Julie Fries, RN

Client Care Coordinator, In-Home Care

I was born in Norway, Michigan, and later graduated from Little Chute High School. I always loved art and began working right after high school as a graphic artist at Pioneer Press, a small printing company in Kaukauna. After six years, my husband and I moved to Wisconsin Rapids and I decided to make a career change that fit with my other passion, an interest in health and the human body. I enrolled in the nursing program at Midstate Technical College at the same time I was parenting our three young children, ages five, three, and newborn. I was so happy when I successfully passed my boards and became a registered nurse! My first nursing job was at Appleton Medical Center where I worked 12-hour night shifts on the orthopedics and general surgery floor. This was a very difficult schedule for my family, so I started looking for another job. That’s when I found out Valley VNA was looking for a coordinator for their flu shot clinics. I was hired for this job in 2002 and then I helped expand the position to help plan foot care clinics and other community programs. By 2008, our family was transferred with my husband’s job to Plover, and I took a new job overseeing five adult family homes. That was a very fun, neat group of people.

After going through a divorce, the kids and I moved back to the Fox Valley in 2010, and this gave me the chance to once again interview with Valley VNA for a position in assisted living. I was very happy to return, and then in 2014 I accepted the position of client care coordinator for in-home care clients. This is what I do today, helping clients find the services they need; training and supervising in-home caregivers; communicating with clients and families, and conducting Options & Solutions visits, foot care clinics, blood pressure clinics, and community Health Chats.

A lot of people don’t realize that In-Home Care has people on call around the clock to help our clients and families. We stay in very close contact with one another because things are always changing. I am out in the community meeting with individuals and families about five or six times a week. My job is to plant a seed about getting in-home care now, before a crisis. We want to be the people who help you stay in your home, safe and happy. I do notice that we start to get more calls in the fall, as the weather gets cold or families see changes over the holidays.

I have a son Matthew, 27, who works in welding and IT. My daughter Erin passed away in 2012 when she was 16 from an aggressive form of bladder cancer. My youngest, Ryan, is a senior at UW-Madison and studies computer science. Outside of work, I like to go on walks and bike rides. We all enjoy family gatherings and still try to go camping together every year. I like to crochet for people and read a lot of non-fiction. I also enjoy motorcycle rides with my significant other, Marty. We like to take a week off in August with friends to travel to on the motorcycle. I have two dogs; Gizmo is Erin’s pug, and Petey is my 15-year-old mix.