Sometimes we need a do-over. Brandon found the courage he needed to walk away from his first career choice, where he was bored and dissatisfied, in search of what would make his heart sing. Unsure of what that might be, he was 27 years old when he went back to college. Orientation week at Westminster felt, let’s just say, a little awkward. So when an aviation counselor approached him with an invitation to hop on a shuttle and visit the airport, he was quick to say, “Sure, why not?” Brandon recalls being led to a large room with expansive windows overlooking the entire grounds of the airport. Next, he was sitting in a cockpit, with his hands on the controls, taking off into the sky. As the little plane flew in the direction of Heber, over the Wasatch Mountains, past the ski resorts of Park City, Brandon felt fully alive. Now he chomps at the bit to get into a plane and head for the clouds every chance he gets. Was he scared when the pilot told him to take the controls? “Just the opposite,” he reports. “I have never felt more peaceful.” There is no more wondering or searching for the perfect major for Brandon. He is as clear as a Utah day when he exclaims, “This is it!”
Brandon works in Security at St. Mark’s while he studies at Westminster College.
St. Mark’s Hospital Chaplain Saundra Shanti wanted to connect patients to their caregivers and employees to each other. That’s why she created the Healing Hands portrait series, featuring black and white photographs and stories of St. Mark’s employees at all levels.
“Our patients and families who go in and out know that this is a nurse, and this is a housekeeper, but they don’t know them as people,” Saundra said. “I wanted to humanize our healthcare community to one another and to our families and patients.”
Each photo is accompanied by a story; some biographical, others are anecdotes of experiences that led employees to become caregivers and healthcare professionals. Twelve portraits are currently displayed throughout the hospital, but a total of 36 photos will be rotated throughout the exhibit for the next two months.
By highlighting personal, inspiring and real stories about the staff who will be caring for patients during what can often be an emotional time, the exhibit builds a sense of community. Patients and families will be able to view caregivers as real people with real stories whom they can relate to and connect with, making the hospital experience more personal.
“When we humanize each other, we care more for one another,” Saundra said. “I wanted our employees to be recognized as valuable human beings apart from their professional titles. I wanted to cultivate interaction and respect across our departments and services.”