I have said in the past that I was ready to leave Ottumwa many times, but there was one major problem— my wife Denita loves her career and did not want to move.
I had heard time and time again how wonderful Ottumwa Regional Health Center has been to her and the patients she deals with. Listening to her joy and happiness, I decided to apply for the position of staff chaplain in December. It was a calling that I had thought about for years but never felt comfortable in other states I had lived. Though I had working in a medical center environment in Oklahoma in materials management, this was different.
As the staff chaplain here, I have the best position of all — seeing the patients daily, many of the staff, plus communion and prayer services and assisting with special events. Serving on the cancer and ethics committees strengthens my core work in bringing spiritual support to those in need.
Our chapel, though small, has given much desired refuge to those needing the power of prayer.
Support groups for single parents, divorce and partners of loved ones with illnesses will be established in the coming months.
My favorite project thus far is a trip to Haiti. We are representing Ottumwa Regional Health Center in a poverty-devastated area in Thomaseau, outside of Port-a-Prince. Along with RegionalCare, our parent company, we are building a 40-bed hospital and clinic. Several of our staff, including doctors and nurses will be going to assist with this project in June.
What a blessing it is to be a part of Ottumwa Regional Health Center. The stories I have heard vs. what I have experienced through patients, families, friends, staff, volunteers and administration is not what I thought I might get myself into. These groups of people are wonderful to work with and it is a pleasure to say I am a part of the Ottumwa Regional Health Center team.