Southern Door Schools superintendent Patti Vickman knows that learning begins with health. That’s why she helped build a partnership with Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Occupational Health Department that brings a school nurse and other support services to the school. “Ministry is a trusted, local source for health care, and through partnering with them, we get access to so many other resources,” she says. “The bottom line is, they’re helping our students learn and achieve.”
Registered nurse Aprill Soto leads the partnership between Ministry’s Occupational Health Department and Southern Door by overseeing care plans for children and providing health information to staff. There is also a licensed LPN is at the school daily, administering medication and handling students’ immediate health needs, and Ministry pediatrician Dr. Amy Fogerty serves as medial director for the school. “We also work with the lunch staff to keep children with food allergies safe, and monitor children’s records to make sure immunizations are up to date,” says Vicki Zenz LeFevre, manager of Occupational Health and Wellness at Ministry.
The school nurse program is just one way that Ministry’s Occupational Health Program is caring for people at Southern Door Schools. “This fall, we’re busy providing new teacher and bus driver physicals, to make sure they’re ready to care for the children,” says Zenz LeFevre. Ministry provides vaccines for staff, as well as pre-employment screenings. Ministry also works closely with Door County Public Health to curtail disease outbreaks, such as the outbreak of pertussis that occurred in 2013.
Southern Door Schools are one of many Door County businesses that benefit from Ministry’s Occupational Health facility, located just across the street from Ministry’s main campus on 16th Place in Sturgeon Bay. “The goal of occupational health is to keep people – including students – safe, healthy and productive,” says Matt Luders, health and wellness executive at Ministry. “It’s a benefit to employers as well as employees.”