In the tapestry of healthcare woven across Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals (BMDH), Jeannie Smith stands as a vibrant thread, connected to the very essence of healing.
For more than two decades, Jeannie has been the heartbeat of compassion and a guiding force in pastoral care, leaving a mark on the fabric of patient well-being in western Sydney.
Jeannie’s journey began in the late 1990s as a casual registered nurse until 2001. It wasn’t long before she realised that her calling transcended traditional nursing roles.
A stint with a private cardiologist deepened her understanding of the intricacies of care, leading her back to BMDH in 2003, where she embraced her true passion for pastoral care.
As a Pastoral Care coordinator, Jeannie’s role extended beyond the conventional. She became a mentor, a beacon of empathy, and a guardian of spiritual well-being.
Her influence radiated through the corridors as she trained others to become pastoral care volunteers, imparting not just hospital protocols but essential life skills-listening, responding with empathy, and navigating the complex journey of grief.
“Training is essential for pastoral care volunteers because our patients are vulnerable, often grappling with their mortality,” Jeannie said.
Our key focus was empowering others to tap into their spirituality during times of illness and crisis.Jeannie Smith
Visiting patients, staff, and families in the wards became a cornerstone of Jeannie’s mission. Recognising the turmoil patients face during hospitalisation, she provided a comforting presence and understanding. Jeannie highlighted the timeless importance of face-to-face connections in offering care and support.
Blacktown Hospital C71 Cancer Services ward clerk Collette Coelho, was inspired by Jeannie’s dedication, transitioned from a ward clerk to a pastoral care volunteer.
“Not only have you been a friend and confidant, but we wish you all the best. God bless you, and may you continue to enjoy good health and prosperity,” Collette said.
Pastoral care, Jeannie emphasised, transcends religious boundaries; it delves into the core of what brings meaning and purpose to people’s lives, especially in times of crisis. As she expressed her gratitude, Jeannie acknowledged her remarkable team of volunteers and the collaborative efforts of colleagues, emphasising the profound impact of pastoral care in patient well-being.
BMDH Volunteer Manager Colin Dent paid tribute to Jeannie, describing her as indispensable. He acknowledged her dedication, compassion, and expertise, underlining the void her departure would leave in the team.
As the curtains fall on this chapter of Jeannie’s career, the impact on the spiritual and healing landscape of Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals echoes, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and holistic care that will endure for years to come.
It’s fitting that Jeannie’s next adventure involves her business partnership with her husband as a Funeral Director and Celebrant.
To volunteer at Blacktown or Mount Druitt Hospitals, please click here for more information.