Making A Difference

A Steady Voice in Difficult Times

Denise Welsh (MBA 1981)

Denise Welsh (MBA 1981) is a pediatric chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center, a second career after having spent many years in the finance field. In this video, she talks about her role in the intensive care unit and the impact of helping parents and children through the most difficult moments of their lives.

“As a pediatric chaplain, most of my work is in the intensive care units. Parents are desperate. They’re afraid, and they really want to talk about those fears. Just going into a room and introducing myself, then sitting down, it’s amazing how quickly they will open up. It’s one of the most amazing thing about this profession.

“Parents are more careful what they say if the child is awake. But probably where I do my best chaplaincy is when parents really feel totally alone in that room, even though their child is there.

“The courses that I gravitated to while I was in business school were probably the courses that focused on managing people. So when I left the business school and ended up in the financial services business, and was managing people, one of the things that I tried very hard to do was to really listen to my employees. And now I can say, as a hospital chaplain, listening to the patients is the most important thing I do.

“I will be a chaplain probably for the rest of my life—that’s what I think right now. It’s pretty amazing to be in a job that you feel like you’re supposed to be in. Being able to help people when they are maybe going through the worst time of their life, and knowing that I have been put there, is a calling.”

(Published March 2017)

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