Daren is the proud daddy of four little girls. Each one shares her namesake with one of the women in his family tree. His oldest daughter’s middle name is Ramona, after Daren’s grandmother, a woman he never met because she died when he was a very little boy. One day at St. Mark’s, Daren was rounding on patients, inquiring about the quality of the care they were receiving, and addressing concerns where he could. Having no particular agenda, he caught the eye of a 90-something man on 5West, and stepped into his room. During their introductions and pleasantries, Daren learned that the patient was from the same town in California where his dad grew up. “You’re a Wells?” the man inquired. Daren nodded, a bit surprised that his last name meant any-thing to the man. Turns out, this man had been the LDS bishop to Daren’s grandpar-ents, Grant and Ramona. He knew Daren’s grandma well, and was able to describe her as sweet, sensitive, and often doing service for others. Over the next few days, while this patient was in rehab, Daren spent time with him and unearthed the history of his own family - rewarding stories he would be sure to share with his daughter.
Daren is the Assistant Administrator for St. Mark’s.
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.”