While not everyone is a doctor or nurse, it’s still possible to help those who are sick. Enter Karin Kellogg, the Community Outreach Specialist at Community Hospital in Munster. Kellogg manages a job where she wears many hats. She works with the hospital’s marketing department in order to represent the hospital in the community and to inform the public about what the hospital has to offer them. The outreach she does often puts her into contact with the very public she serves.
“I do a lot of outreach,” said Kellogg, “Attending health fairs, going to various events, as well as writing and developing ads.”
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Kellogg’s family moved to Valpo when she was a toddler, which is where she has lived ever since.
Her studies took her to Olivet Nazarene University, where she studied Art and Digital Media, with a minor in Business, studies which she used to great effect when she went to work for Ideas in Motion Media, the owner of the Life Sites!
Kellogg graduated college at the beginning of the recession, which understandably wasn’t the best time to begin a career.
“I worked in retail for a while, and then connected with Chris [Mahlmann, owner of Ideas in Motion] thanks to Jon Groth, the Principal at the Porter County Career Center,” said Kellogg. “He knew we had a common interest in photography, so I started working at the Life Sites, back when it was just Valpolife.com”
While she was working at Ideas in Motion Media, Kellogg got to witness the company grow into four news sites delivering daily great news to Northwest Indiana.
“I was there for all three subsequent sites to launch, and it was really great,” said Kellogg, “It was a really great opportunity. You develop a lot of contacts and meet a lot of people.”
Kellogg’s experience at Ideas in Motion Media provided her with a stepping stone to her current career.
“I got pulled into healthcare through the connections that I made through the Life Sites,” said Kellogg. “This job popped up a few years ago, and I applied thinking there were probably way more qualified candidates, but luckily they chose me!”
Kellogg, who has been with Community Healthcare System for 2 and a half years, really enjoys the opportunities the job affords her.
“I meet a lot of people, and we have really great services and really great people that work here for us,” said Kellogg. “It’s really exciting to be able to share that and let people know that if they have a particular health need. They can take out our services and know they’re going to get quality care.”
Even though she’s not a healthcare professional, Kellogg believes the quality of the care she helps provide is important.
“It’s really important nowadays,” said Kellogg. “I feel privileged and honored to work for a healthcare system that is working hard to ensure that we’re delivering top-notch care. It just feels good to represent a company that does that.”
In what little free time she has, Kellogg enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She even finds time to look after her own health.
“I take classes at Barre and Beyond in Valpo to keep my health up,” she said.
Other hobbies of hers include knitting, teaching violin and volunteering with Flanagin’s Fairies, a group of women who dress up as fairy tale-style fairies to surprise children and perform at fundraising events.
Kellogg’s family is another inspiration for her healthcare career. Her sister, who is now in her thirties, has been battling cancer on and off for the better part of 18 years.
“That’s ultimately another reason I went into healthcare,” said Kellogg. “First hand, we’ve lived through the healthcare system. Through various heart issues, with my dad, grandma and grandpa, and my sister’s cancer.”
Despite her sister’s struggles with cancer, Kellogg and her family have managed to remain positive.
“It’s definitely exhausting,” she said. “You just have to take things one step at a time, and keep your spirits high. That’s half the battle, having a positive spirit.”
Kellogg also brings that same positivity into her work.
“There are a lot of sad things that can happen,” she said. “People are suffering. I think it’s important to remember that, even though I don’t have direct patient care, I still come into contact with patients and their families, and people who are having the worst day of their life. It’s important to remember that they need someone who will smile at them, make them feel important, and who will generally care about their concerns. I think having been in their shoes for much of my life, it’s easy to try to keep that in mind and treat those people the way I’d want a healthcare provider to treat me as well.”