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Ellsworth Care Center is Blodgett's 'other home'

A gift of a large bouquet of pink flowers celebrates Rhonda Blodgett’s 25th anniversary of her employment at Ellsworth Care Center. (Judy Wiff photo)

After 25 years working at the Ellsworth Care Center, Rhonda Blodgett is still just where she wants to be.

Two and a half decades ago, she was hired as a certified nursing assistant at ECC, and today she’s its administrator.

“It’s my other home,” said Blodgett, “because I’m here quite a bit.”

She earned her nursing assistant certification at the Red Wing Health Center while attending high school. In Red Wing she worked with young adults with closed head injuries.

When she graduated from Plum City High School, she moved closer to this area and took a job at the Ellsworth Care Center, still working as a CNA.

In 1990 Blodgett took the newly created job of ward clerk, taking responsibility for scheduling, transportation and buying supplies.

Four years later, after studying medical terminology, she moved on to medical records, and in 1997 she became administrative assistant, working under four different administrators.

One of them, Alberta Breitung, encouraged Blodgett to take online courses through UW-Madison to prepare herself for the administrator position.

A series of unexpected developments moved her into that job sooner than she expected. Just as she was completing the year-long course, Breitung was diagnosed with lymphoma and resigned.

Blodgett was just finishing her course work when she learned that she had breast cancer. She continued studying for her board exams while getting chemo treatments, missing only a week of work for surgery and four days during chemo.

For more please read the Oct. 9 print version of the Herald. 

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.