We Are Riverview Health: Derek

“As Forrest Gump would say, chaplaincy is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get! That’s what makes it exciting and interesting for me. Everyone I meet has a unique story and I am privileged to journey alongside them for a short time to listen, empathize, laugh and sometimes cry. Recently, I was with an elderly lady whose husband was actively dying. They were married for many years. I simply asked her to tell me how they met. She went on to talk about their romance, along with all they enjoyed together — this is what I call sacred space. Afterward, with tears, she hugged me and thanked me for being there with her. I’ve had the joy of officiating weddings of fellow staff members, baptizing and blessing children and for some, honoring their lives at their funerals. These are not only special but sacred events. I have worked in chaplaincy at Riverview Health for 22 years. I love the culture at Riverview Health. Knowing the doctors, nurses, housekeepers, techs, dietary, engineering, IT, administration, volunteers, therapists, and all the other ancillary staff makes our connectedness so valuable because it boils down to people helping people. It’s been said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I believe that’s true about Riverview Health. Good people find it hard to leave here because of this kind of environment.” -Derek, Director of Chaplaincy Services