Hospital honors two ‘Hearts of Gold’

September 3, 2005

Internal medicine physician Dr. Stephen Vogt and hospital volunteer Beulah Herman are Providence Hood River 2005 “Hearts of Gold” award winners. They were nominated and selected as people who, through their advocacy and action, have made a difference in our community’s health.

The two will be recognized at a special hors d’oeuvres buffet in their honor on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Best Western Hood River Inn. Tom Grant will provide musical entertainment for the event. Tickets are on sale for $25 per person through the Providence Hood River Foundation Office, (541) 387-6474.

Dr. Vogt was nominated by several of his patients and their family members in the Healthcare Professional category. Each person wrote about the active compassion they felt from him. Jeniene and Aaron Moore were faced with her terminal cancer, and the fact she didn’t want to deal with any of it.

Aaron wrote, “Dr. Vogt felt very uncomfortable about just walking away. After a long day at the hospital and office, he called and asked if he could come all the way up to our home in Mill A, Washington. And, he and his wife sent flowers.

“I have been a patient in the hospital setting 80 percent of my life, from cystic fibrosis. NO doctor has ever gone out of his way like this before.” Similar comments came from another patient family. “During the last six months of my father’s life, he was in and out of the hospital ... every time Dr. Vogt walked into my father’s room, he treated my father as if he were his only patient. He never talked past my father or treated him as if he weren’t there. Now, this may not seem like a big thing, but Dr. Vogt gave my father the greatest gift when he was most vulnerable. He gave him respect, compassion and dignity. For this, my family and I can not thank him enough,” wrote Elizabeth Settje.

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Beulah Herman has been an active community volunteer for decades, working in 4-H, at her church and sharing her garden bounty. Fifteen years ago, she signed up as one of the hospital’s first volunteers, and she’s still going strong. She has worked in nearly every capacity as a volunteer, from the reception desk to bake sales, but Beulah has also made a difference in people’s lives through her gifts of flowers and stuffed animals.

Each week for the last 15 years, she has brought fresh flowers from her garden to decorate patient and visitor areas throughout the hospital. Even during the winter, Beulah picked up leftover weekend flowers from Mt. Hood Railroad to add color and beauty to the lives of people who weren’t feeling well.

Beulah worked with Irene Best to provide stuffed animals to comfort the hospital’s youngest and oldest patients. When Irene retired, Beulah kept the program going. She found animals at yard sales, received them as donations from children and service clubs, all the while making sure each one was clean, with a fresh bow and ready to put a smile on the face of an emergency room or surgery patient. She even had help from her lodge sisters in Hazel Rebekah.

According to fellow volunteer Shirley Ekker, “Beulah’s volunteer work ethic is what all of us strive for. Her compassion for others, her mission to improve the health and well-being of all deserves our gratitude and thanks.”

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