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Faces of the Falls

Sheila Carter

Published online: Dec 04, 2023 Health & Wellness
Viewed 1173 time(s)

For many, hospitals are a source of significant stress. Whether you’re a patient or one of your loved-ones is a patient, the atmosphere can be hard to relax in. On the other hand, there are many things that can make a trip or stay at the hospital a less stressful experience. Kind and caring nurses, concerned doctors and compassionate volunteers make all the difference. 

This is especially true at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) where volunteers like Sheila Carter devote their time to support patients with care and compassion.

Sheila Carter has been a dedicated volunteer at EIRMC since 2017 and has since made a big impact on the healthcare community. 

After the heartbreak of losing her husband in 2017, Sheila was struggling to cope until her daughter suggested that she volunteer at the hospital. “After he passed away, my daughter talked me into it because I was really struggling with losing him and then I came here,” Sheila said. “That was the best thing that happened to me. I came here and met so many great people who have helped me so much.”

While her patients and peers were helping support her, she was also helping them greatly with her support and natural selflessness.  

At the hospital, Sheila spends her time greeting and assisting patients when they check in at the front desk. “We help families find their way around the hospital,” Sheila said. “One of the main things we do is escort patients to the right spot whether they are being admitted to surgery or one of the other departments as a patient. There’s always somebody who’s lost and it’s our job to just make sure they find their way.”

Sheila has contributed over 2,100 hours of volunteer time and outside of EIRMC, as she participates in a support group for widows. And outside of volunteering, Sheila enjoys spending her time with family and friends. “I like to do things with my grand and great grandchildren and hang out with family,” Sheila said. “I have some really dear friends that I like to spend time with and have a cup of coffee with.” 

Sheila is a role-model not only for her family, friends and patients, but the community too. Sheila was recently honored by the Idaho Hospital Association for the 2023 Leader of Volunteer Excellence award. “I was honored, so very honored,” Sheila said. 

Sheila’s unwavering commitment through her own challenges is nothing short of inspiring. “The people who work here are wonderful,” Sheila said. “I think so highly of them and it’s so rewarding. When I go home I think, ‘Maybe that person is a little better off because I was there today.”

Patients and peers have described Sheila’s passion, dedication and care as truly inspiring but Sheila has a role-model of her own. “My daughter is my hero,” Sheila said. “She's accomplished a lot and she’s the person that I look up to the most.” 

Sheila’s advice to others considering volunteering in a healthcare facility is, “If you just love people and care about others, you’ll do good,” Sheila said. 

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