As we round out 2019, we share our appreciation of our supporters, stakeholders and partners. It is only through these connections and partnerships that we are able to continue to complete the work that we do. Through you we learn insights into what is and isn’t working in different workplaces, and how we can do a better job to provide applicable research, toolkits and resources to employees, safety, health and well-being professionals, other researchers, and organizations.
During our recent Fall Symposium we had the opportunity to acknowledge a long-time supporter of ours. Although we aren’t certain of the exact number, we imagine that Judith Kleinstein has attended dozens of our symposia over the past two decades. Because of this, we were pleased to spontaneously create a new honor at our November 15, 2019 symposium, granting Judith lifetime free attendance. In fact, we will no longer require her to register, and will promise to have a nametag awaiting her.
I remember first meeting Judith more than 15 years ago, noting on subsequent offerings her voracious interest in the topics we covered. Judith has a question for each presenter, no matter the topic. A number of years later, at a symposium addressing the topic of sleep and shiftwork, she shared how particularly interested she was in this topic in relationship to her own recovery from cancer.
Since then I have had the opportunity to learn about the service and gifts she has given others. Judith was a Portland Public Schools teacher for 31 years, retiring in 2004. Although she had already been an active lay leader at Congregation Beit Haverim and also volunteered in the pastoral care program at Providence, in the 15 years since retirement she has dramatically expanded her volunteer work. In addition to working as a substitute teacher and hospital chaplain, she also volunteers to help seniors, cancer survivors, hospital patients and her congregation.
As if that doesn’t sound like an overly full retirement schedule, Judith also volunteers as an AARP Tax Aide Counselor, a Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) Medicare/Medicaid volunteer for Clackamas County, a patient advocate for the OpenNotes Consortium, and has topped 6,000 hours still volunteering at Providence Portland Medical Center where she has played her recorder for patients on “Musical Mondays” for 22 years. She also enjoys traveling. I know there is more, but I’m exhausted just learning about all this, and applaud both her energy and generosity.
We are all so fortunate to have Judith in our community, and I feel honored to know her. We are pleased to know that we will continue to see her at our twice a year symposia! Thank you Judith for all that you do.