Connecting with comnunities
Caitlin Mork is the interim family living educator in Waupaca County’s UW-Extension office.
Her first day was Feb. 1 and she will hold the position until Aug. 1.
“Everyone has been extremely helpful,” Mork said.
She is happy to be working in her hometown.
Mork grew up in Waupaca and is a graduate of Waupaca High School.
Her parents, Bob and Cathy Jezwinski, live here, and Mork’s husband Dave is a graduate of Iola-Scandinavia High School.
The past year has been a busy one for Mork.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in community health education and minor in nutrition.
“As part of my graduate requirements, I had to do an internship. I did that with UW-Extension,” she said.
Connie Abert was her mentor, with Mork’s internship taking place last May through September.
Mork explained how she became interested in community health and nutrition.
Her mother is an RN, and Mork, who played soccer in high school and was on the dance team, said she was always interest in exercise.
Through her internship, Mork said she received a great review of UW-Extension.
After completing her internship, she accepted a contracted position and continued working in the UW-Extension office, doing special programming.
One of the programs she focused on was the CHANGE (Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation) Tool Grant after she and Abert applied for funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do a county-wide assessment.
The assessment focused on nutrition, physical activity, chronic disease management, leadership and tobacco use.
Mork said they talked to members of each community in the county, as part of the assessment.
“We are about halfway through the county-wide assessment,” she said. “We will develop objective and goals and give them back to the communities. It opens the door for communication.”
During her work with Abert, she also did programming for Waupaca County’s Healthy Connections.
In mid-March, Mork will be part of the county’s visisioning session, which assesses programs and works to determine what people need and what they want.
She hopes information gained from the county-wide assessment may be used.
In addition to her interim position, Mork is working on her RN degree through Mid State Technical College.
In the local UW-Extension office, she may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 715-258-6225.
“I enjoy Extension. I enjoy teaching. Now, there are these options, ideas. I will take it one step at a time,” she said. “It’s great to be back in the community and it’s great to contribute to your community.”