Category Archives: Services

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.

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.

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.

da Vinci Robotic Surgery

Door County Medical Center is one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in the nation. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

There are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #1 is da Vinci Robotic Surgery.

The da Vinci Surgical System is an advanced, robotic computer that uses 3-D technologies to assist your surgeon with an operation. It has been safely utilized by skilled surgeons since 2000, but not every hospital offers this state of the art technology. Earlier this year, Door County Medical hired Dr. St. Jean, whose practice includes all aspects of Minimally Invasive Surgery, endoscopy and robotic surgery. He brings years of experience with advanced robotic surgery to DCMC.

da Vinci Surgical System

“It’s the latest in advance robotic-assisted surgery and in minimally invasive procedures,” says Dr. St. Jean, “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.” The first “baptismal patient” to utilize daVinci assisted surgery for colon resection was home in two days, “I hate to jinx it, but it went very well,” says Dr. St. Jean.

da Vinci Surgical SystemThe robot’s mechanical wrists bend and rotate inside your body more effectively than a human wrist, resulting in a less invasive surgery. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic-assisted arms, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. The 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.

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.”

Soon, nearly all DCMC surgeons will be proficient in utilizing da Vinci technology. Dr. St. Jean is currently proctoring Dr. Scheer and Dr. Melarvie and works together with Intuitive Surgical representatives on their training. DCMC surgeons also receive additional training from the company off site through a standard curriculum.

Door County Medical Center is committed to continually bringing the most advanced technology to our community, but we never lose sight of the human connection that makes our hospital special. That’s why we are also committed to maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 99th percentile, as we have, year after year.

Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060

Introducing The Heartburn & Reflux Center at DCMC

Door County Medical Center is one of the top critical access hospitals in the nation. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

DCMC Heartburn and Reflux CenterThere are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #2 is our Heartburn and Reflux Center.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a common disease impacting 40% of Americans that can lead to serious health consequences if it is not detected early. Heartburn (acid reflux) occurs when stomach contents backup, or reflux, into the esophagus. Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation that may radiate to the neck, throat, or along your jawline. If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD.

“Things like a chronic sore throat, persistent cough or hoarse voice are things that can occur from irritation of the gastric refluxate coming into the upper airway. One important alarm symptom is dysphasia which is trouble swallowing or food getting stuck, especially if it’s down in the lower chest. That has to be evaluated fairly quickly,” says Dr. Shaun J. Melarvie, M.D., F.A.C.S., “A dentist will sometimes find erosions of the enamel when they’re looking at teeth and will refer their patient back to the primary care provider for evaluation of reflux disease. I see that fairly commonly in my practice here at Door County Medical Center.”

Additional GERD Symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Chest Pain
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Regurgitation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Sensitive to some foods & liquids

Patients suffering from acid reflux can now benefit from state of the art diagnosis using the Bravo™ reflux testing system, which is an advanced technology that can help identify the cause of your symptoms. Bravo™ monitors acid content in your esophagus while you continue your regular daily activities and diet. The testing process is comfortable, and the results can help your doctor better understand your symptoms and make confident decisions about your treatment plan.

If your chronic acid reflux cannot be managed by medication or lifestyle changes, Door County Medical Center offers advanced treatment of heartburn with incisionless same-day surgery (TIF) and LINX, a small implant that can support acid suppression therapy.

“One of the newer technologies is called transoral incisionless fundoplication, also known as TIF. It’s a procedure that allows us to do a recreation of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to help people that are suffering from acid reflux and can’t control their symptoms adequately with medications. What is so nice about the procedure is we can do this operation in less than an hour and with no incisions whatsoever. Many patients come off of their acid reflux medications altogether and stay off of them long term,” explains Kurtis D. Scheer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

The other advanced procedure available at DCMC’s Heartburn and Reflux Center is the LINX® Reflux Management System. It is a “bracelet” made of magnetic titanium beads implanted at the base of the esophagus to reinforce the weakened muscle that allows acid to splash back up. The device is implanted using a standard minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. LINX is indicated for those patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy.

“Thus far there have been good patient satisfaction scores with the results obtained for both the LINX® and TIF procedures. It is always important to consult with your doctor to find out which procedure is appropriate for you,” says Dr. Melarvie.

Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060

Telestroke Robot Transforms Care for Rural Patients

Door County Medical Center is one of the top critical access hospitals in Wisconsin. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

High Tech Reason #3: Telestroke RobotThere are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #3 is our Telestroke Robot. Yes, a Telestroke Robot.

Telestroke is telemedicine technology that connects stroke patients and their on-site emergency department physicians with board-certified neurologists, allowing for quicker diagnosis and treatment of stroke.Through live audio and video telecommunication, Telestroke allows a neurologist to be at a patient’s bedside within minutes of the patient arriving at the emergency department.

“When someone is having a stroke, every minute that passes before they receive appropriate medical care can impact their quality of life,” says Sandy Vandertie, Director of Emergency Services at DCMC. “This advanced technology connects the patient with a neurologist within minutes, improving outcomes and reducing the long-term impact of a stroke.”

Nearly 800,000 people have strokes in the U.S. each year, and most of those patients are experiencing stroke for the first time. During a stroke, an estimated two million brain cells die each minute meaning that the faster the response time, the better a stroke can be evaluated and treated, reducing or eliminating long-term disability and brain function loss.

Vanderite explains that after a patient arrives with stroke symptoms, the DCMC team begins a 60 minute gold standard process which they refer to as Code Stroke. “We bring a team of people that come together to manage you, including the neurologist via telestroke robot. The highest priority intervention to have done is a brain scan or CT scan. If we currently have someone in the CAT scanner, we prioritize the stroke patient. The goal is for us to have you in the CAT scanner within 25 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Next, a radiologist, coupled with our neurologist, both evaluate your CT scan. Within 45 minutes of your arrival here, a decision is made whether or not to put in an order for brain saving medicine.”

Living in a rural community should never exclude you from having the most advanced medical treatment possible. Our Telestroke technology empowers Door County Medical Center staff to improve patient care by offering state of the art medical services, right here in Door County.

State-of-the-Art Technology, Close to Home – Advanced Detection Methods

Door County Medical Center is one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in Wisconsin. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

High Tech Reason #4: Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

There are 4 big ways, Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #4 is our advanced detection methods.

At Door County Medical Center, we provide up close and advanced detection methods rarely offered in rural communities. With 3-D Mammography, MRI and CT scanning, we get the clearest possible internal images. This helps us detect irregularities early on, drastically improving your chances of recovery. Advanced detection is second only to prevention.

3-D 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. 3D mammography has been shown to detect 41% more invasive breast cancers, on average. As a result, there are fewer cancers missed and less invasive treatments. 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.”

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.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the latest in cutting-edge technology, helping doctors diagnose and care for patients with needs including oncology, injuries and vascular issues. DCMC invested in a more comfortable and inclusive scanner in March 2017.

“Our MRI scanner is larger and more easily tolerated by claustrophobic patients,” says Donald Renfrew, radiologist at DCMC. “In addition, the new machine has improved the quality of the images. These improvements allow more confident diagnosis leading to better patient care.”

Patients agree that the combination of high-tech and personalized care make their experience stand out. “The new machine is less noisy than I had experienced in the past. It was very comfortable and I didn’t feel so confined. The technicians are always very nice, and that makes all the difference,” says patient Caroline Link.

CT Scanning technology uses 640 visual slices to provide the clearest possible images for doctors to diagnose patients by generating images that can be turned into three-dimensional pictures. Door County Medical Center was the third hospital in the United States to adopt the CT scan technology that reduces streaks from implanted metal such as rods and pacemakers. This enables doctors to diagnose patients with a variety of symptoms such as headache, chest pain and abdominal pain.

“This top-of-the-line scanner is both quicker and more comfortable for the patient, and reduces the radiation dose to the patient as well,” says Amanda Feldbruegge.

One of the unique abilities of the scanner is to eliminate the appearance of metal implants, such as artificial joints, on a scan. “It used to be difficult to obtain images from patients with everything from tooth fillings to hip replacements because the metal caused streaks on the images,” explains Feldbruegge. “This new technology allows us to see everything clearly.”

At Door County Medical Center, our patients experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing the best possible early detection technology is available so close to home. “The combination of leading edge technology and compassionate care helps us provide the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Feldbruegge.

It’s never too early to take a look at your health: schedule an appointment today!

Gotta Go, Right Now?

It might make you uncomfortable, but it’s time to talk about pelvic health. Pelvic health includes all things that are embarrassing to discuss, but important to address. Many are treatable! Things like:

  • Urinary leakage, frequency or urgency (incontinence)
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain
  • Diastasis rectus abdominus (when abdomen muscles divide postpartum)
  • Post-surgical weakness from abdominal surgery, hysterectomy or gynecological surgery
  • Scar tissue restrictions
  • Painful sex (a sign of muscles being too tight)
  • Pelvic prolapse (a sign of muscles being too loose)

While many of these symptoms and conditions are common, especially among the elderly and women who are or have recently been pregnant, incontinence is by far the most common.

Approximately 13 million Americans are incontinent: 85 percent of whom are women. Urinary incontinence can start early. It affects 4 out of 10 women, 1 out of 10 men and 17% of kids below the age of 15. 38% to 40% of women experience stress urinary incontinence and 41% of elite female athletes.

Pelvic health issues like these can have a negative impact emotionally, physically and financially. For example, someone who suffers with urinary incontinence may find it difficult to find suitable employment; embarrassing situations that reoccur can lead to isolation and eventually depression; running or aerobics become something to avoid when you suffer from incontinence.

Often, people go years or their whole lives powering through these daily struggles because they are too embarrassed to bring it up. The good news is that approximately 80 percent of those affected by urinary incontinence can be cured or improved.

Neuromuscular control is needed to create awareness of the contraction and relaxation of the pelvic muscles  and is a main goal of physical therapy.  An example of a treatment regimen includes Kegel muscle exercises emphasizing the ability to fully relax the muscles after a contraction. Patients would attend physical therapy sessions 1-2 days a week for about 2 months.

If incontinence is your issue, the thought of a car ride to Green Bay a couple times a week is anxiety inducing. Door County Medical Center has a team of physical therapists in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay who have participated in specialized training on adult pelvic health and pelvic floor muscles. These amazing physical therapists are prepared to listen to you with compassion and help you get back to living your life.

DCMC Physical TherapistsSister Bay: Lori Pothast, PT and Jen Gaddes, DPT. Sturgeon Bay: Crystal Pomeroy, DPT, Anna Deboer, DPT.

Patients are examined by one of our highly skilled physical therapists in a very discreet private treatment room. They provide education, home exercises and treatments to manage symptoms.

According to Lori Pothast, PT, “You don’t need to accept this as a way of life; there’s something you can do about it. Talk to your doctor. Mention that you are having problems. We can teach you muscular exercises over 6-8 weeks to improve control for the rest of your life. There are solutions.”

You deserve better! Talk to your primary physician today about physical therapy for pelvic health.

If you have any questions, contact DCMC Rehabilitation Services in Sister Bay (920-854-4111) or Sturgeon Bay (920-746-0410).

Keeping Active After Discharge

Door County Medical center is devoted not only to the wellbeing of patients currently under our care, but also to those patients who have been discharged. In order to better guarantee positive long-term outcomes for our patients, DCMC’s Rehab Services team has joined with Exercise Physiologist Adam Peronto to develop a new program that provides support for patients who have been discharged.

Adam Peronto

Adam Peronto

Adam Peronto brings a diverse array of rehabilitation practices to Door County Medical Center. A 2017 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, Adam worked with children and adults with cognitive disabilities, providing recreational programs to improve movement skills and encourage physical activity. His involvement in a research study, which investigated the impact regular exercise had on the communication abilities of aphasia patients, lead to the development of aphasia specific exercise protocols for group exercise sessions in Minneapolis and Eau Claire. Additionally, Adam has worked with many community outreach programs such as LEEPS, Community Fitness, LIVESTRONG and Special Olympics. More recently, he has worked at the DCMC clinics in Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay as a rehabilitation assistant.

Bridges to Health

Adam’s most recent project, Bridges to Health, helps patients who, following a medical service at DCMC, need guidance in becoming physically active and in developing a healthy lifestyle. This program focuses on prevention and management by prescribing exercise. Bridges to Health is a supervised exercise program that is safe and appropriate for patients in need of medical supervision during exercise. “We’re concentrating on our geriatric population and on people with special health concerns who have recently been discharged.” says Adam. “This program is designed to help our patients maintain the progress that they made under our care and to help them improve their long-term health.”

Adam will meet with participants at the rehab clinics in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Algoma to develop an exercise program that safely helps participants manage their weight and improve their strength, endurance and balance. Adam will also be able to go into the home to provide his service for specialty cases. The focus of this program is to eventually ‘bridge’ participants to local organizations and services that will help them continue to improve their wellbeing. Adam adds, “My goal is to provide additional support to our patients through movement and exercise in order to prevent future health problems. After our service we want to help bridge our patients to community organizations that improve social participation and create lasting health benefits. Even though they are no longer in our care we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help our patients live a healthy lifestyle.”

The long-term benefits of the Bridges to Health program include:

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Increased physical activity
  • Faster recovery time
  • Decreased likelihood of future health problems

Door County Medical Center supports a culture of wellness by keeping you active, healthy and independent. Begin your journey today! For more information regarding Bridge to Health call 920-746-0410 or talk with your DCMC physician. This program will be available in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Algoma.