News from Centralia, Illinois
SM Andrea Chudzik, regional leader of Mission, Ethics and Spiritual Care, blessed the dogs that were going to be used for Pet Therapy at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia, IL, on Monday, April 30.
After praying the blessing over the pets and their owners, Sister Andrea remarked how well this service fit in with the theme for this year, “The Healing Power of Presence.” She said a dog loves unconditionally, is non-judgmental, doesn’t carry a grudge, and has no agenda except to give love and to be loved. “We can all learn from our pets. “
All the dogs go through a formal training program and are certified to be included in this service. “The patients as well as the staff welcome these dogs and are always pleased when they come into the hospital,” she said.
Ceremony for the Unborn
Father Dale Maxfield, pastor, St. Mary Church in Centralia, facilitated a prayer service for parents who lost a child on June 2. The ceremony, held at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital, focused on bringing closure and comfort to families who had suffered the loss of a child.
“The loss of a child can be very traumatic. We have hosted this ceremony for six years and it has helped to bring peace to many who participate in this service,” stated SM Andrea Chudzik, regional leader of Mission, Ethics and Spiritual Care.
Those who had lost a child within the past 12 months at either SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital or SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital received special invitations.
According to Sister Andrea, people who attended this service expressed their gratitude. A mom who lost her first child and was expecting her second child that weekend was grateful that she attended. Sister Andrea asked if the pastoral team could pray over her and the baby and Father Dale blessed the baby in her womb. Sister Andrea explained, “Two days later, we were happy to hear that all went very well and mom and baby were doing fine.”
SM Andrea Chudzik with
Dr. William Dunn
Relay for Life
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital was a major sponsor for the Relay for Life in Centralia, IL, on Friday, June 15.
SM Andrea Chudzik and SM Monica Szczepkowski volunteered to distribute cupcakes and water to the folks who came to walk and to support the activity. As always, the event was well-attended and a substantial amount of money was collected.
A highlight of the event was the kissing of the pig. Folks who were interested paid $5 to kiss the pig and to kiss cancer away. The money, of course, was to raise funds for the Relay for Life fund. Dr. William Dunn, a radiation oncologist at St. Mary’s Hospital, was one of the major speakers.
Thirty employees from the Ethics Committee, Pastoral Care Department and a few others gathered to be trained and certified to administer Narcan to an overdose patient on June 27.
SM Andrea Chudzik assured the group that in administering the medicine, they could not harm anyone, neither a pregnant woman nor a child. However, they could save a life.
Due to a grant, all participants who wished received a kit after being certified.
Hidden in Plain Sight
SM Andrea Chudzik, regional leader of Mission, Ethics
and Spiritual Care of Southern Illinois invited folks from
the Marion County Coalition Against Drug Use to make
a presentation to employees of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital on May 23.
Employees were asked to look for clues in a “Hidden in Plain Sight” mock teenager’s bedroom. The simulation showed some of the ways parents, guardians, and loved ones are able to detect that a person may have a drug problem.
Sister Andrea said, “As we all know, the opioid problem is a national problem and many local people and families are also affected.” Sister Andrea explained that the purpose of the presentation was to make people aware and provide education. “The hope is that the word then can help to save lives.”