garden:

  1. TCG provides individuals with the opportunity to grow affordable & nutritious vegetables and herbs that can be eaten during the growing season or processed for eating throughout the year;
  2. TCG provides access to garden plots to individuals who lack ideal growing conditions at their homes;
  3. TCG provides ease in access. Plots are tilled at the start of each season, on-site irrigation is conveniently located, and deer and rabbit fences have been installed to protect the plants;
  4. The start-up costs associated with a new food garden, as well as the maintenance costs, are close to non-existent; all of the necessary tools to get your garden started (and to keep it going) are provided on-site, while the City of Sturgeon Bay donates mulch and compost;
  5. The garden is used for community service. Gardeners grow the crops with the intention to donate to local food pantries;
  6. Families who utilize the SNAP program have a free resource to grow their own nutritional, almost home-grown produce;
  7. TCG provides a learning environment to new and future gardeners. Gardening classes are provided on-site with various topics pertinent for the growing season;
  8. TCG is Community; gardeners have the opportunity to learn from others, share with others, or rely on others to assist with tasks such as watering or harvesting in their absence;
  9. In addition to growing food, TCG provides opportunities to be with other people, to appreciate nature, and to get physically active.

Get Involved!

For more information on The Community’s Garden program, including information on classes, events, membership and plot rentals, please contact DCMC to sign-up: 920-743-5566, ext 3920 or call 920-743-6005. You can also follow us on Facebook.

A Healthy Start Begins With On-Time Vaccinations

National Immunization Awareness Month is a reminder children need vaccines right from the start.

Immunization gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before age 2.

To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – Door County Medical Center is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The first week of the month will focus on babies and young children and emphasize a healthy start for little ones begins with on- time vaccinations.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Dr. John Arnold, who provides pediatric care at The Children’s Center of Door County Medical Center (DCMC). “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases. I always ask parents if they have questions and I am happy to discuss the proven benefits of childhood vaccination.”

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox. There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated:

  • Immunizations can protect your child from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2 years old.
    Vaccination is very safe and effective.
  • Immunizations can protect others you care about.
  • Immunization can save your family time and money.

Immunization protects future generations by reducing the prevalence of serious diseases. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community. Those at risk include babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or contact the Children’s Center of Door County Medical Center, 920-743-5566.

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.