MHHS dedicates chapel stained glass in memory of Mary Bell
Taking part in the blessing of the stained glass window located on the door of the chapel at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System earlier this year are from left, Dr. Gary Brewster, Greater Morristown Ministerial Association president; Dr. Ruth Carpenter, MHHS Chaplain; the Rev. Alan Jewett, GMMA; Linda Marshall, Pam Wright, artist and MHHS staff member; Gordon Lintz, MHHS president and CEO; and the Revs. Susan Schmid, Ken Cole and Jonathan Bewley.
During her 40-year tenure at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System, the late Mary Bell was known for her acts of kindness, both large and small.
As director of volunteers for many years, Bell established the hospital’s chaplain program to help address the emotional and spiritual needs of the individuals who enter the hospital.
So it seemed apt that the chaplains dedicated the stained glass window on the door of the hospital’s chapel in Bell’s memory after it was installed earlier this year. They invited Bell’s granddaughter, Linda Marshall, to be present at the dedication.
The window, like Bell, is softspoken, not boastful in its size or color scheme. It announces the room located behind its stained glass as a quiet place of contemplation and prayer.
“We needed something to direct the eye, to announce there is a place to go and pray,” Sharon Hayes, Director of Volunteer Services.
Located on the hospital’s main floor, near the rear entrance, the chapel has been long used by chaplains; however, Hayes wanted to highlight its entrance in hopes that more people would visit.
“We would like to see the hospital employees use it as well,” she said. “Just seeing it gives you a wonderful feeling — Mary would be proud.”
Hospital volunteers held a bake sale for the funds to commission the window, and — not by concidence, according to Hayes — found a stained glass artist on staff.
Pam Wright, a 15-year employee of MHHS who works as a medical technician in the lab, agreed to take on the project.
The project was completed in three months, with a little more help from the artist’s husband — “I took over his workshop at home,” Wright said.
Bell was also honored in 2013 with the Heart of the Community Award. Her legacy continues with the scholarship established in her memory by hospital volunteers for nursing students. Bell was named the director of volunteers at MHHS in the spring of 1972 and during the intervening years until her retirement in May 2010, she achieved a number of successes while increasing the number of hospital volunteers and the services they perform throughout the hospital.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer