Health & Wellness Ministry

"Living Healthy is a Prayer"

The Health and Wellness Committee of Stella Maris Parish, in collaboration with other Northern Door Churches and health and wellness organizations, will recognize and respectfully address the health and wellness needs of our community members:  body, mind and spirit.


• Maintain a connection to a caring parish community interested in the safety, health and well-being of those who risk isolation due to age or infirmity

• Work with the Stella Maris Christian Service and Responsibility Committee and other Northern Door Churches and health and wellness organizations to increase the number and quality of volunteer programs available to meet the health and wellness needs of parish adults and children

• Increase our parishioners’ awareness of health and wellness services in Door County

• Support and facilitate the provision of health education information and programs
• Continuously examine and address the evolving health and wellness needs of parishioners 

>>  NOW IT’S YOUR TURN . . .
  • Do you see needs that need to be addressed?  Let us Know!
  • What topics would you like us to cover?  Let us Know!
  • Would you like to join us?  Let us Know!



We have lots of ideas and much to do ... and we could use your help!  We want to hear from you with any questions, comments, suggestions.   JOIN our committee or offer an hour or two of your time and VOLUNTEER for a specific job/task:

• Taking and recording blood pressures 
• Volunteer to become a driver for DOOR TRAN
• Join our Education Committee

 Send us an email at or contact any committee member:

           Marian Irmen . . . . . . . Egg Harbor . . . . . . . 920-495-2347
          Melanie Johnson . . . . . . . Sister Bay . . . . . . .  920-421-0367
          Julie Kudick . . . . . . . Fish Creek . . . . . . .  920-868-2262
          Colleen Monske . . . . . . . . Egg Harbor . . . . . . . . 920-639-4583
          Barb Pasquesi . . . . . . . Sister Bay . . . . . . . 920-854-2214         
          Lynn Polacek . . . . . . . Sister Bay . . . . . . . 920-854-9094         
          Alice Stollenwerk . . . . . . .Fish Creek . . . . . . . 920-854-5640


Why Does Stella Maris Parish Need a Faith Community Nurse (FCN)?

Stella Maris is a geographically large parish, reaching from north of Town Line Road in Carlsville to the tip of the Peninsula, as well as Washington Island, and encompasses 6 worship sites.  It includes nearly 1400 members, more than half of whom are individuals over the age of 60.  Since the County is a retirement destination, many of our parishioners are away from family members who could serve as a resource in a health emergency or in dealing with a chronic health condition.

A Faith Community Nurse assists parishioners in achieving their best possible health by maintaining or regaining wholeness in body, mind and spirit through linking their habits of faith and health. 

There are limits to what the current health care system can provide based on funding, staffing and function.  For example, doctor visits have limited time, hospital stays are short and many procedures are done on an outpatient basis.  Sometimes you have utilized all the resources available to you and are still in need of assistance.
 A few examples of

• To prepare for doctor’s visit
• To prepare for a procedure or hospitalization
• To visit me after I leave the hospital
• When I feel I don’t really understand my medications or treatment plan
• When I don’t know where to go for help
• When I need someone to help me cope with my illness or disability
• When I am dealing with a new diagnosis
• To help me know what things I can do to safely remain living independently
• To help me make plans when I can no longer manage on my own
• When I am grieving the loss of a loved one


• Generally, the FCN does not provide direct  or technical care
• The FCN is not allowed to administer medications, do invasive procedures or those requiring a physician’s order


               A FOUNDING MEMBER OF

Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry serves the people of the Northern Door Community through education, collaboration and advocacy.  With representatives from different faith communities from Egg Harbor to Gills Rock, and the YMCA, this ministry continues to invite more participation from other Northern Door churches and will collaborate with other organizations who share their vision. 

Stella Maris Health & Wellness Committee is one of the founding members of this new ministry and is a very active member, in order that we can keep our parish aware of all the many resources, programs and training available in northern Door County.

                                         COMMUNITY  TRAINING IN  CPR/AED  

The Sister Bay & Liberty Grove Fire Department is partnering with the American Safety & Health Institute to offer classes to educate the community in the proper method of using an AED and performing CPR.  All classes are being offered at the Sister Bay Fire Station on Mill Road.

The CPR/AED class will teach infant, child and adult CPR and offers a 2-year certification.   $25.00 per person will be charged to cover the cost of books, materials and a CPR mask.   

TO REGISTER:   call 920-854-4021 and leave a message OR email





Door 2 Door Rides Public Transit System, Door County’s shared ride taxi and public connector service, now offers public transportation services throughout most of the Door County peninsula from Sturgeon Bay to the Washington Island Northport Ferry Dock and everywhere in between! Their focus is to provide safe, clean, wheelchair accessible transportation at an affordable price to people of all ages. 

  • Call 920-746-6948 (local) or 888-337-9485 (toll-free) to schedule that ride. 
  • These connector vehicles are allowed to go off route up to 1/2 mile on either side of planned route to pick up or drop off passengers.  Please notify the dispatch person exactly where and when you expect to be picked up and dropped off when making your advance ride reservation.
  • Work with dispatcher directly to plan your route.
  • Please indicate if you need a wheelchair transport.

Taxi Service Operates:
Sturgeon Bay Service Areas: Monday-Friday, 6:00 am-10:00 pm • Saturday, 7:00 am-10:00 pm • Sunday, 7:00 am-6:00 pm
Northern Door Service Area: Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-7:00 pm

>  Sturgeon Bay Service Area
Adults: $3.50
60+ and individuals with disabilities: $1.75
Students (3-18 years of age): $1.75

>  Sturgeon Bay Expanded/Northern Zone:
Adults: $6.50
60+ and individuals with disabilities: $3.25
Students (3-18 years of age): $3.25

>  North-South Connector
This service operates Monday-Friday 9:30 am-3:00 pm (approximately)

South Zone to North Zone (or vice versa): $10.00 per trip
South Zone to Far North Sub-Zone (or vice versa): $15.00 per trip

Visit their website for detailed information and map :

                                       PUT YOURSELF IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Door-Tran is actively seeking volunteer drivers for their new Countywide Volunteer Driver Program to transport Door County residents who cannot afford the half-price voucher program, or do not have access to the Door-2-Door taxi service or public transit connector services.  Drivers will operate their personal vehicles and will be reimbursed mileage -- meal and cell phone  reimbursements are also available.
Benefits of being a Volunteer Driver are:
 Mileage Reimbursement
 Free excess auto, accident and personal liability insurance while on assignment
 Personal satisfaction of helping others and your community
 Flexibility with scheduling
 Ongoing staff support and training

For more information, please contact: 
VOLUNTEER@DOOR-TRAN.ORG or 920-559-9915.

For general transportation information, call DOOR-TRAN at 920-743-9999 or go to





Measuring your blood pressure (BP) is the only way to screen for hypertension. Many people are not aware that they are hypertensive, while many others have their BP poorly controlled, putting them at risk for the diseases listed below.

More than 50 million Americans are hypertensive (BP greater than 130/90) with a higher percentage among the elderly. BP greater than 120/80 (pre-hypertension) should be monitored, as it indicates a risk for hypertension. Hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, aortic aneurysms and kidney failure. Untreated hypertension can cause unseen damage to organs and can be silent for a decade or more.

Hypertension is a risk factor that YOU can modify by lifestyle changes and/or medications to reduce the risk of premature death. While it is good to have your BP checked when you visit your doctor or other health care provider, it is important to have it checked regularly in order to know what your usual range is so you can better manage it. Just like the weather, a variety of factors may influence your BP, including stress and diet, so that a one-time reading may not be indicative of your usual BP.

Getting your BP checked is painless, quick and free at the screenings provided by your Health and Wellness volunteers. We do not keep a record of your BP, but provide you with a card to track your own readings over time.

>> Blood pressure screenings are offered after mass on the SECOND weekend of each month, rotating to different sites each month.   


 YMCA, Fish Creek                                                       
    > 2nd Tuesday of the month from 8:15 am to 10:15 am

North Shore Medical Clinic at Ministry Door County Medical Center,
Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek
    > Check at front desk

Shopko Homestore, Sister Bay
    > At the Pharmacy, during store hours


WHAT IS THE "COMMUNITY HEALTH INFORMATION PROGRAM"? . . . A series of presentations put on by the Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry, available free of charge to the public on a wide variety of health-related subjects.  ​

WHEN:  Sunday, OCTOBR 21,  at 4:00 pm
WHERE:   First Baptist Church, Sister Bay
SPEAKER:     Kylene Occhietti, Suicide Prevention Coordinator - Milo Huempfner VA Health Care CenteR

More than 60% of us will lose someone we know to suicide during our lifetime.  More than 20% of us will lose a family member to suicide.  Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed.  Suicide occurs without regard to class, culture or age.  Few of us are comfortable in responding to someone who is in crisis. To help you identify the warning signs of suicide and ways to intervene when someone is in crisis, attend the Community Health Information Program on Suicide Prevention, Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 4:00 PM at First Baptist Church, Sister Bay. Kylene Occhietti, Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Milo Huempfner VA Health Care Center will present a training entitled S.A.V.E. – Signs of Suicide, Asking the Question, Validating Feelings and Encouraging and Expediting Care.  Join us for this important discussion !

SPEAKER:  DR. PAUL FILAR, a board certified behavioral optometrist from Peninsula Vision Care in Sturgeon Bay will present an in-depth discussion on GLAUCOMA


Every hour of every day, hundreds of people need essential human services - they are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for their teenage children, affordable housing options, support groups and ways of becoming part of their community.  2-1-1 allows people to give help and to get help.2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities.  In our area, contact Brown County United Way 2-1-1 ( t Get Connected and Get Answers about:

>  Basic Human Needs Resources: Food pantries, shelters, rent assistance
>  Physical and Mental Health Resources: Healthcare and crisis intervention, support groups, counseling
>  Employment Supports: Job training, transportation assistance, education programs
> Volunteer Opportunities and Donations: Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent de Paul, The Volunteer Center of Brown County
>  Support for Children, Youth and Families: Childcare, afterschool programs, Head Start, family resource centers, mentoring, tutoring, protection services

In 2010, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 16.4 million calls. The implementation of 2-1-1 is spearheaded by United Way and information and referral agencies in states and local communities.  

United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) are committed to providing national leadership so that every American has access to this essential service. 



MINISTRY DOOR COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER DENTAL CLINIC offers free dental services in Sturgeon Bay for 3 - 18 year olds who are Medicaid recipients, are uninsured or without access to a dentist.  Call 920-493-1300 for more information.


The Y in Fish Creek is here to help YOU and all cancer survivors live well.  Through the YMCA partnership with the LIVESTRONG program, we are able to offer a community-supported program to keep you moving and strong. 
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a small-group exercise and movement program for the adult cancer survivor that empowers the participants to improve their health and quality of life while diminishing the adverse affects of cancer or various cancer treatments.  Each 12-week session is comprised of classes that meet for two times a week.  All programs receive a family membership to the YMCA for the session’s duration, with options to extend membership beyond the end of the program cycle. "We are thrilled to be able to offer this program to cancer survivors in our community.  Cancer is life-changing.  How strong a person feels in spirit, mind and body directly impacts how he or she lives through and beyond treatment, " says Mary Claire McHugh, Health and Wellness Director at the YMCA.  "
At The Y, they work to give all people the opportunity to meet their health and wellness goals and are delighted to collaborate with LIVESTRONG to offer those who have been diagnosed with cancer the support they need to build both emotional and physical strength." 
CONTACT The Y LIVESTRONG instructor, Kristin Kirkham at 920-868-3660, for details on the next session.


The following articles are from the weekly Parish Bulletin.  Also, information on important resources is available in the Health & Wellness Resource Binder in the rear of the church:  


Door-Tran is a creative community network that is dedicated to connecting people to transportation services that are affordable, available and accessible.  Door Tran continues to enhance their transportation services to better serve the Northern Door communities.  Door-Tran:
• Provides half price transportation vouchers for those who use a private taxi, Washington Island Community Van or Ferry.
• Operates a county-wide volunteer transportation program that serves those with no other options to get where they need to go.
• Maintains a Veteran Volunteer Transportation Program to assist veterans in getting to their medical appointments at out of county VA Health medical facilities.
• Has a Vehicle Purchase/Repair Loans program to assist low income families with 0% interest vehicle loans to get to and from work.
• Provides information about transportation options
• Tracks unmet transportation needs to implement plans to ensure unmet needs are met in the future


Do you know how to be happy? Or are you waiting for happiness to find you?  Despite what fairy tales depict, happiness doesn’t appear by magic nor is it something that happens to you.  It’s something you make a choice to cultivate.  So start discovering how to be happy.

Only 10% or so of the variations in people’s reports of happiness can be explained by the difference in circumstances.  The bulk of what determines happiness is your personality and, more modifiable, your thoughts and behaviors.  So, YES, you can learn to be happy -- or at least happier!

Although some may think happiness comes from being born rich or beautiful or living a stress-free life, the reality is those things don’t guarantee lasting happiness.  Indeed, how to be happy can’t be boiled down to one thing.  People who are happy seem to intuitively know this and their lives are built on the following pillars:

• Devoting time to family and friends -- so nurture relationships.
• Appreciating what they have -- so practice and express gratitude to God and others.
• Maintaining an optimistic outlook -- so practice seeing the positive side of things.
• Feeling a sense of purpose -- so practice cultivating meaningful relationships and activities …this includes your understanding and relationship to God.
• Living in the moment -- focus on the positives in the present versus rehashing the past or worrying about the future. 

The good news is -- your thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness.

(adapted from Marcia Isherwood, RN,  Gesu Parish)


About 70 million Americans have high blood pressure, but only about half have the condition under control.   High blood pressure (hypertension) increases the risk for heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions.  The latest statistics show that hypertension-related death rate increased more than 23% from 2000 through 2013 - when adjusted for age.   According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate for all other causes of death combined decreased 21% during the same time.

Other findings include:  
 a) The hypertension-related death rate was lower for women than men between the ages of 45 and 84, but higher at 85 or older;
b)  High blood pressure was listed as the underlying cause of death in one out of six hypertension-related deaths; 
c) The other top contributing causes of death with any mention of hypertension were heart attack, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

It has been proven that numerous blood pressure readings help in hypertension management, as they illustrate the patterns of your average blood pressure.  Tend to your health stewardship and plan to stop by regularly for a BP check:

On the second Sunday of the month at rotating parish sites
At the Loaves & Fishes Meal on the fourth Tuesday of the month and
At the YMCA on the second Tuesday of the month with Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry.

(Adapted from Marcia Isherwood, RN)


There is a growing awareness of how technology (used appropriately) can help support the independence of people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.  Assistive technology is a device or system that allows a person to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed. This includes a wide range of devices from simple items such as calendar clocks to more ‘high tech’ items such as automatic lighting.  For example, assistive technology can help to:
• remind the person to take their tablets at the right time
• help locate a lost item
• orientate the person that it is day time or night time
• assist the person to phone a relative or friend using pre-programmed numbers or pictures
• switch on the lights automatically if the person gets up at night time
• switch off the gas automatically if it has been left unlit
• alert a caregiver or monitoring center that the person needs assistance
Assistive technology may also help to support and reassure care- givers.  For example, it may free them to spend better quality time with the person, or it may enable them to get a good night’s rest, knowing that if the person gets up at night they will be alerted.
(Adapted from


What is her name?  Where did I put my glasses? I seem to be getting more forgetful as I get older! 

Most of us experience some signs of memory loss at some point in our lives.  Does this mean we have dementia?  Following is a guide to normal memory loss and dementia symptoms -- typical age-related memory loss and other changes compared to Dementia :

    SIGNS OF DEMENTIA                                      TYPICAL AGE-RELATED CHANGES
Poor judgment and decision making                Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget                            Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season           Forgetting which day it is and remembering
Difficulty having a conversation                             later
Misplacing things and being unable to            Sometimes forgetting which word to use
     retrace steps to find then                              Losing things from time to time

If you notice any of the Warning signs of Dementia  in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. 

(Adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association website)


We are created to move!  When you consider how the body was designed by God, it is easy to see that God means for us to move.  It is part of how we celebrate our spiritual connection to God.
In addition to connecting us to our spiritual selves, exercise can also lift your mood.  According to Michael Otto, PhD, you can count on a mood lift anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour after doing a workout.  “Studies have consistently shown that exercise improves well-being, decreases depression, anxiety, and hostility, and offers greater feelings of social connectedness,” says Dr. Otto.  “When exercise is used as an element in the treatment of depression, there is evidence that people’s mood is boosted for several weeks.”
To get these feel good benefits, exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day,  which can be broken into 10 minute bites of activity.  Moderate exercise is enough to promote a better mood – moderate means breathing more heavily but able to still carry on a conversation.
So if the lengthy winter season brings on the blues, remember that a few active minutes can bring back feeling good.

(Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine)


March generally doesn’t present Door County at its best.  Winter, even a beautiful one, seems too extended; the sunlight hours are sparse;  outside activities don’t appear enticing.  These are the conditions that all too often lead to negative thinking and discontent. 

What to do?  Interestingly, many find that walking, when combined with meditation, is the antidote to negativity.  Is there a formula  for this healing practice?   For some, FOCUS on what one is seeing and LISTENING to what comes into one’s mind becomes a prayerful and stress-relieving time.  Others prefer to walk and contemplate a phrase or story from scripture.  Just concentrating on the cadence of a rhythmic pace can be soothing and healing for some.  Certainly it is worthwhile to explore walking as a healing practice!


Yoga practice combines body, mind and spirit and helps you to get in tune with your body and your inner self.  There is a spiritual component to yoga as well, so that in calming the mind, one can meditate and be open to God.  Yoga combines stretching exercises with poses called asanas, controlled breathing and relaxation. Research has found it to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve posture and balance, flexibility and strength, reduce chronic pain and improve heart function.  Additionally, people who do yoga regularly say they feel more content, energetic and able to focus.
There are many different types of yoga practice, some very strenuous while others are gentle and can be done in a chair.  It is important to start slow and work within your capabilities.  It is best to start with a qualified instructor in a small beginner class where you can receive individualized attention.  A good yoga instructor will help you modify poses or use props to assist you.  If you have any of the following conditions (herniated disk, risk of blood clots, glaucoma, uncontrolled high blood pressure, pregnancy, hyper-thyroidism, severe osteoporosis or deconditioned state),  you should check with your health care provider before beginning and talk with the yoga instructor regarding your limitations.
Yoga is not a competition!  It is an individual practice.  You should never do anything that is painful or try to match what others are doing.  Yoga is about slowing down to really connect with your body and understand and work with your limitations.  Following are some of the yoga classes offered in Door County:                                                                    


" I want to do something for Aunt Martha  but she says there’s nothing she wants or needs .  She’s so indepen-dent,  but she and Uncle Homer ARE getting more frail".

A gift suggestion that assists the infirm or elderly in maintaining independence is a Personal Emergency Response System.  A button is worn around the neck or wrist which, when pressed, immediately calls an emergency response center which, dispatches the help needed ( either a previously selected responder or emergency personnel).  Reminders to take medications can be programmed into the unit.    The wearer is freed from the intrusion of concerned people continuously "checking in" and allows the wearer to maintain as much independence as possible.

Personal Emergency Response Systems are available from two sources in Door County:
• Ministry Door County Medical Center offers Life Direct for a set-up fee of $31.00 and a monthly fee of $35.00.
Call (920) 746-3578.
• VNA Lifeline is available for a $32.00 monthly fee with free installation.  Call (800) 508-5527.


                                  "PRESCRIPTION  DRUG  ASSISTANCE" 

 “My doctor just ordered some new medications for me and they are very expensive.  I don’t know how I can afford them.” 

Door County is a participating member in NACo Prescription Drug Card Program.  This is a free program for county residents to receive an average of 24% savings on their prescriptions. 
Everyone is eligible for the card; there are no age or income restrictions.  The card can be used by persons who are uninsured, underinsured and seniors.

One card covers the whole family.  Simply present your card at a participating pharmacy.  You may use this card any time for a prescription that is not covered by insurance. 

Visit to look up a participating pharmacy. You can even print your prescription discount card online.  For more information you can call toll free 877/321-2652.  A prescription discount card is NOT insurance.  Rather, it is a simple way to save money on prescriptions not covered by insurance.

The Door County ADRC Benefit Specialist Program also can assist individuals who are over 18 and disabled or 60 and older to explore and access available options for prescription drug coverage. For information and assistance contact 920/746- 2372 or toll free 855/828-2372 or email 
(Adapted from NACo website)


 “NEED A RIDE?   Since January of 2012 Northern Door County has had public transportation services available to its residents through DOOR 2 DOOR transit. 

DOOR 2 DOOR is a shared-ride taxi service that offers public transportation in Northern Door County,  including the Hwy 42 corridor of Egg Harbor, Juddville, Fish Creek, Ephraim, and Sister Bay,  as well as the towns of Gibraltar, Bailey’s Harbor and the southern portion of the Town of Liberty Grove.  In addition, there are connector services that link Egg Harbor, Valmy, Bailey’s Harbor and Sister Bay riders to the City of Sturgeon Bay. 

DOOR 2 DOOR taxis are wheel-chair accessible and everyone can ride.  Children 3 and under must be accompanied.  This service is available Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM.  Cost for a ride one way is:  adults - $6, adults 60+ and persons with disabilities - $3, and students age 3 to 22 - $3.  For a ride call toll free: 888/337-9485.

There are plans to expand service in 2014 to all of the Town of Liberty Grove with Monday-through-Friday service to Ellison Bay, Gills Rock and Northport.  The service day will also be extended one hour from 7 AM to 7 PM.  For further information go to 

(Adapted from Door 2 Door Brochure)


“I’ll be discharged soon from rehabilitation after my stroke and I don’t have any idea where to look for the in-home assistance that I need, nor how I will pay for it.” 
Door County ADRC or Aging and Disability Resource Center is the first place to go with your aging and disability questions. It is the “information station” where individuals can obtain accurate, unbiased information related to aging or living with a disability.  It is a single source for information and assistance on issues affecting those who are 60 or over and people with disabilities over the age of 18 regardless of income.  The information and assistance is free and entirely confidential.
The Door County ADRC is a welcoming place for you and your family to get information, advice and access to a wide variety of services.  They will talk with you about the types and cost of care available – whether you are looking to receive services at home or in another community setting.  If you have questions about benefit programs such as Social security, Medicare, Medicaid and others they can help you.  
For information and assistance contact 920/746- 2372 or toll free 855/828-2372 or email 



"Once the grey days and cold weather set in,  I’m more housebound and seem to feel so isolated.” 

Family Centers provide a variety of activities throughout the county for people of all ages.  Events are held that are teen centered, as well as older adult social activities:

• Families have fun viewing movies together at "Parent-Child Date Nights"; and
• December presents opportunities for children to shop for Christmas or participate in intergenerational gingerbread house building.   

Further information or calendars of activities are available at:,  or
o by calling (800) 856-1651.



One of the benefits Door County has to offer any person age 60 and older is the Senior Resource Center   (920-746-2542) 832 N. 14th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI  54235.   The  Senior Resource Program offers services or resources to older persons which will assist them to remain active participants in family and community life.  These services include, but are not limited to:

*Senior Centers   *Volunteer Opportunities   *Transportation    *Information, Referral and Assessment   *Exercise Room      *Benefit Specialist Counseling   *Health Promotion Activities    *Caregiver Groups and Information   *Nutrition Program including 5 Congregate meal sites and home delivered meals 

A monthly newsletter is published by the Senior Resource Center and its goal is to keep seniors informed of issues and events that may be of interest to them, as well as available resources in Door County. You can access the “newsletter” online by going to the Door County Website at and clicking on Department, Senior Resource Center and Newsletter.  If you would like to have a newsletter sent to you via email, please contact Wendy at and you will be put on a list to receive one each month.

(Adapted from Door County Senior Resource Center Website) 


Mental Illness is a condition that affects a person’s mood, thinking and/or ability to relate to others.  It is nearly as common as the common cold. Nearly one in four families has a family member dealing with mental illness.

Mental illness has many faces, and what matters to those with a mental illness is that it changes their lives and the way others see them.  Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, many people are suffering in silence.
But mental illness is just another kind of illness and in most cases it is treatable.  Door County has a variety of Mental Health Counseling/Therapy Services available, these include:
• Bay Counseling Clinic
• Clinical & Consulting Psychologist Dennis White, Ph.D.
• Community Clinic of Door County
• Counseling Associates of Door County
• Door County Department of Human Services – Behavioral Health Services
(Adapted from NAMI of Door County Brochur"



“Mental Illness” refers to a wide range of mental health disorders, disorders that can affect moods, thinking and behavior.   Just as physical illness impacts the patient and those who interact with him/ her, so does mental illness. 

JAK’S PLACE,  located in Sturgeon Bay at 820 Egg Harbor Rd.,  is a community resource for individuals of all ages whose lives are or have been affected by mental illness. 

Community members will find a supportive and encouraging atmosphere to obtain information, socialize, get healthy or participate in a variety of activities:
• Art Group meets every Tuesday beginning at 2:30, followed by social dinner from 5 to 6 (call ahead for dinner reservations); and
• Game Day occurs the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month. 

JAK’s PLACE  hours are Monday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.    For information call Seth at (920) 818-0525.



“ I never gave any thought to how we’d manage if we lost our ability to function independently;  our situation has changed and I feel overwhelmed.” 

It can be frightening to recognize the need for assistance and be unsure of available resources.  Options for Independent Living provides assessments for home modifications, and durable medical equipment .  It assists people of all ages and disabilities to find resources and funding that will empower them to actively access their community and live as independently as possible. 

You can contact them by email at or by calling toll-free at 888-465-1515.



 The HISPANIC RESOURCE CENTER , located in Sturgeon Bay at 1618 Texas Place,  offers personal assistance to people of Latin / Hispanic Ancestry in areas such as employment,  housing, social services, healthcare, lifestyle concerns and other areas. 

Its purpose is to encourage  individuals and families to become part of the community.

Office hours are limited to Monday from 5 to 7 in the evening and Wednesday from 5 to 6;  however, Imelda Delchambre is available ANYTIME at ( 920 ) 559-1878.



Hearing loss that occurs gradually as one ages is common;  it is estimated that 1/3 of those over 65 and half of those older than 75  have some degree of hearing loss.  Medical specialists believe that heredity and chronic exposure to loud noise are the main factors contributing to hearing loss over time. 
Hearing deficits are often the cause of other problems:  stress resulting from failure to understand correctly what is being said, or
isolation and depression induced by the inability to participate in conversation. 

Hearing loss can’t be reversed but IT IS POSSIBLE to improve what one hears.  Free hearing tests and consultation on possible solutions are available in Sturgeon Bay (and all accept insurance) at
• Avada Audiology & Hearing Care,
• Beltone Hearing, and
• Miracle Ear. 
• The Lions Club and Starkey Hearing Foundation can provide assistance to qualified persons with limited financial resources. 



The Department of Social Services administers a number of government programs which provide financial assistance. 

• FOODSHARE (formerly known as food stamps) seeks to insure that low income residents get adequate food and nutrition on a monthly basis.  The program covers bread, cereals, veggies, meat,  fish, poultry, dairy products and seeds and plants that are food producing.  It excludes products containing alcohol and tobacco, as well as vitamins and  hot food
• MEDICAID provides medical care for people over 65 who are blind, physically or developmentally disabled whose income is below the monthly program limit.  Participants must be citizens or legal immigrants. 
• BADGERCARE is a similar program for those who do not qualify for Medicaid due to disability but whose income qualifies them.


 Financial problems can cause stress, which adversely affect health, physical, emotional and even spiritual well- being.  Recognizing this, some years ago, the hospital social worker contacted private donors to solicit funds to be used for emergency relief; the result was commonly known as “KATIE’S FUND”. 

Continuing today under the title “MINISTRY FUND”, the program is used to pay for health & welfare related emergencies,  such as outstanding medical/dental bills, medications, shelter, transportation,  etc.  for Door County residents.   One portion of the fund actually stipulates that it be used for elderly residents of Northern Door. 

For information contact Katie Graf at (920) 743-5566.



Outlining the silence, my words give shape to near-forgotten memories.  The silhouette of my grief slowly begins to take form.
- Susan Richman “Collecting Pieces”

Grief is a process that takes time and care.  When we lose someone to death, we begin a journey not of our own choosing.  It is a time of confusion and feelings of powerlessness.  It is a time where we may be seeking answers. Yet grief is a process that is unpredictable and unstructured.

There are many layers to the grief process and a wide array of thoughts and feelings associated with grief.  Sometimes several conflicting emotions may be present at the same time and sometimes you may feel nothing at all.  There is no time limit for one’s grieving and healing process and the more we try to judge, rationalize or hurry it, the more we get in the way of our own healing.

Door County has several agencies that provide grief and loss services.  To name a few:

Compassionate Friends               Door of Hope      
920-743-3476                               920-868-9471

Unity Grief Support Programs

 (Adapted from “I Remember You” Laynee Gilbert)



Hospice is not a place; it is an approach to care for terminally ill individuals of all ages.  It can be provided in a variety of settings from a hospital to any place a person lives.  It is a holistic approach to caring for the whole person, mind, body and spirit. It turns away from aggressive medical measures designed to prolong life when those procedures have become invasive and no longer productive.  Hospice Care provides an interdisciplinary team to support the person and family and can be paid for by Medicaid or Medicare, private insurance and private pay.

Palliative care focuses on the relief of suffering and improvement of the quality of care across the spectrum of an illness.  It is meant for a person of any age facing a serious illness and who may be receiving a curative treatment, with a prognosis of greater than six months and the person is requesting support to manage health care needs.  Palliative care also provides an interdisciplinary team to support the individual and family and can be paid for through private insurance or private pay.

Door County has two primary providers of Hospice Care:
-Unity Hospice and Palliative Care        -Ascera Care
800-990-9249                                            866-268-3203





What do people do when they live on an island and need support services?

Washington Island Community Health Program (WICHP) was founded based on a recognized need for services for the elderly who live on Washington Island.  Its mission is:

• “to empower and support island residents to make choices for successful aging,
•  to maintain a safe and independent lifestyle, and
• to make informed decisions about their health care.”

WICHP serves as an information and referral source for Washington Island’s residents and staff actively seeks to connect residents to the needed supportive services.  The program is located at Trinity Lutheran Church, which also houses a Food Pantry and Neighbor to Neighbor medical equipment loan program.
Christine Andersen, RN, is the Program Director and in that capacity does in-home supportive care and assessments,  Home Delivered Meal assessments,  BP screenings at the local churches and referrals to programs such as Lifeline, Support Groups, Hospice Care, Wrap Around Services, County Human Services and the Medical Clinics.

For more information on WICHP or to link to its services, please contact:

Christine Andersen, R.N.,  WICHP Director
P.O. Box 277,  Washington Island, WI 54246
(920) 847-2108 Office / (920) 535-3021 Cell



The Door County Public Health Department provides a multiplicity of community services:

• home visits made by Public Health Nurses to assess and monitor health conditions;
• immunization clinics for tetanus boosters and flu vaccines; 
• cholesterol  and blood pressure screening clinics;
• breast and cervical cancer screening through the WI Well  Woman Program;
• smoking cessation materials and
• a Sharps Collection Program for the appropriate disposal of needles and lancets.   

MINISTRY HOME HEALTH CARE provides skilled Nursing , Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy as well as home health aide care.   Physician prescribed Professional Services are frequently covered by health insurance  and a sliding fee scale is also available. 

UNITY HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE concentrates its efforts on serving the terminally ill and their families.  Patients are helped to remain living in their own homes, but services re also available in nursing homes and hospitals.  Care is provided by teams composed of nurses, aides, social workers, physicians counselors, chaplains and volunteers. 

ASERA CARE HOSPICE  based in Green Bay, serves Door County on a case-by-case basis.  Hospice Care costs are often covered by Medicare and Medicaid.


The Door County Public Health Department provides a multiplicity of community services:

  • home visits made by Public Health Nurses to assess and monitor health conditions;
  • immunization clinics for tetanus boosters and flu vaccines;
  • cholesterol and blood pressure screening clinics;
  • breast and cervical cancer screening through the WI Well Woman Program;
  • smoking cessation materials and
  • Sharps Collection Program for the appropriate disposal of needles and lancets.

Ministry Home Health Care provides skilled Nursing, Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy as well as home health aide care.  Physician prescribed Professional Services are frequently covered by health insurance and a sliding fee scale is also available.

Unity Hospice and Palliative Care concentrates its efforts on serving the terminally ill and their families. Patients are helped to remain living in their own homes, but services are also available in nursing homes and hospitals. Care is provided by teams composed of nurses, aides, social workers, physicians, counselors, chaplains and volunteers.

Asera Care Hospice based in Green Bay, serves Door County on a case-by-case basis. Hospice Care costs are often covered by Medicare and Medicaid.


Door County residents are fortunate in the number of options available to obtain medical services:

  • MINISTRY Door County Medical Center is a full-accredited acute care hospital and offers Emergency Care, Urgent Care and Rehabilitation services.
  • MINISTRY Medical Clinic, with a wide range of physician services, is adjacent to the hospital in Sturgeon Bay and also has a Fish Creek location.
  • Also under the direction of MINISTRY is Washington Island Community Health which provides, under the supervision of an RN Director, programs aimed at maintaining independence.
  • Aurora Health Care in Sturgeon Bay also offers a wide variety of health services and has a satellite office, Nor Door Clinic, in Sister Bay.
  • The Community Clinic of Door County located in Sister Bay’s Country Walk Mall, offers non-emergency primary health services to individuals of all ages who have no health insurance.
  • The Healing Project, a collaborative effort of MINISTRY Door County Medical Center and the Community Clinic, provides free integrative health care services people living with cancer.


“Now that Phil is gone, I am afraid to be home alone.  I feel isolated and unable to manage  all the day-to-day tasks of keeping my home."

Door County offers a number of options for those elderly who are looking to live in a safer environment and receive minimal to comprehensive supportive and/or health services. Options, in order of independence, include:
    - Senior Independent Living Apartments, such as the Scandia Villas and Bay Hill Apartments;
-  Residential Care Apartment Complexes like Pine Crest Village and the Meadows;
-  Assisted Living Facilities like Hearthside and Cardinal Ridge;
-  Dementia Care Units, such as Birchwood and Golden Living -Dorchester;
 - And Nursing Homes like Good Samaritan-Scandia and the Golden Living – Dorchester;

The purpose of these residential facilities is to provide the level of services a person needs to remain as independent as possible. These facilities may be owned by individuals, or corporations. They may be private or public, for-profit or not-for-profit and all must meet applicable licensing standards.


“I just don’t have the stamina I once did and it seems I am getting more forgetful.  I know I could manage if I just had a little help."

Chronic health problems and/or occasional acute health crises will eventually challenge older adults. Many seniors with physical or cognitive impairments live at home or with a friend or family member. Sometimes additional care and support is needed.  In-home services are available in Door County to help individuals stay safely in their home; whether someone needs just a few hours of help a week or more comprehensive assistance. These services assist in fostering a safe and secure environment, providing the supports needed to foster independence.

The following are some of the services available through in-home support agencies:
   - companionship
   - medication reminders
   - light housekeeping
   - meal planning and preparation
   - full bathing and help with personal care



“My parents never did a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Finance , and now Dad has had a stroke and isn’t able to make any decisions for himself. “

In Wisconsin the only person authorized to make decisions for an adult is that adult.  Wisconsin law does not authorize family members, except for hospice admissions, to make decisions for incapacitated adult family members.  A guardian is needed when a person is “incompetent” and not mentally capable of making decisions and did not in advance, select someone to make decisions on their behalf; such as a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Power of Attorney for Finance.
Guardianship is a legal relationship created by the court allowing the guardian to make decisions on behalf of the “ward”, the person proven incompetent.  The role of the guardian is to advocate for the rights and needs of the “ward”, collaborate with other involved persons to make informed decisions, and to help plan for the individual care the “ward” may need.
When an appropriate family member or involved person is not accessible, organizations are available to provide guardianship services.   In Door County, these services are available through Universal Guardians, Inc.

Carleen Jeanquart
920 – 743- 4991



Stella Maris parishioners are familiar with the ecumenical Loaves and Fishes Community Meals Ministry which meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month between 5and 6:30 at the Sister Bay site.  Delicious home-made meals and friendly servers combine to satisfy both physical and social hunger.  A freewill offering is accepted but not expected. 

Koinonia Kupboard  is a non-perishable food pantry operated by and located at 1st Baptist Church, Sister Bay.  It is open Monday through Thursday from 9 until 4,  and Friday from 9 am until noon.

DC Community Resource Program , better known as Feed My People/ Clothe My People, is a sharing program that provides perishable and non-perishable food, as well as clothing, to those in need. Housed on 14th St. in Sturgeon Bay, it is open Monday & Thursday from 3 until 7 and Tues., Wed., Fri. from 10 -2. 

Finally, Lakeshore CAP is a food pantry for individuals and families in need;  eligibility is based on monthly household income.  Those eligible can pick up perishable and nonperishable food once monthly.  Hours are Tuesday and Thursday. between 11am and 4 pm



“Since Ed had his stroke we have been trying to manage at home.  There are some days I am just so exhausted,  I feel like Ed and I need a break.”

Many of us who have retired here in Door County have made a conscious decision to leave family and former friendship circles behind. When illness or advanced age stresses our ability to manage on our own, we often struggle to stay in our homes and maintain the level of independence we have demonstrated in the past.
Adult Day Services (ADS) can provide the partnership we need to ease the reliance on family and friends, to expand our support network with trained and experienced caregivers and to maintain our independence and social network, as well as that of the care giver.
 In Door County, ADS are available through Nor Door ADS/N.E.W. Curative, located at the First Baptist Church in Sister Bay.  It provides an environment that creates social events, ability-appropriate activities, exercise and other personalized recreation. For up to 18 hours a week, the in-home care giver will have free time to focus on activities other than care giving. 

Sarah Kramer, Program Coordinator



"I used to be able to stand for hours without a problem, but my feet can’t take it anymore". 

"I find it more and more difficult to give my poor feet the care deserve". 

Sound familiar?   Most of us are apt to take our feet for granted and yet they are, as it were, the "base camp" for our mobility.  Two facilities in Door County are available to assist in foot and nail care. 

• Good Samaritan Society – Scandia Village offers appointments for foot services on the 2nd Tuesday of
each month between 1:00 and 4:00.  There is $20.00 fee and people are asked to provide their own towels.  Call  920-854-2317.

• Lake Side Surgical Associates in Sturgeon Bay holds a Senior Foot Clinic on Wednesdays between 9:00 and 11:30.  The fee for this service is minimal and based on an individual’s income.   Call 920-746-1060.



“I think I am eligible for the Homestead Tax Credit but I’m not sure? I get so confused by all these different programs.”

An Elder Benefit Specialist is a person trained to help persons over 60 who are having a problem with their private or government benefits. The Benefit Specialist is responsible for keeping current on all changes in public and private programs, assisting individuals in understanding benefits to which they are entitled, and what they must do to receive them. Benefit specialists receive ongoing training and are monitored by attorneys knowledgeable in elder law.

If you are a resident of Door County and over 60 and need help in organizing paperwork to apply for benefits or feel that you have been denied benefits you are entitled to call Door County’s Elder Benefit Specialist:

Lynn Christenson
or email at

Find more information on the Door County Benefit Specialist Program in the Resource Folder located in the church vestibule.

(Adapted from Door County Resource Guide)                     



Continuing  our earlier  topic of  keeping the brain healthy and engaged , we don’t want to neglect SUPPORT SERVICES which are available in the area. 

• The Community Health Information Program (CHIP), sponsored  monthly by  Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry,  offers professionals in their field speaking  on a variety of health-related topics.  Future presentations will include later life decisions, nutritional realities, mental health concerns and optimizing that visit to your physician. 
• The National Alliance for Mental Illness ( NAMI ) has established a resource center in Sturgeon Bay,  JAK’S PLACE, which offers outreach, education and support for all whose lives have been impacted by mental illness.   For more information, see the RESOURCE MANUAL located at the main entrance of church.

• Effective 1/1/13, the Door County Department of Social Services and Door County Community Programs have combined to form the Department of Human Services.  It serves as a resource to those needing assistance with food, health care or child care.   One division concentrates on psychiatric, mental health and alcohol problems;  and neglect, abuse, developmental disability, or other issues with children are addressed in another division.  Call (920) 746-7155.

• The Aging and Disability Resource Center helps people learn what resources are available to them. 


"Health of body, mind  and spirit " is a goal for which we are encouraged to aim.  More and more, science is discovering that physical exercise exerts a positive influence on brain health.  But what about exercise directly aimed at keeping the brain nimble?

A number of resources exist close to home which combine education and socialization:

• We can’t discount board, card and Internet games
• "Learning In Retirement" and Northeast WI Technical College offer an affordable selection of intellectual,  artistic and technical classes.
• The Clearing Folk School offers a variety of workshops throughout the year; cost of these varies. 
• Peninsula School of Art offers a variety of avenues for exploring visual arts, also at varied prices.
• The winter " St Norbert  College Distinguished Lecture Series", held once monthly at the DC auditorium, is free. 
• The YMCA offers health and exercise based courses; most classes have fees and financial assistance is available. 

We don’t want to neglect SUPPORT SERVICES which are available in the area. 

• The Community Health Information Program (CHIP), sponsored  monthly by  Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry,  offers professionals in their field speaking  on a variety of health-related topics.  Future presentations will include later life decisions, nutritional realities, mental health concerns and optimizing that visit to your physician.  

• The National Alliance for Mental Illness ( NAMI ) has established a resource center in Sturgeon Bay,  JAK’S PLACE, which offers outreach, education and support for all whose lives have been impacted by mental illness.   For more information, see the RESOURCE MANUAL located at the main entrance of church.

• Effective 1/1/13, the Door County Department of Social Services and Door County Community Programs have combined to form the Department of Human Services.  It serves as a resource to those needing assistance with food, health care or child care.   One division concentrates on psychiatric, mental health and alcohol problems;  and neglect, abuse, developmental disability, or other issues with children are addressed in another division.  Call (920) 746-7155.

• The Aging and Disability Resource Center helps people learn what resources are available to them. 

Take advantage of these resources; your brain will thank you!


 Door County has a resource, Neighbor to Neighbor, which provides short-term loans of medical equipment such as walkers, wheel chairs, hospital beds, lift and shower chairs to name a few. The loans are free; however, donations are appreciated.  There are three pickup sites:  Zion United Methodist in Fish Creek, Sturgeon Bay, and Washington Island.  To arrange for an equipment loan or to donate a piece of medical equipment you no longer need, contact:

 Shelia Petroni, Fish Creek - 920/868-3648
 Ann Bennett, Sturgeon Bay - 920/743-7800
 Washington Island -
     Community Health Program - 920/847-2108


Door County has services available to help with heating bills and home weatherization for low income families. The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) has available federal energy assistance funds to pay a portion of heating and electricity costs for income eligible families.  In addition, there are specialized services such as:

          Emergency fuel assistance
          Counseling for energy conservation and budgets
          Outreach service
          Emergency furnace repair and replacement

This program is available through the heating season - May 15th.  For more information including income guidelines contact:

WEP, INC. - Women’s Employment Project
1300 Egg Harbor Road, Suite 124
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-7273

(Adapted from Advocate article)




Go to “Catholic Links” Tab to find information on the following:

          Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
          Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
          Disability Rights WI, Disability Drug Benefit Helpline
          Door County Learning In Retirement
          Door County Resource Guide
          Door County Senior Resource Center
          Ministry Door County Medical Center
          Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry

          World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations


Be on the lookout for our new logo, defining who we are and encompassing the following: 

DIAMOND:   “The soul is placed in the body and it is like a rough diamond ... it must be polished within or the luster of the soul will never appear.” – Daniel Defoe
HEART:   The spiritual, emotional, moral and intellectual core of a human being
WAVE:   A swelling or excitement of thought, feeling or energy
CROSS:   ... And we go forward in the name of Our Lord.

"Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellness is a Spiritual Activity”


Stella Maris Roman Catholic Parish
Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor,Fish Creek,
Jacksonport, Sister Bay, and Washington Island
Door County, Wisconsin
Copyright© 2008 The Stella Maris Parish

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