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Volunteering Became a Family Affair

Edna Ohments

Edna Ohments

At Saint Francis, we are ‘Called to Serve You’ — and our auxiliary and volunteers display this daily through their selfless service to our Mission. Edna Ohmart of Cape Girardeau served as a volunteer at Saint Francis Medical Center for nearly thirty years, along with her husband Otto and three children.

“All five of us enjoyed our experiences working at Saint Francis. The three kids were candy stripers in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I started in the late ‘70s and stayed for three years just as Saint Francis moved from Good Hope Street to its present location.” She recalls the days of working at Good Hope with the nuns, specifically Sister Esther, and how fond her entire family was of the nuns and how much they admired their service.

“After my husband retired from Southeast Missouri State University, we both returned to volunteer in January 1991. Otto stayed until his death in 2009, always hoping to beat his health issues to come back and volunteer some more.” Edna explains, “I was there until the volunteer program [temporarily] stopped in 2020” due to the pandemic.

Edna and Otto Ohmart
Edna and Otto Ohmart

“The fellow volunteers and staff I came to know and the patients I got to work with” are what made her volunteer experience so memorable. In all of her years as a volunteer at Saint Francis, the value she and her peers felt was significant. The medical staff always made her feel like she was “one of them,” and she felt vastly appreciated for all she did. She shares, “I thank the hospital for making me feel so necessary and for making my experience wonderful.”

During her time at the Medical Center, Edna served as a patient transporter — her favorite station. She would work two days a week while her husband volunteered for three. Her favorite part about volunteering was being surrounded by the sense of community.

Edna and Otto Ohmart
Edna and Otto Ohmart

Edna feels Saint Francis gave her more than she was giving throughout her years of service, providing her with fun memories and friendships she will cherish always. Edna shares, “If I could continue to volunteer I would.” However, her current goal is to recover from a hip replacement. “I encourage anyone looking for a sense of community and purpose to consider volunteering at Saint Francis.”

Join in the Fun

Volunteering at Saint Francis Medical Center offers area adults a chance to serve their community, make new friends and enrich their lives. With flexible scheduling and a wide variety of ways to serve, you are sure to find a volunteer opportunity perfect for you. Learn more on our volunteers page or call 573-331-5166.

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