May 10th though the 16th is National Hospital Week, and with the current healthcare crisis in mind, 2020 in particular is a year that we should take the time to recognize and thank all of the staff at Door County Medical Center for everything that they do to keep us healthy and active.
A Healing Ministry
As a Catholic hospital, President and CEO Brian Stephens points out that Door County Medical Center’s primary mission has always been to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, “to further [his] healing ministry in the communities we serve.” He adds, “we’re going to come in everyday and continue something that he started 2,000 years ago. I think most people who have spent any amount of time in our facility can tell a difference because of that mission, and certainly our employees do a wonderful job of carrying out that mission everyday—making sure our patients know how much we care about them, and how much we care about our community.”
A shift to preparedness
Recently the hospital’s focus has shifted to preparing for the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m really proud of the entire DCMC team’s response to the pandemic,” Brian remarks. “Initially, about a month ago,” he adds, “we started canceling elective surgeries, and really scaling back the number of face-to-face visits at our clinic. We redeployed a lot of staff from those areas, and cross-trained people from the clinic and from surgery into other areas where they would be needed if we were to see a surge, effectively doubling our capacity. How our team has responded, how quickly they’ve adjusted to so many changes, it’s been inspiring to watch how everyone has come together”
A holistic approach to healthcare in the community
Healthcare goes beyond the physical health of individual patients, however, and at DCMC a holistic approach to community wellness has always been a priority. Brian notes that along with preparing for the coronavirus and providing direct healthcare to its patients, DCMC has also “done a pretty good job of widely spreading out our community partnerships—we really try to promote the broader sense of health within the community.” With this goal in mind, DCMC supports and works with more than fifty Door and Kewaunee community organizations across all walks of life. These include youth mentoring and support organizations like The Door County YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Door County; arts organizations like Third Avenue Playhouse and Northern Sky Theater; educational organizations like the Door County Public Schools, St. John Bosco Catholic School, and the Algoma Public Library; as well as sports organizations like Special Olympics and Run the Door.
Additionally, in these unprecedented times, DCMC is not only focused on the physical health and well-being of the people of Door and Kewaunee counties, but also long-term economic health of those communities. “Because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Brian points out, “we don’t really know what the next few months are going to look like—for instance, if the tourist season will look the same as it always does." In order to provide local businesses with the education and guidance that they need to reopen, DCMC is partnering with the Door County business community—with groups like Door County Economic Development Corporation and Destination Door County—to provide education on infection prevention within the business setting. Brian adds, “whether it’s manufacturing, retail or tourism, we’re putting together recommendations for the different sectors of the economy. Within the next couple of weeks, we’ll be there as a resource so businesses feel like they can open safely and serve customers in this new environment.”
Support from the community
Brian adds that, as with any healthy relationship, the support goes both ways: “While I feel that we are essential to the community—that a lot of people would not live in Door County were it not for the great medical facilities, professionals and care that we’re able to provide—we also wouldn’t be what we are without the generous support of the Door and Kewaunee County communities. And, I mean that in a couple of ways. Over the years, community members have not only been very generous in terms of donations, but have also helped us provide new services through community fundraising campaigns. Recently,” Brian continues, “a lot of people have also put up blue ribbons or signs in their yard, and I can tell you first hand, all those things mean a lot. We’re here to serve, but we sure do feel the support and the love from the community and appreciate that. But, perhaps more than that, the Door County community trusts us with their care—there’s no way that we would be able to provide the services that we do without that trust.”
DCMC is an award-winning critical access hospital that currently serves all of Door and Kewaunee counties. DCMC has over 175 physicians on its staff, covering a wide variety of specialties from Memory Care to Orthopedics, and provides access to twenty-eight departments, including Pediatrics, Women’s Care, Behavioral Health and Psychotherapy, and the Door County Cancer Center. If you are interested in supporting Door County Medical Center please visit our foundation website at https://www.dcmedical.org/foundation. If you would like to support to Our Fight Against COVID-19, please visit https://www.dcmedical.org/coronavirus/donate.