In his 18 months at Campbell County Health, Chaplain Coordinator
Donny Edwards has seen people from almost every faith tradition in the community come
together with respect for each other and those they serve. His team of
volunteers consists of everything from those with doctorates to lay people. The chaplain
program includes highly respected senior members of the pastoral community
to 20-somethings with more progressive ideas toward their ministries.
There are Associate Chaplains who specialize in specific care areas like
long term care or hospice, and Abiders who sit with residents at
The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center in their final days or hours.
Last year the
Chaplain Services program made 7,305 visits with patients, families and employees, and documented
466 referrals in the medical record. Chaplains take a week at a time and
are on call 24/7, while Associate Chaplains and Abiders set their schedules
around times that work for them.
Donny appreciates the support and acceptance he’s received from CCH,
saying that chaplains are needed more than ever in today’s world
because where and how people find meaning in their lives has become much
more complicated. In the same way that nurses are trained in human anatomy
and physiology, chaplains are trained to listen and help bring a sense
of humanity to an environment that sometimes isn’t just or fair.
He encourages employees to utilize chaplains too because working in a
help-oriented world like healthcare comes with its own set of spiritual issues.
Donny wants to continue to grow the chaplain program to include more rounding
on patients, recruiting a chaplain or associate chaplain for every neighborhood
at The Legacy and integrating the chaplains into the patient’s care
team. He has regular trainings for chaplains, with an upcoming session
planned to discuss fetal demise and code response. He introduces all his
new chaplains to AIDET, saying it really takes the awkward first minute
of a patient visit away.
For more information about
Chaplain Services, feel free to contact Donny at 307.688.1540, or visit him in his office
by the Emergency Department. And know that he always has a supply of tea