30 & 35 YEARS SERVICE RECOGNITION

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Jan Donner

POSITION
WIC Director

AGENCY

Northeastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership

Employee Biography:

I was married 39 1/2 years. My husband passed away 4 years ago. We have two daughters. One lives in Fort Worth, Texas, is married with three step childrenand, works at Charles Schwab. The other lives  in Fort Collins, Colorado, is married with three children, and is a stay-at-home-mom. My children and grandchildren are the most important things in my life. However, I have many hobbies that keep me busy such as camping, crafting, just being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. I am also learning to golf! I also love to travel to Texas and Colorado and I hope to travel to Montana and Kentucky in the future. I was a member of the Wisner Volunteer Fire and Rescue Auxiliary for 30 years.

What was your first year with WIC like compared to your thirtieth year? How have things changed? 

When I first stared with WIC there were no stationary clinics, it was all traveling clinics.  Traveling clinics were open no matter what the weather. We traveled in snow storms, 100 degree heat, and severe thunderstorms/tornados. We were just like the mail: we had to get there no matter what. We had two evening clinics a month and they were very busy,  we would sit down at our table at 1:00pm and not move until 7:00 pm.  It was nothing for us to see over 250 clients at one evening clinic. At the end of clinic we mopped floors and clean bathrooms. It did not matter how late it was, you still cleaned. 

What advice would you give your first year self or someone who is just starting out with WIC?If I have any advice to someone just starting out, it would be "Hang in There. WIC is Worth It!" Don't jump ship because there was bad day or because a client was rude to you. Remember that you are making a difference in someone's life! You were there for that person when they needed you most. I hope all of you stick around for 30 years because I am sure you will see just as many changes as I have over the years and have just as many stories to tell.

30 Years Of Service as of 2019

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Judy Schultz

POSITION
WIC Director

AGENCY

Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska 

Employee Biography:

WIC is about helping people and Changing lives. It’s been a pleasure working with such outstanding, caring individuals who assist in making a difference.    In my spare time, I enjoy the sun, nature, family, my two beautiful children, my two energetic grandbabies soon to be three, special friend time,  motorcycle trips, really good coffee, and experiencing anything for the first time with my husband of 31 years.     

What was your first year with WIC like compared to your thirtieth year? How have things changed? 

WIC in the 90's consisted of traveling to a location, (no fixed offices) carrying 21x 17x 17 cardboard (2 employees needed to carry) boxes of participant files, medical equipment, educational material, food models, and containers of blank WIC 3 part carbon copy paper checks. Our locations were rarely airconditioned or heated well. We were often times in a large armory or a one room fellowship hall of a church. The noise at times was unbearable and many times you could not hear yourself think or speak. Tables and Chairs were rolled out by the employees to set up for clinic along with carrying in all of our belongings from the two 15 passenger vans. We tore everything down at the end of each day as well.  Our travels to and from clinics average from 15 minutes to 1.75 hours. A WIC appointment would consist of seeing the clerk to check in, review file and complete eligibility enrollment.  The family then would move to the nurses station to complete the medical portion of their assessment, then to the Nutritionist/RD to complete a 24 hour recall (using food models), complete the nutritional assessment and be issued a food package.  The WIC family would then return to the clerk for hand written checks to be completed on site.  If there was a family of three, you could plan on writing out 10 separate checks.  These checks included full name, clinic number, family ID number and a list of WIC food that you would enter an amount or X out if did not apply.  These paper checks were carbon copied, with the original (white) going to the WIC shopper, a copy (yellow) for the participant’s paper file folder, and a copy (pink) that went to a company called, PDA, to print future/next month WIC checks.  Every family was seen monthly and our appointments were recorded in a paper calendar planner which was shared and passed between three employees to avoid overbooking. 

What advice would you give your first year self or someone who is just starting out with WIC? 

Advice to self in first year.  Your days can be tough.  Know you are making a difference. Take everything in stride, and know you can only control what you can control.   

30 Years Of Service as of 2020

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Vicky Teten

POSITION
CPA

AGENCY

Family Health Services

Employee Biography:

John and have been married for 38 years and four grown children. We have one wonderful, fantastic, energetic granddaughter. Because her parents live in Virginia,  that is our favorite travel destination. We also like to go to Colorado and to my home state of Texas to visit my siblings and their family. I like to crochet and spend time with family. Earlier this summer I stroke. I want everyone to know I plan on getting back to were I once was. 

What was your first year with WIC like compared to your thirtieth year? How have things changed? 

Some many thing have change in my time with WIC. The EBT card was a great over handwriting the checks. Not figuring out calorie on each person has been great, or several other nutrients we use to assess such as vit. A and folic acid. It is also great not having to carry boxes of charts for traveling clinics. When I started everything was one paper. We would write new information on a  turn around form and then send it off to another company to get recorded. The changes have been great and using the techology that is now available. I would tell my first year self to really listen to what a participant says. We can give good information of what we think they need but that might not be what is most important to them at the moment. 

30 Years Of Service as of 2019

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Marge Blankenship 

POSITION
Clinic Service Coordinator

AGENCY

State

Employee Biography:

I live in Kearney and have two sons. One lives here in Nebraska and the other one lives in Arizona with their families.  I have five grandsons, ages 19, 17, 16, 12, and 8. I love flowers. I fill my yard with all kinds every summer. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I also like to read, cook and help family and friends plan special events. My favorite places to travel are San Diego, New Mexico, and Colorado, especially the Rocky Mountains.

What was your first year with WIC like compared to your thirty fifth year?  

When I began with WIC at a local agency EVERYTHING was paper, including checks. We wrote every check by hand. This meant every food and amount had to be written out on the original check and three copies. We SOAP charted all nutrition education contacts with clients.  When I began with the state five years later everything was still paper.  The month after I started we began our first "computer automation" for NE WIC.  It was an exciting time as we worked with Viking to have checks preprinted. And yes, myself and the other WIC regional nutritionist were responsible for developing the first numbering system for our food packages, that after years of adjustments everyone wondered, "What Were They Thinking?!"    

How have things changed? 
As I think about how WIC has changed in the last 35+ years, there were so many great changes. Three which I feel have had the biggest impacts on WIC are the automation of the certification process and benefit issuance, secondly, the addition of fruits and vegetables to the food package. And third, the changes in the client experience necessitated by the COVID pandemic.

What advice would you give your first year self or someone who is just starting out with WIC? 

​For those who are just beginning their journey with WIC, this is an exciting time! The pandemic has caused us to think about providing services in many new ways. WIC is never the same, every day with WIC brings something new. Embrace change!

35 Years Of Service as of 2020