Chaplain Alan Rock

Chaplain Alan Goes Above and Beyond to Help a Patient Get the Essential Items They Need

Sep 2 2022

Alan W. Rock, M.Div, D.Min, one of our chaplains, has worked at Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital (RGH) for the last six years.

Tina Soots, MS, OTR/L, an occupational therapist who works in both inpatient and outpatient rehab at hospital shares that “Chaplain Alan really stepped up to the plate for a patient in our skilled unit who had no clothing from home to dress in while preparing to leave the hospital. Alan asked me to get the patient’s clothing size. This was on a Friday and not only was he willing to go to the charity to get a couple of sets of clothing, but he also went back out when we discovered the patient didn’t have reading glasses here and he purchased a pair.”

Tina continues, “these items made a huge difference in the patient’s well-being. They were now able to read the documents from the facility and check their phone. When the patient had their new clothing on, they said they felt better and no longer stayed bundled under blankets.”

When patients have been in a hospital and are in need of a short one- to two-week stay in rehabilitation before they are safe to return home, they can be referred to our facility for skilled care.

“In those cases, we work on the life skills and challenges the patient will face to return home,” Tina explains. “As we try to meet these needs and also get the patient out of the mindset of still being ‘sick,’ we stop putting them in hospital gowns.”

In most cases, family members or friends are able to bring clothing from home to practice dressing and wear as a patient works towards their goals. However, occasionally, Tina sees patients who have no clothing and no one to go to their home to bring clothing in. And in these moments, Alan steps up to fill this gap.

“In the past, Alan has worked with the local charity to obtain home equipment, including walkers and bedside commodes,” Tina shares. “His willingness to run these errands for this particular patient, plus the others he’s helped in the past by locating free equipment, has facilitated their recovery. I really appreciate that he went above and beyond for this individual. He didn’t even take credit but brought the clothing, then later the glasses, for me to take to the patient. Of course, I told them he was the one who obtained the items. His investment in the patient experience for the ministry is admirable.”

When asked about the servitude Alan shows this patient, he says, “having served as a pastor for many years, it was a natural transition to chaplaincy that allowed me to feel like I could be a positive support for this community.”

He goes on to add, “there is a great culture of caring at RGH that is demonstrated daily by our nurses, our administration and all the departments and staff. As a rural community hospital, we are close-knit. Our theme this year is ‘do unto others.’ It is this kind of culture that encourages all of our staff to do more.”

Alan and his team members have certainly done more.

“I have been involved with several others in starting a 501c3 group to provide financial support for medication for patients and others in the community who need help,” he says. “We have received more than $12,000 in grants so far. I also work with many community organizations that allow us to gather and distribute medical equipment for our patients and others who need it. All of these come out of a culture of caring that RGH lives out each day.”

Alan recently received a Core Culture Award in the Called to Shine program, our ministry’s digital recognition program which allows our team members to recognize anyone across the ministry at any time with personalized messages. Our leaders can also allocate points to the recognitions they send, and employees can redeem these points for merchandise, experiences and much more.

Check out other stories about our team members.

Also, learn more about the health care services we provide at Bon Secours.

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