Eastern Wisconsin

MDCMC Launches Food for Health: A Seed to Table Class

Learning nutrition can be fun when kids do the planting, growing, cooking

Food for Health is a series of 12 classes intended to make nutrition more fun by involving parents and their children in all facets of food — from planting seeds and nurturing a garden to cooking and eating.

The free classes are being sponsored by the Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) Women’s and Children’s Health Center and the Community’s Garden. The medical center is partnering with the UW-Extension Door County office, area organic gardeners and local chefs in the program.

Parents and their children, ages 8 to 15, participate in the entire series. Each session encourages parents and their children to get involved with these healthy food steps and others: starting a plant from seed; transplanting the plant as it grows; planting in the garden; caring for the garden; harvesting the food; and cooking and eating the food (the last three classes). Participants have been growing and will eventually prepare peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and more.

“The idea is to make nutrition more fun for kids,” said Jennifer Fischer, MDCMC’s director of the Women’s and Children’s Health Center. “Kids come away with an understanding of what fresh food is, where you can get it and how to prepare it. It’s an extremely unique and cool class. I’m excited about it,” said Fischer.

Amy Fogarty, MD, a pediatrician affiliated with North Shore Medical Clinic and medical advisor to Food for Health, said the program is important today as kids are often far removed from food production and have difficulty understanding what goes into growing the food they see in the grocery store.

“French fries are the number one consumed vegetable — if you can call them that — for kids. Most children don’t even recognize many of the fruits and vegetables in their raw form,” Dr. Fogarty said.

“The Food for Health program allows kids to participate actively in planting, growing, harvesting and preparing their own food. Studies have shown the more involved kids are in preparing the food, the more likely they are to eat it,” Dr. Fogarty continued.

Studies also point out that ages 8 to 15 is a good time to get kids to develop healthy eating habits that can last into their young adult years. MDCMC purchased program related materials and equipment —including a light system for nurturing the plants, said Fischer, who added that grant funds may be available in the future.

Food for Health, along with Art for Health, is part of the Women and Children’s Health Center’s commitment to extending health offerings to children, young adolescents, teenagers and women in Door County, Fischer said.

“There is a national movement toward teaching our kids to eat healthier. We are all fighting an uphill battle, as the environment kids grow up in is filled with television commercials showing foods filled with sugar and corn oil. “We need to close the loop; instead of just telling kids they should eat healthier, the Food for Health program shows them how,” Fischer added.

“It’s such a wonderful program and so in tune with what I am trying to do as a pediatrician,” Fogarty said. “It’s not just about diagnosing ear infections, but also about preventative care and teaching healthy choices that will last into adulthood,” she said.

For more information about the Food for Health Program, visit ministryfoodforhealth.org

Holly Swain provides family medicine services to Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek

Holly Swain PAHolly Swain, PA, joined Ministry Door County Medical Center and North Shore Medical Clinic in April 2011. She offers family medicine services to patients in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.

Swain is a physician assistant with 20 years of family medicine experience as well as 4 years in internal medicine. She takes a proactive approach with her patients, and focuses on preventative medicine. Swain has consistently rated in the top quartile for patient satisfaction. Swain earned her Physician Assistant Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To schedule an appointment with Holly Swain, please call North Shore Medical Clinic at 920.746.0510 or visit ministryhealth.org.

Ministry Door County Medical Center provides free athletic training and concussion baseline testing to local athletes

You will find them on the court side during high school basketball games.

You can also find them on the sidelines during local football and soccer games and at ringside at wrestling matches. They also provide valuable services during community sporting events such as the Door County Triathlon, Door County Half Marathon and Fall 50.

They are Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) licensed athletic trainers. As part of its ongoing commitment to community wellness, sports medicine and keeping young athletes safe, MDCMC provides athletic trainers to all local high school sporting events. This service is free.

Also, since 2007, MDCMC has partnered with the four area high schools in the adoption of the ImPACT test concussion management tool that helps assess recovering following injury. MDCMC fully funds the annual costs associated with use of ImPACT by all area high schools.

“We believe it is important to protect the athletes”, said Deb Whitelaw-Gorski, the medical center’s director of Rehab Services. “We know these are needed services. And what we do ultimately increases communication between coaches, the athletes, the parents and even the teachers in the case of someone who has had a concussion.”

Reaching out to the schools and athletes is part of MDCMC’s mission, according to Tina Koyen, licensed athletic trainer. “The county is like a family,” Koyen said. “The hospital is a big part of that, and we have to take care of our own. We have a commitment to community wellness and are always looking at better ways to take care of our community.”

Athletic trainers out in the field Koyen is one of five MDCMC licensed athletic trainers who offer complimentary services to athletes at games and matches, which take place about 4 days a week. Her responsibilities range from assessment and treatment for injuries, such as shoulder sprains, to caring for athletes the day after the game in the training room and making necessary referrals to physicians.

“I love what I do.” Koyen said. “I love working with high school students and athletes. I just get a lot of enjoyment out of helping these kids and making sure they are being taken care of the best possible way.”

Athletic training involves the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities, according to the National Athletic Training Association.

The MDCMC athletic trainers provide a vital role in triaging injuries as they occur on the field, according to Whitelaw-Gorski. “They also help out in the training rooms at the schools,” Whitelaw-Gorski said. “They help the students rehab from injuries, and they make recommendations to coaches about appropriate training exercises that benefit the kids before the sports season starts. They provide a lot of information and counsel to coaches to help keep the kids safe and to safely return them to play.”

Often joining the athletic trainers at the games are physicians on the medical staff of MDCMC and affiliated with North Shore Medical Clinic.

“It’s a win-win for everyone when you can have a trainer on the sidelines; it’s an added benefit when you can also have a physician there,” Whitelaw-Gorski said.

ImPACT assesses concussions

Another benefit to the community is the medical center and schools’ adoption of ImPACT. ImPACT is a computerized concussion evaluation system. It is also being used on the national level – as part of the National Football League, National Basketball Association and other sports programs.

High school students participating in contact sports take a baseline test during the summer to discover neurocognitive functions including memory, brain processing speed, reaction time and more. For the convenience of the athletes, MDCMC athletic trainers bring the test to the schools.

“If an athlete gets hurt later on, we have something to go back and take a look at,” Whitelaw Gorski said. “With ImPACT, we have comparative information for that student – should he or she suffer a concussion.”

If an athlete has a disturbance in brain function, the test is taken again “to objectively evaluate the athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play,” according to ImPACT.

“We believe it is a real valuable testing service for the schools,” said Whitelaw-Gorski. “It’s so important to have baseline data on the students and athletes as they enter the sporting years. Whitelaw-Gorski also added that parents, coaches and others are enthused about the medical center’s role in high school sports.

“If you are watching a soccer game and someone goes down, it is so comforting to a parent to see a trainer run out there to help. Family members are happy that someone with medical expertise is there on the sidelines,” Whitelaw-Gorski said.

For more information about athletic training or the ImPACT system, contact 920.746.0410.

Join us for Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Annual Celebration of Community

Enjoy an evening of some of the Nation’s best Jazz, Folk, Blues and World Music talent.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
7:30 p.m.
Door Community Auditorium
3926 Wisconsin Highway 42
Fish Creek

For more information, contact: 920.493.5979 or email artforhealth@ministryhealth.org

Sponsored by Ministry Door County Medical Center

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