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Chaplain has patience to wait for fruits of her labor
La Grange – As a hospital chaplain, Aleks Tanurdzic knows it can take time before the effects of her work become clear.

Such patience can be difficult in this day and age, when people want immediate results. But Tanurdzic thinks of it in terms of Ecclesiastes 11, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.”

“You can touch people on so many different levels,” she said. “You just never know how or when.”

Tanurdzic has been named the new manager of pastoral care at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. A chaplain with Adventist Midwest Health for the past four years, Tanurdzic has a bachelor’s degree in theology and is finishing a master’s degree in pastoral ministry. She has four units in clinical pastoral education, is certified in critical incident stress management and has a background in managing medical ethics consultations.

“Aleks is one of our most talented chaplains and has been preparing for a leadership role in our organization,” said John Rapp, vice president of ministries and mission for Adventist Midwest Health. “We are excited to have her at the head of a talented and impressive pastoral care staff at Adventist La Grange Memorial.”

Tanurdzic will take on the new role in September. But she has had experience at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, working at both it and Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital as chaplain.

“Extending the healing ministry of Christ, it’s just sowing the seeds,” she said. “You don’t always see results right away.”

That became most clear to her one evening, while she was on call for Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. A nurse called and asked her to come see a family who had requested a chaplain.

She arrived at the hospital when she received another page. The family was hoping to see the “nice chaplain” who had been with them when their father died. But they were leaving soon, and if she couldn’t make it to their room, that would be OK.

Sitting in her car, Tanurdzic had a feeling she should go up, to express sorrow for their loss. So she went inside, arrived at the room, and was surprised to find a family she had only just ministered to a few weeks earlier. Then, they had lost their father. This day, they had lost their mother.

When their father had passed, Tanurdzic had spent some time talking to the woman. The man had been a piano player. The couple was married for 56 years.

“She had said, ‘He’s waiting for me on the golden shore,” Tanurdzic said.

And she had come to him now. Again, Tanurdzic spent time with the family, praying as she had not long before. They were happy she had come back. They had asked specifically for the “nice chaplain.”

Tanurdzic was pleased to be there for them, again, in their time of need.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354.