Kathy Ripka

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Navigator

Kathy Ripka

Kathy joined the GUH team in October 2021. She is the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Navigator working in Faribault and Northfield.

Where did you grow up, and how long have you lived in the community?

I grew up in Dundas and went to Northfield schools. I now live in Owatonna.

What is your educational and/or work background?

I have 15 years experience as an LPN. I have an associate of science degree in nursing and an associate of science degree in social work, and I’m working on getting a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Why did you take this job with GUH/HCI?

I was initially looking for a job to bridge my nursing practice with my soon to be social work practice. When I read the profile about the HCI job, I thought it would be perfect. I’m a pediatric nurse – I’ve done clinic work and home health care – and I have a lot of experience to bring to HCI.

What are your main job responsibilities?

To get people through the process for the CCAP program – to join them with the county to make things as smooth as possible for the families, the providers, and the county. I’ll be doing home visits and community outreach.

What do you like most about the job?

One of the things I like most about being a nurse is working with families. Now with this job, it will be to help families get what they need. That’s always been my goal, to help them with the process so they can get what they need.

What’s the most challenging part of your job? 

This is a brand-new position for HCI. We know where we’re going with it, but we don’t know yet how it’s going to flow.

What are your hopes and dreams for the community where you work?

I hope that we get everybody what they need to reach their goals.

What do you do for fun?

In the summer we do a lot of camping and kayaking on the river. I ride a motorcycle. I do a lot of sewing and quilting in the fall, and I make costumes for kids. I like reading, gardening, and being outdoors.