Health News from Eastern Wisconsin
Pioneering a new procedure for patients with reflux
We often think groundbreaking medical procedures come from the largest hospitals in urban areas. But Ministry Door County Medical Center is pioneering a new procedure designed to improve the lives of those living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). “This procedure is gaining a foothold in rural practice because doctors here have a special skill set of both general surgery and endoscopy,” says Shaun Melarvie, MD, who, along with Kurtis Scheer, MD, has been educating patients and performing the procedure known as transoral incisionless fundoplication or TIF since October 2012.
This new type of incisionless surgery reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux. The surgery is remarkable in that it is “surgery from within” performed through the mouth. Based on the same proven principles of conventional laparoscopic surgery, the TIF procedure does not leave a visible scar; and pain and recovery time are reduced.
Millions of Americans suffer from GERD and are treated with reflux medications, but many of those patients are still unable to sleep lying down or eat the foods they want. Research has also shown that medications prescribed for patients with GERD can cause long-term side effects including inadequate absorption of minerals, which may lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures.
“It’s a genuine concern for some patients, especially women,” says Dr. Melarvie. “The research shows that after this surgery, 80 percent of patients won’t need medication anymore.”
If you or a loved one suffers from GERD and are not receiving complete relief from your heartburn, call Lake Side Surgical Associates at 920.746.1060 to learn more about this innovative new procedure.
Senior “Art for Health” workshops offer self-expression and socialization
Seniors, if you are looking for a way to enhance your lives, Ministry Door County Medical Center’s “Art for Health” workshops may be just the ticket that you need.
The performing arts have always been a source of enjoyment and rejuvenation. Drama and storytelling programs engage the whole person, stimulating the mind, body, senses and psyche.
Developed by Ministry Door County Medical Center “Art for Health” director Terry Lundahl, “Art for Health” for Seniors is a cutting-edge therapeutic drama and storytelling experience designed for today’s younger, fitter, seniors and for those in need of assistance. “We strive to make these two ‘camps’ one” to also involve the more fragile seniors to the fullest extent and allow them the stimulation of being part of the larger group so they have equal opportunity for self-validation,” said Lundahl.
Performing keeps people young. Acting provides an exciting outlet for creative expression and social interaction – in other words, mental aerobics and emotional gymnastics. Studies show the benefits of stimulating the mind in helping to ward off Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression. Encouraging older adults to be physically active and mentally imaginative through creative arts in drama and storytelling programs will improve their self-esteem, their mental fitness, their social ease, their mood barometers, and their overall well-being through companionship, challenge, laughter and applause.
The energizing force of drama cannot be underestimated. This is where the whole person is engaged – physically and psychologically. Improvisational exercises and storytelling allow seniors to tap into their wealth of experience and express their ideas and feelings about things they have done, places they have been, the friends they have made and places they wish to experience and enjoy.
This kind of acting does not require memorization. Instead, participants make up situations, enjoy improvisational games, and create stories as a group. For those who have followed other pursuits in life, coming back to drama is an exhilarating experience. It is a welcome return to an old friend that helps people come out of their shells because the play is both rewarding and fun. It is literally never too late to get involved in drama and storytelling.
Seniors interested in the “Art for Health” drama / improv and storytelling workshops should call 920.493.5979 for more information.
The Healing Project: Supporting cancer patients with integrative therapies
Cancer patients in Door and Kewaunee counties now have a new means of support for facing the challenge of this difficult diagnosis. Based on certain income levels, men and women who are living with cancer can take advantage of free integrative health care services through a new program sponsored by Ministry Door County Medical Center and the Community Clinic of Door County.
The Healing Project provides services including counseling, massage, therapeutic yoga, acupuncture, and healing touch therapy.
“These therapies give patients the opportunity to experience the interrelationship of body, mind and spirit,” says Janelle Berg, program coordinator and healing touch practitioner.
The Healing Project’s services complement the regimen of conventional western medicine to help people who are facing cancer at any stage. Outcomes include boosting the immune system, supporting self-regulation of pain, managing the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, and coping with the anxiety and depression that often accompany the diagnosis.
The Healing Project is funded by the Cancer Healing Fund maintained by Door County Ministry Medical Center.
“The program really grew out of a grassroots effort, including an awareness walk, on the part of the Door County Health Department and local businesses who have been committed to raising awareness and funds for cancer patients,” says Laura Moeller, executive director of The Community Clinic. “From there, we started a conversation with Ministry about broadening the scope of services to serve both men and women with any form of cancer.”
“Door County has one of the highest rates of cancer in Wisconsin. The large number of patients coming to our hospital for cancer treatment is one reason we have partnered with the Community Clinic to offer free integrative health care services to our community,” says Kevin Grohskopf, chief business development officer at Ministry Door County Medical Center. “Providing these services to those who really need them serves our mission of creating a healthier community.”
Currently the program is serving 16 patients, men and women equally. “The response from the community has been phenomenal,” says Moeller. “In October 2012, 37 local retailers made donations to help support this program.”
Ministry Door County Medical Center opens state-of-the-art Urgent Care clinic
Ministry Door County Medical Center’s new Urgent Care clinic in Sturgeon Bay is now open and serving patients seven days a week. The Urgent Care clinic addresses immediate health care needs with the added advantage of being located within the hospital, seconds from the emergency room. A trip to Urgent Care costs about the same as a regular office visit – and much less than a visit to the emergency room.
Urgent Care also provides a full range of lab and diagnostic imaging services.
The clinic is led by experienced family practice providers who have served Door County for many years. “People are looking for high quality urgent care, and we are here to provide it for them,” said Keith Anclam, MD, a family practice physician.
Patients are reaping the benefits of a convenient facility that has expanded hours. “We are filling a void by offering these services,” says Sandy Vandertie, RN, who serves as clinic supervisor. “We know that patients have had to ask themselves if they should wait for an appointment or go to the emergency room. Urgent Care is the perfect solution.
“We’ve streamlined the registration process, so patients register right in the clinic,” said Vandertie. “And we have also developed a set of commitments about turn-around times, so that patients feel that they’ve received the best care in a timely manner.”
The opening of the Urgent Care facility also frees up Ministry Door County Medical Center’s emergency room to handle true emergencies and further improve its quality of care.
To visit the Urgent Care Clinic, follow the green and white signs at the North Shore Medical Clinic main entrance. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Valet parking is available for your convenience and no appointment is necessary.
For more information, contact the Urgent Care clinic at 920.746.3800.
Everything you need when you need it most.
Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Urgent Care is now open to serve you
When you have teenagers in sports, anything can happen – just ask the Seilers. From torn ligaments to dislocated knees, Pam has trusted the high quality care at Ministry Door County Medical Center to not only heal her children’s injuries, but also get them back to the activities they love.
Rick, Pam and Jenna Seiler
Sturgeon Bay, WisconsinIt’s for families like Pam’s that we opened our new Urgent Care center. Just seconds away from the ER, our full-service clinic can treat anyone with a variety of conditions, from infections to the flu.
We know you can’t control getting sick or injured; that’s why we’re open when it’s convenient for you – weeknights, weekends and holidays.
Urgent Care Hours
7 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekends
For information, call 920.746.3800.