Donna Meyers enjoys being out in the community as much as possible helping people in need.
And she does just that as the director of mission integration/pastoral services and community benefits at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville.
However, she admits that she can’t do it alone. “I have a lot of people who help me,” Meyers said.
Meyers, 55, was recently recognized as a “Faith in the Marketplace” Awardee by the Diocese of Belleville. “It’s humbling,” she said of her award. “I really enjoy my work.”
Meyers enjoys being able to meet different people. “I work with a lot of people in East St. Louis and Belleville,” she said.
As part of the community benefits aspect of her job, Meyers helps with the hospital’s ministry at Cosgrove Soup Kitchen in East St. Louis.
The hospital conducts blood pressure screenings at the soup kitchen once a month, Meyers said.
“We have a lot of regulars,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
They usually have between 30-35 people who participate. Individuals who get blood pressure screenings receive a free hygiene kit. Meyers said hospital employees donate items for the kits.
“That’s really helped that relationship building,” she said.
In November, the hospital will be providing flu shots at the soup kitchen. “That takes a little bit more work as no body likes shots,” Meyers said.
Meyers previously worked as a front-line nurse at the St. Elizabeth’s UrgiCare Center in O’Fallon when it first opened in 1997. “It was new and they didn’t have a lot of patients then,” she said.
After two years, Meyers said her family was relocated by the military. Her husband, Mark, was in the U.S. Air Force.
Donna Meyers is also retired from the military. She served as a nurse in the Air Force. She was active duty from 1984-90 and served as a reservists after that. Her last three years was active duty as part of the Global War on Terrorism. She was stationed in Tampa, Fla.
“I ran a special operations command clinic,” Meyers said.
During their military careers, the Meyers lived a lot of places including Florida, California and Korea.
Donna and Mark Meyers have two children. Their 25-year-old daughter is a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Wyoming, where she is a nuclear missile launch officer. Their son is a senior at St. Louis University where he is double majoring in communications and studio art.
When her husband retired, they moved back to O’Fallon in 2006. “One of the reasons we came back was because of our church, our school, our community,” she said. “That was a big draw.”
In 2006, Meyers was hired once again at St. Elizabeth’s. This time to run the RN Residency Program, which she did for five years.
Meyers is active at her church — St. Clare Parish in O’Fallon. She teaches and sponsors individuals who are interested in becoming Catholic.
“You kind of walk with new members who want to enter the faith,” Meyers said.
She grew up in Indiana where her 95-year-old mother still lives. Meyers has two brothers and a sister, Joanne Marie Schutz who is a religious nun. “She’s been a great inspiration to me over the years,” Meyers said.
Q: Do you have words to live by?
A: “Be grateful for things that you have and the need to share that with others.”
Q: Whom do you most admire?
A: “My mother, Rachel Schutz, my father, Herbert Schutz, and my sister, Joanne Marie Schutz.”
Q: If you could spend time with a famous person, past or present, who would it be?
A: “Pope Francis. He really pushes us outside of our comfort zone to extend ourselves to those poor and vulnerable people.”
Q: What is the last book that you read?
A: “‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ It’s trying to be the person you were supposed to be, not the person other people want you to be. It’s actually a really cool book. I’m reading it for the second time.”
Q: What do you do for fun and relaxation?
A: “In the summer, we like to go water skiing and boating. I like to have people over and have parties at my house.”
Q: What is the usual state of your desktop?
A: “It’s a surprise. Sometimes it’s neat and sometimes it’s not.”
Q: What did you want to do career-wise when you were growing up?
A: “I always wanted to be a nurse.”
Q: What do you think is your most outstanding characteristic?
A: “A welcoming spirit for people.”
Q: What irritates you most?
A: “My own absented mindedness.”
Q: What type of music do you listen to?
A: “A mix of country, pop, Christian, ’80s, oldies, dance music.”
Q: If you were independently wealthy, what would you be doing?
A: “I’d probably quit (my job). I would do a lot of volunteer work probably with the poor and travel. I think I’d start yoga.”
Q: When they make a movie of your life, who would play you?
A: “She doesn’t look like me, but I like her personality — Sandra Bullock.”
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you have with you?
A: “My husband.”