Staff Spotlight – Melody Hobert-Mellecker, BSN, RN

Melody has worked with the Iowa Newborn Screening Program in the Division of Medical Genetics for about 5 years, but has been with UI Healthcare 29 years, including 6 years with DRG Assurance, and 18 years with Psychiatry inpatient units.

I’ve been married to Marty since July 1989 — love at first sight on a blind date! I have 3 grown children: Meghan (26), NA in Adult BMT unit — recently married to Pete; she has a daughter Sophie, age 11; Pete has a son Leon, age 4; together they are expecting grandbaby #3 in July 2019. Mark (24), who lives in Madison WI but travels the US for work; soon to be married to McKenzie (April 2019); they have a lovely dog Zeus; Morgan (23 on Valentine’s Day) NA in level 10 SFCH; she and her boyfriend Blake have an exuberant husky name Benny. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 tonsillar cancer in 2015. I have never depended on my children more — they were all amazing, strong people and I was so blessed to have them. In 2017 he had heart valve replacement surgery and again…my kids were my rock. They made me laugh, they let me cry…they made sure I always had wine!

In between working on a certificate in Public Health (trying out graduate school before I commit to the Master’s!), I spend most of my time quilting, gardening, and reading…although there isn’t a craft yet that I haven’t liked…currently working on scrapbooking the trips my husband and I have been taking since we became empty nesters (Italy twice, Maui in between). I also like to go to Cardinal’s baseball games and NASCAR races with the family!

We also love traveling to Italy. Our first trip we went to Rome and then to Pompeii/Naples for a day. Our second trip we visited Venice, Cinque Terre (all 5 towns!), Assisi, Rome, and Florence. Venice was pure magic!! My favorite meal is a dish I learned about in Rome — cacio e pepe. It is the simplest dish consisting of nothing more than pasta and a sauce made with butter, water, cracked black pepper, and pecorino cheese! I love it so much I learned to make it so I can have it whenever I want to!

I’m currently in my dream job with the Iowa Newborn Screening Program. I get to come to work every day knowing that today could be the day I get to help save a baby’s life or prevent serious disability. It really doesn’t get any better than that!

My favorite set of books is The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. I have read every single one of them at least 15 times…they never lose their magic! Favorite movies are Joe vs. the Volcano (Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Whoopi Goldberg), and anything Disney!

I also love playing video games — the Legend of Zelda games are my all time favorites!

I don’t make wishes…I have been blessed with a life beyond my wildest dreams…to wish for more seems ungrateful.

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