Bio: Heck, Marie - Honored at Recognition Program (May 2006)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Heck, Brecker, Brenton

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/17/2006

MMC’s Honored at Statewide Recognition Program (Heck - 2006)

Marie Heck

Marie Heck credits her grandmother, Hattie Brecker, for her start in health care. In reflecting back, she acknowledges that helping people feel better about themselves -- inside and out – has always been her niche. What she didn’t know then was how the very people she was helping would one day return the favor.

“I started by taking care of my family, and now I get to provide care for my other family – MMC residents. I have been very lucky in my work. It really is meaningful to me,” commented Heck.

Approximately 60 hospital employees from across the state were honored at the 2006 Wisconsin Health Cere Employee Pride Program recognition dinner at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan on May 4th.

The program, sponsored by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), is designed to applaud the contribution that health care workers make to the well-being of communities throughout the state, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steven Brenton.

“It takes special people to care for others. Our communities are richer, safer, and healthier places to live because of these professionals,” Brenton said. “We hope that by sharing their stories, others will be encouraged to choose a health occupation and career.”

Employees were asked to describe what led them to choose and occupation in health, and how it has enriched their lives. Hundreds of health care employees submitted essays. A committee at each health care facility selected a winning essay, and that person was honored at the recognition banquet.

Here is Marie’s submission:

Remembering My Grandmother

When I was growing up, she had me go around the neighborhood, fixing the older ladies’ hair. When my grandpa got sick with colon cancer, I was his #1 “nurse”. The same was true when it was time to take care of my mother-in-law, dad, and grandma, when they got sick and passed away. I was there for them and did whatever I could.

My grandma encouraged me to take the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class, as she felt I could make a difference in lives. Who can become any closer to a resident than a CNA? We know when they don’t feel well, when they want an extra five minutes of visiting, or simply want to hold my hand or get a hug. CNAs can provide residents with unlimited joy from basic gestures of kindness.

I receive joy from residents too. For example, when talking to a resident about farming and encouraging him to overcome speech impairments (after suffering from a stroke), I get an empowered feeling in my heart too. That is why the resident-CNA relationship is meaningful.

I care for one resident, who, when I walk into her room, she automatically knows me as the “turkey lady”. She knows she’ll hear about the turkeys on my farm, and she can participate in the conversation … and feel like she is contributing.

How could I not be happy? I improve people’s lives, just by doing the waltz or polka, holding residents’ hands, or giving them hugs. It takes so little effort by me but brings about countless smiles from residents.

Twenty years later, and I’m still a CNA, with my mind and heart so full of these special memories. This is why being a CNA is important to me.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel