Ministry Door County Named One of 50 Top Critical Access Hospitals Nationwide

Becker’s Healthcare, a leading source of business and legal information for the healthcare industry, recently named Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) as one of the 50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know in 2015.

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There are more than 1, 300 critical access hospital in the United States, and MDCMC was selected as one of the 50 highlighted facilities for “going above and beyond to care for their patients.” To develop the list, the Becker’s team conducted research and used several reputable hospital ranking sources, including the National Rural Health Association, Healthgrades, and iVantage Health Analytics, who recently named MDCMC as one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the country for the fifth consecutive year.

“We are honored to have been named by yet another third party as outstanding in the field of providing high-quality healthcare in a rural setting,” says Gerald Worrick, CEO of MDCMC. “This designation recognizes that we are leading the health and wellness of our community by providing a wide range of care – from our emergency department and sleep disorder center, to our cancer treatment center, four local clinics, and three rehab facilities. But it’s also a recognition of our trusted and experienced doctors, nurses and staff who provide quality care, close to home.”




Gregory Dobbins: Finding His Fit and Making a Difference

Gregory Dobbins and his wife, Judy, didn’t plan to end up in Door County. But after taking early retirement, they decided to leave their native state of California for a new adventure. “We figured we’d put the house on the market and take some time to decide where to move.” When their home sold in just two days, they packed up their Subaru and fate led them to Sturgeon Bay. “We drove into town and thought it was the perfect blend of east coast and Midwest. And we decided to stay.”

The couple began volunteering and noticed many of the causes they worked for, including health events, silent sports and arts events, had ties to Ministry Door County Medical Center. “We saw immediately that Ministry was supporting so much good work in the community, and we really enjoyed the people we met who were from the hospital.”


When Gregory’s former employer folded and he lost his health insurance, he decided to go back to work. “I knew I wanted to work at Ministry, and luckily, there was a position in the Materials Management Department that was perfect for me.”

Now Gregory can be found working in the linens department, whose monthly output is nothing to sneeze at. “Last month, we processed 32,000 pounds of laundry,” he says. Gregory enjoys being “out and about” as he visits up to twenty different areas of the hospital to collect and drop off linens. “People here are friendly and really caring. Everyone smiles and says hello, and no one is better than anyone else.” He also helps with mail service, and is cross-trained to provide services to central supply, providing medical supplies and equipment throughout the hospital and clinic.

But what Gregory enjoys most about his job at Ministry is the opportunity to mentor high school students through the Door County Career Training Program. “We teach the kids about respect, and about responsibility. We talk to them about the quality and efficiency of their work. For many of them, it’s their first work experience. And I can tell that we help make a difference in their lives.”

Gregory likes sharing his knowledge of Ministry’s services and community involvements with his friends and neighbors. “I’m a Mason, and also an avid member of the Door County Pickleball Club,” he says. “A lot of people have questions about the hospital, and I like being able to answer them.” Gregory even spoke to a crowd of 2,000 at the Ministry-sponsored Wifee and the HUZZband concert at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center in July, sharing his pride in being part of Ministry’s community outreach events.

“We had a lot of people come up to the Ministry staff at the concert and thank us for all we do,” says Gregory. “It’s a great feeling to be a small part of that.”


Helping Local Employees Lose Big

When Door County manufacturer Therma-Tron-X (TTX) began a weight loss challenge with employees, they wanted guidance and support from a local healthcare expert. That’s where Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Occupational Health & Wellness Department stepped in. “We’ve been providing weekly onsite support for TTX’s weight loss program for four months,” says Jennelle Berg, Occupational Health & Wellness Outreach Assistant, who provides healthy living tips and weight-loss support to the more than 40 participants in the program.

“Ministry’s support of our weight loss program has touched so many lives here,” says Casey Bieri, Human Resources at TTX. “Jennelle is always 100% engaged with each person during their weigh-ins and has good feedback for them. She also takes the time to offer suggestions to me on what I can do to keep the group engaged.” The program features friendly competition between participants, identifying each month’s “biggest losers,” but the crux of the program is encouragement.


The key to weight loss is change in lifestyle habits, and those take time,” says Berg. “TTX gave pedometers to the program participants, which is a great start. I have many conversations with employees about their successes, like starting a daily habit of walking with family or with a pet. People are excited about their success, and they’re ready for more.”

The program still has a month to go, and both the Therma-Tron-X and Ministry teams are eager to see how results will continue. With about 40 of their approximately 200 employees engaged, the participation rate for TTX is outstanding. “We’re happy to be providing this opportunity, with Ministry’s assistance, to help our employees lead healthier lives,” says Bieri. Adds Berg “We’re not just supporting a weight loss program, we’re developing relationships with participants, which creates more confidence as they pursue their own personal growth. It’s really a joy to be part of the process.”

To learn more about how your local business can partner with Ministry’s Occupational Health & Wellness department, contact Matt Luders, Business Health & Wellness Executive, at (920) 746-3555.


55th Annual House and Garden Walk Supports Local Health Needs

It was a gorgeous day for the Door County Medical Auxiliary’s House and Garden Walk, and more than 1,200 people toured four homes and a garden from Sturgeon Bay up to Ellison Bay. “Every year, it takes legions of dedicated volunteers, generous sponsors, and of course, large-hearted community members who open their homes to hundreds of visitors the day of the event,” says event co-chair Deb Hogan. The event raised funds for two local health care initiatives chosen by the auxiliary: the Ministry Door County Dental Clinic, and the Skilled Nursing Facility at Ministry Door County Medical Center.

The mission of the Door County Medical Auxiliary, a group that is 250 strong, is to support the health care needs of the community. “Our volunteers accomplish their goal through their regular work volunteering at the hospital in departments as diverse as oncology and the beauty shop in our Skilled Nursing Facility. We also accomplish this goal through fundraising efforts that provide significant gifts to local health initiatives,” explains Hogan. Funds raised by this year’s event were earmarked for a new facility for Ministry’s Door County Dental Clinic, which provides free dental services to low-income and uninsured children and adults, and improvements to Ministry’s Skilled Nursing Facility, a residential setting for the elderly and those needing physical therapy. “Both of these institutions provide such important, needed services to our community,” says Hogan. “We are pleased to be able to support their work.”


The Nulton home was one of four private homes featured in the House and Garden walk.

Jerry Worrick, CEO of Ministry Door County Medical Center, volunteered at the event parking cars for guests, and was impressed with the organization and high numbers of attendees. “Events like these bring people together to create awareness of all the wonderful things that are happening in our medical community,” he says.

“This year’s tour included everything from a restored Victorian home, to a classic log home, to a Japanese-inspired garden,” says Hogan. “I heard from many people that the homes and gardens were so inspiring, and this event is something they look forward to every year. How fitting that such a beautiful event has such beautiful results – improving the health of our community.”

Next year’s House and Garden Walk will take place on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Mark your calendars!


From the Dietitian: Fresh Summer Peaches

As a registered dietitian at Ministry Door County Medical Center, I enjoy recommending fresh, seasonal foods to my patients to help them achieve a healthy diet. Fresh peaches on grocery store shelves and at roadside markets are a mark of summer. Found from May until September in most regions of the United States, the peak months for these nuggets of scrumptious flavors are July and August.  Nutritionally speaking, one medium peach has 60 calories and contains potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Peaches also contain phytonutrients that can inhibit the growth of cancer and tumors.

Here are some great ways to enjoy your peaches:

1. Peachy breakfast. Add sliced peaches to hot or cold cereal, pancakes and waffles, plain or vanilla yogurt or cottage cheese.

2. Grill, bake or broil: Peaches taste great warm from the grill. Place them on kabobs with other favorite fresh fruit and just grill some slices and enjoy! Or you can warm peach slices in the oven or on the stove, topping with cinnamon for a flavor sensation!

3. Drink them: Toss fresh or frozen peaches into the blender with some low-fat yogurt or milk, bananas and ice. Puree for a delicious smoothie.

4. Homemade fruit leather. Peel and pit peaches then puree in a blender. Pour the puree onto wax paper-lined cookie sheets and dry in a dehydrator or the oven at a very low temperature. Letting this cook overnight will give you a warm, welcoming treat in the morning!

5. Sweet sauce. Puree peaches, berries, apples, or pears for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, pancakes or French toast.

6. Flip your dessert! Serve sliced fruit and berries with a shortbread garnish on top, rather than shortbread with a spoonful of fruit. You also can serve a bowl of fruit with a dollop of low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream on top.

7. Peach salsa! Salsa makes a delicious topping to many different meats or can be spooned over grilled chicken or fish.

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Peach and Avocado Salsa


  • 2 – 3 fresh peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup diced jicama 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Yield: 3 cups

Enjoy peaches, and enjoy summer!

-Carmen Schroeder, RD


Ministry is a Good Neighbor for the Arts

“There’s nothing like a night at the theater to help open people’s minds, hearts and spirits,” says Bob Boles, co-artistic director at the Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) in Sturgeon Bay. “Theater has the capacity to help us laugh at ourselves, cry with each other, and forget our troubles for a while. It’s good for the soul.” Boles also knows local support is essential for a thriving arts community. “The arts community in Door County is truly unique, and we are also uniquely lucky to have Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) as a supporter of not just our main stage season, but of so many cultural organizations in the county.”

A scene from TAP's production of Steel Magnolias

A scene from TAP’s production of Steel Magnolias

For the third consecutive year, MDCMC has underwritten Third Avenue Playhouse’s summer/fall season, helping to present shows such as “Educating Rita,” the musical “The Fantasticks,” and the perennially popular “Steel Magnolias,” now playing at TAP’s intimate studio theater. “As Door County’s only year-round professional theatre, we are in a position to provide quality theater to our residents and visitors. We truly couldn’t do it without Ministry’s support.”

As part of the underwriting partnership, Ministry’s 600 plus employees have the opportunity to see a show free of charge (first come, first served of course) on a special night designated for employees. “We’re so proud to partner with this creative and forward-thinking organization,” says Kevin Grohskopf, Chief Business Development Officer for MDCMC. “We truly believe that community health is about mind, body and spirit, and supporting arts groups like TAP, the Door Community Auditorium, Birch Creek Performing Arts Center, and Midsummer’s Music Festival is just one way we can help nurture these opportunities for our community.”


Tart Cherries: Healthy, Local and Delicious

“Healthy food doesn’t taste good.” Is that what you think? As a registered dietitian at Ministry Door County Medical Center, I’d like to help change your mind. And Door County tart cherries might help!

Tart cherries are the smallest members of the stone fruit family. This “family” includes plums, apricots, nectarines, and peaches. Here in Door County, we grow two of the most popular varieties of tart cherries: Montmorency and Balaton. Cherries are a good source of vitamin A. They also contain anthocyanins, a compound found to block two enzymes which play a role in inflammation. Since inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases, consuming cherries may play a role in prevention and treatment.

What we know for sure is that cherries are DELICIOUS. You can use them in all parts of a meal from appetizer to beverage, salad to bread, main dish to dessert. Dried, frozen or fresh, add cherries to your favorite recipes for an added boost of flavor and possible health benefits. The Wisconsin Cherry Growers website has many recipes using cherries in a variety of ways. This recipe combines two Door County favorites: Salmon and Tart Cherries. The salsa would also be great over poultry or pork.


Caramelized Salmon with Cherry Salsa   

Makes 4 servings

1-1/2 pounds fresh for frozen salmon fillet with skin

3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. grated orange peel

½ tsp. coarsely ground pepper

1 ripe mango or papaya (seeded, peeled, and chopped)

1 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed, drained and halved

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, basil, or cilantro

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper


Thaw fish, if frozen. Stir together brown sugar, orange peel and pepper. Place fish, skin side down, in a shallow pan. Rub sugar mixture over fish. Cover and refrigerate 2-8 hours.

Remove fish from pan, draining off any juices. Place salmon, skin-side down, on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4-6 inches from medium-hot coals. Grill for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Do not turn fish.

Meanwhile, toss together mango or papaya, cherries, herb, vinegar and red pepper. Spoon fruit salsa over warm fish. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 373, Carbohydrate 16 grams, Protein 34 grams, Fat 19 grams, Fiber 1 gram, Sodium 100 mg

-Judi Sowl, RD


Roasted Mexican Corn Salad

It’s high season for fresh corn, and Ministry’s cafeteria has been using a lot of it lately in this most-requested side dish from Chef Eric VanAlstine.

Says Chef Eric, “This is our version of a traditional Mexican method for serving corn.  Typically, you would see these ingredients applied to a freshly grilled ear of corn immediately after it is removed from the flame.  Our recipe can be made in summer with fresh corn, or year-round by substituting frozen, whole kernel corn. I make it at home and here in Ministry’s kitchen. It’s a great picnic dish, and complements just about any meal.”

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Roasted Mexican Corn Salad

·         2 pounds of frozen, whole kernel corn, or fresh corn off the cob

·         ½ cup mayonnaise

·         1 cup grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese

·         1-2 Tablespoons chili powder

·         Juice of one lime

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread corn evenly on a baking pan.  Toss corn once or twice while baking to help with even browning, roasting corn to desired doneness.  Remove from oven and let rest in pan until just warm.  (This will help loosen any brown “bits” stuck to the pan)

Move warm corn to a mixing bowl.  Add all ingredients and mix well.  Add mayo, and chili powder to taste.  Top wish chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Reheat if needed to serve warm, but it is also good at room temperature.


Back on Track: Liz Junion and Dr. Steve Davis

Seven years ago, Liz Junion – busy mom, wife and teacher – wasn’t a runner. Then she broke her ankle.

“It was a bad break. I missed a stair, coming down,” she says. Fortunately, Liz had ankle repair surgery with with Dr. Steven Davis, orthopedic surgeon at Ministry Door County Medical Center, and now she’s better than ever.

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Liz credits Dr. Davis with the fact that she is so active. “I had surgery the next day. He was so caring and I felt a great deal of trust.” Successful surgery was followed up with rehab at Ministry’s Rehabilitation Services Department. “The staff there was amazing. They made it clear that it was going to be a process, and not easy. They were so encouraging. I know my rehab helped a ton.”

“After my surgery and rehab, I was very motivated to get in shape. I started with the Door County Half Marathon and then did two more runs. This month I’ll be running in my fourth Half Marathon,’ she says. “The more I move, the better I feel.”

According to Dr. Davis, “It’s an honor to be part of people’s lives, to help them get back to doing the things they love.” He’s thrilled to have helped Liz get back to her active life. “To see her as a busy teacher, a busy mom, and be able to enjoy life to the fullest and enjoy running – there’s really no greater reward.”

“I feel fortunate to have such good care, close to home,” says Liz. “I’d recommend Dr. Davis to everyone.”


HealthEVisits Offer Quick Online Diagnosis for Common Conditions

Do you need a quick diagnosis but don’t have time to visit Urgent Care? Perhaps you have a sick child at home and you’re reluctant leave the house to see the doctor? Or would you just prefer to get a quick diagnosis from your couch, desk or even your bed?

Ministry’s new HealthEvisits service offers quick, convenient care for mild health conditions including pink eye, sinus infections, bladder infections (UTI), and acid reflux. All you need is an Internet connection and ten minutes to complete an online questionnaire about your health condition.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 4.48.28 PMThe service is easy to use: patients answer a short series of questions online that are reviewed by a Ministry clinician within an hour. The clinician then provides a diagnosis and treatment plan, with prescriptions called into the pharmacy of the patient’s choice as needed.

“As health care evolves, we are always looking for ways to make care more convenient and cost-effective,” says James Heise, MD, medical director at Ministry Door County Medical Center. “This program has been in use at other Ministry facilities since last year, and we believe it’s a great addition to what we offer our community.”

HealthEVisits are available from 7 a.m.- 10 p.m., seven days a week. A visit costs $35 out-of-pocket, a substantial savings compared with visiting an urgent care or retail clinic. The program is open to anyone in Wisconsin, resident or visitor, regardless of insurance status or primary care provider. Visit to begin.