Hospice Circle of Love chaplain Gary Miller was recognized recently as Spiritual Counselor of the Year by Oklahoma Hospice and Palliative Care Association (OHPCA) at its 2014 annual conference in Tulsa.
Miller “has a knack for providing just what is needed to each patient he sees,” said Julie Nelson, of Hospice Circle of Love. In his work as a hospice chaplain, Miller provides spiritual comfort to both terminally ill patients and their families. Reading the Bible and praying are common activities during his visits. He is also there to listen.
“Talk often turns to life after death, and Gary seems to know just what to say to put someone’s mind at ease,” Nelson said. “Sometimes Gary is asked to be the one to perform the funeral for a hospice patient or their family member, due to the fact that he has become that family’s closest spiritual adviser.”
He also is a part of Circle of Love’s bereavement team. This includes co-facilitating community grief groups, helping with the annual Tree of Life celebration and making phone calls to families.
“Gary has made such a difference in the lives of so many patients and families at such an important time,” Nelson said. “He is always there to provide support and compassion, when it’s needed most.”
The Spiritual Counselor of the Year Award nominations are read and voted on by hospice workers in another state. Criteria for consideration includes the nominee’s history and relationship to hospice, their role and scope of activity and the impact they make on hospice care and in the lives of the patients and families they serve. Circle of Love Executive Director Chad Caldwell, who also is the OHPCA president, presented the award to Miller.