Sarah DierkerALTON – Sarah Dierker has become quite familiar with the BJC system as she begins serving as chaplain for Alton Memorial Hospital.

A native of Pittsfield, Ill., Sarah succeeded Bruce Baumberger upon his retirement Jan. 4. Sarah served a chaplain internship at Christian Hospital in 2016 and most recently was a chaplain resident at Barnes Hospital.

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“I got into Christian education to be a youth leader, but upon graduation I was advised to look at becoming a chaplain,” Sarah said. “After just a short time at Christian Hospital, I just loved it.”

After becoming the youth leader at Webster United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Sarah returned to BJC at Barnes, where she focused on four units -- cardiac surgical step down; colorectal urology surgical; thoracic surgery; and general medicine.

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“You see a lot just in those units, and I was on call quite a bit,” Sarah said. “But it was all a great experience, and I came to really love the BJC system.”

Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion, with concentrations in New Testament and Church History, from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., in 2011; and a Master of Divinity, concentrations in Christian Education, and Biblical/Historical Theology, from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 2016.

She is in the process of being ordained as a deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2019 and is also active in P.E.O., a women’s organization that supports educational opportunities for women. Sarah also sits on the board of directors of a new non-profit organization called Bridge Builders, STL. It’s a program that helps high school students develop intercultural/interfaith understanding while helping them develop community leadership skills. Her hobbies include hiking, knitting, reading and baking.

“I’m looking forward to serving the employees and patients at Alton Memorial,” Sarah said. “I had known Chaplain Bruce before coming here, and getting a chance to spend time with him and learning has been very helpful.”

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