Written by Jessica Meadows
One of the core values that North Central Health Care employees are committed to is Integrity — acting in a way that doing the right things for the right reasons is standard. To Rochelle Monday, a Case Manager in Community Treatment Youth, that was evident in late September when she acted in a way that potentially saved the life of a 4-year-old girl in Wausau.
On a brisk morning at about 9:00 a.m., Rochelle was driving toward the NCHC Wausau Campus on a busy Grand Avenue when she spotted something that just wasn’t quite right. In an area near the Schofield Dam where traffic moves about 35–40 miles per hour, a young girl was walking alone, barefoot, in her blue and pink nightgown. The only thing that accompanied her was her two small stuffed animals, neatly tucked under each arm.
While many cars passed, Rochelle did not.
Quickly recognizing that what she saw was not right, she pulled over and immediately blocked one lane of traffic. She got out and talked with the young child, asking her where she was headed, where her parents were, and if she needed help. The little girl was confident that she knew where she was going and how to get there. Another worried passerby, Jennifer Tryba from Thrivent Financial, also stopped to assist Rochelle, and together the two ladies contacted police.
Police had received a few calls from worried motorists that a small child was wandering around Grand Avenue. It took about 7 minutes for the police to arrive on scene. As a Case Manager in Community Treatment, Rochelle works with youth who have mental health concerns, and she knows all too well the impacts of trauma on children. To such a young girl, law enforcement could seem scary, so she stayed with her the entire time she was being questioned by law enforcement.
It turned out that when little girl was dropped off at her daycare provider’s house, rather than being walked inside by her father, she was dropped off outside the home. The sitter was in the backyard, so the young girl thought no one was home. She decided to walk to her grandparents’ work just a few blocks away at Marcell Insurance, just over the Schofield Dam bridge. She was intercepted by Rochelle about halfway there.
This situation could have been very dangerous for small child, as she may have even tried to cross Grand Avenue at some point.
Thank you to outstanding citizens Rochelle and Jennifer for stopping and stepping in. Because of these two women, the little girl was safely delivered, unharmed, to her grandparents’ work by law enforcement.
As for Rochelle, she didn’t consider herself a hero…
But without her integrity and compassion for others, this situation could have turned out dramatically different.
Communications & Marketing Coordinator | North Central Health Care
As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. Email Jessica Meadows.
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