Thursday, February 01, 2007

WIETS, St. Vincent Clay help those who want to be self-reliant


ares to take Wilburn Jones' blood pressure Tuesday afternoon at St. Vincent Clay Hospital. -Frank Phillips photo

In a perfect world there would be no need for WIETS, or St. Vincent Clay Hospital.

In a perfect world, there would be no misfortune, life would turn out exactly as we hoped, everyone would make perfect decisions and no one would become ill.

In a perfect world, the Indianapolis Colts would be going to the Super Bowl for the 41st time, not the first time in 26 years.

WIETS and St. Vincent Clay Hospital don't influence the NFL, although St. Vincent Health works closely with the Colts through the year, particularly with the Colts Kickoff Kid program.

St. Vincent Health and St. Vincent Clay Hospital exists to minister to the bodies, minds and spirits of those in need, because the world isn't perfect.

WIETS (Western Indiana Employment & Training Services Inc.) also exists because the world isn't perfect. There are people who find themselves unemployed or underemployed, sometimes through bad decisions made by themselves or others and sometimes through absolutely no fault of their own.

When people are energetic and trying to be self-reliant, they sometimes need a hand up, rather than a handout.

Take Mandy Wood, for example.

Mandy, 21, a single mom with a 17-month-old son, remembers the day she applied for financial assistance to make ends meet.

She was referred to IMPACT (Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training ), and then placed in the WIETS youth program, where she was assisted by Audrey Harbison.

Mandy has always been a nurturing person. She thought about going into veterinary medicine, but after working with animals, she decided she would rather help care for humans.

She took the opportunity to job shadow at St. Vincent Clay. That experience helped her decide to take a three-week class and become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was hired by St. Vincent Clay Hospital and now attends Ivy Tech where she hopes to enter the nursing program as soon as possible.

CNAs answer patient call lights and work with patients if the services of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) aren't required.

Mandy's experience with WIETS and the hospital is not unique. Once or twice a year, WIETS approaches the hospital about someone in their program who might be a good fit for the hospital. Four people in the past three years have been placed at St. Vincent Clay through WIETS, said Andrea Baysinger, RN, BSN, St. Vincent Clay Hospital Clinical and Community Health Coordinator.

Mandy likes the variety of her work.

“It's really nice to do something different all the time,” she said.

WIETS picks up some of her expenses, such as day care, paying for her scrubs (the blue clothing she wears on duty) and some travel expenses. The program also pays a stipend to interns, said Sharon White, who works with WIETS and the IMPACT program in Clay County.

Mandy is grateful to WIETS for all they have done.

“They have really helped with the financial part,” she said. “This couldn't have happened without them.”

She is taking general education classes and hopes to get into the nursing program at Ivy Tech

Mandy credits WIETS with the ability to earn a living for herself and her son.

“This helps us to fulfill our mission,” Baysinger said. “It truly is a win-win situation for everyone.”