MISSION VIEJO, CA, November 23, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Reverend Anette Rihovsky is not your typical hospital chaplain - this San Clemente resident is also a licensed pilot and dog rescuer. Originally from Sweden, Rihovsky came to the United States to get her pilot license. She stayed to do greater work as she had a calling to become a pastor and a chaplain. She joined Saddleback Medical Center in 2006 as a chaplain and for more than a decade, Rihovsky has enriched the culture of the hospital with her compassion and care.
Rihovsky is the November/December recipient of Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award. Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary, with locations in Santa Ana and Mission Viejo, created the recognition program in 2012 to pay tribute to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional care in their profession and community, improving the lives and spirits of those they help.
"Anette is an outstanding woman of incredible strength and encouragement," said Michael Alarcon, managing partner at Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo. "The way Anette can bring spiritual comfort and care to someone as they are at their end of life makes her an inspiring recipient of our Care Award."
For the past two years, Rihovsky has been a part of Saddleback Memorial Hospital's newly formed palliative care team, where she offers spiritual support for those who have a terminal illness. Most of her day is spent at the bedside of her patients to help them find peace at their end of life journey and work through unresolved issues such as anger, forgiveness and fear of dying. Her skillful work has served as a source of comfort for patients as well as their families. Rihovsky often will be asked to help with memorial services and even officiate weddings for other family members.
"My job is not just to care for my patients. I am very much involved in their lives and their family's lives," said Rihovsky. "In sad times and in good times, I am there for them."
Rihovsky is equally dedicated to servicing the hospital staff at the time of their need for spiritual support. On a weekly basis, she organizes "Tea for the Soul," a time just for the hospital staff to relax in a dedicated environment for quiet time, meditation, and a chair massage.
Rihovsky received her master of divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. She is a board certified clinical chaplain from College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church. When not working, Rihovsky enjoys time with her family and her grandchildren who keep her laughing. She loves animals, especially dogs, and is training her own rescue to be a service dog to visit sick children and adults.
On Nov. 16, Rihovsky received her award at Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in Mission Viejo. The Care Awards ceremony also recognized five previously identified winners and their important work in Orange County in the past year. At the banquet, each of the six honorees was presented with a crystal trophy during a special awards presentation. The honorees also were asked to select a nonprofit to receive a special donation in their honor from Fairhaven. Fairhaven's donation on Rihovsky's behalf will benefit ASPCA, American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The 2017 Care Award honorees include:
- Laura Harpster of Orange, caregiver at Senior Helpers
- Sherrie Montgomery of Long Beach, director of Market Development at Vitas Healthcare
- Michelle Wulfestieg of Newport Beach, executive director at the Southern California Hospice Foundation
- Mike Garcia of Aliso Viejo, physical therapist at Laguna Hills Health & Rehabilitation
- Gina Kay of Corona del Mar, founder of In Home Care Solutions and Health Care Academy
- Anette Rihovsky of San Clemente, chaplain at Saddleback Medical Center
Fairhaven is accepting nominations for the 2018 Oliver Halsell Care Awards; six deserving community members are awarded each year. For more information and to nominate an outstanding citizen, call 714-633-1442 or email CareAwards@FairhavenMemorial.com.
About Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award
Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award pays tribute to Orange County individuals whose kindness and dedication to serving others is inspirational. These courageous individuals go above and beyond their job descriptions to serve with the utmost care and compassion. Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Award winners come from many fields including private care, hospice, social work, counseling, assisted living, medical providers, nursing, therapy, volunteer work and more.
Founded in 1911 by Oliver Halsell to provide a peaceful and comforting place for families to honor their loved ones, Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary is Orange County's most beautiful full-service mortuary, crematory and cemetery. With the memorial park and mortuary in Central Orange County and an elegantly appointed mortuary in South Orange County, Fairhaven provides funeral, cremation and burial services both at the time of need and through advanced planning, maintaining its steadfast commitment to care and compassion. Fairhaven is dedicated to celebrating the individual, providing services that are as unique and wide-ranging as the people they celebrate. Additional information is available at http://www.dignitymemorial.com/fairhaven-memorial-park-mortuary. Connect with Fairhaven on Facebook and Twitter.
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