New chaplain at LMH Health makes meaningful connections
By Jessica Brewer
Earlier this year, LMH Health welcomed a new chaplain, Robin Colerick-Shinkle, to the hospital family.
Colerick-Shinkle has been serving churches for the past 12 years and has now joined the Lawrence community to be near her family. Traci Hoopingarner, vice president of clinical care & chief nursing officer, said that Colerick-Shinkle stood out in many ways.
“There were quite a few applicants for this position,” Hoopingarner said. “One of the characteristics that stood out about Robin was her drive to not only serve the patients, but the staff as well.”
Hoopingarner said after being here only a short period of time, Colerick-Shinkle had demonstrated her dedication to better serving the hospital and the community. On Ash Wednesday she went through the hospital asking patients and staff if they would like to receive ashes. She went above and beyond to serve the LMH Health community, Hoopingarner said, and that had never been done before to that extent.
“Robin knows how busy a hospital can get,” Hoopingarner said. “So I think it was awesome that she went around meeting everyone where they were at to ask if she could be of service to them.”
Hoopingarner said that it has been amazing to see how Colerick-Shinkle has grown and developed friendships quickly in her time at LMH Health. Within her first week, a family she had connected with asked her to perform their loved one’s funeral service.
“It has been really cool to see Robin connect with people deeply so early on,” Hoopingarner said.
So far, Colerick-Shinkle has loved her time serving the LMH Health community. Having worked in a hospital years ago, she said it was a goal of hers to return to working in a healthcare setting.
“Everyone has been so supportive, welcoming and kind,” Colerick-Shinkle said. “Since I am the only one in my department, it’s been challenging. I’ve had lots of questions and everyone has stepped up to answer all of them.”
She was drawn to the passion the staff and executive leaders had for the hospital. Through the interview process, Colerick-Shinkle said the staff not only told her about their love for LMH Health, but she saw it in them as well.
“The people who work here want to be here,” she said. “That really stood out to me and gave me a glimpse at how LMH Health seeks to excel and care deeply for their patients and staff. It is also just a beautiful place. I walked in and just said ‘wow,’ I was amazed at how gorgeous it is.”
Colerick-Shinkle has already made changes since coming to the hospital. She decided to hold services on Easter, Good Friday and Christmas. These services have not been held at the hospital before and she wants to make sure that during these times, if someone cannot make it to their traditional service, they still have options available to them.
“I am really just trying to listen to the people,” Colerick-Shinkle said. “There are many busy people at the hospital and I want to help wherever I can. In the midst of daily life, I want to remind people that the Holy is all around them.”
Jessica Brewer is Social Media and Digital Communication Specialist at LMH Health.