DCMH Nurtures Relationship with Family Centers of Door County

When it comes to partnering with its neighbors, Door County Memorial Hospital/Ministry Health Care does so with professionalism.

That’s the feeling of Gina Wautier, executive director of Family Centers of Door County, a non-profit organization, which offers educational programming and entertainment for people of all ages.

One of the educational events Family Centers coordinates each year, with sponsorship support by DCMH/MHC, is a Pampering and Practicalities Evening for Women. The high-profile community event, which most recently attracted 130 women on a cold and snowy evening in January 2008, presents a keynote speaker, sit-down dinner, trade show and prize drawings.

Although it’s a major sponsor, DCMH/MHC graciously lets Family Centers run its own show, so to speak, according to Wautier.

Family Centers leaders even discussed the possibility of discontinuing the pampering conference, which has been staged for four years. The event raises almost $3,000 for Family Centers and is billed primarily as an opportunity for women to gather for an evening of necessary nurturing and education.

The DCMH/MHC sponsorship has made it possible for Family Centers to: continue the conference, charge attendees a nominal fee and also raise funds for programming earmarked to “strengthening and supporting families and communities,” Wautier said.

The Family Centers conducts its programs and activities in five locations in Door County: Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek, Sister Bay and Washington Island (details are at

DCMH/MHC Rehab Services staff have also led some of the Family Centers educational workshops. For example, Kelly Oram-Rankin, occupational therapist, has spoken to the Older Adults Breakfast Social and Wellness Workshop on driver safety issues for seniors. And Greg Lucas, an athletic trainer, has shared his expertise with attendees as well.

Wautier also recognized DCMH/MHC for helping to publicize the extensive array of Family Centers offerings to hospital employees as well as to people who visit the affiliated North Shore Medical Clinic offices.

“The hospital publicizes our events to their employees, which is huge, because they have a lot of employees,” Wautier said of DCMH/MHC, which employs about 580 people.

She points to a Family Centers-sponsored presentation by Dr. Thomas Phelan, an author and lecturer, who will speak on “Surviving Your Adolescents” from 4 pm to 6 pm and on “1-2-3 Magic Parenting” from 7 to 9 pm April 3 at Crossroads at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay.

At DCMH/MHC, Donna Buschmann, marketing and community relations coordinator, said the hospital also benefits by partnering with Family Centers on the pampering conference, programs and publicity.

“I send fliers to everyone on the DCMH/MHC team so that they know of things that are free. And they can get educated on a variety of topics,” Buschmann said.

Family Centers is grateful for DCMH/MHC’s support and anticipates developing the relationship even further. “We are extremely appreciative to the hospital both for the monetary support and all the advertising we get. And we would like to do more collaboration with them,” Wautier said. More information about Family Centers of Door County is available by calling 920.825.1430.