Jesuit Volunteer Corps profiles: Monique Stenger

Monique Stenger

Photo by Julie Raefield-Gobbo.
Monique Stenger

Age: 22

Hometown: Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

Graduated: Villanova University, 2012; B.S. in nursing

Assigned in Hood River as a patient outreach advocate, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Julie Beliel Cancer Screening Voucher Program

Using an analytical brain, matched with a caring heart, Monique Stenger is taking on a much-needed task at PHRMH. She will be working to eliminate barriers to women who need to obtain mammogram cancer screenings, but who might not be able to afford them.

“Early detection of breast cancer leads to better outcomes,” said Stenger in answering why she and hospital are investing extra time in their outreach efforts in the Gorge. “For me, I’ve wanted to use my nursing skills in more of a public health setting.”

Stenger went on to elaborate, “I always knew I wanted to help others and thought it would be enough to help one person at a time. But I think I want to work on making the holistic changes that can help a lot of people.”

By helping the hospital in its goal to improve enrollment and access processes for the existing voucher program, Stenger feels she would be contributing to those larger changes.

On how she came to join the JVC organization, Stenger responded with seriousness: “The four pillars of spirituality and reflection, simple living, community and social justice really resonated with my outlook and I went for it.” In reviewing her relocation to Hood River, Stenger laughed, “I’d like to think that Hood River chose me.”

When asked how her quest for spiritual growth meshed with JVC life, Stenger said, “I am Catholic but I was interested in how others would be experiencing their spirituality. Being a JVC doesn’t limit us to Catholic viewpoints.” Taking a wide view seems to be Stenger mission.

“Healthcare isn’t just about the care of your health, but really about the care of the whole being. My work on the cancer screening voucher program is allowing me to do that.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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