“I support PHM because I know what it can do. I’ve lived, received, and supported it, so I’ve benefitted from all three perspectives. Utilizing the service as a nurse, as a family member, and supporting the service as an administrator has given me the privilege and opportunity to know why it’s so important.”

– Mimi Harris

Mimi Harris, a long-time PHM board member, has witnessed the growth of PHM over the years and experienced its profound impact from three distinct perspectives – as a dedicated nurse, a hospital administrator, and a family member.

Mimi first came to Hawai‘i at a young age when her father, a Navy Pilot, was stationed on the islands. Though not born in Hawai’i, she spent all but four years on Oahu and embraced it as her home.

Throughout her remarkable 45-year career with The Queen’s Health System, she served in numerous roles, starting as a bedside nurse for 13 years, then as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Geriatrics after obtaining her Master’s degree. Though not her initial goal, she eventually migrated into management, where she embraced a new leadership path for the latter part of her career and retired as Vice President of Patient Care & Chief Nursing Officer.

During her time as a nurse, Mimi witnessed the invaluable support chaplains provided to patients and families in the hospitals. However, staff often did not understand that this service was in fact operated by Pacific Health Ministry. While she wasn’t involved during PHM’s inception, her boss at the time, Duane Walker, VP of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, served on the Board and emphasized the importance of PHM and its role within the hospital.

Reflecting on the impact of chaplaincy in the hospitals, she recalls working closely with Rev. Cary Speaker and Rev. Al Miles, who still serves at The Queen’s Medical Center, emphasizing their multilevel effect in the fast-paced patient care environment.

“Their presence allows staff to call on them as needed and frequent check-ins like “Tea for the Soul,” where tea and cookies are shared between chaplains and staff, create a cherished sense of camaraderie and trust.”

During traumatic events within hospital units, chaplains become a cornerstone in helping staff process their emotions through debriefing sessions. They offer spiritual support through meaningful practices such as “Blessing of the Hands,” a prayerful moment shared by all, fostering a profound sense of connection and peace.

In the years to come, Mimi would experience the impact of chaplains firsthand when her mother was hospitalized. While reflecting on that difficult time, she expressed the calming effect of chaplains.

“Being there to pray with us and offering comforting words was very reassuring. It’s wonderful knowing that people know who you are and care about you.”

While she is retired, Mimi continues to serve as a PHM Board member and support the organization. Her passion for PHM stems from her profound understanding of its impact.