Hinsdale – When Mary Potter was starting her work as a volunteer
chaplain at Adventist Hinsdale
Hospital, she found herself on the elevator with a surgeon who was chief of
the medical staff.
“I said to him, ‘I’m just a volunteer chaplain,’” Potter
recalled. “He told me I wasn’t ‘just’ a volunteer. He said that we volunteers
did the important work. It was affirming for me.”
That was 16 years ago. The La Grange Park resident is still
volunteering at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, and has contributed more than 1,700
hours of service over the years. She recently was recognized as the hospital’s volunteer
of the month.
“We can’t cure people, but I believe there is healing through
prayer,” Potter said. “Even though I’m not ordained or a professional chaplain,
I believe in the power of prayer and I wanted to bring what gifts I could to
help those who are ill.”
Potter has been involved in prayer groups and visiting
shut-ins through her church, Christ Church in Oak Brook, where she was also
trained as a Stephen minister, a non-professional caregiver. She has also had
training at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, and she meets with her supervisor
there for guidance.
“Every patient has a story,” Potter said. “I especially
enjoy ministering to older people. Sometimes I just sit and listen as they
share their memories. I offer a prayer. If they don’t want to spend time with me,
I still pray for them after I leave their room.”
Esther Jarrette, executive assistant in the pastoral care
department, commended Potter for her commitment to caring for patients even
when they are out of sight.
“Patients are not forgotten by Mary at the end of a visit,”
Jarrette said. “She continues to uplift them in prayer and, on subsequent
visits, she’s diligent in following up with the ones who are still
Potter and her husband, Reg, are the parents of a son and a
daughter. Potter began volunteering at her children’s school when they were
growing up. A native of La Grange, Potter earned a degree in liberal arts at
Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. The couple has a long affiliation with
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital; Reg and his two brothers and his sister were born
there and recently they visited a great-great niece who was born there. There
were four generations in the room.
“The hospital has a wonderful pastoral care staff; it’s a
privilege to work with them,” Potter said. “I feel blessed to be able to serve
in this way. I hope that God is using me in some small way as a channel of
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital offers various volunteer
positions. For information on volunteering, call Sher Fox at (630) 856-4000.
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist
Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist
Hospital and Adventist La Grange
Memorial Hospital. To
find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Media contact: Lisa
Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.email@example.com; 630-856-2354