Camryn Slowinski

Camryn Slowinski was on active duty orders with the Minnesota Army National Guard during the civil unrest periods in May 2020 and April 2021. He also works at Home and Community Options, and says the agency has “provided amazing flexibility with both planned and sudden military leave.” He drills one weekend a month and 2-4 weeks during the summer and has trained at both Camp Ripley in Minnesota and Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert in California. His specialty is Motor Transport Operations, and he has been serving for three and a half years.

He has been working at HCO for a little over a year and at the same time is completing a degree in Laboratory Science at Winona State University. He joined the Guard for the excellent college benefits and to advance his military career.

Camryn says, “… the importance of care provided is a top priority for both the individuals I serve at HCO as well as those I serve while on duty” in the Guards. He continues, “I think those who serve provide a structured dynamic to the workplace, as well as dependability while completing shifts and fulfilling duties.”

Camryn is originally from the Rochester area, where his parents are in the medical business field. He and his sister are both going to college for healthcare majors. He says, “I hope to earn a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science at WSU and work at Mayo Clinic while furthering my military career.”

In his leisure time, Camryn enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors with friends and family.

Camryn says he enjoys working with the individuals he serves at HCO, and couldn’t ask for better co-workers. Thanks for serving, Camryn!

Kylie Dodge

Kylie Dodge has been at HCO for four years and is currently working at the Lewiston program.

She is a 2020 graduate of Lewiston-Altura High School, where she was a runner, and is now studying dental hygiene at Rochester Community and Technical College. She still likes to run when she gets the chance and also enjoys spending time with her family: her mom and dad and 4-year-old brother and 9-year-old Labradoodle.

Kylie has been in the Minnesota Army National Guard for a year and is a Dental Specialist. She went through 7 months of training and now drills one weekend a month. A Dental Specialist is responsible for assisting the Army dentist in patient care and treatment. The specialist prepares the patient for procedures and assists the dentist with any procedure or examination needed. Specialists can also be responsible for managing dental offices.  She has not yet been on active duty.

Kylie says she joined the National Guard for the educational benefits and to “improve myself.” She says that she sees similarities in her job with HCO and her service training. In both jobs, she says, “I found that you have to be really alert, work well with others, and be observant.” She also says the best thing about her job at HCO is the “outstanding people I work with.”

Her military training has helped Kylie “to be able to complete things fast and efficiently. I have also found that I do not get burnt out nearly as easy.” That training will also help her as she navigates her education at RCTC and works towards achieving her goals.

We’re glad to have such a hard-working, dedicated staff member working with us at HCO!

Nathan Peterson

Nathan Peterson has been in the U.S. Army Reserves for 5 years as a 12W Carpentry and Masonry Specialist. He has been deployed for 11 months of those years, spending 4 months in Kuwait and 4 months in Qatar. He originally joined the service for the financial benefits and “to be able to say I did it.”

In addition to his active service, Nathan spends a weekend a month in training and two weeks in annual training. He says there are a few things from his military training that help him in his HCO job. In his combat training, he has experience in CPR and First Aid, which could also come in handy. But he says, tongue in cheek, he would probably apply fewer tourniquets at HCO.

Where the training has helped him, Nathan says, is in the “patience department,” and also working with a variety of people in different situations. “People are going to react differently in stressful or calm environments, so being level-headed with them no matter the situation is important.”

Nathan is a Criminal Justice and Corrections major at Winona State University. He is originally from Byron, where his parents and sister still live. He has a brother who lives in Rochester. In Winona, he lives with his girlfriend, Jess, who also works at HCO. They have a cat named Ivy and a kitten whose “name is currently Roar, though that will probably change.”

He likes to exercise and play Rugby with his friends. He and Jess like to binge watch TV shows. “We loved Monk, and are currently working on Chuck.”

Nathan is pragmatic about his long-term plans, liking to focus on “one thing at a time.”  He wants to finish his military training, then graduate from college, and after that, he says, “we’ll see what happens.” In the meantime, he wants to continue his work at HCO. Thank you for your service, Nathan!

A special thank you to all our service men and women for their dedication to serving our country!