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VolunteerSpiritual care volunteer Sister Mary Lex, SCL, visits with Providence Place resident Bernice Dhooghe. (Photo from Pat McBratney, Providence Medical Center)
For more than 150 years, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth have been an integral part of Saint John Hospital, Leavenworth, and its affiliate, Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan. And though the hospitals recently transitioned ownership to Prime Healthcare Services, the Sisters’ commitment to serving the hospitals remains strong.
“Several of the Sisters recently have begun volunteering at the hospitals,” said Jordan Frost, volunteer services regional manager. “It’s exciting to see their continued dedication to Providence and Saint John through volunteering. It means the world to our patients, visitors and staff that they want to continue their tradition of service and that they are embracing the good things happening at the hospitals.”
Kathleen Conwell, director of marketing and public relations at Providence and Saint John added, “We’re very grateful for the Sisters’ service and ministry. I believe it really speaks to the heart of their mission that they want to continue to be a part of the hospitals’ healing ministry. Their presence is very important to our patients and to our staff.”
Many of the Sisters are volunteering in the hospitals’ Spiritual Care departments, delivering the hospital’s morning prayer, visiting patients and praying with them, and presiding over prayer and communion services in the chapel. Sister Mary Lex Smith is one of those volunteering to do just that.
“I recently retired from a career working in the Kansas City, Kansas district attorney’s office with victims of crime and was looking for a volunteer opportunity,” Sister Mary Lex said. After touring Providence and learning more about the hospital’s needs, she decided volunteering would be a good way to maintain the Sisters’ connection to the hospital and the community.
“I enjoy visiting with patients at Providence Place, talking and praying with them,” she added. “I think everyone recognizes that people who are ill need spiritual care. I find that you always get more than you give when you share a little faith with someone. It’s a real blessing to me to be able to continue to serve here.”
Sister Jane Jackson is retired from a career as a teacher, recently with Cristo Rey KC. Now she is volunteering at the Providence main information desk, greeting patients and visitors and responding to their questions.
“It’s important to me to continue to be of service in my life, and this was an opportunity to do so,” Sister Jane said. “I like working with the other volunteers at Providence and interacting with the many patients and visitors who come through our doors.” Sister Jane also volunteers in registration as a greeter.
Other Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth who are volunteering at the hospitals include:
Providence Medical Center
• Sister Irene Skeehan
• Sister Peg Driscoll
• Sister Vicki Perkins
• Sister Therese Steiner
Saint John Hospital
• Sister Catherine Rose Grimm
• Sister Lucile Harrington
• Sister Mary Geraldine Yelich
In addition to the Sisters, nearly 200 individuals volunteer at Providence and Saint John in a variety of assignments. For more information on volunteering at the hospitals, call volunteer services at 913-596-4872, or visit www.providencekc.com.
- Story from Pat McBratney, Providence Medical Center