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KVC Health Systems

People Matter
 

The Inspiring True Stories at the Heart of Our Work

inspiring true stories

The work the KVC Health Systems team does often happens in homes and behind doors, but the resulting success can be seen in thousands of homes across hundreds of communities. As a child welfare and behavioral health nonprofit organization, we meet families going through crisis such as addiction, mental illness, loneliness and severe economic stress. Often, we walk arm in arm with families on the most difficult days of their lives. In each situation, day after day, our employees show up to the work with compassion and authenticity, working to strengthen families, help children heal from trauma and provide a path toward a brighter future.

The true hero in each individual or family’s story is the individual or family themselves; not KVC Health Systems. We are simply the guide on their journey. We honor those who have worked to overcome hardship or challenges, safely reunite with their children, offer a safe place for children who have been abused or neglected, bravely seek treatment for anxiety or depression, or simply inspire others with their positive attitude, empathy and caring in action.

To recognize these heroes and inspire others, KVC Health Systems hosts a national story contest each year to gather those stories from clients, employees, foster and adoptive parents, birth parents, and community partners. During the 2018 story contest, people from across the U.S. entered 90 submissions, each containing a real story of how KVC services made a difference in the lives of a child, adult or family.

We are thrilled to announce the winning stories below. Please check back often as we will be publishing the stories on our website throughout the year. (View the 2017 story contest winners here or 2016 story contest winners here.)

Strengthening Families

  • Overcoming challenges, parents work to reunify with children after foster care (Rachel Stompoly, Case Manager, KVC Kansas)
  • Mother works hard to grow and safely reunify with children (Kayla, KVC Kansas client)
  • Teenage girl finds self-worth and becomes healthy through therapy and support (Mary Conlee-Smith, Family Specialist, KVC Kentucky)
  • Boy with autism reconnects with father after learning healthy skills (Bethany Barnes, Hospital Therapist, KVC Hospitals)
  • Mother works to overcome addiction and keep family safe (Carol Luttjohann, Family Preservation Therapist, KVC Kansas)
  • Mom learns healthy skills to better care for her children (Natalie Chaffee, Permanency Floater Trainer, KVC Kansas)

Foster Care/Adoption

  • Foster parents become adoptive parents and share their love with a child in need (Tiffany, KVC Nebraska foster parent)
  • KVC employee shares her love as a foster parent (Cindy Smith, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas)
  • Young boy flourishes in forever home (Shay Johnson, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas)
  • Former child in foster care becomes caring adult who helps children in care (Sharon Doodnauth, Quality Assurance Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas)

KVC Team Member Going Above and Beyond

  • Family therapist forms bonds with families that make an impact (Misty Montague, Family Therapist Supervisor, KVC Kansas)
  • Receptionist and client mother form true friendship (Ms. T Lora, Receptionist, KVC Kansas)
  • Case manager connects with young boy through his skateboarding hobby (Christine Lenz, Case Manager, KVC Kansas)
  • KVC Hospitals staff work to help a young girl feel safe and supported (Lydia, KVC Hospitals client)

Behavioral Healthcare

  • Young girl transforms after therapeutic equine therapy (Salina Ramsay, Clinical Therapist, KVC Kentucky)

Psychiatric Treatment

  • Teenage boy works to overcome trauma with therapist, becomes peer mentor to help others (Alicia Armstrong, Clinical Manager, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital)
  • Young girl learns self-care and coping skills, starts group to share with others (Diana Fernandez, Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital)
  • Teen girl finds help in psychiatric treatment, overcomes trauma (Kristen Osborne, Milieu Manager, KVC Wheatland Hospital)
  • Young girl learns to trust again after forming healthy relationships at KVC Hospitals (Laurel Phillips, Therapist, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital)
  • Nurse connects with youth in care by forming health bonds and connecting during treatment (Farrah Hendrix, Registered Nurse, KVC Wheatland Hospital)

KVC Team with the Highest Participation

The KVC team with the highest percentage of participation was KVC Nebraska!

Honorable Mention

We would like to thank each person who submitted moving stories during the 2018 KVC Story Contest. Each individual shared about children, adults and families whose lives are forever enriched by the services and programs KVC Health Systems’ local teams provide.

  • Jessica Elliott, CPA Director, KVC Kansas
  • Katie Brooks, KVC Kansas adoptive parent
  • Trevor Kennedy, Milieu Manager, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Michael Prieto, Lead Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Kathy Lovelady, Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Katherine Huelsman, Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Catie Riedel, CNA – Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Kaleb Feist, Behavioral Health Counselor, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Armando Ariza, Lead Behavioral Health Technician, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Jessica Bergdorf, KVC West Virginia adoptive parent
  • Sherry Briggs, Training Specialist, KVC Kansas
  • Lauren Fouts, Hospital Admissions Coordinator, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital
  • James Smith, Associate Director of Program Services, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital
  • Bailey Bennett, Associate Director of Nursing, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital
  • Blythe Hinderliter, Marketing and Communications Manager, KVC Health Systems
  • Vicki Gerstner, Family Preservation Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Cari Hommertzheim, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Na’Taya Quinn, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Julianne Ibarra, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Sydney Redding, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Alena Schmitt, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Aarion Rideaux, Family Preservation Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Larry Davis, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas
  • Anastasia Ramirez, Permanency Supervisor, KVC Kansas
  • Natalie Chaffee, Permanency Floater Trainer, KVC Kansas
  • Shannon Latoplski, Aftercare Supervisor, KVC Kansas
  • Cathy McKinley, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • LuRita Boggs, Family Preservation Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Tara Davis, Former KVC Director of Intensive In-Home Services
  • Beth Haave, Foster Care Specialist, KVC Nebraska
  • Mary DeBoard, Outpatient Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Audre Bedford Hensen, Foster Care Specialist, KVC Nebraska
  • Rebecca Hooper, Foster Care Specialist, KVC Nebraska
  • Travis Chandler, Foster Care Specialist, KVC Nebraska
  • Ashley Hein, Foster Care Specialist, KVC Nebraska
  • Melissa Nyquist, Therapist, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital
  • Noelle Blair, Therapist, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital,
  • Matt Arnet, Outpatient Director, KVC Kansas
  • Taylor Ziegler, Associate Director of Nursing, KVC Wheatland Hospital
  • Anonymous submitter, KVC Kansas
  • Traci Rasmussen, Adoption Supervisor, KVC Kansas
  • Alexandra Williams, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas
  • Kelly McCormick, Admin Assistance for CPA, KVC Kansas
  • Daniel Reusser, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Campbell Vobach, Community Resource Specialist Administrative Assistant, KVC Kansas
  • Melanie Kulick, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Mary Thibeodeau, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas
  • Amanada Briscoe, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Cassie Kroush, Intensive In-Home Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Kassie James, Therapeutic Case Manager, KVC Kansas
  • Cara Smith, Permanency Supervisor, KVC Kansas
  • Christine Lenz, Case Manager, KVC Kansas
  • Cheyanne Weishaar, Case Manager, KVC Kansas
  • Laran Brice, Case Manager, KVC Kansas
  • Seth Montgomery, Family Support Worker, KVC Kansas
  • Courtney Green, Horticultural Specialist, Niles
  • Jackie Harwig, Community Resource Specialist Supervisor, KVC Kansas
  • Sarah Coplen, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, KVC Hospitals
  • Caroline Trayer, Outpatient Therapist, KVC Kansas
  • Cheryl Marquardt, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, KVC Health Systems
  • Heather Steffen, KVC Kentucky foster parent
  • Brynn Williamson, Associate Director of Program Operations, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital
  • Linda Combs, Aftercare In-Home Specialist, KVC Kansas
  • Cindy Smith, Family Support Worker and foster parent, KVC Kansas
  • Sara Wyer, Regional Director, KVC West Virginia
  • Rebecca James, Foster/Adoptive Case Manager, KVC West Virginia

Got a Story? Share It Anytime

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated. KVC Health Systems will host another story contest in summer 2019. Do you have a story to share? Please tell us about it at www.kvc.org/stories.