A year in grief: Interview with Joe Longacher

Dr. Joe Longacher, former President of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, discusses his years in service serving as a general practitioner, how he found his way to the specialty of gastroenterology, and what has continued to keep him busy as a retiree.  Dr. Longacher explores his immense grief, considering the death of his several family members over the last 18 months and how he and his family have found resilience in the toughest of times.

 

Episode 12: Mennos in Medicine: Joy Sawatzky

In this episode, pastor Joy Sawatzky describes her passion for exploring the stories of her congregants at the senior living community of Souderton Mennonite Homes, which is part of Living Branches. Joy describes her winding path from being a bedside nurse to finding her passion as a pastor who dwells in the stories of those in her church, helping them to find meaning during the last chapters of their lives. This podcast was recorded prior to the COVID pandemic.

Episode 11: Introducing Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship’s new executive director, Cate Desjardins, MDiv, MPH

Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship welcomes Cate Desjardins to bring her passion for integrating spirituality and faith into healthcare as the organization’s new executive director. Cate has a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and is a leader in spiritual care research with a primary focus on how people use faith to make difficult medical decisions for their children or loved ones who cannot decide from themselves. Listen in to learn more about Cate’s research, how COVID-19 has affected hospital chaplaincy and her hopes for MHF.

 

Episode 10: Redeployment in the age of coronavirus: Dr. Maria Morban

Dr. Maria Morban is a medical doctor who trained at Universidad Autonoma is Santo Domingo, Domican Republic. She has been living in New York City for over a decade, where she holds several volunteer positions and works as a clinical research coordinator for a nephrology research group at Columbia University. She was recently redeployed during the coronavirus crisis as a dialysis technician. Dr. Morban is a member of Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship in New York City. A transcript of this conversation is available here.

Episode 9: Working as a nurse during a pandemic, part 2

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, MennoHealth Cast host Joann Hunsberger speaks with two frontline health-care providers, Anna Hershey and Kaedi Baer. Both are nurses who have been redeployed during the pandemic. In part 1, Anna, from Philadelphia, talks about working at a coronavirus testing location. In part 2, Kaedi, who normally works in a surgical center in Parker, Colorado, discusses her work after being redeployed to an emergency room. Listen as these women discuss some of the challenges of redeployment and working as frontline health-care providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Episode 8: Working as a nurse during a pandemic, part 1

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, MennoHealth Cast host Joann Hunsberger speaks with two frontline health-care providers, Anna Hershey and Kaedi Baer. Both are nurses who have been redeployed during the pandemic. In part 1, Anna, from Philadelphia, talks about working at a coronavirus testing location. In part 2, Kaedi, who normally works in a surgical center in Parker, Colorado, discusses her work after being redeployed to an emergency room. Listen as these women discuss some of the challenges of redeployment and working as frontline health-care providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Episode 7: Ethical considerations during the coronavirus pandemic

Listen in as Joann Hunsberger interviews Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Kotva Jr., an Anabaptist bioethicist, as they discuss some of the ethical conundrums related to patient care and provider protections during the coronavirus pandemic. Joe is ordained in the Mennonite church and currently co-directs the ethics program at the Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend.

Episode 6: Special episode on COVID-19

In this episode, host Joann Hunsberger discusses COVID-19 with Dr. Dan Nafziger of Goshen, Indiana, where he is chief medical officer at Goshen Health. Listen in as they discuss the new coronavirus, some common terminology used to discuss the pandemic and how it might affect our church community culture.

Episode 5: Mennos in Medicine: Doug Smucker

In episode 5 of MennoHealth Cast, Joann Hunsberger speaks with Dr. Doug Smucker. Dr. Smucker started his career as a family medicine doctor and later evolved into a palliative and hospice medicine doctor. He is professor emeritus of family and community medicine at University of Cincinnati and currently works at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, as medical director of palliative care. In this podcast, he talks about the struggles and challenges of caring for patients in their final days and discusses how his Goshen (Indiana) College education was formative in his career choices.

Episode 4: Mennos in Medicine: Linda Witmer

This episode features Linda Witmer, who spent 23 years serving among the K’ekchi’, the Indigenous people of Guatemala, as a representative of both Mennonite Central Committee and Eastern Mennonite Missions. With the K’ekchi’, she focused on church programs and public health projects that were in large part initiated by the community. At Goshen (Indiana) College she taught classes on community health, transcultural nursing and health care for the poor and served as adjunct professor located in Guatemala, where she offered an annual three-week course on “Doing Theology in Latin America.” She returned to the United States, where she completed her Master of Divinity at Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Theological Seminary and now is director of the RN to BS nursing program at the Eastern Mennonite University extension site in Lancaster, where she engages the students in understanding different cultural perspectives.