FM Civic celebrates the people in our community who make a difference, but may not receive the accolades for the work they do every day.
This UN/SUNG isn’t the typical caregiver you might think of in a health care setting. While the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with St. Charles Health System are taking care of physical healing for their patients, Chaplain Bill Danaher is serving their spiritual needs.
Danaher is part of the Bend hospital’s Spiritual Care Services–a program that offers patients and their loved ones a holding hand during the hardest times of their lives.
“It’s our mission and desire in life to be an unconditional healing presence for people who are walking through hell,” said Danaher. “If you're willing to walk through hell with them, they'll find light at the end of the tunnel.”
Danaher has been working with patients at St. Charles since 1986. When a member of the medical team feels that a patient would value spiritual support, they call in a member of the Spiritual Services team like Danaher to offer comfort and care and “someone to hold them while they heal.”
The Spiritual Services program at St. Charles is non-denominational. Faith background isn’t as important as recognizing the “sacredness of each individual,” explains Danaher. Patients might ask him to pray with them, offer the sacrament of the sick, or get in touch with their own pastor, rabbi or spiritual leader. But often, they just need “a safe place to share their brokenness and find their healing.”
Danaher plans to retire in early 2024. For the hundreds of patients and loved ones he has helped in his decades-long career as a chaplain, his thoughtful and caring presence will be long remembered.
Thank you, Bill, for the love and support you provide every day to people who need it most. You truly make a #communityimpact and it’s our honor to deserve you for our November UN/SUNG award.
Find out more about Spiritual Care Services at St. Charles.
About the UN/SUNG Awards
FM Civic presents UN/SUNG awards to a person or group of people that are making a #communityimpact in the Pacific Northwest. Want to nominate an organization or individual that’s making a difference? Drop their name or website in the comments below!