Chad Oppenheimer

Feb 22, 2023 | Team Member Spotlights

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As environmental services manager at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Chad Oppenheimer runs the daily operations of the hospital’s EVS department and has been part of our ministry for eight years.

Working in healthcare runs in the Oppenheimer family.

“My father was a nurse for 20 years and I’ve always gravitated towards helping people,” Oppenheimer says. “I’ve been working in EVS almost my entire career and what attracts me to this job is the constant change and having the satisfaction that my job makes a difference in people’s lives.”

Oppenheimer says his career was most influenced by Jackie Judice, an experienced dietician and administrator in Acadiana who served as EVS and food and nutrition services director at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “She was a great leader I worked for in the past who was great at everything,” he says. 

Healthcare Workplace Diversity

Diversity matters, in all workplaces and especially in healthcare. Additional perspectives can energize teams.

“It is important to have diversity in the workplace because it’s great to hear someone else’s point of view that you may not have thought of before,” Oppenheimer says. “For example, I have some workers from other countries who have different perspectives on certain situations. Sometimes people get tunnel vision and it’s refreshing to hear different ideas and points of view.”

Equity in Healthcare

Many factors determine a person’s overall health including access to transportation, healthy foods and safe living conditions. Screening for and addressing these social determinants of health is a standard part of the care provided across our health system. 

“I’ve always wanted everyone to be treated the same regardless of race, income and/or social status,” Oppenheimer says. “I have worked at other organizations in the past where this was not the case, but I’m happy to say that this organization is truly exceptional in this regard.”

Inspiration Through Black History Month

This year in recognition of Black History Month, our health system is reflecting on The King Center’s 2023 theme to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and life: It Starts with Me: Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset. 

“Black History Month means a lot to me because it’s nice to read and see people of color get recognized for accomplishments when otherwise they may not have been,” Oppenheimer says.

He says he cultivates his community by passing on culture to his children. He says, “Personally, I have a great time teaching my kids about their heritage and where their ancestors come from.”

When he thinks about the contributions of Black Americans in history, Oppenheimer thinks of Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass, Dr. King and Jesse Owens. One of his favorite quotes is from Owens: “Find the good. It’s all around you.”

Our DEI Commitment

Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Black History Month each February.

Interested in joining the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System team? Learn more here.

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