Humble, dedicated, and passionate are just some of the kind words shared by everyone interviewed about Chaplain Bob Rudichar, the Chaplain Services Coordinator.
Bob, fondly referred to as Chappy, is retiring this week after 17 years of service at Campbell County Health in the
Patient & Resident Experience Department.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Chappy knew he wanted to move to Wyoming by the time he was 15 years old. He finally did 27 years later. Chappy is currently a pastor with Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Pine Haven, Wyoming, but he wasn’t always a chaplain. He served three years in the Military Police Corps stationed with the U.S. Army Executive Flight Detachment (Army One) providing Presidential Security during Richard M. Nixon's term before his ministerial roles.
When asked what inspired him to work in healthcare Chappy responded, “In essence, hospital involvement became part of my pastoral activity in Illinois, Nebraska, and Wyoming. I’ve served Gillette and elsewhere in a chaplain role for a total of 22 years while being involved in ministerial positions for a total of 42 years. “Comfort, Care and Compassion” is our motto and it just seemed to fit what I enjoy doing best.”
I asked Katie Percifield, Patient and Resident Experience Supervisor, what contributions Chappy has made to the Chaplain Services over the years and she could barely recall them all. She shared, “Not only was he here at the start-up of the chaplain department, but in addition to what was initially created he has added several programs over the years and nearly tripled the volunteer force.”
Some of those innovative programs include the Associate Chaplains, abider services, and the Healthcare Emergency and Reaction Response Team (H.E.A.R.T.).
Chappy was always proactive in thinking and finding ways to do things differently and to help meet needs that the CCH didn’t even know were needs yet. He was also actively involved in teaching staff how to deal with grief, compassion fatigue, and grieving patients and families through programs like new nurse orientation, and Death, Dying, Grief & the CNA. Not to mention, Chappy has been an important part of our Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team for the past 13 years.
Sharing what she will miss most when Chappy retires Katie said, “Our weekly meetings because even though I teased him that I had a weekly sermon with him, it was something that truly blessed me every week. He has been such a tremendous support to me and so many people here at the hospital. He always had an open door for people that needed help, advice, prayer, or even just a pick me up.”
As we talked more about Chappy’s time here there were several comments made about his great sense of humor, and the little things that he would do that would just make people laugh, which ultimately made their day better.
Mary Barks, Patient and Resident Experience Director shared, “I love a lot of things about Chappy; especially his passion about serving the spiritual needs of our patients, residents, clients and staff, but I also love what he brings to the table as a team member. His great sense of humor combined with his passion brings a unique mix to our team that ultimately brings balance to all of us.”
When asked to share about his time at CCH Chappy responded, “Working and serving here has been very rewarding. I am sincerely grateful and appreciative for the opportunities afforded me during my tenure at Campbell County Health. Having an incredible cadre of Volunteer Chaplains and Abiders to assist with our assignments has also made my time here a delight. They have invested thousands of hours and have poured themselves into my life as well as that of our clientele. Without these people, much less would have been accomplished, fewer people blessed, and I probably would have been out of a job!”
Chappy’s last day at CCH is Wednesday, July 1.