ThedaCare Nurse Going to Peru

Mission Trip Made Possible Thanks to Jodie Kacer Mission Trip Scholarship

Linda Radtke has a passion for mission trips, so she was overjoyed to have recently received the Jodie Kacer Mission Trip scholarship.

“It is food for my soul,” said Radtke, 39, of Weyauwega, a nurse at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London. She has been to Haiti eight times, one of which was right after the earthquake that devastated the area. Mission trips allow her “to use the talents that I have to be able to help people.”

And while she is serving, she is receiving from those she helps. “As much as I help them, they give me way more than I could ever give them,” she said.

Kacer, a human resources employee at ThedaCare, also went on mission trips. When she passed away, a $1,000 scholarship was established for a ThedaCare employee to go on a mission trip.

When Radtke learned she’d won, she jumped for joy. “It’s such a blessing to be chosen for that,” she said. “That’s a huge blessing. I think Jodi would be so excited to hear about this new adventure I am able to go on because of the money.”

Radtke initially planned to go back to Haiti but as she was filling out the scholarship paperwork, she was asked to join a first-time mission trip to Peru in February through her church, Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha. “Because of the scholarship, I was able to say yes right away,” she said, noting her group is traveling into the Amazon jungle where there has never been a mission trip.

Mission trips call on every skill Radtke has. “I use a lot of my nursing skills, judgment, assessment, triaging, wound care,” she said. “We do lots and lots of wound care. We see a lot of what you and I would go to see a primary care doctor. They don’t have that. They don’t have that accessibility.”

She also uses her compassion when treating, often holding a hand or touching the patient. “A lot of times that is all they need too,” she said. “Touch is one of our basic needs. Many cultures, they don’t get that. That’s all they want is to be able to be touched and listened to and heard.”

Radtke had talked to Kacer over the phone prior to some of her Haiti trips. But she never had the opportunity to meet her. “I know she would be excited because I am doing something outside of my safety zone,” she said. “I just hope to do her proud by this trip. It will be neat.”

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. Community Health Network, which includes Community Memorial Hospital in Berlin, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital are in the process of affiliating with ThedaCare. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.