Eastern Wisconsin


Drowsy driving can be deadly

Ministry Door County Medical Center wants to inform the community about the dangers of driving while fatigued.

“As a society, we need to recognize the dangers associated with drowsy driving,” said Nancy Ruff, sleep facility coordinator at Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Sleep Disorder Facility.

According to drowsydriving.org, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year. Sleepiness can impair drivers by causing slower reaction times, vision impairment, lapses in judgment and accidents.

A study conducted by researchers from Australia and New Zealand found that people awake for 17 to 19 hours performed at a level equivalent or worse than those who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent. Response speeds were up to 50 percent slower and accuracy was poor. After longer periods without sleep, performance reached levels equivalent to blood alcohol concentration levels of 0.1 percent – .08 is considered legally drunk in the United States.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analysis found that younger drivers ages 16 to 24 were nearly twice as likely to be involved in drowsy driving crashes as drivers ages 40 to 59, and about 57 percent of drowsy driving crashes involved the driver drifting into other lanes or off the road.

Many drivers try to combat sleepiness by turning up the radio, opening the window or drinking caffeinated beverages. These strategies do not work. The best remedy for sleepiness while driving is to pull over in a safe place and take a 15- to 45-minute nap.

Warning signs

The following warning signs indicate that it’s time to stop driving and find a safe place to get off the road.

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and / or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty keeping reveries or daydreams at bay
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating and / or hitting rumble strips
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive

If you are constantly feeling tired, it may be time to schedule an appointment at the Ministry Door County Medical Center Sleep Disorder Facility.

Remember: Drive Alert … Arrive Alive!


Ministry Door County Medical Center recognized as one of the top three critical access hospitals in the nation

With a percentile ranking of 95.40, Ministry Door County Medical Center was recognized as one of the top three Critical Access Hospitals in America. The announcement was made by the National Rural Health Association at its Critical Access Hospital Conference in October 2011.

The ranking is based on the hospital’s superior performance in eight areas including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, costs and charges, financial stability, competitive strength and intensity, market size and growth.

You can improve your sleep

Millions of Americans are affected by sleep disorders. In 2005, the National Sleep Foundation found that 75 percent of adults had at least one symptom of a sleep problem and that 54 percent experience at least one symptom of insomnia.

75 percent of adults have at least one symptom of a sleep problem

“We need to make sleep a priority,” says Nancy Ruff, sleep facility coordinator at Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Sleep Disorder Facility. “It is just as important to our health as diet, exercise and the air we breathe.”

Poor sleeping patterns not only degrade a person’s quality of life, they can also contribute to cardiovascular and neurological problems, increase the risk of stroke, anxiety, depression, obesity and diabetes; as well as increase automobile accidents.

“We need to recognize sleep disorders and learn how to prevent or treat sleep deprivation,” said Ruff. “This pervasive sleepiness is affecting our health, safety, productivity and learning ability.”

The most common types of sleep disorders include:

  • Sleep Apnea: A condition that is characterized by snoring, occasional periods of choking or gasping while sleeping and daytime sleepiness.
  • Insomnia: This condition is best described as having difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep or waking up too early.
  • Narcolepsy: This condition is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness or falling asleep frequently without warning.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: RLS is associated with a frequent and intense urge to move one’s legs due to unpleasant sensations while trying to sleep.
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder: PLMD is a condition described as involuntary kicking or jerking of the limbs, usually legs, during sleep.

The Ministry Door County Medical Center Sleep Disorder Facility offers both overnight inpatient and daytime outpatient tests to adults and pediatric patients as young as 14 years of age who have sleep problems. Staff can then provide recommendations to improve sleep conditions related to sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder.

Designed with the latest technology and led by sleep specialists and technologists, the facility assists and evaluates individuals whom have trouble falling asleep or staying awake.

Daytime studies include:

  • Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT): This nap testing is used to measure someone’s ability to stay awake in circumstances which are normally difficult to stay awake.
  • Actrigraphy: Involves the use of a portable device, worn on the wrist or leg, that records movement over extended periods of time.
  • Nap studies to test for Narcolepsy or disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Other evaluation tools to help patients comply with their current therapy such as Mask fitting and Desensitization, and some limited Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

“We offer overnight in-lab or in-home testing for sleep apnea. We also offer overnight oxygen pulse oximetry for those patients that require oxygen during their sleep test,” said Ruff.

The facility’s private bedrooms are soundproof and have individual temperature control for comfort. The rooms are also furnished with a private handicap accessible bathroom and shower, a flat-screen TV, wireless Internet access, comfortable beds, reclining chairs and a whirlpool tub.

To schedule an appointment, call 920.746.3585 or 920.746.3570, or contact your physician and request a consultation for a sleep study.

Patients learn about rehabilitation before surgery

Once a month, Ministry Door County Medical Center offers a Total Mobility Care class for patients to learn about the rehab services and facilities before they undergo knee or hip replacement surgery. The Total Mobility Care class offers the opportunity for patients to meet with occupational and physical therapists, a case manager, a financial services representative and a physician assistant prior to surgery.

Nancy Herrick, a case manager at Ministry Door County Medical Center says, “It’s so much easier to prepare before surgery. Our goal is to get you to think about all of the necessary details beforehand, such as what equipment you will need, how you will get to and from rehab and whether you will still be able to cook.”

The class focuses on what patients can expect when they first meet with their surgeon to discuss everything from surgery options to operation prep work, recovery and rehab. Victoria Mogen, a physical therapist, recommends certain exercises to strengthen the body before surgery. “We want you to get up and moving (after surgery), but more importantly we want you to be safe,” said Mogen. “Building up your muscles can help with your recovery.”

The class also focuses on equipment that may assist during rehab such as walkers, elevated toilet seats and tub benches. Ministry Door County Medical Center has been offering the Total Mobility Care class for a year now.

One man’s journey to knee replacement

David Van Dreese is preparing for a full knee replacement surgery. The 71-year-old Sturgeon Bay resident recently attended Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Total Joint Class. This monthly class focuses on preparing patients for their joint replacement surgical experience and recovery period.

During the two-hour learning session, patients receive a comprehensive guide to hip and knee replacement surgery. They meet with other participants and prepare for surgery through group education, personally tailored instructions and open discussion with the medical staff that will care for them.

A patient’s health care team includes an orthopedic surgeon, physician assistant, primary care physician, nurse, certified nursing assistant, physical therapist , occupational therapist, dietitian, respiratory therapist, case manager, financial counselor and spiritual services.

“I think this informational class is very beneficial,” said David Van Dreese. “It’s important to be able to ask questions before the surgery. Plus you are able to meet the people you will be working with hands-on before the operation. That’s invaluable.”

The first day after the surgery, physical and occupational therapy begins. The patient will be seen twice a day. The program consists of mobility training, range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, ADL (activities of daily living) training and assessment of home environment and equipment needs.

Victoria Mogen, a physical therapist explains, “We encourage early mobility by the first day after surgery to restore your maximum functional ability and quality of life at home.” The rehabilitation program is individually designed to treat patients to return to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible.

Occupational therapist Kelley Hutchison – Maravilla agrees, “We want you to get back on your feet. We are here to assist you with daily activities that we take for granted, such as getting dressed. We want you to do all that you can for yourself.”

She also recommends that patients think about their surroundings and prepare for their return home. “Think about the set-up in your bathroom. If the toilet is low – you may need a riser, or you may find a tub bench to be useful for taking a shower.”

Van Dreese’s upcoming surgery will be his third. “It’s been 8 years since my second joint replacement surgery and this class was a good reminder of what to expect, Van Dreese said. “Everyone that I met works hard for you. They are the ones who see you when you are in pain, so it’s good to know that they are nice and want the best outcome for you.”

If you are experiencing hip or knee pain and think you might be in need of a hip or knee replacement, talk with your physician or call Ministry North Shore Medical Clinic at 920.746.0510 or 800.522.8919 for an appointment with orthopedic surgeons Daniel Tomaszewski, MD , or Steven Davis, MD.

“Sing for your Supper” CD raises nearly $20,000

Sales of Volume 5 of Sing for your Supper, a holiday CD featuring various high schools, Cardinal Stritch University, and professional soloists and musicians raised nearly $20,000 between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011 for Agape Community Center’s meal program.

“All proceeds from sales of the CD support hundreds, if not thousands, of people in need through our community meal program,” said Al Luzi, Agape’s director of development. “This CD ultimately allows us to benefit the underserved.”

This 2011 CD also features the talents of soloist Amy Stanelle, MA, and harpist Karen Roberts, RN, from Ministry Door County Medical Center and Ministry North Shore Medical Clinic in Sturgeon Bay. As winners of Ministry Health Care’s third annual “Ministry Has Talent” contest, they received a professional recording session and have songs on the 2011 holiday CD.

To order a copy of the 2011 Sing for your Supper CD, please contact Al Luzi at aluzi@agape-center.org or 414.464.4440 extension 230.

Karen Roberts, RN, and Amy Stanelle, MA

Same-day appointments available!



Dr. Anclam provides Family Medicine services at Ministry North Shore Medical Clinic in Sister Bay, located in Scandia Village-Good Samaritan.

He is board certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners.


SISTER BAY 10560 Applewood Rd. 920.854.5355

• Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• Friday: 8 a.m. – Noon


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