WDH Chaplain Julien Olivier receives President's Award
All that was needed to understand why Julien Olivier, Hospital Chaplain, received the 14th annual President’s Award was a letter written by Plant Operations employee Stu Gagneaux. At the award ceremony, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital President & CEO Gregory Walker read part of the letter that began, “When I first met Julien he was in my wife’s hospital room doing a headstand and whistling Dixie. Strange but true. I remember thinking to myself, who is this guy?”
The letter describes how very special Stu and Julien’s relationship has become over the past five years since Stu’s wife passed away. When Stu’s wife asked Julien to do a headstand and whistle Dixie, it may have been attributed to heavy medications but, no matter, Julien complied fully and rather successfully. Stu said it was just what the family needed at a very difficult time.
Other nominators described Julien as “gentle”, “invaluable”, “a person of light” and “someone with great grace”. The accolades continued with recognition of his contributions to the Hospital’s Palliative Care Program and his extensive ministry outside the Hospital including 22 years as a volunteer chaplain at the Strafford County House of Corrections. He graciously accepted the $3,000 award and crystal vase as he complimented all the employees in attendance. “I’m just overwhelmed,” he said. “I look around and see so many other good people everyday doing great things. Thank you.”
With a little prompting and to the delight of all attending, Julien played a verse on his harmonica of a French Canadian tune his mother taught him many years ago. Congratulations, Julien!