Diabetes Outreach Nurse
Whitney grew up in Bowler, Wisconsin on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation with her parents, older brother Cole and younger sister Gabrielle. Her mother was a teacher aide at the same high school that Whitney attended and her father worked various jobs for the tribe. Her parents divorced while she was young, but always remained incredibly supportive of their children’s academic and athletic endeavors. They always pushed their children to work hard at whatever they did and encouraged them to pursue their dreams.
Whitney was hired at the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center after school for one hour each day in the Community Health department. Her job was to design and distribute flyers, help with community events, and whatever other grunt work was needed. That summer, Whitney was hired under the tribe’s Summer Youth program to continue working this same job full-time. Being in the clinic exposed Whitney to the healthcare field and was what originally sparked her interest in medicine.
Whitney continued to excel in academics and was the valedictorian of her class. She was not a fan of big cities and didn’t want to be too far from home, so she decided to go to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with the intention of studying physical therapy or health promotion/wellness.
After taking multiple classes in healthcare, all while continuing to work during her summer and winter breaks at the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center, Whitney began considering nursing school. Her supervisor at the clinic, Elena Cox, encouraged Whitney to attend the same nursing program she did which was through UW-Eau Claire at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.
Whitney was accepted in the UW-Eau Claire nursing program at the Marshfield site. While in the nursing program, Whitney chose to participate in the Honor’s program. This allowed her to choose a focus area- which was Native American Health and Diabetes. Throughout nursing school, this honors program required numerous independent study projects that let Whitney do research with the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center and even led to being a teacher’s assistant on a spring break trip to the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Whitney spent a summer studying abroad in Costa Rica, which opened her eyes to the vast, exciting world and sparked her interest in traveling. After nursing school, Whitney returned close to home and took her first nursing job working on the Inpatient Post-Surgical Floor at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.
After working a year in the hospital, a position opened up for a Diabetes Nurse Educator at the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center. Whitney jumped at the opportunity to return home and work for her tribe in the specialty area she was so interested in.
Whitney continues to work as a diabetes nurse educator for her tribe. She recently passed her exam to become a certified diabetes educator. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. They have one beautiful daughter and are expecting their second child. Whitney feels blessed to be in the community that she loves, surrounded by family.