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Workplace Wellness - WDA 8

image: Please Give ImageSubmitted by Natalie Carlsten - VRC, Menomonie

In April, our team in Menomonie toured Stepping Stones of Dunn County. It's a community agency that includes a food pantry, a separate homeless shelter, and resource and referral assistance, among other things. We also toured the nearby C-3 center (C-3 stands for "Care, Compassion, and Community"), a division of United Way that recently opened as a donation center in Menomonie. Donated items primarily consist of clothing and household items, including furniture, bedding, cookware, etc. Families in need can obtain a C-3 voucher in order to receive these items free of charge.

As a team, we were very struck by the generosity of our community, as well as the reality that Dunn County is one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin and there are more families in need than we might realize. We decided to hold a month-long donation drive as a wellness activity in order to promote community wellness within Dunn County, as well as mental wellness within our WDA, stemming from the great and satisfying feeling that comes from giving.

Two teams within our WDA have chosen to participate in the donation drive. Items are being collected through the end of May. They will be counted before our WDA staff meeting on June 14th, and the team that has collected the most items is the "winner." The winning team will be able to donate all of their items to the local agency or agencies of their choice. In addition, if participating staff members choose to donate $1 or more to the pot, the winning team will be able to take that pot of money and donate it to a food shelter. When we toured Stepping Stones, we learned they can purchase 10 lbs. of food with just $1, so a little bit goes a long way!

So far, this has been a very positive experience for many of our WDA members; it's been fun to see the collection of donated items grow day by day, and no matter what team wins, it will be satisfying to donate the items in June. Perhaps the donation drive will become an ongoing wellness activity even after this month!

START on SharePoint

image: SharePoint ImageThe START team has developed a resource directory on SharePoint - http://cs-dvr/work_groups/start.

The purpose of the directory is to provide resources for all staff to access and use related to transition. The directory contains folders with information on assessments, disability, employment/job search, post-secondary and supported employment. In addition, there are PowerPoint presentations related to transition that the START team members have used with students, schools, and stakeholders.

The START team will be responsible for maintaining the directory and its contents. If you have additional transition information that you think would be useful to share with other DVR staff, please discuss with the START team member from your WDA. They will be able to post the information onto the SharePoint directory.

Reaching Consensus image: Mind Tools Logo

This article originally published by Mind Tools

You've just brought your team together to kick-off a new project. However, you quickly run into problems agreeing on the right way to move forward.

Juan, the most dominant member of your team, immediately makes a suggestion and starts talking about its benefits. Katherine begins arguing with him, claiming that her idea is more efficient. Kerry, who often has brilliant ideas, is too overwhelmed by Juan and Katherine to speak up. You're soon ready to abandon the meeting!

If you work in a team, then this scenario may sound familiar. It can be difficult to get a group of people to reach consensus on a decision, especially when personalities, viewpoints, and attitudes clash.

Full Article

"Teams Work - Successful Practices

Submitted by Madison City Team and Riders on the Storm - WDA 10

Successful Practice Brief Narrative: Each team conducts a voluntary or optional IPE session. We invite consumers taken off the waitlist to learn more about the IPE process, and begin discussion/identify individualized activities that will assist in the IPE planning session. They also get an appointment with the VRC for the IPE planning/development meeting.

Consumers are not required to participate in the IPE session, and can meet with their assigned counselor to begin the IPE development process.

Impact Areas: Results in better understanding of the DVR process and more involved consumers. Assists consumers in the development of their IPE goal by completing agreed to individualized activities. May impact the rehabilitation rate, as consumers are more involved in the process at an earlier stage.

Formalized Processes: Yes (written guidelines, PPT, outlines, letters, IPE development activities)

Contact Information:
Team: MCT
Name: Deepa Pal
Number: 608-242-4859

Thanks for a Job Well Done

IRIS Redesign Team

Email received by Kristin Rolling from Kitra Thomas - VRC, Kenosha

Would you please share with the IRIS team that I LOVE, LOVE the closure letters in IRIS; these letters are making my job so much easier! Thank you!

Ann Feutz - VRC, Portage

Hi Ann I have some great news! I have finally succeeded in landing a very nice position at (company name) here in Portage. I'm very excited to get back to work again and not have the extra burden of feeling worthless and unwanted not to mention the money shortage!

I really want to thank you and everyone else that has stood behind me and encouraged me to try new things. I never dreamed I had a chance to go back to school and you guys made that happen and I thank you for that opportunity, without your help it would never have happened. I truly believe that this is a great program for those of us who have fallen off the track of life and need some one to help us to regain our strength and courage to get back out there. Thank you!!!

Denise Warner - DVR IT Coordinator

Email received from Kim Pomeroy, DVR Section Chief for Program Development

I was at the DWD Leadership Conference the past two days where I heard numerous compliments from various managers in DVR and other divisions who have worked with you recently. They expressed that you are accessible, responsive and a pleasure to work with. This was not solicited by me at all, so I really appreciated hearing compliments about your customer service. Thank you Denise!

Kristie Lonsdorf - VRC, La Crosse

Thanks for everything you do and your support during stressful periods. Sometimes it's just good to discuss things and get refocused. I have had a tremendously rough semester especially towards the end ... but I made it!!!

Thank you, once again.

Kristin Rolling - DVR Communication Specialist

Email received by Enid Glen, DVR Bureau Director for Management Services from Sandy Valentine, VRC Green Bay

Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate Kristin Rolling. She unceremoniously creates amazing publications for DVR, recently created appreciation certificates for presenters at our team training, welcomes suggestions, and never asks for acknowledgement. I believe DVR is fortunate to have the talents of Kristin!

Jerry Jorgenson - VRC, Ashland

Thanks again for your assistance in this "New Career", I know without you or your team, this endeavor would not be happening. I know it takes State monies to provide this service, but you all are the ones that make it work.

What's New/Updated on the Web

Staff Updates

New Faces/Transfers:

  • Justin Marko, VR Counselor (Janesville)
  • Anna Fosdick, Program & Policy Analyst (Central Office)
  • Patricia Clough, VR Counselor - Permanent from Project (Waukesha)
  • Patricia Eagon, Consumer Case Coordinator (Kenosha)
  • Emily Iselin, Consumer Case Coordinator - LTE (Waukesha)


  • Cheryl Schlitz, Consumer Case Coordinator (WDA 10)
  • Cynthia Post, Consumer Case Coordinator (WDA 5)