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For caregiver Theresa Ott, our vision is a way of life

Theresa Ott donated nearly one year’s worth of journals to Beth Draeger, RN, to be shared with breast cancer patients at CCI.

It starts with heart.

That’s the vision of Monument Health. We all strive to share that vision, but for some caregivers it just comes naturally. Theresa Ott, a Patient Services Specialist at Monument Health Rapid City Clinic, 5th Street, is a perfect example.

When her 60th birthday approached, she wanted to do something special to celebrate. As a 28 year breast cancer survivor, she decided that she wanted to donate journals for breast cancer patients starting treatment.

“I thought the journals would be great. Well then my daughter got involved,” Theresa said with a smile. “She made little note cards with inspirational sayings, she added pink ribbon lapel pins and then we have pink pens with the breast cancer pink ribbon on them.”

Theresa planned to donate 60 journals — commemorating her 60th birthday — but when she put the word out on social media her friends, family members and community members got involved. Before she knew it, she collected more than 220 journals, which is almost the amount that the Cancer Care Institute gives to patients in one year.

Every month, the 5th Street Clinic does a public service or charity project, benefitting different causes and organizations in the community. “Theresa will tell you that everyone here is eager to give and help others,” said Tracy Charles, Patient Access Supervisor. “And that’s true. The people here are incredibly generous, but Theresa truly is a driving force behind our monthly giving projects. There’s a reason that people here call her ‘our own Mother Theresa.’ She has the biggest heart.”

Theresa is an inspiration to those around her, and a reminder to put their heart into everything that they do, both on and off the clock. For her, Monument Health’s vision is an apt description — it starts with heart. “I always say that your attitude, your mind, is your best healer,” Theresa reflected. “No matter what is wrong. If you can just give, then you will receive.”

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