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common thread Bringing Together the Saint Joseph Health System Family

November/December 2008

God’s Love in Action

Andrea Conner’s family-run mission delivers holiday hope

Saving Mother Earth True Spirit of Christmas

Give Back This Holiday Compassionate Counseling h NtEJW osep

Sainagazine M


a special family recipe

Win a $75 Gas Card! See Details Inside

Inside Our Family A note from Gene Woods

Dear Saint Joseph Family, Every year at this time, the holidays remind us of our purpose and mission as a health care organization. This time of giving allows us to reflect on the tremendous stories throughout our hospitals of those who embody the true meaning of selflessness, not only during Christmas, but year round. As we move closer to 2009, it is both awe-inspiring and humbling to see our newly formed family grow ever stronger across the state. By coming together with a common purpose for our ministry, we are changing the way that health care is delivered in Kentucky. And in order to ensure the longevity of Saint Joseph Health System, we are investing in our facilities for the comfort and safety of those we serve. Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling is about to break ground for the new facility to open in 2010; Saint Joseph Jessamine will open its doors in just a few weeks, providing much needed emergency care to the area for the first time ever; and The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East and the new Saint Joseph - London are on track to open in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In this holiday issue, you will learn about employees who extend the mission of SJHS both inside and outside the walls of our facilities: Andrea Conner (SJB) delivers holiday hope through her family’s Appalachia Mission of Hope; Linda Williamson (FMH) delivers compassion on a daily basis; Dolly Carroll Leedy (SJM) lifts the spirits of families at Christmas through the hospital’s mission outreach; Enrique Zamorano, environmental services (SJE), brings a smile to patients and co-workers alike with his positive attitude and spirit; and in a time when we all are trying to live a greener lifestyle, Jennifer Curd (SJH) serves as a role model for all of us through her efforts of recycling and decreasing the size of her carbon footprint. You will hear more about efforts such as

Jennifer’s in the future as we launch the Working Green, Living Green program. This team will implement simple projects throughout our facilities to encourage all of us to do our part for the environment. Finally, I am pleased that a member of my family enjoys reading Common Thread so much, that she has offered a special recipe for this issue. My mother reads every article of the magazine, and volunteered to share some holiday cheer with all of us. As we move closer to Christmas, the holidays can often be stressful, as we feel overcommitted and overscheduled. Please take time to remember what’s most important this season, and tell those around you how much you appreciate them. As 2008 draws to a close, I am thankful for all of you and the wonderful accomplishments that we have achieved together during our first year as Saint Joseph Health System. Have a safe, happy and blessed holiday season.

Publisher Saint Joseph Health System

Executive Editor Jeff Murphy

Editor Kara Fitzgerald

Production Coordinator Liz Sword

Editorial Contributors Angela Florek Neva Francis Katie Heckman Sharon Hershberger Jennifer NeSmith Tonya Lewis Stephanie Sarrantonio Amy Taylor

Editorial Interns Hannelore Dima Jeanette Word

Contributing Writer Kathie Stamps

Photographers Ron Perrin Steve Porter

Gene Woods CEO

Matt Romano Lee Thomas Tim Webb

SJHS President’s Council Gene Woods, CEO, SJHS Ed Carthew, CHRO, SJHS Gary Ermers, CFO, SJHS Mark Streety, CIO, SJHS Virginia Dempsey, President, SJL Greg Gerard, President, SJB Ken Haynes, President, SJH/SJE/SJJ Jim Heitzenrater, President, SJMS Bruce Klockars, President, FMH Kathy Stumbo, President, SJM Common Thread is published bimonthly by the Communications/Public Relations/ Marketing department of Saint Joseph Health System for employees and their families. Visit SaintJosephCommonThread. org to submit news, story ideas or photos. Or, write to us at Saint Joseph Hospital, C/O Kara Fitzgerald, 1590 Harrodsburg Rd., Lexington, KY 40504. You may reach our office at 859.313.1845.



common thread

on the cover

Volume 1, issue 4


Saint Joseph - Berea employee Andrea Conner helps her family run a mission in Jackson County, serving the Appalachian region of Kentucky. Read how she strives to show God’s love in action on page 6.

table of contents 2 Inside Out View snapshots of Saint Joseph events and happen- ings inside and outside our walls. 4 New Threads Keep informed of late-breaking news.



Feature Andrea Conner’s family- run mission provides necessary aid, while planting seeds into those they help.

8 Common Sense Jennifer Curd’s recycling crusade inspires others to live green. 9 Health Care Hero Read about Linda Williamson’s compassionate approach to financial counseling.



Welcome to My World Enrique Zamorano describes his work ethic as an employee in environmental services.

14 Noteworthy Celebrating news, notes and praiseworthy accomplishments 16

Common View Paintsville resident and mining expert Frank Delzer helps unearth Saint Joseph’s future.

10 Holiday Memories Gene Woods’ mother, Maria, shares a favorite family recipe. 11 Mission Moments Dolly Carroll Leedy lifts the spirits of families at Christmas through her generous heart.

To submit your story ideas or news to Common Thread, visit

A $75 gas card

could be yours if you can answer this question correctly: Somewhere in this issue of Common Thread is a reference to a holiday in which children leave shoes in their windows or doorsteps in the hope that the Three Kings will leave gifts inside them. What is the name of the story in the magazine in which this appears? Submit your answer at The first three readers who respond with the correct answer will receive $75 gas cards (SJHS EMPLOYEES ONLY).


Reader Reward

Gas Card

inside 3

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7

In appreciation of housekeepers Myra Banks and Marie Crim, women’s services staff at Saint Joseph East donned aprons and serenaded them with an original song. From left: Rita Oville, Quintina Sleet, Angela Melrose, Myra Banks, Marie Crim, Andre Washington, Marilyn Van Horn and Debra Rose.


Saint Joseph Breast Center was a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 2008 Race for the Cure on Sept. 27. Laverna Upton, Saint Joseph Healthy Living Center (left), provided massages and Breast Center staff distributed literature. From left: Laverna, Tammy Stevens, Amber Stevens, Christina Cameron and Gina Hall.

Hospice of Nelson County Social Worker Starr Ford was surprised, to say the least, by her co-workers with a bridal shower luncheon on Aug. 27. The staff attended the beautiful bride’s wedding to Neil Caldwell on Sept. 20. Hospice of Nelson County is a service of Flaget Memorial Hospital.

Flaget Memorial Hospital’s skilled nursing unit employees held a community car wash in August to raise funds for activities for their patients. From left: Diane Elliott, Anna Reding, Judy Hutchins, Kathy Wilson and Amanda Knoppe.

A new outside lounge area opened at Saint Joseph Berea in August. Amy Hedglin, ER nurse, served a tropical slushy to Casey Hamblen, performance improvement, and Flora Washburn, mission leader (front), during the luau kick-off.

A recuperated Dr. David Greene (left) returned to the Spoonbread Festival 5K Run this year after being injured in last year’s race when he was struck by a car. Greg Gerard, president of Saint Joseph - Berea, joined him as the hospital sponsored the race on Sept. 20.

Saint Joseph Mount Sterling organized a Christmas in August event to raise money for the 2009 Relay for Life. The day included a cookout, a silent auction and the opportunity to dunk the hospital’s fearless president, Jim Heitzenrater (pictured), in a dunking booth.



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Montgomery County retired teachers Janet Johnson (far left) and Jimmy Robinson (far right) donated 250 “Goodnight Moon” books for Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling’s newborn “goodie” bags. (From left) Rachel Horne, Gwendi Alcala and Jan Cornett accepted the donation.

Robert Brock, vice president of finance, and Sharon Hershberger, public affairs director and event coordinator, dressed the part at Saint Joseph - London’s 6th Annual Healthy Communities Gala held at the local airport on Sept. 20. The theme was “1940s” and included dinner, dancing and a silent and live auction.

Cheryl Sasser, Hospice RN, showed a portion of the World War II memorabilia on display at Saint Joseph London’s 6th Annual Healthy Communities Gala on Sept. 20. Also on display at the 1940sthemed event were vintage airplanes.

Saint Joseph East’s Denise Hundley, director of women’s services, and Marc Manley, unit manger of ICU, teamed up with Saint Joseph Hospital’s Allen Clark, director of security, and Helen Hamilton, patient representative, to play in the American Cancer Society Golf Tournament on Aug. 18 in Lexington.

Danielle Jones, patient access at Saint Joseph Hospital, won a free car wash and gas fill-up from Dennis Netzel, director of lab/ radiology, and Dent Smith, vice president of ancillary services, after donating blood.

Robbin Conn, a member of Saint Joseph - Martin’s health information team, awaited “decontamination” during Floyd County’s mock disaster drill.

Mark Barao, application specialist with Siemens (left), and Cheryl Foscardo, a nuclear medicine tech from Saint Joseph East, assisted Sam Forsyth, radiography tech, with Saint Joseph Martin’s first nuclear medicine study on Sept. 3.



Growth Bringing Care Closer to Home Saint Joseph Health System’s new ambulatory care center in Jessamine County is scheduled to open on January 2, 2009 and it will be the first medical facility of its kind in Jessamine County. The center’s name will be the Saint Joseph - Jessamine RJ Corman Ambulatory Care Center in honor of RJ Corman’s generous gift to Saint Joseph Health System and his support of the need of a comprehensive medical facility in Jessamine County. The 60,000-squarefoot center will provide 24-hour emergency services, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services and offices for doctors and staff. Jessamine County’s Chris Bowe will serve as the site administrator. An open house and several community activities are planned in December before the grand opening in January. A New Beginning On September 24, Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling officially closed on the property for 4

the future site of the new, replacement hospital. The new hospital will be located just off I-64 near exit 110 (Maysville Road) behind Wendy’s and Days Inn. The land was purchased from Falcon Realty and contains 30 acres on which the facility will be built. In its new space, the hospital will provide new and expanded services. A formal groundbreaking will be held soon and the new hospital will open in 2010.

Stay informed on the latest Saint Joseph Health System news by reading “New Threads” in every issue of Common Thread.

Record-breaking Babies In the month of September, 200 babies were born at Saint Joseph East. This marks a new birth record for the hospital. The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East is currently under construction, expected to open in late 2009, and will accommodate the enormous maternity growth that Saint Joseph East has experienced during recent years. The new facility will be the first of its

kind in Kentucky. It will house labor/delivery rooms, nursery, neonatal intensive care and all other maternity services in a freestanding addition to the hospital that will be dedicated exclusively to women. It will have a capacity of 3,000 deliveries annually.

Technology TeleHealth The InTouch teleconferencing robots in place throughout Saint Joseph Health System are being utilized for supplemental rounds, patient education and now specialist consults. In August, the first consult from a specialist occurred when Dr. Alam Khan, a neurologist based in London, Kentucky, consulted on an inpatient at Saint Joseph - Martin who showed symptoms of a stroke. Dr. Khan has since then seen nine more patients at Saint Joseph - Martin. Other TeleHealth Consult Services, including TeleCardiology and TeleNeonatology, are online or in the planning stages using the InTouch “Remote Presence” technology. Additionally, diabetes educators at the Saint Joseph Diabetes and Nutrition Center in Lexington are providing TeleDiabetes consults throughout Saint Joseph Health System.

Flaget Memorial Hospital for being designated the Best Medical Facility in Nelson County by the readers of The Kentucky Standard.

Kentucky’s First Robot-assisted Myomectomy With the only high definition da Vinci technology in Kentucky, Saint Joseph Hospital is quickly becoming a leader in medical roboticassisted technologies. On September 4, a new frontier was crossed when Saint Joseph Hospital became the first hospital in the state to offer women a less-invasive option for gynecological surgery aimed at maintaining reproductive ability using the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system. Since August of 2007, the hospital has used the advanced technology to provide men with a less-invasive surgical option for prostate cancer treatment. Additionally, the robotic technology has assisted in several other urologic, general and thoracic surgical procedures. In the near future, the robotic surgery program at Saint Joseph Hospital is looking to potentially move into minimally invasive esophageal and heart surgery.

Healthier Communities A Permanent Smoke-out Saint Joseph Health System has chosen November 20, 2008 as the first day of its tobacco-free initiative, in conjunction with the annual Great American Smoke-out. Likewise, many hospitals across the state will also implement tobacco-free policies on the same date. The initiative means that all patients, visitors, employees, medical staff members and vendors are

permanently prohibited from using any tobacco products inside hospital buildings or anywhere outside on the campus, including hospital grounds and parking areas. As a health care organization, Saint Joseph Health System’s primary mission is to protect the health of those in the communities it serves while promoting and supporting a culture of healthy living. Saint Joseph Health System employees can enroll in the Quit For Life smoking cessation program for free by calling 1.866.QUIT.4.LIFE (866.784.8454) or visiting

Recognition The Best of the Best Congratulations to Saint Joseph - London for being named in the “Best of the Best” reader’s poll conducted by The Sentinel Echo. In addition to the hospital being honored as the best hospital, Seton Home Health also was named as best home health agency. Additionally, congratulations to

A Top 100 Hospital Saint Joseph East was named on the 2007 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders study for making the greatest progress in improving hospitalwide performance over five years. The study, released August 11, 2008, revealed that 100 hospitals from across the nation have shown a clear ability to improve, raising clinical outcomes and efficiency and growing financial strength. This study is based on the 2007 National Benchmarks for Success study (released on March 17, 2008) in which Saint Joseph East was also named for having higher survival rates, keeping more patients complication-free, and attracting more patients — all while maintaining financial stability. Transforming Care Saint Joseph - Martin is the recipient of a scholarship awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Rural Health Association for rural facilities to participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) IMPACT project, Transforming Care at the Bedside. Launched in 2003, Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) engages leaders at all levels of the organization to improve the quality and safety of patient care on medical and surgical units; increase the vitality and retention of nurses; engage and improve the patient’s and family members’ experience of care; and improve the effectiveness of the entire care team. Saint Joseph - Martin was one of only 20 facilities to receive the

scholarship and the only recipient in Kentucky.

Milestones Getting Connected Saint Joseph Health System is now using CHI Connect tools and processes (with the exception of Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, which will go live during a later wave of the project). The implementation team and all those who attended training, participated in testing and are helping others get up to speed with the new processes are to be commended. As the organization becomes more efficient with the new tools it will be able to better serve its communities and further its ministry. First Nuclear Medicine Studies Saint Joseph - Martin conducted its first nuclear medicine study on September 3 when Sam Forsyth, a registered radiography tech at Saint Joseph - Martin, and Cheryl Foscardo, a certified

nuclear medicine tech from Saint Joseph East, performed a gallbladder scan (HIDA). The new nuclear medicine department at Saint Joseph Martin offers the whole range of nuclear medicine procedures, excluding only nuclear medicine therapy. The department performed 14 studies in September. All studies are read by Central Kentucky Radiology of Lexington. 5


ndrea Conner remembers as a little girl helping feed the homeless with her family in Dayton, Ohio. They would drive around town scouring the streets for people who needed a warm meal. Every week they packed a large van with food boxes and handed them out one by one. During one of these regular outings, when Conner was 5 years old, she watched a woman guard her shopping cart through the window of the van. “You knew all her earthly belongings were in that shopping cart. And she was sitting there eating out of a can. I looked and it was cat food,” Conner remembered. “I’ll never forget that. That was my moment when it all sunk in. It gave me the mindset of missions for probably the rest of my life.” As far back as she can remember, Conner’s family has shown God’s love in action through outreach work. In Dayton, they ran a mission out of their home collecting food and clothing for people in need. “I’m very lucky,” Conner said. “There was never a period in my life that I can ever remember not doing some type of outreach.”

God’s Love

in Action

Andrea Conner’s family-run mission delivers holiday hope By Kara Fitzgerald


When Conner was in the sixthgrade, her parents felt called by God to leave Dayton and move to Jackson County near McKee, about 30 minutes into the mountains from Berea, Kentucky, to start mission work in the area. “It was culture shock to me. People kept telling me I talked funny,” said Conner, office manager for Saint Joseph - Berea Family Medicine. Conner’s aunt lived in Berea and her family had driven through Jackson County before, aware of the poverty level. “My mom and dad are both originally from Leslie County. My dad is from a coal mining camp and his family was very poverty-stricken and my mom’s grandparents are from there,” she said. Although Conner’s mother left as a baby and grew up in Indiana, her grandparents remained in Leslie County. During a visit to her birthplace, she bumped into her soon-to-be husband in the country store. “My mom and dad stayed in Leslie County for a couple years before moving to Indiana and then Dayton. Then they felt a calling to go back

where they were from,” Conner said. Thirteen years ago, their family, including Andrea’s older brother and sister, Jennifer Hamblin, who also works at Saint Joseph - Berea, settled into Jackson County and began a food mission and thrift store through a local church. “At first it was a struggle to earn their trust,” Conner said of the locals. “Jackson County is not very open to outsiders and it’s hard to penetrate into the area.” Around 2001, the family branched off and opened their own mission called Appalachia Mission of Hope, which is a Christian, non-profit, charitable organization serving several counties in eastern Kentucky. “We started it in a two-car garage. It kept snowballing and we had to move into our much bigger building we have now,” Conner said. “We’ve already outgrown this place, too, but need to stay put until God opens up something else for us.” The mission coordinates many festivals and events throughout the year and distributes clothing,

household goods, small appliances, furniture and food to many families. To assure that help gets to those that need it most, the mission utilizes a network of partner churches and organizations throughout eastern Kentucky. It acts as a funnel, channeling appropriate aid to where it is needed. “Schools, resource centers and social services will let us know of families and children in need,” Conner said. “In the different counties, we have established relationships with organizations

and will deliver needed items to their area.” Every Saturday, except the third Saturday of the month, the mission holds a public yard sale to raise money for rent, gas and administrative expenses. They unload truckloads of used clothes, appliances and household supplies. “In Jackson County people know it as the 50 cent store,” Conner said. “That’s how we make our gas money to go places to pick up donations.” Conner said her favorite time Continued on page 13

How You Can Help Make a financial contribution, volunteer for an upcoming holiday event or donate clothing, furniture or household items to the Appalachia Mission of Hope. Call 606.965.2449 for more information or visit


common sense

saving mother earth Jennifer Curd’s recycling crusade inspires green lifestyle By Amy Taylor


10 ways

You Can Help

1. Carry a reusable cup, mug or bottle. 2. Recycle your plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard boxes. 3. Turn off lights when you leave home and at work, turn off unused lights. 4. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. 5. Buy locally grown produce whenever you can. 6. Report any leaks and drips in sinks, showers and toilets. 7. Avoid requesting to-go containers and decrease use of disposable items: napkins, condiments and utensils. 8. Reduce red bag waste by not placing regular waste in the red bag. 9. Adjust your thermostat when you leave your home and office. 10. Use eco-friendly, natural cleaning products in your home. These tips are provided by the Saint Joseph Health System “Working Green, Living Green” Team. Watch for ongoing news at your hospital about the team’s green initiatives, and what you can do at home to make a big impact. It’s easy being green.


ennifer Curd thought she was doing plenty to encourage recycling at her work site at Saint Joseph Hospital. Then the physical therapist attended a physical therapy seminar in Chicago. “They are light years ahead of us in the North,” she said. “They have recycling bins everywhere. If you threw something in a trash basket, people gave you bad looks. They even had their names on their coffee cups so they wouldn’t be grabbing for a new Styrofoam cup every time they wanted coffee. I was very impressed.” Jennifer, who has helped patients recover in the rehab department for the last 21 years, has always been a bit of a crusader when it comes to saving the planet from drowning in trash. “Recycling has always been important to me,” she said. “When my husband and I moved into our first house in 1988, we started a compost pile behind the barn. When we moved into our second house, somebody had already started a compost pile. We composted our leaves, grass, coffee grounds, eggshells, potato peels, broccoli stems. You turn your compost pile every so often, and it transforms your kitchen waste into rich, black dirt that will nourish your flowerbeds or

tomato plants.” Composting is just one of many ways Jennifer works on saving our planet. Her street is just outside the reach of the city’s recycling service. But Jennifer doesn’t need the city to give her the nudge to recycle. “We do it ourselves,” she said of herself, her husband and her three kids. “We collect tin cans, aluminum cans, newspapers, old homework papers, junk mail, envelopes. We collect it and separate it and take it in to Lexington Recycling on the weekend.” Aluminum cans are worth cash. So the Curds take them in, get the money, then turn it over to a co-worker who donates the funds to the Jessamine County Humane Society. Jennifer’s passion for saving Mother Earth is also evident at work, according to her manager, Vickie Heierman. “We make sure that all paper that’s not medically confidential goes in the recycle box,” Vickie said. “We also keep

plastic bottles. Jennifer takes them to a recycling center. She’s very good at educating us on how not to be wasteful and on what certain things do to the environment. I think we’d be a lot more wasteful and a lot less conscious of the planet if Jennifer didn’t work here.” Vickie’s daughter, Jill, and Jennifer’s daughter, Rachel, are on the same soccer team at Dunbar High. Vickie can recall a big soccer match that was to be attended by hundreds of people. “Jennifer contacted the city, and they brought containers to the stadium so people could recycle bottles and cans,” Vickie said. “She didn’t miss a chance to recycle.” Because of Jennifer, her manager has taken a more active role in recycling. “I’ve gotten involved in the ‘Green Team,’ a committee we have here at the hospital,” Vickie said. “I’ve joined the National Recycling Coalition. I still think I’m not doing enough.” Like her manager, Jennifer wishes she could do more. But, even in a throw-away culture, she said the smallest recycling effort matters. “We’ve been given this wonderful Earth, and we need to honor it,” she said. “If everybody just recycled their plastic bottles – what an impact that would have on the environment!”

health care hero


laget Financial Counselor Linda Williamson doesn’t tell the people who come to her for help that “no one was raised as poor as I was. There were 11 of us children, and my dad died young, so mother raised us with nothing.” She doesn’t tell them, but she uses those childhood memories every day to create compassion and respect for patients who come to her for help paying their bills. “I’m no better than they are,” said Williamson, with her gentle voice and soft blue eyes. “When I’m talking with a patient, I never use the term ‘charity care.’ I say ‘financial assistance.’ And when I’m talking with a patient, I give them all the time they need to tell me their story. You have to listen. People are so embarrassed to ask for help. We have to give them the time to explain why they need it. Sometimes they leave in tears. I feel so much for them.” Recently a man was so grateful for Williamson’s help that he came back with two roses. The counselor has received countless cards and baked goods over her 25 years with Flaget Memorial Hospital, but the flowers were a surprise. “I said, ‘Why did you spend your money?’ He said, ‘Because you are so kind.’” If you ask Williamson for her motto, she’ll tell you it comes from Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me.” Connie Roberts, the director

compassionate counseling Linda Williamson listens to patients’ stories and eases their burdens By Amy Taylor

of Williamson’s department, can only agree. She said, “That compassionate ear – it’s a gift.” Evelyn Watkins, who works alongside Williamson, has observed the counselor helping people who were never even patients at Flaget Memorial. “Someone will come in saying, ‘I’m really sick, and I just don’t know where to go,’” Watkins said. “No matter what, Linda will find them a resource. It takes a special person to deal with people’s problems day in and day out – to sit there and listen to their troubles – and not drown in them, but stay positive. Linda is the most caring, patient and understanding person you could pick to work with people.” For Williamson, what makes her job easier is the many

resources that are available nowadays. “Times are very hard, and we see more and more people who need medical care and have no way of paying. If they have children in the home, I refer them to social services to make sure the children are screened for eligibility for Passport or KCHIP health insurance. If the parents need medical attention, I can refer them to social services for a spenddown Medicaid card. There are many resources people are not aware of.” One sickly lady worked but didn’t make much, and didn’t have health insurance. One day she suffered a prolapsed bladder, and

Recently a man was so grateful for Williamson’s help that he came back with two roses.”

Continued on page 13


Flan: A Quintessential Spanish Dessert Submitted by Maria A. Woods, Gene Woods’ mother

Ingredients 8 eggs 2 cans, 14 oz each, sweetened

holiday memories Gene Woods’ mother, Maria, shares a favorite holiday recipe

condensed milk 28 oz 2% milk 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

By Kara Fitzgerald

1 lemon 1 cup sugar

Instructions Preheat oven to between 350 and 375 degrees. In a skillet, pour the sugar with 1 tsp water over medium heat until dark brown to caramelize while using a spoon to keep the sugar moving. Then pour melted sugar in a non-Teflon deep cake pan coating all sides of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, add condensed milk, fresh milk and vanilla and continue beating. Add grated lemon peel and then pour mix in the cake pan. In a large shallow pan pour cold water and immerse the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool and put in refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, transfer flan to a serving plate by putting the plate on top of cake pan and turning/ flipping the flan upside down. For a holiday twist, serve with sweet cherries around the flan.

“Un postre delicioso”


n her kitchen in the town of Warminster, just outside of Philadelphia, Maria Woods described a family tradition for holidays and special occasions — a Spanish dessert called flan (pronounced flän). Flan is vanilla egg custard, topped with caramel sauce that is one of the most popular desserts in Spain. Even though it is sweet and flavorful, it is a very light dessert that makes a great finish to a scrumptious meal. In Maria’s own words, it is “un postre delicioso” (a delicious dessert). Maria, who is a native of Jerez, Spain, remembered the dish as a child. She recalled once asking her grandmother how to make it and watched as she went through each step, patiently and lovingly. Maria learned how to make it for her own family

as an adult. She reminisced when her daughter, Maria, and son, Gene, CEO of Saint Joseph Health System, would help her bake in the kitchen. One Mother’s Day Gene and his sister took over the kitchen to prepare a big breakfast. “I’ll never forget that they made coffee and put a stick of cinnamon and a tiny bit of lemon in it,” said Maria, still impressed with their attention to details. “It was so good.” Maria met Gene’s father when he was stationed at a naval base in Spain and Gene spent many childhood years in the country. Even after his family settled in Pennsylvania, they visited Spain regularly. “We go often. I am the oldest of 12 and my family is very close. There’s singing and dancing when we get together,” said Maria, in her lovely Spanish accent. Maria said the holidays were always a special time

for her family. In Spain, they would celebrate Three Kings Day, also known as The Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6, twelve days after Christmas. This day marks the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem and is celebrated with festivals and parades, and children leaving a pair of shoes in their windows or doorsteps in the hope that the Wise Men will leave gifts. While in the U.S., Maria said she and her husband would play Santa and remembers Gene waking up early to go downstairs to peek under the tree. “He’s always been an early riser. When he was a little boy I would find him up early reading the Bible or saying his rosary,” she said. Maria recalled one year when Gene received a guitar for Christmas and was able to play by memory a song his uncle taught him in Spain, an early sign of his musical gifts. Nowadays, Maria, her Continued on page 13


mission moments

Plowing God’s little acre Dolly Carroll Leedy exhibits true spirit of Christmas By Kathie Stamps

The mission committee coordinates the hospital’s donations to The Christmas Store, sponsored by St. Vincent Mission in David, Ky. Employees are invited to contribute clothing, toys and household items for this annual project. Contact Judy Parsons at 606.285.6470 or if you would like to help.


hen it comes to giving back to the community, Dolly Carroll Leedy is like a kid at Christmas – and oh, does she shine at Christmastime. Leedy is a physician billing clerk at Saint Joseph - Martin and has been a member of the hospital’s mission committee for several years. The mission committee has quite a few outreach projects under way for the holidays, including the Christmas Angel program, in partnership with the Division of Protection and

Permanency. The program will provide gifts for at least 106 needy children in Floyd County. “We gather all those names and put them on Christmas trees at the hospital and employees take names,” explained Leedy. There’s a tree on each of the three floors of the hospital, decorated with tags containing a child’s first name, age, clothing sizes and Christmas wish list. “We make sure every gift is marked off the list,” she said. “It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun.” Another project the mission committee coordinates is an annual food drive for two weeks in November, which involves collecting nonperishable food items for the less fortunate in the community and culminates with the employees’ Thanksgiving dinner. Leedy gives credit for these and other successful outreach programs to the mission committee’s leader, Judy Parsons, the hospital’s chaplain and director of pastoral care. “She does a lot for our employees,” Leedy said. “She listens to all of our problems. Judy is a wonderful person.” Leedy refers to Saint Joseph - Martin as “God’s Little Acre.” From retired chaplain Sister Marie Gangwish she learned that “God will bless you and double bless you for what you give, whether it’s time, money or a smile on your face.” Providing Christmas for the spouse abuse shelter in Martin is yet another way Leedy donates her time and efforts

during the holiday season. “It’s wonderful to spend the day at the shelter with the kids,” she said. “There’s a lot of sadness but it’s worth every bit of it to see one little smile.” Last year she helped remodel a room at the homeless shelter in Pikeville. A group of volunteers laid hardwood floors, replaced faucets, painted walls and doors, and purchased new bed linens. “I went to the businesses in the town and collected money to purchase the floors,” she said. “And the hospital took care of a lot of it.” Making sure there are gifts for people at the homeless shelter is a community effort. Leedy and other Floyd and Pike County residents collect new clothes, coats and shoes, household and personal items, fruit and non-perishable food. “The whole community figures if I’m out doing something, it’s for a good cause,” Leedy said. Neighbors helping neighbors is one of the special attributes of small-town living. Sometimes those small communities are located in other parts of the world, so Leedy spends time with a shoebox ministry, where volunteers pack shoeboxes with items such as gloves and coloring books. The shoeboxes are taken to drop-off points in Georgia or North Carolina and then shipped around the world. “It’s rewarding to help people,” she said. “I feel I am overly blessed. I have a good place to work, the people are really nice and everybody cares about everybody. Our hospital is like a family.”


welcome to my world

a shining example Enrique Zamorano, Housekeeper By Kara Fitzgerald


hen Enrique Zamorano pushes his scrubber down the hallways of Saint Joseph East, employees are happy to see him — not only because he leaves the floors shining and smelling fresh, but because he’s a genuinely friendly person. Enrique admits the camaraderie lifts his spirits as he accomplishes the day’s tasks, which he does with thoughtfulness and pride. Enrique’s work ethic pushes him even further than the day before. As a housekeeper in the environmental services department, Enrique understands he’s part of a frontline team that plays an important role in the prevention of hospital-associated infections. As an industrial engineer in Monterrey, Mexico, Enrique’s job was very different in setting — a car factory — but similar in design. He was responsible for the quality of the manufactured seat belts, which parallels his current responsibility of maintaining a clean environment to protect the public, staff and patients from infectious diseases. Enrique and his wife, Myrna, moved to the U.S. in 2004 to attain a better status of life. When not working Enrique spends time with his family, plays soccer and enjoys going to yard sales. His father, his namesake, works at Saint Joseph Hospital in the same line of work and encouraged his son to apply for a job at Saint Joseph in 2007. Read on as Enrique describes a day in his life in his own words.

Describe your job.

I work in housekeeping in all areas. I do rooms, bathrooms, trash, linen. I clean floors with the scrubber and sweep and wax the rooms.

here because you can interact with people and everybody knows who I am. Don’t take it like a job; take it like you are helping people … [live] the mission.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

What makes you good at your job?

I enjoy when I do the floors because you can take a picture when I finish because it shines. You can see the difference. I also like helping other Hispanic people who come here and don’t speak English.

Does it ever get tedious?

No, because the work changes every day. I like it

I like to do my job and then go the extra mile. For example, if 10 points is the best, I want to do 11 or 12 always. When I’m doing my job in the rooms, the ladies say, “If you clean like this, come into my home when you finish.” I get in the shoes with the patients and think what do they want to see … what would make them comfortable.

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God’s Love in Action

welcome to my world

health care hero

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of year is Christmas. “You get to help people in different ways and so many people want to help other families. I love seeing people experience the joy of giving,” she said. Conner remembers one year a father who had fallen on hard times. His wife had left him with three children to raise and he was dependent on seasonal work to make a living. “If you were to drive by their house you would never think they would have any hardship at all, but I found out he needed Christmas presents for the kids,” Conner said. “A family came down from Lexington to deliver gifts to him. We went inside and he didn’t have a Christmas tree or any furniture in the whole house. Each child had their own rug to sleep on. Trying to make ends meet, he had sold off his belongings.” Conner said working for her family’s mission has taught her not to be judgmental of anyone and to accept everyone for exactly who they are regardless of their situation. “You never know what somebody else is going through. I apply that in every area of my life,” she said. She credits her mother, Ann Williams, the director of operations for the mission, as her role model. “She’s made this a way of life for me. She always said, ‘It’s what you’re supposed to do. We do this because it’s the love of God showing through us.’” With every delivery from the mission is attached a note with scripture. Conner’s favorite verse is Psalms 49:3: “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.” “I want to understand people, understand where they’re coming from no matter where that place is … if it’s in the deepest, darkest part of poverty or in addiction,” she said. Conner plans to continue her family’s mission work for the rest of her life. “If everything else fell apart, that would always be there and would give me peace.”

What do you do when you’re not working?

I take my 3-year-old baby to Chuck E. Cheese, the park or the Festival Latino … we salsa and merengue there. Saturdays, I love yard sales. I play soccer at the YMCA and Kentucky Indoor Soccer. I take ESL (English Second Language) classes at Bluegrass Community Technical College. Welcome to My World provides a brief walk in another Saint Joseph employee’s shoes. Do you know someone who is outstanding in his or her job? Nominate them at

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Holiday Memories Continued from page 10

daughter and granddaughter travel to Lexington to be with Gene’s family and in-laws or they visit her in Pennsylvania for the holidays. They attend Midnight Mass, exchange gifts and enjoy a big meal with traditional favorites like ham and turkey plus a few Spanish dishes like paella. Everyone in her family seems to possess a flair for cooking. “Everyone has their own specialty,” Maria said. “Mona (Gene’s wife) likes when I make the gravy.” Maria said her family is fond of her chicken with gravy (pollo con salsa). “Gene is a good cook,” Maria acknowl-

needed major surgery. “We helped her with her surgery, and we helped get her disability,” Williamson said. The counselor is gratified, she said, to work for a nonprofit hospital that can provide financial aid for those truly in need. If a surgery is written off, she said, the emergency doctors, anesthesiologists and radiologists will also often write off their charges. But plenty of people are ready and willing to pay. “They just need more time,” Williamson said. “So we work out a payment plan.” Since Flaget Memorial Hospital became part of Saint Joseph Health System, Williamson has become a part of a group of financial counselor peers whose members meet to give each other support and make sure all are aware of available resources. “It’s great to talk with people in the same line of work,” Williamson said. “It’s something we never had before. It has been just wonderful.”

edged. “He learned to cook when he was out on his own and has taught me a few things.” Maria said Gene has cooked for her on several occasions and always presents new, exciting recipes. One dish that will definitely be on the table at the Woods during the holidays is Maria’s flan, which Gene has proclaimed as his favorite dessert. “And Antonio loves it,” Maria said of her grandson, Gene’s oldest boy, 13. “I made a flan when he stayed with me for a week and he was so happy he ate it all by himself.” Maria has tried different flan recipes over the years, some more time consuming than others. Here, she shared a recipe she’s been using for the last 10 years and is confident the Saint Joseph Health System family will enjoy it this holiday season.


noteworthy Celebrating news, notes and praiseworthy accomplishments

Saint Joseph Radiography Program students Rachel Stubbs, Carly Hamby, Renee Magyar and Faye Smith took “The Ultimate Drive” to fight breast cancer.


In the Community

in Lexington. For each mile driven, BMW donated $1 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Ultimate Drive Saint Joseph Radiography Program students got behind the wheel of their favorite BMW cars to help find a cure for breast cancer. On August 15, the students participated in “The Ultimate Drive” fundraising event at Don Jacobs BMW

Taste of Tuscany On September 26, the community in Bardstown came together at “The Taste of Tuscany” to celebrate the Nelson County Community Clinic. This health clinic offers free medical services for those working, yet who are uninsured

and cannot afford health insurance. Flaget Memorial Hospital was a sponsor of the event, which included music, a live art auction and dinner with an Italian theme. The event helped raise more than $23,000. Walk to Remember The annual Walk to Remember was held on October 5 at Easy Walker Park in Mount Sterling for those who have experienced a loss. The event allows parents, grandparents, family and friends to come together for a day of remembrance and sharing. The program is coordinated by Jan Cornett, RN, nurse manager of the women’s care unit at Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling, which sponsors the event. A memory quilt was unveiled that will be displayed in the hospital and a symbolic balloon release allowed families to let go of a small amount of their grief. Filly Formal Saint Joseph Health System supported the American Cancer Society Filly Formal on August 23 at The Kentucky Horse Park. The event featured silent and live auctions, gourmet dinner, dancing and live music. Proceeds will fund American Cancer Society research,

education and patient support services. Attending on behalf of Saint Joseph were Chris Mays, president of the American Cancer Society board of directors and CNE/COO of SJH/SJE; Dorothy Zimmerman, vice president of mission for SJH/SJE/SJB/SJMS; and Denise Hundley, director of women’s services at SJE.

Upcoming Events Go Red For Women Saint Joseph Health System is the official central Kentucky sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women program, which alerts women to their risk of cardiovascular disease. On November 14, Saint Joseph and the Central Kentucky American Heart Association will host the first annual Go Red For Women Symposium/Luncheon in Lexington. The fundraising event will be held at the Campbell House Crowne Plaza and feature a fashion show by Macy’s and breakout sessions on heart health. Saint Joseph will offer screenings and former Miss Massachusetts and heart survivor Michaela Gagne will be a featured speaker. Tickets are $50 for individuals; call 859.278.1632.

Clockwise from left: Taste of Tuscany art auction; Walk to Remember balloon release and memory quilt; Chris Mays, Dorothy Zimmerman and Denise Hundley at the Filly Formal; and upcoming “Go Red” speaker Michaela Gagne.

Accolades Daisy Award Surprise celebrations were held in September for the first recipients of The Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Each recipient received a certificate, a special Daisy Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture, titled “A Healer’s Touch,” created by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. Saint Joseph Health System is the first health care organization in Lexington to adopt the Daisy Award program, which is a nationwide program that rewards the super-human work nurses do every day. The program, currently in place at Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph - Berea, and Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, is sponsored and funded through a generous gift from the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation and the Daisy Foundation. Nominate a nurse for this award at

Congratulations to the First Recipients: Cindy Blake, RN CCH, SJE Melanie Donnelly, RN PRNU, SJH Darcy Maupin, RN ED, SJB Whitney Webb, RN 3B, SJH Sarah Willoughby, RN Women’s Care, SJMS Jenna Wimsett, RN ICU, SJE Heart of Saint Joseph Award Congratulations to Lisa Johnson, a physical therapy aide in the rehab department of Saint

Joseph - Berea, for being named a recent Heart of Saint Joseph Award winner. Heart of Saint Joseph Award winners receive a certificate, $75.00, a preferred parking spot for one month and a “Heart of Saint Joseph” insignia placed on their name badge. Nominate a co-worker for this award at (look for “Recognition & Awards” under “For Saint Joseph Employees”). This award is currently in place at Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph East and Saint Joseph - Berea. Waneta P. Newsome Day The first nurse hired by the administration of Our Lady of the Way Hospital in 1947 in Martin, Kentucky, was Mrs. Waneta P. Newsome. And sixtyone years later, Waneta Newsome retired from the hospital (now Saint Joseph - Martin), marking another historic occasion. On September 17, 2008, an admiring and appreciative crowd proclaimed “Waneta P. Newsome Day” as they gathered to celebrate. In prayer, Saint Joseph - Martin employees gave thanks for the variety of blessings they have known through her: the heart and compassion of her bedside presence; the skill and wisdom as she coached nurses or monitored medical care; the after-hours surgical nursing; gift shop management; coordinating volunteers; and, finally, serving as pastoral care assistant.

Waneta Newsome and Judy Parsons, director of pastoral care, celebrated Waneta’s incredible history with Saint Joseph - Martin.

Give Back This Holiday Saint Joseph Hospital & Saint Joseph East • Christmas Partners Project: Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Barbara Baumgardner at 859.313.4447. • Employee Financial Assistance Fund: Make a donation to an employee in need. Contact Ann Duba at 859.313.1781. • Sweats/Scrubs Donations: The pastoral care office needs used sweat shirts/pants and scrubs for indigent patients to wear upon discharge. Contact Ann Duba at 859.313.1781.

Saint Joseph - Berea • Lights for Life: Make a $10 donation and recognize a special person on the Lights for Life Christmas Tree. The Lights for Life program helps low income and uninsured patients receive healthrestoring prescription medicines at no cost. Contact Katie Heckman at 859.986.6535. • TLC Clothing Bank: The TLC Team (standing for Touch, Love and Compassion) welcomes donations of gently worn clothing for children and adults. Contact Katie Heckman at 859.986.6535. • Christmas Families: Saint Joseph - Berea managers will provide local needy patients with food for a holiday meal. Contact Katie Heckman at 859.986.6535. • Christmas Partners Project: Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Jeanie Lawson at 606.843.0920.

Saint Joseph - London • Shop with a Cop: Local law enforcement officers will grant children in need a Christmas “shopping spree” in December. Monetary donations and volunteers are needed. Contact Sharon Hershberger at 606.330.3135. • Thanksgiving Food Baskets: St. William Catholic Church coordinates the delivery of food baskets

to needy families. Monetary donations and volunteers are needed. Contact Lisa Rutherford at 606.878.4313. • Come-Unity Cooperative Care Food Baskets: “CCC” is a thrift store and food distribution site for the needy. Hospital employees are needed to help during the holidays. Contact Sharon Hershberger at 606.330.3135.

Saint Joseph - Martin • Christmas Angel Program: The Christmas Angel program will provide Christmas for 106 of the neediest children in the county. Play Santa and fulfill a child’s wish list. Contact Judy Parsons at 606.285.6470. • Annual Food Drive: Please bring in your non-perishable food items before Thanksgiving. Contact Judy Parsons at 606.285.6470. • The Christmas Store: Clothing, toy and household donations are needed for The Christmas Store sponsored by St. Vincent Mission in David, Ky. Contact Judy Parsons at 606.285.6470.

Saint Joseph Mount Sterling • Christmas Angels: Donate gifts to students whose families apply for help through the family resource centers at the three local elementary schools. Contact Cindy Clark at 859.497.7746. • Christmas Partners Project: Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Sr. Joan Wilson at 859.498.2585.

Flaget Memorial Hospital • Fall Harvest Food Drive: Help restock the shelves at the Saint Vincent DePaul food pantry. Donation boxes will be placed around the hospital. Contact Ben Wiederholt at 502.350.5046. • Adopt a Family: Sign up to support a family of limited means for Christmas. Contact Ben Wiederholt at 502.350.5046.


common view

mining a gem Frank Delzer helps unearth Saint Joseph Health System’s Future By Kathie Stamps

Mountain Removal Project Complete

It’s only going to get better,” he said of the merger of the Saint Joseph hospitals . . .


aint Joseph Health System board member Frank Delzer has called Johnson County home since 1976. He came to Kentucky from the prairies of North Dakota. With a delightful sense of humor, Delzer teases people that there is a welcome sign in his home state reading “Mountain removal project complete.” Meaning, it’s pretty flat in the Peace Garden State. Then he likes to add that the state tree is the telephone pole. “Kentucky is a much better place to be,” he said. When his father joined him in Paintsville, the elder


Delzer spent his first year doing things to get ready for the wind to blow. “After a year he had to admit, ‘You’re right, Francis, the wind doesn’t blow here.’” At the end of his second year, his father said he didn’t know why his own parents from Ukraine, around 1900, went to North Dakota when they could have come to Kentucky and farm all year ‘round. Delzer has degrees in geology and mining engineering from the University of North Dakota. Receiving a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany started his wanderlust for foreign countries. He has spent time in Costa Rico, Mexico, Brazil, China and other places. “I’ve been to most of the western hemisphere,” he said. In 1994, after a 15-year stint with Elm Street Resources in Paintsville, Delzer started a private consulting practice, operating under the United Energy Services, Inc. banner. He provides mine engineering services to Elm Street and a variety of other clients. In 2002-2003 he served as commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Mines and Minerals. Delzer has been on the board of the Martin hospital off and on for 20 years. When Our Lady of the Way Hospital became Saint Joseph - Martin in January 2008, Delzer was tapped to serve on the Saint Joseph Health System board of directors, where he is a member of the Audit & Compliance committee. “It’s only going to get better,” he said of the merger of the Saint Joseph hospitals. “The same cool things that have always gone on are now just a

little bit better every day.” According to Delzer, the morale of the staff at Saint Joseph Martin is outstanding. “Once they come on board, people don’t leave here because they like it that well,” he said. “We have competent, high-quality, moral, ethical specialists in our area.” In his spare time Delzer is active in St. Michael’s parish affairs in Paintsville. He loves traveling, stamp collecting and working crossword puzzles. He and his wife, Eloise, a native of Letcher County, are empty nesters in their Paintsville home. They have one son in New York and another in Oregon and a daughter in Knoxville. Delzer and his wife both love to garden.

common faces holiday cheer Southern Lights November 21-December 31 Distinctive light festival, Santa, exotic petting zoo, carouselthemed pony rides and holiday refreshments 5:30-10:00 p.m., Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Christmas in the Park Opening Night November 24 Lighting of the trees, special guests and singers, hot chocolate and Santa 6:30 p.m., Easy Walker Park, Mount Sterling

“Rehabulous” has stepped up to the plate. This recently formed intramural softball team is comprised of several Saint Joseph Hospital rehabilitation department employees and their spouses. According to teammate Maggie Morgan, there were a few employees who played softball on other teams and decided forming an employee-based team would help improve relationships. The team plays on Sunday nights at Woodland Park through the Fayette County Parks and Recreation department. Seasons exist in the fall, spring and summer months.

Sights and Sounds of Christmas November 28-30 Arts and crafts London Community Center, London, 606.864.7777 Lexington Christmas Parade November 29 The largest Christmas parade in the Commonwealth of Kentucky 5:30 p.m., Downtown Lexington, 859.231.7335, Celebration of Lights November 29 Official tree lighting following the Lexington Christmas Parade. Join Santa and Mayor Newberry as they light up downtown. Courthouse Plaza, Lexington, 859.425.2590, Bardstown-Nelson County Christmas Parade December 4 This year’s theme is “Sing a Song of Christmas.” 6 p.m., Bardstown, 502.348.3911

Cynthia Salamanca, physician services coordinator at Saint Joseph Hospital (left), and daughters Elizabeth, 8, and Emily, 10 (beside her on the right), participated in this year’s Race for the Cure in downtown Lexington. Emily’s Girl Scout troop #827 volunteered to carry the banner representing breast cancer survivors of 15 years or more. Elizabeth is a Brownie in troop #283. Cynthia’s 16-year-old son, John, also ran in the race.

Christmas on Main December 5 Night parade, tree lighting, music, crafts, food Downtown London, 606.862.8841 Fostering in the Holidays, Santa on the Square December 5-6 Shopping and Santa Fri., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Santa on the Square, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Downtown Bardstown, 800.638.4877, 23rd Annual Twilight Christmas Parade December 6 Open houses and studios, fantastic shopping, live music College Square, Main Street, Berea, 859.986.9760 Christmas Parade December 8 6:30-8:30 p.m., Main St., Mount Sterling The Kentucky Christmas Chorus December 16 The Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Singers and area choirs lead the singing of carols. Doors open at 6 p.m.; Singing starts at 7 p.m., free, Rupp Arena, Lexington

Lights for Life Tree Lighting Ceremony December 5 The community is welcome to join Saint Joseph - Berea for the lighting of the tree and Role Call of Honorees. Festive holiday music and refreshments. 6:00 p.m., Saint Joseph - Berea


inspiration Making Christmas Brighter It is truly an awesome experience to meet with each of the families and see their appreciation and gratitude …”


magine a guardian angel watching over you, fluttering about your spirit in good times and bad. Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it is not there. Saint Joseph Health System has hundreds of guardian angels tucked away in offices and patient rooms. They are guised as nurses and lab techs, doctors and staff members. Every year, those same angels are the volunteers of the Appalachian Outreach Program’s (AOP) “Christmas Partners Project”— a project that speaks volumes to the people. Like a guardian angel, it gives employees, departments and other individuals the chance to watch over their communities. For the past 16 years, the AOP’s “Christmas Partners Project” has engaged employees, friends and families to help make Christmas brighter, more hopeful for other families and individuals in need

By Jeanette Word

throughout eastern Kentucky. As part of the AOP program, a licensed social worker, a pastoral counselor and two dietitians work together to find sponsors for Appalachian inhabitants to give basic necessities and gifts during the holiday season. Since its inception, the project has helped more than 500 families and individuals during the Christmas season. Barbara Baumgardner, project coordinator and outreach dietitian, said, “The program keeps growing. Every year we get more people wanting to help. The more people who join the project, the more families that can be assisted.” In addition to sponsors, the program needs people willing to make deliveries this year. “It is truly an awesome experience to meet with each of the families and see their appreciation and gratitude for everything that they received,” added Baumgardner.

We Want to Hear from You!

Currently, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph - Berea, and Saint Joseph Mount Sterling are involved in this Christmas mission. People who want to participate can contact Baumgardner at 859.313.4447 or by e-mail at You can also contact Jeanie Lawson at 606.843.0920 or Sr. Joan Wilson at 859.498.2585.

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