FSH employees honored for community service

Don Norfleet/FULTON SUN photo: Dr. Jane Smith, chaplain of Fulton State Hospital, discusses plans for Tuesday’s employee service awards event at the hospital with Dr. Bruce Wilson, a hospital psychologist who has worked with the hospital’s Spiritual Development Committee since it was formed in 2001.

Don Norfleet/FULTON SUN photo: Dr. Jane Smith, chaplain of Fulton State Hospital, discusses plans for Tuesday’s employee service awards event at the hospital with Dr. Bruce Wilson, a hospital psychologist who has worked with the hospital’s Spiritual Development Committee since it was formed in 2001.

Employees of Fulton State Hospital are accustomed to providing service to others. Many of them were honored Tuesday for going beyond their daily duties at the workplace.

For the seventh consecutive year. Fulton State Hospital presented certificates and awards at its annual Awards Ceremony and Celebration of employees who have created and completed Mission Goal Projects.

The top Mission Leader Award went to Rickie Gohring, an administrative assistant at the hospital. Other leaders nominated for the award were Brandy Coffelt, Wayne Galbreath, Dave Oberlag, Janie Smith and Pat Wright.

Dr. Jane Smith, hospital chaplain, said last year the Spiritual Development Committee and the Facility Executive Team collaborated on the first Mission Leader Award, which was given to Lynn Geeson.

This year the two committees partnered also with the Support Services Employee Council and developed the nominees.

Smith said all of this year’s nominees “embody the hospital’s mission of partnership, recovery, community building and a deep regard for the unequivocal dignity of each person on the Fulton State Hospital campus.”

The first award given was the Community Connection Award that went to the Crafty Stitchers. The seven women in the group made blankets for all of the newborn babies born at Callaway Community Hospital in Fulton.

The Earth Friendly Award was presented to the Guhleman Forensic Center. The center’s service bird watching project started as a way to bring nature closer to patient-clients. They donated money for bird feed and helped design, create and maintain the feeders, gaining an appreciation for nature and a caring community.

The Fresh Face Award went to the Pharmacy Department. Employees furnished Christmas cards and stamps to clients who could not afford them. Clients could say in touch with their families and important friends.

The Innovation Award was won by the Competency Restoration and Acute Forensics Team at the Biggs Forensic Center. The group collected used shoes that were sold to exporters. The money from the sale of the shoes was used to help purchase well-drilling rigs, weather purification systems and other supplies to bring fresh water to those who have been dying from polluted water in developing countries.

The Enthusiasm Award went to clients at the 7th Ward at the Guhleman Forensic Center. They created handmade lap robes for a Fulton long-term care facility. Smith said clients feel better about doing something for others and are more likely to make healthful choices. They also made a tangible contribution to the Fulton community.

The Guiding Light Award was won by the Wellness Committee that created a partnership with clients, staff, and outside agencies to offer personal wellness opportunities to all members of the Fulton State Hospital campus. They helped with tobacco cessation, developed fitness centers for clients in various units, improved the nutrition of canteen items, offered webinars, bulletin boards and forum articles on mental health topics. They also created a website with several links to more information relating to personal wellness.

The Wellness Committee also opened a state-of-the-art fitness center in cooperation with the Callaway County YMCA in the former employee cafeteria. About 16 percent of the hospital’s workforce is involved in the fitness center.

The Mission Goal Project program started in 2004. Since then about 125 projects have been organized. This year 28 service projects were organized.

Many of them raised money for causes in the Fulton community, such as the Adopt-a-Family effort every Christmas sponsored by SERVE, Inc. The Adopt-a-Family project provides Christmas gifts and meals to needy families.

Other projects have partnered with Fulton businesses to beautify or otherwise enhance the environment for Fulton State Hospital clients.

Recently Walmart donated art supplies and clients created numerous mandalas that now hang in the hall of one of the treatment centers on the campus of Fulton State Hospital.

Money and toys have been sent overseas to help developing nations.

Bob Reitz, chief executive officer of Fulton State Hospital, said “We are a community of caring skilled people, partnering with individuals challenged by mental illness to inspire healing and recovery. We are especially proud of all the participants this year because in spite of all the current challenges the hospital faces, employees and clients alike rose to the occasion and performed some life-giving deeds for people other than themselves in a selfless way.”

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