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New Role for a MMBE (newsletter excerpt from a local hospital)

By now you may have noticed our new addition to the Chaplain team. I am grateful to introduce you to Chaplain Albert Chan. Chaplain Albert will be volunteering at PLH on Mondays and Fridays, and I asked Albert if he would tell you a little about himself. Would you welcome Chaplain Albert and show him the kindness and love that you give all who come to PLH?

Chaplain Fred

“You may have noticed that this new chaplain cannot make his rounds as quick as everyone else. That’s because of my major hemorrhagic brain bleed on National Stroke Day nearly a decade ago while teaching business ethics and philosophy courses in the Midwest.

Ironically, if the timing had been any sooner, and I had been lecturing during my stints at Cal State Northridge or Biola, it would have been a quick ride to virtually any major medical center in Southern California for the craniotomy. However, the nearest hospital, of which I was an Ethics Board member, needed to transfer me to the University of Iowa (80 miles away by helicopter) for the procedure.

Neurosurgeons gave me a 15% chance of surviving the surgery, so roll a die, and it comes up “6,” I’m six feet under. But by Providential grace, medical expertise, and the many prayers / kind thoughts / support of family and friends, I’m limping around our hospital nearly six feet over.

I unfortunately lost my teaching job shortly after my stroke, but my RN wife received a call from a previous supervisor offering her former day rehabilitation nurse position back where I could also attend for a nominal fee. It was a no- brainer to return to sunny Southern California, especially as I only had ‘half a brain left.’

So why a chaplain?

I’ve found, like many of you, that nothing beats helping people. It’s why I adored teaching, and why I’ve found a comfortable fit with this role. I can relate to being a patient, having undergone extended hospital stays with epilepsy and Guillian-Barre Syndrome, use my educational background (seminary training in ethics at Biola University plus advanced and undergraduate degrees at USC and UW), and resonate with people in our community as a current husband to a wonderful wife and father to two adult children, plus past work for non- profits and campus ministry, and the private sector in sales and management.

In the brief time I’ve been around PLH, I’ve gleaned from Chaplain Fred that we’re not only here for patients, but also for staff / medical practitioners, and vice-versa. Please feel free to stop by the meditation room, in the hallways, waiting rooms, and/or cafeteria to say “ Hello,” and share any concerns & needs with us.

And if you forget my name, Albert “JOONG- Yen” Chan, don’t hesitate to interrupt me to introduce yourself (as many of you have kindly done), or observe me shift like an inchworm from room-to-room.

Remember: Three inches forward; two & a half inches back. Looking forward to meeting you. Inch Onward!

The new chaplain at your service, Albertpage1image65819520page1image48783008page1image65820144

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