Paradigm Health hospice chaplain offers compassion and support

Each year, May is dedicated to National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) in celebration and honor of current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces including those who have died in the pursuit of our freedom. Paradigm Health is a proud partner of the We Honor Vets program and are honored to highlight a conversation with one of our chaplains and a veteran — Tim Overton. 

Q: Talk about your own military career. 
A: I am an IMA chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. This means that I am backfill for full time airman who are currently deployed. My home base is Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Q: Share how you transitioned that career into the one you have now as a chaplain?
A: There are many similarities between all types of chaplains. The burdens of service men and women over a lifetime are special, but the human need for spiritual comfort is universal. I especially enjoy caring for veterans who are receiving services from Paradigm Health. 

Q: What drew you into hospice chaplaincy?
A: I especially enjoy life review with our patients. People have experienced so many wonderful events and the relationships formed over a lifetime are special. I enjoy learning from our patients.

Q: For those that might not know, explain how a hospice chaplain can serve and/or benefit a patient and family?
A: Often, families are simply unaware of how to plan a funeral that honors their loved one. Chaplains are happy to help the family make decisions that align with their faith tradition. On a deeper level, some patients have questions about eternity. Each Paradigm Health chaplain achieved a master of divinity degree. They have studied all the major religions of the world. I am personally a devout Christian and pastor a church. We want each patient to experience spiritual peace.

Q: Does a patient have to be religious to be supported by you?
A: No, chaplains meet each patient and family wherever they are in their spiritual journey and often are there just to provide a listening ear or compassionate support. From navigating complicated family dynamics to dealing with friends, a chaplain is here to assist the patient make the most of their current circumstances. 

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being a hospice chaplain?
A: Scripture speaks about a “peace that surpasses understanding.” There is a reservoir of strength that can reside in the human soul. I love seeing patients find this spiritual peace as they prepare for eternity. 

Chaplain Overton offers a special prayer for all – especially veterans – during this month of remembrance —

“Father, I thank you so much for each of our men and women who have served in the United States armed forces. As a pastor, I am uniquely thankful that my pastoral ministry does not risk death because of the protections promised in the U.S. Constitution. This is not true of my fellow pastors all over the world. Each Sunday they often experience life threatening persecution.  Yet because of our military, our religious rights are protected in America. Freedom is not free. The price is paid by our military to secure our liberty. Please bless each one for their service. They stand upon the wall so that we can live life free. Help us all to express our gratitude, and we ask that you protect our current service men and women. May God bless America. Amen.”