Marshfield Clinic Recovery Corps present on AmeriCorps service during National Public Health Week webinar

April 4, 2024

As part of the celebration of National Public Health Week during the first week of April, Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) Recovery Corps helped lead a nationwide webinar organized by the American Public Health Association. MCHS Recovery Corps AmeriCorps member Jennifer Podeweltz and program director Meagan Barnett were featured speakers one the session entitled Innovative Workforce Solutions: Lessons Learned from Public Health AmeriCorps

They discussed how the program’s AmeriCorps members serve as recovery coaches assisting individuals with substance abuse disorders, often drawing upon their own personal experiences. Megan Barnett reflected on this, explaining that “having someone from the community who understands those unique features and barriers is really important. Lived experience is really valuable because you are helping other people go along that journey."

Jennifer and Meagan shared about their experience in the webinar, which focused on best practices in recruiting, training and nurturing early-career public health professionals from Public Health AmeriCorps. With public health facing a workforce crisis, the webinar discussed ways to help grow local talent and build pathways for community members to join the field of public health and become critical, trusted messengers for their community.

Jennifer explained that “when I came into my position, I didn't have any experience in public health. If you have a passion for helping people, they (Public Health AmeriCorps). can get you there.” She reflected on her overall experience, saying “on top of the experiences of working with peers, it's working with other coaches and learning from them. It's amazing to see the transformation in myself in the past two years.”

Webinar Recording: Innovative Workforce Solutions: Lessons learned from Public Health AmeriCorps.



AmeriCorps Members Attend Midterm Training

March 1, 2024

February 28 - March 1, 2024, 80 AmeriCorps members and staff from Marshfield Clinic Health System’s Community Corps and Recovery Corps programs gathered at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. This annual Midterm Training was intended to promote networking, professional development, and to inspire members as they continue towards completion of a successful term of service.

A variety of speakers were invited to share their expertise on topics such as building community partnerships, mental health, public speaking, resume writing, and self-care. Several members took advantage of the opportunity to practice their own public speaking skills by presenting to their peers on topics related to their service and passions. In the spirit of service, members came together to complete several service projects which included making fleece tie blankets for teens in a hospital, painting kindness rocks, and writing letters to veterans. Overall it was a successful interactive event that resulted in members and program staff alike more connected with each other and recharged for the remainder of the service term.




MCHS AmeriCorps Members Receive Highest Honor for Service and Impact

February 29, 2024

National Service members who have accumulated more than 4,000 hours of service are eligible for our nation’s highest distinction for volunteerism, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award honors outstanding volunteers and national service members, recognizing the impact they make. As part of the recognition, honorees receive a certificate, a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States, and either a pin, coin or medallion.

Marshfield Clinic Health System AmeriCorps was pleased to award six dedicated AmeriCorps members with the President’s Lifetime Achievement: 

Erika Brigham is serving her fourth AmeriCorps term as a Recovery Coach for the Recovery Corps program at Marshfield Clinic Health System. She serves at Oneida County Social Services in Rhinelander where she has played an intricate part in expanding recovery coaching services in Oneida County. Erika spent countless hours developing a resource guide for Northern Wisconsin to better assist those seeking recovery coaching services.

Breanna Showkeir has served three full-time AmeriCorps terms with the Marshfield Clinic Health System AmeriCorps Recovery Corps program. As a recovery coach, Breanna has helped individuals in recovery develop a wellness plan and provide support through their recovery journey. Breanna served at Barron County Health and Human Services. In 2023, Breanna had the opportunity to share as a presenter at the DHS Opioid, Stimulants, and Trauma Summit.

Jatara Brown has served three full-time AmeriCorps terms with the Marshfield Clinic Health System AmeriCorps Community Corps program. Her first two terms were with First Presbyterian Church Wausau Free Clinic in Wausau and in her third term. she is serving with ECDC Multicultural Community Center. At ECDC, she supports the direct delivery of refugee support services and conducts outreach efforts to develop partnerships in refugee assistance.

Miranda Golberg is in her third full-time term with Marshfield Clinic Health System AmeriCorps Community Corps.  Miranda served her first tern with the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes providing mentorship and support to girls to build tomorrow’s leaders. Her second and third terms have been with Marshfield Clinic Health System Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (HEDI) where she has focused on improving health outcomes of individuals with social needs by connecting them with available community resources (such as safe, affordable housing or access to healthy foods). In this role, Miranda has also been responsible for training and engaging college students to assist in providing resource referrals.

Ian Carroll is an army veteran that served two years as a combat medic. He is now serving a term with the Community Corps program, serving with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Office of Sustainability as a Circular Economy Program Assistant. His service includes everything from waste audits and analysis to engaging students in the campus garden program, all with the goal of minimizing waste and creating a healthier, regenerative UWM environment for students and employees.

Cheyenne Rhoten is a National Guard member who served active duty during the pandemic to respond to riots that occurred the summer and fall of 2020. Cheyenne is now serving three-quarter time with Badgerland After School Enrichment Program, a host site of the Marshfield Clinic Health System AmeriCorps Community Corps program. Cheyenne spends her service time engaging underserved children in STEM programming through interactive activities and games.

We are most grateful for the 24,000+ hours of service these committed members have contributed to improve lives and strengthen Wisconsin communities! 

To learn more about the eligibility process of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, please visit



Community Corps Members Appointed to State Board

December 29, 2023

Two current Community Corps members, LuTia Colbert and Whitney Andrastek, were recently chosen to participate in the Wisconsin National and Community Service Board (WNCSB). This board aims to, 'promote, train, and allocate resources to programs that enrich lives and communities through service and volunteerism.' LuTia and Whitney will both be serving as Youth Service Participant Representatives, educating others about the importance the impact of AmeriCorps programs can have on Wisconsin communities. 

Both LuTia and Whitney have never participated in something quite like this before and felt that it would be an excellent way to further advocate for the importance of AmeriCorps:

"I applied to the position because it is something I have never done before, and it sounded like a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at AmeriCorps and learn about internal processes of AmeriCorps at the state level." ~Lutia Colbert

"I joined the board as a way to gain more experience and hopefully learn more about the impact that AmeriCorps has. AmeriCorps offers so many different opportunities and a chance to be part of a state board seems very special, especially at such a young age." ~Whitney Andrastek

Whitney will be participating in the Outreach and Public Policy Committee, and LuTia will be participating in both the Public Policy committee and the State Service Plan Committee.


LuTia Colbert serving with New Leaf Foods in Green Bay, WI   Whitney Andrastek serving with NAMI Manitowoc County in Manitowoc, WI



Recovery Corps Members Advocate for Others Around the Holidays

December 29, 2023

During the month of December, two MCHS Recovery Corps members spoke out about the difficulties those in the recovery community may face during the holiday season.

Jenn Podeweltz, serving at Marshfield Medical Center - Weston, was featured in an article by WSAW discussing alcohol consumption around Christmastime. Jenn shared that planning ahead for holiday gatherings and events can really help set someone in recovery up for success. “Know what would make them feel uncomfortable and really have those conversations before you have your get-togethers so everybody can go in there and feel like they can all have a good time, and everyone’s included and nobody feels pressured in any way.” Jenn even goes on to share more about how everyone can evaluate their drinking habits. Check out the full article here.

Christian Johnson, recovery coach at Marshfield Medical Center - Eau Claire, also had an opportunity to share his perspectives on the difficulties of navigating the New Year's holiday for those struggling with addiction. Christian shared, "It's very easy, especially for alcoholics, to see all the alcohol around, during the holiday and say, you know, it's Christmas, it's New Year's Eve, I'll just do it this one time, and then you do do it that one time, and then it rolls downhill in a very negative way, and traps you back into that lifestyle." He even went on to share some tips for staying sober and his contact information for anyone who may someone to support them through the holiday. Check out the full article here.

*Image by master1305 on Freepik


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