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CCH Legend an advocate for children

CCH Legend an advocate for children

“I believe that children are our future and what we invest in them, we get back from them,” says Noamie Niemitalo, Campbell County Health Interim Vice President of Human Resources / Director of the Early Childhood Center.

Since 1992, Noamie has focused her career to putting the very best into the children. Because of this dedication and drive for excellence, she has earned one of CCH’s most prestigious honors—the Legend Award.

For those who don't know, CCH defined a Legend as, “those people who have left an indelible impression on our minds because of their deeds and actions. Ongoing demonstration of hard work, compassion, and a reputation for greatness make someone a legend.”

Ask any one of Noamie’s employees, and they’ll tell you she is a Legend. In her nomination form, CCH Early Childhood Center employees Nicole Schrock, Heidi Bellor and Carolyn Cole (another CCH Legend) wrote:

“Noamie is very committed to the organization and goes above and beyond her job duties. Several of the staff at the Center have earned additional certifications because Noamie has taken the initiative to encourage us to better ourselves, therefore making the Center a better place for CCH employees and their children. She is very caring and dedicated to us—taking calls on her own time, helping us figure out how to plan for our future and even helping to pay for a child’s photos when their parent couldn’t afford them. She has always been an advocate for us, and the children who attend.”

Noamie grew up in Harrisburg, Nebraska and went to college at the University of Wyoming, where she received her bachelor’s degree in social work. She came to Gillette to complete her practicum with the Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation (GARF), and stayed. Noamie has since earned her Master’s Degree in human services from Capella University. She is also Certified Social Worker in Wyoming (CSW), has earned her Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) recognition, and is a 2015-16 graduate of the Gillette Area Leadership Group offered by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.

Since she’s been in Gillette, she’s worked for GARF, the People Project (which is now a part of the Council of Community Services), Personal Frontiers and Head Start, to name a few. She came to CCH by chance. “I knew someone who worked at the Early Childhood Center, and they asked me to come and give them help with their environments,” says Noamie. “Throughout the process, they asked me to consider applying for the manager’s position when it opened up.” That was 10 years ago.

For those who don't know, the Early Childhood Center provides childcare for the kiddos of CCH employees when they are at work—currently, the Center is only open to CCH employees. Noamie says she and her staff of roughly 50 employees get to come to work each day knowing that they provide a huge role to CCH by providing services to take care of the employees’ children. The Center’s staff works very hard on establishing strong relationships with other staff members, as well as the employees who bring their children to the Center. “We hope that they are better employees knowing that they have a safe place to bring their children,” she says.

As mentioned above, the experience and knowledge at the Center is really one to brag about. Noamie is certified to provide staff training to meet Department of Family Services (DFS) requirements and the National Child Development Associate (CDA) program. But Noamie’s credentials aren’t the only ones worth mentioning.

“Many of the employees at the Center have their CDA’s, a child development associate certification—if they don’t, then they are likely taking classes to work toward receiving one,” says Noamie. “Staff also receive at least 30 hours of additional training each year centered around providing quality services to children at the Center.” Many of the Center’s staff have 10 or more years of experience in working with children, and the Center has a very minimal turnover, so the children are with consistent caregivers.

Noamie says she feels a lot of pride in the Center’s staff. “Watching the childcare department find a nice balance of employees who really care about what they do, and have worked hard on building their expertise through education and experience has been a rewarding experience,” she says. She is also appreciative that CCH supports employees to grow in their careers. “I believe that education and training is the key to being able to offer quality, and quality employees make everything better at CCH.

For a few years, Noamie has been helping CCH’s directors, managers and supervisors express their comments and concerns to their peers and their employees by being a Crucial Conversations Master, which helps people effectively communicate when the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong.

“I hope that I can help people see that they sometimes ‘tell themselves a story’ about what they think has happened instead of listening to what may really have happened. I also hope that I help people understand why it is so important to get as much information to people as possible—I believe it’s important to always tell people the why of what you are doing, or asking of them to do,” says Noamie.

Wellness Supervisor Tanya Allee, RD, LD, took advantage of Noamie’s expertise in 2015, and instituted some processes with staff that have positively impacted their office. “Noamie helped us look at how we were delegating tasks at Wellness as well as develop personal goals—this helped me find out what the employee was passionate about working on. In two years, I’ve seen more ownership from staff on their projects, as well as better follow through on assigned tasks,” says Tanya.

Noamie has given a lot to children outside of work as well. For the last 18 years, Noamie and her husband, Loren, have raised funds for Head Start through a golf tournament that takes place the fourth weekend in June at the Gillette Golf Club, and was created while she was working for the organization. She was on the Founding board for CASA for the Sixth Judicial District, and currently sits as the Board President for the Boys and Girls Club of Campbell County. And, for the last 20 years, Noamie has also been appointed by Wyoming Governors to be on the Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council. This Council works with organizations and departments across the state that has early childhood programs, and they also help legislators understand the importance of early childhood work. With each entity she volunteers for, she works hard to help create quality programs that benefit children in the area and the state of Wyoming.

Outside of work, Noamie enjoys spending time with her husband, Loren, of 23 years. They have one daughter, Carlie, who is turning 12 this May, and they do everything together. Noamie enjoys coaching and watching her daughter play sports, as well as gardening, and spending time outdoors camping and fishing.

A phrase of Noamie’s that many of her employees are familiar with is, “be owners not renters”. Noamie says she uses this phrase to encourage her staff to show they care. “If I own something, I treat it better and I care about it more. If we work somewhere—likely spending the better part of our day there—I want those who work there to care. I want them to treat like it is their home,” she says.

This motto also fits nicely into CCH’s goal to provide Excellence Every Day, which according to Noamie means: following through on what you say you will do, supporting people to be the best that they can, and believing in the place that you work.

Tanya was recognized in 2016 as a Legend, and says she’s very happy that Noamie has been recognized as well. “She’s a fantastic leader. She always makes time for others to share her knowledge and experience with people throughout CCH. She definitely deserves this recognition,” says Tanya.

“Noamie hit the door running when she came into the Interim Vice President of Human Resources position. I really appreciate that and I admire her for it,” says Tammy Mohr, CCH Human Resources Assistant. “I feel that she’s helped to pull us together as a team. She’s definitely a Legend.”

“I am honored that the people who I work with view me as a Legend. I really love my job and I look forward to coming to work every day,” says Noamie.

Noamie Niemitalo, thank you for your dedication to the children of the parents who work at CCH, and to the employees who care for them while they work. You are legendary in the eyes of all the staff at CCH. Congratulations.