MDCMC Opens New Rehab Clinic in Algoma

Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) recently opened a new Rehabilitation Clinic in Algoma. Although located in the same building as the previous facility, the new, more expansive clinic features additional state-of-the art equipment and technology in an easily accessible location. Eleven therapists who specialize in various types of therapy provide services. “It’s a bright, spacious and welcoming clinic,” says Deb Whitelaw-Gorski, Director of Rehab Services at MDCMC. “We’re excited to continue to serve the Algoma community in this new space.”

Algoma Gym from Other Direction

“We are proud to provide a variety of therapies right here, close to home” says William Bluett, Physical Therapist at MDCMC who has served the Algoma community for 12 years. In additional to physical therapy, the clinic provides speech, occupational and massage therapies as well as hand rehab, return-to-work programming and specialty pain management services.

MDCMC’s Algoma Rehab Clinic is located at 1510 Fremont St, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Direct access or self-referral is available for physical therapy and massage therapy services. Call (920) 487-9888 to make an appointment.

 

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Ministry Door County Medical Center Named One of 50 Top Critical Access Hospitals

For the second consecutive year, Becker’s Healthcare, a leading source of information for the healthcare industry, has named Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) as one of the 50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know in 2016.

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 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the country.

“We are honored to have been recognized again for providing outstanding 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 award-winning emergency department, to our cancer treatment center, five local clinics, and three rehabilitation facilities. Above all, it’s a tribute to our trusted and experienced doctors, nurses and staff who live and work in the community alongside the patients they care for.”

 

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Ask the Expert: Alzheimer’s Disease

by Christy Wisniewski, Geriatric Outreach Specialist, Ministry Memory Clinic

Q: My dear friend was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  She hasn’t come to bridge group for a while and I’m not seeing her at church as much as I used to.  How can I support her as she struggles with this diagnosis?

AlzheimeElderly woman having supportr’s disease not only robs a brain of memories, but often dignity and personhood.  As your friend’s ability to remember names, follow conversations, and navigate her familiar routines becomes more challenging, she may prefer to stay home. But an Alzheimer’s diagnosis does not have to be a tragedy.   She is lucky to have a friend who wants to remind her of the capable person she is!

Research has shown that certain lifestyle choices can improve wellbeing for people who have Alzheimer’s disease.  Exercise, a nutritious diet, and socialization are three key components that can benefit the brain and improve daily function. Start by inviting your friend on a walk to your favorite eatery while engaging in conversation about the valuable person she still is.  Allow her to talk about her fears, and let her know she is not alone.

The Door County Memory Café is a gathering place where people who have memory loss, as well as their friends or family, are enlightened and engaged in activity and conversation.  This free program takes place at Sturgeon Bay’s United Methodist Church the first Monday of each month from 2:00-3:30.

For more information on the Memory Café, call Christy Wisniewski at (920) 746-3504.

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Dale Massey: Leading by Example

Dale Massey smiles a lot, and it’s infectious. When he greets his staff in the morning, sometimes he’ll say “Thanks for coming to work today!’’ “If I can make anyone smile, patient or staff, I’ve done my job,” he says. As patient registration manager, Dale oversees 25 staff members in the ER, Urgent Care, Outpatient Services and North Shore Medical Clinic. But when it comes down to it, he describes his work as “making people feel extra special.”

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Dale came to MDCMC 11 years ago, after a varied career in natural resources, banking and national sales. “This is definitely the best job I’ve ever had,” he says. “The people here really care about the patient experience. The bottom line here isn’t money. It’s the care, and making people feel at home.”

Dale tells a story about an older woman he helped recently during the holidays. He was working a registration desk shift, as he will often do if the department member calls in sick. “I like to stay connected to what’s happening on the front lines and what my team is dealing with,” he says. Dale greeted the woman, who seemed down, and asked her what she was looking forward to at Christmas. “She didn’t have much to look forward to, and no family coming,” he says. “So I spent some time with her and just made her smile while I helped her down to her appointment.”

A week or so later, the woman returned to the clinic. “You don’t remember me,” she told him, “but you made my day last time I was here. Because of you, I had a good Christmas.” “For some of our older patients, their trip to the clinic might be the only time that day or even week that they see other people,” says Dale. “To make that person feel extra special is easy to do, and it makes such a difference.”

Dale often tells his staff it’s important to remember that Door County patients can be on the highway to Green Bay for their care in 30-40 minutes. “We have to give them the reason to come here instead. To know that here, they’re home. That we care, and we’re willing to go the extra mile.”

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Ministry Volunteers Fuel the Door County Triathlon

When 2,000 athletes converge in Door County to swim, bike and run their way through the Door County Triathlon, Ministry Door Country Medical Center (MDCMC) staff is behind the scenes, providing medical services and supporting race operations. Sandy Vandertie and Jason Linzmeier, MDCMC staff who serve as Co-Medical Coordinators for the event, start their preparations months in advance. “We coordinate the teams of medical volunteers who make everything go smoothly, and provide our own staff throughout the course,” says Linzmeier. “This year more than 30 Ministry employees will play a part in the event.”

The Door County Triathlon is a community effort.  “We have fantastic engagement with our emergency services teams from all over the county, as well as the Sheriff’s Department, the Sturgeon Bay Police and Fire Departments and other local volunteer fire departments,” says Vandertie.

IMG_9884The coordination required for an event with such high number of participants is formidable. Operating from a dedicated incident command center, staff communicate with the 20 volunteers who staff 12 stations along the route, as well as two medical tents, two roaming fatigue vehicles, an ambulance and an EMS vehicle. “Every year we challenge ourselves to improve our process,” says Vandertie. “That includes being prepared for every eventuality that Mother Nature gives us.”

MDCMC doctors Michael DeFrank and Francis McCormack are medical directors for the race. Last year, after overseeing the medical tent on Saturday, Dr. DeFrank ran the Half Ironman on Sunday. Then he put his medical shirt back on following the race and pitched in again to support his medical team.

In addition to medical services, MDCMC donates the water, medical supplies and linens for the event. “Race participants have indicated a 99.5% satisfaction level with our medical services. We really are providing the best medical care for one of the top events in its class,” says Vandertie.

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With many local athletes training for the event, the Door County Triathlon supports community health, and the event also makes a big impact on the local economy. “MDCMC is leading the health and wellness of this community,” says Linzmeier. “At the Triathlon, it’s all hands on deck for the health and safety of everybody out there.”

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MDCMC and Hospital Sisters Health System to Partner

Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) today announced that MDCMC plans to transition from its affiliation with Ascension Wisconsin/Ministry Health Care to a new organizational structure that will allow it to continue to operate as a locally led and controlled hospital in partnership with HSHS with the intent to remain Catholic.  MDCMC and HSHS have signed a Letter of Intent for HSHS to enter into a minority interest affiliation with MDCMC that will permit the two organizations to work as partners in the delivery of high quality, compassionate health care to the residents of Door County and northeast Wisconsin.

“Our goal in seeking to partner with HSHS is to ensure the health care services we provide are highly coordinated and easy to access.  Our patients want to receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place, close to home. Because HSHS has a broad presence in northeast Wisconsin, with four hospitals and Prevea health centers located throughout the region, we believe they are in the best position to be our partner in care going forward,” said Gerald Worrick, President and CEO of Ministry Door County Medical Center.  “We remain responsive to the needs of the community and continue to support partnerships that benefit community health.  In fact, patients will see very little change in their day-to-day experience. They will see the same friendly faces, the same providers who live and work here in our community and the same specialists who serve patients here.”

“We are grateful for the partnership we have enjoyed with Ministry Health Care and Ascension.  As health care in the United States continues to evolve, we feel this opportunity to formally partner with HSHS is the most beneficial for the patients and communities we are privileged to serve,” added Patrick O’Hern, MDCMC Board Chair.

“We have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Door County Medical Center and the entire community since 1999,” said Bernie Sherry, Senior Vice President, Ascension Health/Wisconsin Ministry Market Executive. “Ascension Wisconsin is committed to working with Door County Medical Center and HSHS during this phase of discussions to ensure compassionate, personalized care continues without interruption.”

MDCMC is a 25-bed acute-care hospital and outpatient medical center that offers a full range of services and specialties. MDCMC medical staff includes more than 175 physicians who care for patients at five locations in Door and Kewaunee counties.

HSHS has 14 hospitals and more than 200 physician clinic sites in Wisconsin and Illinois. The HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division has four hospitals, including two in Green Bay, one in Oconto Falls and one in Sheboygan.  HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay has centers of excellence for cancer, cardiovascular, orthopedics, women’s care, digestive health, and a dedicated children’s hospital with the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, also in Green Bay, offers a full scope of healthcare services including heart care and women’s health.  Through its partnership with Prevea Health, the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division also includes over 200 physicians in over 40 health centers that provide easy access to primary and specialty care physician services.

“We believe that formally partnering with Ministry Door County Medical Center will enable both organizations to work together to improve the health of communities across northeast Wisconsin,” said Mary Starmann-Harrison, President and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System.

MDCMC and HSHS have a history of working together in areas such as oncology services, lab support, electronic medical records and specialty physician coverage through Prevea.  HSHS and MDCMC will undertake a due diligence process before the partnership takes effect, which is anticipated to occur by the end of 2016.  Gerald Worrick will continue to serve as Door County Medical Center CEO following the transition.

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Tips for Summer Exercise

Jason Linzmeier, athletic trainer at MDCMC Rehab Services, works with student athletes at Southern Door Schools. He also coordinates summer athletic camps for youth, and provides care at many community sporting events, including the Door County Triathlon.

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“When summer weather finally arrives to Door County, we all want to get out and make the most of it,” he says. Here are Jason’s tips for making your summer workout safe, enjoyable and beneficial.

  • Start slow. If you’re starting a new exercise program in summer, start gradually and build your endurance.
  • Know your body. Pay attention to how you feel. Some soreness when starting a new routine is normal but if soreness progresses to pain, seek a medical opinion.
  • Hydrate. Participating in an outdoor athletic event? Hydrating the day of isn’t enough. “It’s important to be properly hydrated 24-48 hours before an event,” says Jason. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, and 16 oz. of water for every pound lost in exercise.
  • Keep it cool. Dress appropriately for conditions. If you overheat, find shade and sit down. A cold compress on the back of the neck, armpit, behind the knees or in the groin area will cool you down faster.
  • Be vigilant. “When running or biking on the road, don’t ever assume that a driver will see you. Play it safe,” he says. While music is a great motivator, earbuds can be a distraction. Stay alert.
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MDCMC’s Emergency Department Wins National Award

MDCMC’s Emergency Department was recently recognized by Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC) with the PRC Excellence Award, recognizing outstanding quality of patient care. PRC is a national organization that gathers data from hospitals across the nation and facilitates excellence in healthcare through research and data analysis.2016-Award-Winner-Button-200px

 

Here are a few facts about our Emergency Department:

  • MDCMC’s Emergency Department is a state-of-the-art facility staffed by experienced, caring doctors and nurses.
  • Patient surveys indicate an outstanding level of patient satisfaction with Emergency Care.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department have immediate access to all other facets of our facility, including lab, diagnostic imaging, orthopedics, specialists, social workers and more.

MDC_Emergancy_001“We are very proud that our outstanding team is able to serve the emergency needs of our community at the highest level,” says Sandy Vandertie, RN, manager of Emergency Care, Urgent Care, and Outpatient Services. “Our emergency department is one reason our hospital was recently named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the U.S.”

Watch this short video to learn more.

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Celebrate Community Summer Concert Series

At Ministry Door County Medical Center, we believe that the health of body, mind and spirit are connected. That’s why we support community events that nurture all aspects of health, from outdoor runs, to children’s educational workshops to the arts. Come out and join us this July as we present the Celebrate Community Summer Concert series. Gather friends and family, bring your picnic blanket and lawn chairs and get ready to relax and enjoy!SUMMER concert series 516

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Keeping Patient Information Safe and Accurate: Betty Rockendorf

Rockendorf Receives WHIMA Distinguished Member Award

As director of the Health Information Management (HIM) Department at Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC), Betty Rockendorf has to stay on her toes. “Health information management is an ever-changing, dynamic profession. In the last few years, we’ve seen the shift from paper to electronic charts, as well as new privacy requirements and huge technological shifts,” says Betty. “It’s my job to stay up to date and make sure patients’ records are accurate, safe, and timely, and can be accessed and shared appropriately to ensure the best health care possible.”

Recently, Betty was recognized nationally for her leadership in the field of HIM through the Distinguished Member Award from the Wisconsin Health Information Management Association (WHIMA). She has served the organization as a member of the board of directors and education director. The award is WHIMA’s highest honor, and recognizes outstanding members for their service to the association and their contributions to the profession.

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Betty began her career at MDCMC in 2001 as a medical transcriptionist. After attaining a degree in Business Administration, she used her business skills to streamline the department and develop procedures to improve accuracy and productivity. “Back then we were working with the very first versions of speech recognition software,” she says. “There was a lot of editing required.” In 2007 she became director of the HIM department, and soon coding and medical records management came under her supervision as well.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Betty continued her education, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Health Information Management, as well as certifications in Healthcare Technology and Privacy and Security.

“Information is a critical component of health care,” says Mary Lopas, Chief Information Officer at MDCMC and Betty’s colleague and supervisor. “We take pride in using and organizing information in a way that ensures the best care and best communication. Betty and her team make this happen by being ‘guardians of the record.’ This means everything from ensuring accuracy in medical transcriptions to coding properly so patients’ insurance will cover the costs of their care appropriately.”

In the end, it’s all about trust. “It’s our job to make sure patient records reflect their health care story,” says Betty. “Our ultimate goal is to maintain safe and accurate records, and earn and keep our patients’ confidence.”

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