Rural Community Partner of the Year Award

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) Board of Directors established this award to recognize a community member who has made significant contributions to his/her rural school district.

To be nominated you must be an individual community member or a local business/industry leader in a WiRSA member school district.

Award winners will be selected by the WiRSA Board of Directors Executive Committee.

Rural Community Partner of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2019 Rural Community Partner Award


Door County Medical Center Door County Medical Center

Door County Medical Center was honored by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), a non-profit Organization that is dedicated to helping address challenges faced by rural school districts, at the annual Rural Schools Conference on October 28, 2019.

In an era of reduced resources for schools, the Door County Medical Center has been the sole provider of school nursing, athletic training, and occupational & physical therapy services to Door County schools. Their partnership provides a high quality, economical, student-based services and access to a free dental clinic, in addition to the customary career exploration opportunities such as tours, speakers, and sponsorship of wellness events. This partnership has existed for over 30 years, and always ensures that the districts and communities have the latest expertise and best practice in education when it comes to these specialized medical-related services for our students. 

Door County Medical Center is innovative in its field as a collaborative partner in meeting school needs. They hold quarterly meetings to get the opinions as school leaders. Through this process unique educational programs were created through this partnership.

Door County School Career Training Program – For twenty years this program has allowed high school students to be trained in a real-life setting, under school supervision, in conjunction with working adults at the hospital as role models.

Certified Nursing Assistant Program Support – In order to improve an existing program between NWTC and area high schools, DCMC stepped up to the plate to provide enhancements, including a Skills Lab at the hospital for clinical portions of the course.  Since the program’s inception, nursing assistant enrollments have increased dramatically, with 242 county high school students completing the course. 

LEAP: The Human Kindness Program – For five years, “Learning to Empower and Appreciate all People” has been a student-led, adult-facilitated program that gathers students from local high schools to address an issue of social change. Each year, the group collaborates with a team of local writers, musicians, actors, choreographers and directors to identify a societal issue, then works together from November to April to learn about and design a response.

RIDE4KIDS (Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities through Exercise) – Now in its second year, this program serves children with disabilities, ages 5-17, in a guided group recreational program through a high-school peer mentor program.

STRIDE Mental Health Programming – After a planning period with United Way, other mental health providers, and the schools, Door County Medical Center was a founding member of a county consortium which is now in its second year of providing mental health services to each of our schools.

Free Health & Wellness Outreach Programs – “Art for Health” and “Art on the Wild Side” provide visual and performing arts workshops throughout the county, in after-school and summer programs.

Providing Necessary Health, Wellness, & Safety Supplies – An example of this would be providing 500 emergency “go kits” to better prepare out schools for active shooter and hostile events.

Door County Medical Center embodies the image of servant leadership and community engagement. Exemplary in their community outreach, their advocacy for students and families, their educational support and innovation, and their willingness to collaborate with our schools to meet the unique needs of rural schools, Door County Medical Center definitely has, and continues to “make a difference” in the lives of our school communities. 

Door County Medical Center was nominated by Southern Door District Administrator, Patricia Vickman on behalf of all Door County Schools.