A Work of Heart

*Permission to republish by StateFarm.com. (Originanly published on http://goodneighbors.com/post/126421892122/heart)

A Work of Heart We all know that nursing isn’t easy. But, seeing patients recover and thrive makes it all worth it. Most people may not remember or connect with their doctors or other staff like they do a nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant. Because let’s face it, they are the heart of healthcare. The empathy and care they provide to patients helps encourage strength and recovery. It takes special people to see people at their worst, most difficult time and support them on their course to getting healthy and enjoying a great quality of life. [[MORE]] The job opportunities also provide a great quality of life for those who purse these careers. Christopher Strickland, a 52 year-old father, who was laid off as a cook at a local pub, realized this job path could create stability and help him earn a better income. He was experiencing difficulty finding steady employment and wanted to work in a field where there’s a need. It was happenstance that he came across an ad in the newspaper about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the chance to receive a scholarship to complete the training. He decided to apply and was awarded a State Farm® scholarship to achieve his goals. Christopher quickly realized through his training that nursing was the right fit for this next step in his career journey. His charisma and sense of humor went over famously with the residents at a nursing home where students perform their clinicals. Residents developed meaningful relationships with Christopher, and it helped them feel comfortable being in their most vulnerable state. As Christopher shared excitement for his new opportunity, his son, Ali, took notice that nursing is a field that will always have a need for qualified individuals. Ali, a 23 year-old young man didn’t have a job at the time and wanted to find something that would provide a decent salary. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, applied and was awarded a State Farm scholarship to complete his training. NAT Coordinator Tanya Christensen shared, “Nursing has always been a field dominated by women, but more patients are wanting to have a choice as to whether a man or woman takes care of them. In addition, people who are further along in their careers are realizing nursing could be a great next career step since the healthcare sector continues to add jobs and that the unemployment rate is low. With all these reasons, why wouldn’t someone pursue this rewarding career path.” Lucikly, there’s still time to apply for scholarships and participate in training sessions provided by the Red Cross. Day and evening classes are taking place in Green Bay, La Crosse and Waupaca. Check out the Red Cross NAT website for more details!

We all know that nursing isn’t easy. But, seeing patients recover and thrive makes it all worth it. Most people may not remember or connect with their doctors or other staff like they do a nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant. Because let’s face it, they are the heart of healthcare. The empathy and care they provide to patients helps encourage strength and recovery. It takes special people to see people at their worst, most difficult time and support them on their course to getting healthy and enjoying a great quality of life.

The job opportunities also provide a great quality of life for those who purse these careers. Christopher Strickland, a 52 year-old father, who was laid off as a cook at a local pub, realized this job path could create stability and help him earn a better income. He was experiencing difficulty finding steady employment and wanted to work in a field where there’s a need. It was happenstance that he came across an ad in the newspaper about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the chance to receive a scholarship to complete the training. He decided to apply and was awarded a State Farm® scholarship to achieve his goals.

Christopher quickly realized through his training that nursing was the right fit for this next step in his career journey. His charisma and sense of humor went over famously with the residents at a nursing home where students perform their clinicals. Residents developed meaningful relationships with Christopher, and it helped them feel comfortable being in their most vulnerable state.

father and son

As Christopher shared excitement for his new opportunity, his son, Ali, took notice that nursing is a field that will always have a need for qualified individuals. Ali, a 23 year-old young man didn’t have a job at the time and wanted to find something that would provide a decent salary. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, applied and was awarded a State Farm scholarship to complete his training.

ali just graduated

NAT Coordinator Tanya Christensen shared, “Nursing has always been a field dominated by women, but more patients are wanting to have a choice as to whether a man or woman takes care of them. In addition, people who are further along in their careers are realizing nursing could be a great next career step since the healthcare sector continues to add jobs and that the unemployment rate is low. With all these reasons, why wouldn’t someone pursue this rewarding career path.”

Lucikly, there’s still time to apply for scholarships and participate in training sessions provided by the Red Cross. Day and evening classes are taking place in Green Bay, La Crosse and Waupaca. Check out the Red Cross NAT website for more details!

Red Cross NAT Training Changes Lives

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Andrea Johnson’s Red Cross NAT training offered her new opportunities.

The American Red Cross is a premier provider of Nurse Assistant Training, preparing students to play an important part in today’s health care.

Nurse Assistants learn to provide quality care for residents in long-term care facilities, hospitals, home health care and hospice settings. The Red Cross program is designed with input from educators, caregivers and industry representatives from across the United States.

Andrea Johnson, Wisconsin, is a nursing assistant at an assisted living facility where she spends her days tending to the basic needs of her patients. She gathers vital information about her patients’ conditions that she shares with her nurse supervisor. The ability to use her skills to help those in need in a career with full benefits is motivating and rewarding.

Johnson trained as a nurse assistant through the Red Cross. She found out about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the scholarships that were available. She applied, was accepted into the program and received a scholarship from State Farm, which was a significant turning point for her. The knowledge gained and training received provided her access to new opportunities.

“My entire life changed,” Johnson said. “I had the great opportunity to meet Sarah, my instructor. Her sensitivity, care, responsibility and respect made me the professional woman I am now.”

PROGRAM DETAILS Day classes are available and students learn the nationally developed curriculum in a hands-on environment. The training meets or exceeds state standards. Through lectures, DVDs, role playing and laboratory practice, students learn skills such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning. Graduates are prepared to pass state tests and be successfully employed. Training requirements for the Certified Nurse Assistant varies from state to state. For more details, including how to register for training, visit the Training and Certification information on this web site.

STATE FARM SCHOLARSHIP State Farm® has awarded a $15,000 grant to fund scholarships for the Nurse Assistant Training Program being offered by the American Red Cross in three Wisconsin communities. The program and the scholarships will be available in Green Bay, La Crosse and Altoona. The nurse assistant training is part of the health care training programs offered by the Red Cross.

For more details and to apply, please click here.

Good Things Happen with Collaboration

Good things happen when agencies collaborative!  Habitat for Humanity, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Fond du Lac County and the American Red Cross all worked together to have disaster kits available free to low income homebound seniors or people with disabilities. Habitat for Humanity received grant from the National Habitat for Humanity and State Farm directed towards disaster preparedness. Each kit will include a hand crank weather radio/flashlight combination, first aid kit, emergency thermal blanket, and informational materials.

Pictured left-right are Sandy Tryon from ADRC, Paul Osterholm from Habitat for Humanity and Lisa Stanchfield from the American Red Cross.

Dancing with the Stars Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations

The 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin exceeded expectations, with the largest (sell-out) crowd, record fundraising and increased awareness to programs and services. This year’s event was held on Saturday, February 18 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.

Rebecca Schuld

Together, with the amazing efforts of our ten celebrity dancers, our sponsors, and with the support of the community, we raised $189,000 to support Red Cross programs and services in our community.

“Here at the American Red Cross, we are truly humbled by the outpouring of community support received through the “Dancing with the Stars” event,” said Steve Hansen, the Chapter Executive. “Saturday night, the entire event concluded with the entertainment and demonstration of dancing skills by our 10 stars, but the real event started well over three months ago, when our dancers made the commitment to raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”

Hansen also said, “Along with the outstanding support from our sponsors and community, the dancers poured everything they had into this event by generously volunteering their time and talent to make this event a huge success. On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you for bringing compassion and hope to those in need!”

Thank you to our sponsors including: Oneida Nation of Wisconsin; State Farm; Festival Foods; Nicolet National Bank; Broadway Automotive and the Schneider National Foundation. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2 and WIXX for their promotional support.

Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle a sold-out crowd of 810 guests and volunteers. Our evening began with dinner and followed by our all-star dance program were each celebrity performed two dances. The night concluded with the awards ceremony and open dance for all our guests with music provided by Big Mouth & the Power Tools.

Taking away the top honors for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Kate Burgess (right), Owner & President of FulfillNet AND Staci Kring (left), Vice President, Retail Sales of Schreiber Foods. These two ladies raised $47,000 each to support the Red Cross.

The People’s Choice award for showcase one went to Tommy Lemkuil and Taryn Oleson for their jive to “Footloose”. People’s Choice award for showcase two went to Staci Kring and Rane Cegelski for their Foxtrot to “Fever”.

Alyssa Zellner and Brad Hutjens

The Judge’s Choice were awarded to Brad Hutjens and Alyssa Zellner, for their Cha Cha to “Give Me Everything (Tonight)” for showcase one and for showcase two Matt Smith and Kari Hinrichs won for their Waltz to “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”.

Special judges award went to Tom Lemkuil and Kate Burgess for their showmanship and Staci Kring for her technical expertise.

Special thanks to George Graphos, Cami Rapson and Chris Roth WBAY-TV 2 Anchors for being the masters of ceremonies and to Rebecca Messenger and Tom Choudoir for their professional, colorful and official judging commentary.

Dawn McCoy and Chris Flores

Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion: Kate Burgess, Owner & President of FulfillNet; Tommy Fox, On Air Personality, WIXX; Brad Hutjens, Vice President/Chief Credit Officer of Nicole National Bank; Staci Kring, Vice President, Retail Sales, Schreiber Foods; Tom Lemkuil, Architect; Dawn McCoy, Owner of Tranquility Spa; Tricia Nell, Attorney, Liebmann Conway Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C.; Rebecca Schuld, Meteorologist, WBAY-TV2; Matt Smith, Weekend Morning Anchor, WBAY TV2; Robert (Bob) Warpinski Jr, IBM Senior Location Leader & Client Executive;  and Janet Gollnick, owner of DanceSport of Green Bay and artistic director of the event, Rane Cegelski, Chris Flores, Kari Hinrichs, Jay Morth, Taryn Oleson and Alyssa Zellner from DanceSport of Green Bay.

Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local American Red Cross of Northeast WI.

To view photos and video of the entire evening please go to our Facebook Page.

We Knew it Was Going to Come Sometime….SNOW!!

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind­driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

What should I do before a winter storm?

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non­frozen drinking water.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel­burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

Volunteers Commemorate Dr. King by Providing Lifesaving Fire Safety Information

American Red Cross volunteers will canvass local neighborhoods to distribute fire prevention and safety tips.

“Life’s most persistent question,” Dr. King once asked, “is what are you doing for others?” This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, American Red Cross volunteers are doing a lot for others in their local communities. They are distributing vital fire safety information to help residents prevent home fires, protect their loved ones and strengthen their community.

Dozens of volunteers from the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that helps people prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies, will join State Farm Agents from around Northeast WI,  along with the Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Ripon, Town of Menasha,  Appleton, Grand Chute, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay Fire Departments, Waupaca Fresh Start Program (distribution on Monday) Iron Mountain Girl Scout Troops and Disaster Action Team members.

Volunteers will canvass door-to-door throughout their local neighborhoods, talk with residents and leave behind door hangers with fire safety information. The door hangers include information about smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely this winter. This community program is sponsored by grants from State Farm and the American National Red Cross.

When:  Saturday, January 14, 2012,  9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Where: Volunteers will canvass the following communities. Orientations will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the closest locations to the communities:

  • Fond du Lac
  • Ripon
  • Appleton
  • Iron Mountain, MI
  • Markesan
  • Menasha
  • Oshkosh
  • Green Bay
  • Shawano
  • Manitowoc
  • Sheboygan

Home fires are the most common disaster threat across the country. Last year, chapters within the region responded to 210 local disasters, the majority of which were residential fires. Nationally, every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a home fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association fire claims nine lives every day in the U.S.A.

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NEWRedCross.org. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

STATE FARM AWARDS $55,000 TO AMERICAN RED CROSS

Funding Supports Education Initiatives and Disaster Response Programs

State Farm has awarded grants totaling $55,000 to the American Red Cross in Wisconsin for 2011 and 2012 to promote safety education and awareness programs, disaster preparedness and disaster response initiatives in the Scenic Bluffs, Western, North Central and Northeast Wisconsin. State Farm has a longstanding relationship with the Red Cross in Wisconsin and nationally.

Much of the grant funding will go to support core Red Cross missions of community disaster education and disaster response teams and to sponsor local Red Cross community events. The State Farm grants also will help make the following possible:

Fire Prevention Awareness Project

Red Cross volunteers and State Farm agents will reach-out to homeowners to provide fire safety and prevention information and remind residents that home fires are one disaster that can be prevented. They will canvass communities, talking with people about ways to heat and cook safely, the value of smoke alarms and the need to create an emergency kit and practice a household fire escape plan. Fire safety and prevention door hangers will be provided to all homes that the volunteers visit and left for neighbors who are not at home.

Community Preparedness Education

The Red Cross will create bookmarks customized with educational messages that schools, libraries and State Farm agents can distribute to students to help them learn about such important topics as fire prevention, Halloween safety, emergency preparedness (Get Informed. Make a Plan. Build a Kit) and winter driving safety. The first bookmarkers, Halloween Safety, were distributed to nearly 25,000 children.

Disaster Clean-up Kits

In times of need, the Red Cross provides individuals and families affected by disasters with Disaster Clean-up Kits to help people begin restoring their damaged properties. The kits, which are provided at no charge, contain cleaning supplies such as brooms, a mop, squeegee, rubber gloves, work gloves, disinfectants and more. Red Cross volunteers and staff distribute clean-up kits at central pick-up locations and go door-to-door through affected areas