Wendy Patricio and Alicia Erickson were like two peas in a pod or as they jokingly called themselves, “partners in crime — good crime,” and they certainly will be missed as AmeriCorps members at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
AmeriCorps is a program of the federal government that engages adults in community service work with the goal of helping others and meeting critical needs in a community. Members commit to full- or part-time positions to fulfill assignments in the fields of education, public safety, health care, and environmental protection.
During the past year, Patricio and Erickson have worked with nearly every program and every staff member at the Health Department. Their work has included: manning health fair booths, providing nutrition classes for low-income teens and children, assisting clinic office staff, and working with clients on smoking cessation and health literacy. Patricio, who was born in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, also was Spanish interpreter.
Kelli Raney, Healthy Families nurse case manager, described Wendy as reliable and efficient. “She was very willing to work with clients and staff. Her bilingual skills were a huge asset in assisting clients to access resources in our community. I don’t think we ever saw Wendy ever complete a task without a smile on her face!”
Jolene Croxell, WIC supervisor, said Alicia is fun, outgoing and always willing to help with any project. “She cares about the work that she does as well as promoting health in our community. She truly makes a difference with our clients.”
Patricio recently completed her AmeriCorps commitment, and Erickson’s last day is scheduled for Sept. 13. For more about their work during the past year, visit a Question-and-Answer interview with them by clicking here on the Health Department's website.
The Health Department will welcome two new AmeriCorps members Aug. 7: Amanda Kong and Beeta Kashani. They both spent the past year as AmeriCorps members at Heartland Community Health Center.