Three generations serve at Good Shepherd Hospital

From left to right: Amy Jo King, Beulah Edwards and Shayna Jo King.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital (GSS) has served Shelby County for 100 years and, for some, working at GSS is a family affair. Three generations of one family currently serve at GSS. For them, it is inspired by one common interest – they love people.

Beulah Edwards works in the dietary department. She came to the hospital in 1993 looking for a job as a CNA. There were no CNA openings at that time but there was one in the dietary department.

The cafeteria was located in the basement at that time. Beulah said, “Within a few days, I didn’t want to leave the dietary department. I love people and I love seeing, visiting with and serving our customers. I got my sanitation license and have been working for this hospital ever since. I love my job.”

Shayna Jo King is Beulah’s granddaughter. She works for the HSHS Medical Group as a certified medical assistant for Shelle Sloan, PA-C, in Shelbyville.

When Shayna was 8 years old, Beulah was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer. After surgery, her recuperation required visits from Sloan for wound care. Sloan would change her dressing and Shayna would sit beside her grandmother throughout the provider’s visit. “She would absorb every detail as Shelle worked on my wounds. She was fascinated,” Beulah said. “I think Shayna’s journey to help others started because she observed my care when I was so ill. My caretakers, nurses and doctors were always so kind to me. It inspired her.

“In fact, Shayna gave a presentation to the students at Midwest Technical Institute about how cancer treatment extended my life. She spoke of how that experience impassioned her to choose a career in the medical field. She gave such a vivid, passionate testimony that it earned her a scholarship for her degree.”

Beulah’s daughter, Amy Jo King, recently began working at GSS as a registrar in the patient access department. Her philosophy echoes her mother’s. She loves people and wants to help others. “I have worked in customer service all of my life,” she said. “At one point, I worked as a phlebotomist for HSHS St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham. When I saw our local hospital was joining the Hospital Sisters Health System, I was excited because I knew that meant an opportunity for growth here. I started working at GSS in June and it was like coming home. My family has always used this hospital, and I have always felt being here was an extension of home. Plus, my two favorite people work here. I love my job.

“Shayna, my daughter, has always been around hospitals. She was born six weeks prematurely and between that and seeing her grandmother go through cancer treatment, I don’t think there was ever a doubt she would serve in the medical field,” Amy said.

Shayna says she knew from a very young age she would be in medicine. “I remember sitting on my grandmother’s lap as she underwent chemo. Her diagnosis was terminal but she never accepted it. It’s been 13 years since then and attitude is everything. She did what the doctors and nurses told her to do and, by God’s grace, she is still living a wonderful life today. She and my mom have been driving forces in my life.” “It’s a bit ironic that I serve with Shelle Sloan now,” Shayna continued. “She was the first person outside of my family to babysit me. She took such wonderful care of my grandmother that I became fond of her as a child. I have known her my whole life.”

Shayna believes she will continue her education in the medical field so she can do more for patients. All three ladies remarked they are proud to serve at a hospital which has a reputation of providing a century of quality health care to its community.

Beulah said, “As I age, I see how fragile life is and how much it means to help someone else. If I can give back a little every day, maybe I can repay some of the debt of kindness I received while I was so ill. I can’t imagine spending my days anywhere but here.”

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