Katherine met Jason at Wausau East High School (Wausau, WI) while participating in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB). Right after high school, Jason joined the U.S. Navy, and they were married in Orlando, FL (where Jason was stationed). The Navy then took them to Charleston, SC, and then Kings Bay, GA. The Gaulkes returned to Wisconsin to raise their family and be close to loved ones. Katherine & Jason will be married 21 years this September.
Katherine and Jason welcomed their first born, Timothy James (TJ) on April 6th, 2004. When TJ was a couple months old, Katherine quit her job as Payment Resolution Manager for HCA Patient Account Services to stay home with TJ. Their second child, Cassandra (Cassie) was born 10 days after the Gaulkes moved to Town of Delavan, in 2005. TJ is now 14 and in 9th grade; and Cassie is 12 years and in the 8th Grade. Cassie attends Elkhorn Area School Middle School, loves to ride horses, and dances at Broadway Academy of Dance in Lake Geneva. TJ spends the school year in Canada where he dances with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and attends the University of Winnipeg.
District 32 Resident 2005
In 2005, Katherine and Jason chose District 32 to raise their family. Katherine has been actively involved in our community since day one. She served as Coordinator for Mothers of Preschoolers, President of the Family Resource Coalition of Walworth County, and was a Citizen Representative to the Walworth County University of Wisconsin Extension Community Partner Advisory Group (CPAG). For the past two years, Katherine has served as a Citizen Representative on the Town of Delavan Public Works Committee.
In 2007, Katherine began teaching as an adjunct professor. It was at this time that Katherine decided to also go back to school for her PhD. Katherine earned her Doctorate in Human Services with an emphasis on Public Service Leadership in 2010 from Capella University. Earning her PhD and teaching health care administration has strengthened her knowledge of the health care system and gaps that exist. She is also a graduate of University of Florida with a Master of Health Administration and Saint Leo University with a Bachelor in Business Administration (Accounting).
State Assembly Candidate 2018
Katherine decided to run for State Assembly District 32 because she is a frustrated constituent. She believes a state representative should be active in the community they represent and be readily available to their constituents. She believes a state representative should be actively authoring and sponsoring bills that help her district residents live a better life. When elected, Katherine will be here for you. She will answer your emails. She will visit you in District 32. She will be listening to you and advocating to solve your problems.
Safety Net Advocate 2010-Present
Katherine volunteered with Open Arms Free Clinic (OAFC) when it first opened. OAFC is the only free clinic in Walworth County, for those of you in Racine County - the free clinic is HealthCare Network, and in Kenosha County - the AIDS Resource Center. Katherine's service at OAFC, fostered a love of safety net clinics in her servant heart, and she founded the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) in Nov. 2014. Since its formation, WAFCC has become a state and national leader in free and charitable clinics / safety net quality improvement and standards movement. Katherine speaks throughout the state and nation on healthcare gaps. She advocates for health equity. Katherine left her position as WAFCC Executive Director and is focusing full-time on hearing your stories and running for District 32 Assembly.
Began Free & Charitable Clinic Week
Working with the WAFCC Government Relations Committee, Katherine volunteered her time to advocate to increase awareness about free and charitable clinics. In April 2016, Katherine launched Wisconsin's 1st Free & Charitable Clinic Week. Then, in April 2017 during the 2nd Free & Charitable Clinic Week, Katherine organized a Free & Charitable Clinic Advocacy Day. During the 2017 Advocacy Day, safety net clinic directors, patients, and volunteer providers met with over 40 legislators and their staff asking for the first week of April every year to be Wisconsin's Free & Charitable Week. On February 20, 2018 - AJR52, a joint resolution, made the first week of April officially Wisconsin's Free & Charitable Clinic week! Katherine and safety net Advocates went to the Capitol and received Joint Resolution plaques from Rep. David Crowley and were present when the Joint Resolution was read on the Assembly floor.
Health Provider Loan Assistance Program (HPLAP) Expansion
Continuing her volunteer advocacy work Katherine worked with Rep. Joel Kleefisch, Rep. Daniel Riemer, legislative council, and the Office of Rural Health (HPLAP administer) to work on legislation to expand the HPLAP program the the free and charitable clinic entity. Katherine testified to the Committee on Colleges and Universities about how AB598 - watch her testimony - CLICK HERE fast forward to 2:18:56. This bill passed the Assembly with a voice vote; unfortunately the Senate didn't have time to take up the bill before recess. This experience demonstrates Katherine's understanding and knowledge of how bills are made and passed.
#TheNeedContinues Documentary and Handout
In 2015, Katherine worked with Lindsay Hammons to create #TheNeedContinues a documentary on the continued need for free and charitable clinics post-ACA ("Obamacare"). Katherine also developed #TheNeedContinues Handout for safety net clinics to explain that the ACA is not and was never intended to be universal coverage.
Safety Net Summits
In 2014, Katherine organized for 36 free and charitable clinics to meet in Delavan to discuss issues related to free and charitable clinics. This informal meeting, has now transformed into two annual summits with over 90 safety net stakeholders attending the Nov. 2017 Safety Net Summit; and was the foundation for Katherine founding the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC).
Walworth County Health Insurance Awareness and Assistance
Staring in 2010, Katherine was concerned when the Affordable Care Act (ACA/"Obamacare") was passed with limited resources to educate the public. She then formed the Walworth County Affordable Care Act Awareness committee. She organized health fairs, library events, and presentations throughout the community. She also worked with Badger High School and local pre-screened insurance agents/volunteers to offer local insurance enrollment assistance every Thursday during open enrollment. This assistance continues during health insurance open enrollment today.
* Katherine spoke on Racine & Me with Alison Sergio about the ACA ("Obamacare") and the continued need for free and charitable clinics on October 29, 2017. Watch the CLIP HERE.
* Katherine brought to Modern Healthcare's attention that copycat HealthCare.gov websites were creating problems for our most vulnerable populations, they then wrote an article about this. See it HERE.