2016 Rewind – March: Quiet Reflection

Published 10:46 am Friday, December 30, 2016

WINDSOR – It’s the first Critical Access hospital ever constructed in the country.

Now, Vidant Bertie Memorial Hospital can claim another first: its own chapel as a place for quiet reflection and aid to other spiritual needs.

At special ribbon-cutting ceremony in late March of this year that attracted over a hundred people, the chapel and its accompanying family room were dedicated at the hospital facility.

The chapel seats from 10 to a dozen people, centered with a large stained glass panel reflecting the ‘Tree of Life”.  Right across a small hall is the adjacent family room, open and airy and able to seat five people for moments of introspection.

“It was designed to compliment and augment physical and emotional healing,” said Vidant Bertie president Jeff Sackrison. We believe in healing the mind, body, and spirit at Vidant Bertie Hospital.”

Sackrison called the chapel a fulfillment of a 13-year dream encompassing his tenure as hospital president.

“When I first got here we didn’t have one,” he noted. “We talked about having a chapel for so many years, and we watched as so many of our pastors and doctors were trying to counsel people out in the hallway; and this is just the culmination of a great outpouring of support for the community and we appreciate it so much.

“People often ask what makes Vidant Bertie special,” said Sackrison. “It’s our sense of community and family. We are bound by more than the hospital; we are bound by our commitment to help people.  This chapel is just one more way of showing that we focus on the needs of our patients and their families.”

Lead hospital chaplain, Rev. Jeff Russell, pastor of Ross Baptist Church near Askewville, quoted New Testament scripture prior to giving an invocation.

“God comforts us in all our tribulations,” Russell intoned, “so that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Russell thanked those who ‘planted the vision’ and the resources, finances, time and effort that went into it; and for overcoming obstacles in order to bring the project to its completion.

“May their faith be strengthened, their love be refreshed, their hopes be encouraged, and disease and illness be healed,” he asked in prayer.

Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health, was unable to attend the ceremony due to business back in Greenville, but Roger Robertson, President of Vidant Hospitals, spoke on his behalf.

“We strive to serve our families, friends and neighbors in times of need,” Robertson stated. “Vidant Bertie is the smallest hospital in the Vidant system and the smallest in the state of North Carolina.  It’s known for its caring and compassion as well as the excellent care that is provided here.  This chapel is going to help us meet those needs of our patients and their families.”

Robertson thanked the hospital’s Development Council for raising the funds, thanked the people of the community, thanked Bertie County and town of Windsor for its support and dedication. Other kudos went to the staff, management, and volunteers; and a special thanks to “Mr. Vidant Bertie”: former Windsor mayor Bob Spivey, for whom the chapel is named.

“Thank you, Bob, for supporting this hospital for over 65 years,” Robertson exulted, “and your dedication to improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.  This chapel is just another resource they will have in order to do that.”

Vidant Bertie Development Council director Jeff Stalls of Perdue Farms in Lewiston was the final dedication speaker.  He also praised Spivey for helping bring to chapel to fruition.

“A large portion of all of you who are here have helped make this possible, whether financially, design, or building, it’s a gorgeous facility,” Stalls said. “And to you, Bob, for being an advocate for health care in Bertie County; that these community hospitals in Edenton, Ahoskie, and here in Windsor are viable in their services to their communities.”

Stalls cited Spivey’s help in bringing the modern facility to its present location from the old hospital on Sterlingworth Street.

“He put his heart and soul into seeing that this hospital was built, and Mr. Spivey was one of the first ones to donate to the cause of creating this new chapel,” Stalls declared. “Your dreams and those of many others have come true today because of outstanding leadership.”

Lastly, Patient Care Services director Silvia Rose thanked the guidance of the chaplains in making the building of the chapel possible.

“We will finally have a restful, tranquil place for not only our patients and families, but also for our staff to vent, pray, and encourage each other,” Rose said.

Four ribbon-cuttings followed consisting of Sackrison, Robertson, Stalls, Russell, Rose, and Spivey; then the Hospital Directors Council and Development Council; Chaplain’s Council; and, finally the East Group Architects, C.A. Lewis Construction, and Vidant Bertie Hospital Plant Operations.