Health worker retires after 32 years
Sherie Moody has retired from Marion County Health Department after 32 years of administering the federal Women, Infants, and Children program. Her last day was Thursday.
In addition to distributing checks and now electronic cards for food assistance, Moody assessed the health and nutrition of clients and gave advice on how they could move forward on a healthy path.
Moody also connected them with resources for other services they needed.
“I was helping families help themselves,” she said.
The biggest change she has seen is a reduction in clients. In the early 1990s, she had almost 300 clients. In the past four or five years, she had fewer than 100. Population has decreased, and fewer single women with babies are asking for assistance, Moody said.
Despite the decreased workload, behind the scenes administrative work increased, she said. She worked with vendors, did reports, and installed software and upgrades.
Moody moved with her parents to a farm southwest of Marion when she was 5 years old. A daughter of Dale and Eunice Christensen, she graduated from Marion High School in 1972.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University and served one year of dietary internship in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Her first job was as food service director for a residential care facility for mentally handicapped adults at Valley Center.
In 1980, she became a dietary consultant for nursing homes in Marion, Dickinson, and Saline counties.
She has been part-time with Marion County Health Department since 1990. Since then, the department has moved from the basement of the courthouse, to the courthouse annex, to downtown, to its present location at 504 S. Roosevelt St. in Marion.
Moody has found satisfaction in helping people.
“I like it when a light bulb goes on as I’m talking with people, and they say, ‘Why didn’t I know that,’” she said.
She has seen people get excited after she persuaded them to try something new that they weren’t comfortable doing.
“It’s like opening a new book,” she said.
Clients sometimes returned to thank her for her help.
Moody said she enjoyed working with the staff at the health department.
“It’s a great place to live and learn,” she said.
Moody is married to John Mulvenon. They live two miles from her home place. They have four children between them and six grandchildren.
She is looking forward to having more time to travel to visit their children, all of whom live out of state. She also enjoys gardening.
“I won’t have to get up as early on Thursday mornings,” she said.