Physician discusses his choices, relationships, miracles

| February 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Dr. Ralph Hartman addresses a crowd of USAHC-SB staff and mentors during a monthly town hall event, Feb. 8, 2018 on Schofield Barracks. Hartman shared a career of lessons and his own personal cancer diagnosis with those in attendance. (Ramee Opperude, USAHC-Schofield Barracks)

Ramee Opperude
U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks
Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Dr. Ralph Hartman, U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks, shared his career-long experiences and recent cancer diagnosis with coworkers, mentors and family at the Main Post Chapel, Feb. 8.

Hartman, who was being recognized for his 31-year career in medicine and dedication to the Department of the Army, shared some of his lessons learned to an attentive audience at a monthly USAHC-SB Town Hall.

The message began with the usual thanks to the command and his family for flying in, but quickly took on a passionate tone. Hartman shared his reaction to being notified by his urologist that he had been diagnosed prostate cancer.

“I went home and told my wife, Sally. We hugged and cried, and then did the same with my cousin Chip and his wife, Mari. I set my alarm for 5 a.m. to go to work as usual. In the middle of the night, I realized that I could not show up and focus on my patients’ needs, so I called in sick,” he said.

Dr. Ralph Hartman receives the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service from Col. Deydre Teyhen during a monthly town hall event, Feb. 8, 2018 on Schofield Barracks. Hartman received his award in front of colleagues, family and friends before sharing a heartfelt message with those in attendance. (Photo by Ramee Opperude, USAHC-Schofield Barracks)

Hartman went on to describe an approach of “caring for the caregiver.”

He detailed several examples of miracles, choices and relationships, and then Hartman asked the crowd, “Am I making this decision based on love or fear?”

As he prepared to close his address, the audience was clearly moved and emotional. His journey had clearly changed him spiritually.

“Keep your eyes open for miracles and your heart open for love,” said Hartman. “You will get much more satisfaction from this holy work if you practice medicine from the heart and with an attitude of serving. Remember that this U.S. Army Health Clinic is an ohana, (so) treat our patients as family.

“I feel so privileged and honored to have spent my career in this ohana. I was surprised and taken aback by how difficult and emotional it was for me to turn in my military ID and CAC (common access) card. It made me realize just how immensely proud I have been to be a Department of Army civilian, serving those who serve,” he concluded.

Hartman received the Commanders Award for Civilian Service following his address at the town hall.

Dr. Ralph Hartman enjoys a morning on the waves of Oahu. Hartman’s work and life balance included meditation, yoga, and surfing which he highlighted in his address during the USAHC-SB Town Hall event on Feb. 8, 2018. (Photo Provided by Dr. Ralph Hartman)

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