Many Housecall Providers volunteers have faced significant life events that led them to consider giving back to their community. For Megan Gibb, M.Th., a family member who received hospice care completely changed the trajectory of her life. Meagan was so moved by the experience that in 2017, after waiting the recommended year after a loved one’s passing, she applied to become a hospice volunteer with Housecall Providers.
At the time, Megan was an urban planner working with regional government doing public-private partnerships. Megan met with Housecall Providers Volunteer Coordinator Todd Lawrence to discuss positions that would be the right fit for her. She began doing companionship visits – spending time with patients in their homes or care communities – as well as sitting vigil with patients.
She found the deep humanity of these visits fulfilling in a way that few experiences can be.
“I was sitting vigil with different patients because they didn’t have any family, or maybe their family needed a break,” said Megan. “I found that a very compelling experience. Someone’s death is a sacred time, and it’s an honor to be there with them.”
As her connection to the volunteer work deepened, and she witnessed the value that the Housecall Providers spiritual counselors offered their patients, Megan approached Todd to explore pursuing a career in spiritual counseling. Todd helped Megan set up meetings with the spiritual counselors and members of leadership to learn more about the role. In 2021, Megan took a leap of faith: She quit her job to focus on pursuing a Master of Theology with a concentration in Health Care Chaplaincy.
In June 2022, while finishing her degree, she began an eight-month hospice chaplain internship with Housecall Providers. Since hospice leadership knew how well suited she was to the work, they enthusiastically offered her the internship. So impressed in fact, that an open position was held for her, bringing her on part-time while she completed her schooling.
“To be a hospice chaplain, you must do a placement somewhere where you are seeing patients. So, I was grateful that everyone was willing to clear the way for that because Housecall Providers had never had a hospice chaplain intern before,” said Megan.
Megan has been working full time in her role as a spiritual counselor at Housecall Providers Hospice since February of this year. “I do feel very blessed and lucky to be part of Housecall Providers. It is clear people are so happy to be at this organization,” said Megan. “I really appreciate the fact that our staff truly embody the value of patient-centered care. I hear again and again from family members how supported they felt by the hospice team and that they feel their loved one was well cared for.”
Megan’s success as a spiritual counselor followed her profound experience of volunteering. While not all volunteers move into roles at Housecall Providers, several have. “I feel like when you volunteer for us that we should volunteer for you, too,” said Todd. “I hate losing a volunteer, but this is my favorite way to lose them.”
If you are interested in learning about volunteering with Housecall Providers, click here.