In the 608: How a local nurse is spreading positivity in the community

MADISON, Wis. – Over the course of the last year, we’ve heard countless stories of our frontline heroes stepping up in ways never imagined. There’s a nurse at SSM Health who’s even more proof of that positive impact.

Jenny Bothun’s official title is Regional Manager of Employee Health at SSM Health, but that’s just one of the hats she wears.

“It’s hard work. On a good day it’s hard work,” Bothun said. “If you start your day feeling defeated, that’s kind of the story you tell all day.”

After getting the opportunity to draw up the very first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Bothun was tasked with getting shots in arms of 14,000 healthcare workers across the state.

Even the biggest of challenges didn’t stop her from staying positive.

“You know so much was unknown, there was no playbook,” Bothun explained. “Having that bigger picture of public safety and patient safety is kind of the beacon that guides you through that.”

The mother of two was also one of the lead coordinators of the pop-up vaccine clinics around the 608, including our very own Vaccine Days at News 3 Now. She even got the opportunity to give the shots to her own kids and other family members.

Jenny’s colleagues tell News 3 Now the efforts wouldn’t have been such a success without her help, but this healthcare worker of sixteen years credits her team members in getting the job done as quickly and as safely as possible.

Even on the worst of days, Jenny knew she just had to keep pushing forward.

“I’m the person who goes in, tries to give a little bit of comfort and tries to be as positive as possible, because at the end of the day, no matter what hits me, I get to go home, and this person in the bed would trade places with me probably in a heartbeat.”

Jenny’s been part of 40 vaccine clinics around the community, and that doesn’t count the ones involving the employees at the start of the vaccination process. She’s now shifting back into focusing more on employee health as mental health awareness among people is so high right now.