2019 SCHA Awards
Outstanding Senior Care Professional

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David Berg David Berg

David Berg

Position: Spiritual Care Coordinator

Organization: Optimal Hospice


List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
David has his Master’s of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC. He also has his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; California State University San Bernardino, CA. In addition, David has an
Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care Course, CSU Institute of Palliative Care, Grief Coach Certification Talbot Seminary Pasadena Adventist Hospital support group Clinical Pastoral Education: Unit #1 - Dowdy Gardner Center; Columbia, SC Units #2, #3, #4 - Trinity Medical Center, Minot, ND and Beyond Loss: Bereavement ministry and grief support center Training. David is Ordained - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Denominational Endorsement: Ecclesiastical Specialized Pastoral Care (ELCA)
Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain APC Endorsement Committee. David teaches patients, families, and staff re Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives
David also volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, Power 4 Youth Mentor
Care Connections board member (Alzheimer’s day program).

Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Here is Davids story: I met Ed and his son in one of my “Navigating Life’s Changes” support groups. Ed was experiencing early stages of Dementia and had to move into a facility. His wife still lived at home and refused to move in with Ed, saying it would be impossible to live with him as she would become his caregiver. She wants to “have a life” and not be a caregiver. She is very independent and feels if she moves into a facility, she will also become dependent. Ed feels their marriage must be over if she does not want to move in with him. Ed’s son feels caught in the middle and wants to support them both, but feels he needs to take a side. I had conversations with the three of them and the couple separately and they are looking into a compromise. Conversations are difficult and emotional, but progress is being made and I feel they are now better able to express their needs and opinions with each other.

Every time the groups meet, there is more and more empathy between members and they affirm and encourage each other. There are countless stories of support and of heartache with complicated family dynamics but I am encouraged when I see members of the groups opening up and leaning on each other. I have been privileged to hear people’s stories and hear them supporting one another.