ComfortCare Women’s Health Staff Members


Stephanie Crawford, President & CEO
Family:  I have been married to my husband, Ches, since 2010.  We met on a blind date and were the eighth couple that our “matchmaker” set up that ended up getting married.  We live in Ches’ hometown of Bridgewater, VA with our two furry children – our dogs, Booker and Banyan.
When did you start working at ComfortCare? I started April 10, 2017!
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I think this changes for me daily, as I continue to meet new people and see fresh perspectives.  I have met so many amazing people at work for this ministry – from our prayer coordinators, to all of our staff, our volunteers, and our clients.  Each of them inspires me in different ways.  Most significantly though, as I talk to each of them, they clearly demonstrate a heart for the work that the Lord has called them to complete here in the Augusta/Rockbridge areas.  They each reflect different gifts, but use them in unity as they are drawn towards this greater purpose.  I am blessed to come to work each day in an environment that strives daily to show the love of Christ to those in need.
What is your favorite part of your job?  Not sure yet!  However, as I am learning, I have greatly enjoyed spending time at each of the locations – learning about the communities, engaging individually with our volunteers and their support staff, and praying over the clients that come to see us.  It has been inspiring to see this ministry in action.
What is your favorite patient story? So far, I have only had an opportunity to sit in on one client session.  It was truly amazing!  A client walked in that was certain she was pregnant, battling sickness, unsure of where she was going to live, without a car or a phone, no relationships with her family, and worried about keeping her job.  When I walked into the room alongside her advocate, you could just feel the brokenness.  After introductions, she was quick to tell us that she was in a hurry and gave all signs of being closed off to deeper conversation.  The advocate acknowledged her concerns and started engaging the woman in conversation about her circumstances.  Slowly, you could see the barriers go down as the advocate spoke life into her situation.  What I loved about it was that the advocate did not just speak to the life of the child, but spoke to the life of the client as well.  The advocate showed her that life matters…that her life mattered.  The body language changed.  The tone of voice calmed.  The tears surfaced.  I believe our advocate made an invaluable connection that day, for our client and for her baby.  It was beautiful to witness.


Wanda CrosbyWanda Crosby, Vice President of Medical Services
Family:  I’m married to my husband, Dale, and together we have two children, Amy and Tommy, and 3 grandchildren, Charlotte, Jude and Lucy.
When did you start working at ComfortCare? October 2006.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? The desire of ComfortCare to reach out to every woman in our community and to be the voice of truth and love to them.
What is your favorite part of your job? I love being able to be a resource to young families and to open their eyes to the preciousness of the life they have been blessed with through ultrasound.
What is your favorite patient story?  A young woman came in with two children in an abusive relationship. She felt she had no option but to abort. After counseling she was still set on aborting, she came into the ultrasound room not wanting to look at the screen.  Part way through the ultrasound, she asked to see the screen and her 9 week old baby waved to her as she looked on. She became tearful and sat on the table sobbing saying “I didn’t know it was a real baby.” She had believed the lies of the world that it was just a clump of cells. We got her into a safe house and literally saved the lives of her two children, herself and her unborn baby.


Melissa Szulkowski

Melissa Szulkowski, Vice President of Operations
Family:  I am married to my husband of 16 years, Jamie. We have a 10 year old son, a dog and a cat.
When did you start working at ComfortCare? I started working here in March of 2006 in what I *thought* was to be a temporary position. 🙂 Oops.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I love working here! All of the staff and volunteers make such a great team. Everyone does their own part but if someone else needs help, we always pitch in where needed. I’ve just never worked in such a loving, caring environment before – it’s amazing!
What is your favorite part of your job?  While I don’t get to work directly with any of our patients, I love the “behind the scenes work.” I love to see our fundraising plans & events come together. I love it when we print a new newsletter and it looks amazing. I love it when we get great reports from a community event we’ve gone to.
What is your favorite patient story? Since I don’t work directly with patients, I don’t have any personal stories. But, I love it when we hear of a patient that’s come in who has challenges with her situation (exactly why we’re here – to listen and help her talk through these issues) and then find out that she’s keeping her baby!

Jenn Wade

Jenn Wade, Vice President of Advancement
Family:   I’ve been married to my husband, Mike, for 18 years. We were highschool sweethearts, but didn’t get married until after I finished college. We are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Lauryn, 15 and Carmen, 12.
When did you start working at ComfortCare? Although I have volunteered with ComfortCare for over 8 years as a graphic designer, participating in walks and banquets, I started working here as a staff member in September of 2014.
What inspires you about ComfortCare?  I am inspired by this ministry and the purpose it serves in our community. The stories I’ve read, I’ve heard and I’ve seen of changed hearts and changed minds are remarkable.
What is your favorite part of your job?  As a trained graphic designer, I love the creativity of my position. Not only do I get to come up with ideas, but those ideas are then supported and inspired by others and then I get to make those ideas come to life on paper or on screen.
What is your favorite patient story? My favorite patient story was a patient who was very unsure of the timing of her pregnancy. She knew she wanted to be a mom, just not at that time. She’d just graduated college and was starting a new life on her own. She came to ComfortCare for pregnancy confirmation and was given the support and hope she needed to decide to carry her pregnancy to term. She was referred to a local OB/GYN office where she found out through ultrasound that she was not having one, but TWO babies! Twins! Her twin boys were born very prematurely, but they’re doing well now and she is one of the strongest, bravest women I know. You can read Brianne’s full story here.

Lola WidenerLola Widener, Vice President of Patient Services 
Family: I’m married to Robert, my high school sweetheart. We just celebrated 36 years together! We have 3 grown children and 3 grandkids who call us Pops and Nana! With that configuration – our life is anything but boring!!
When did you start working at ComfortCare? 1989. I know I started ‘working’ when we were still in the Jewish synagogue – doing stats, of all things.)
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I am inspired on two levels. The first would be total amazement about how the Holy Spirit moves in this ministry to open up the patients and woo them to Himself. The other level would be how volunteers and donors are open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to give of themselves and their money so faithfully – they truly catch the heart of God!
What is your favorite part of your job? The people – whether in the counseling room, at a fundraiser, in a classroom or youth group or training the volunteers – all of these would be my favorite.
What is your favorite patient story? When you have worked in patient services as long as I have, it is hard to pick a favorite but two unusual ones that always stay with me are: (1) I had a patient who was considering abortion mainly because her boyfriend wasn’t supportive. She changed her mind and then continued to keep in contact. She actually brought me one of her ‘pregnancy pictures’ and continues to invite me to her son’s birthday parties every year. (2) I did the KISSN program at a county high school and met a young man who made a point of showing me that he took the KISSN Challenge. Then for the next 3 years when I would go to do the program at that school, he would see me, pull out his wallet and show me the card, reminding me that he was still taking the challenge – that was amazing!


ReneeRenee Craig, Director of Advancement – Augusta

Family: I’ve got a handsome husband and two preschool girls…plus some spirited chickens!
When did you start working at ComfortCare? I began as a volunteer with ComfortCare in 2011.  I was a Receptionist and Patient Advocate.  I later became a paid staff member in 2016, as the Director of Advancement.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I’m truly inspired by the fact that we are doing things at each of our centers that are the tangible hands and feet of Christ.  There are girls, women, and men out in our community that have real needs – and we are sending them out of our doors with some of those needs met!  I am in awe at all of the various services patients can receive here – everything from a presentation of the salvation gospel to a handmade baby blanket.
What is your favorite part of your job? On the day of a fundraising event that I have spent months planning every detail for, I love to just stop and take a minute to look around.  The event is successfully going on around me and I think, “Wow, its happening!  All the hard work I put in has meant something.  The money we raise during today’s event will be transformed into real help for a baby that God is growing inside a mother at this very moment!”  That’s very fulfilling for me.
What is your favorite patient story? I was a Patient Advocate (peer counselor) at the time and was also expecting my first child.  I remember the patient I was counseling that day was feeling stressed about her pregnancy situation.  Once I told her that I, too, was expecting and that many of the feelings she felt were not because of her life situation but were normal, her tone seemed to change.  She seemed a lot more at ease, knowing that she was not alone.  I was able to identify with her situation and, hopefully, encourage her that she could do it!  She ended up carrying her baby to term and giving birth to a beautiful baby.  I was so happy for her and her child and also a little proud that I was able to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.  God is good!!

 


Mary Kuhar

Mary Kuhar, Nurse Manager – Rockbridge

Family: I am happily married to Glenn Kuhar, who is a worship leader at Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington, Virginia.
When did you start working at ComfortCare?I started working for ComfortCare in the spring of 2012.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? It’s a wonderful ministry that provides assistance for women in all facets of their lives.  It is also because of gracious, loving people, businesses, and churches that our ministry is able to thrive in each of our communities.
What is your favorite part of your job?  Getting to provide hope and resources to ladies who are at a crucial point in their life is a priceless part of my job.

 

 

 


Tammy Persinger, Director of Patient Services – Augusta
Family: I am the proud mother of two of the most precious gifts God could have ever instilled in my care, two teenagers, Josh and Bethany.
When did you start working at ComfortCare?   I started working for ComfortCare in October 2015.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? There are so many aspects of ComfortCare that inspire me. However, I would have to say “hope” is at the forefront. As women are faced with the challenges of unplanned pregnancies, ComfortCare comes along beside them on their difficult journey. To see that glimpse of hope in our patients’ eyes is priceless….and to know that God has touched their lives is an added blessing.
What is your favorite part of your job:  Working for ComfortCare is such an incredible experience in many different ways. My job allows for the best of both worlds, so to speak. I am blessed to be able to interact with our volunteers on a daily basis, as well as be a part of what takes place with our patients. Both allow me the opportunity to extend Christ’s love and compassion to others.
What is your favorite patient story? I have no “favorite” patient story. All the interaction I have with patients not only touches my heart, but allows for growth in my life as well.


Lisa SaundersLisa Saunders, Director of Community Education – Augusta

Family: My husband, Crain, and I have been married for 22 years and have been blessed with 3 amazing children: Aaron, 20; Anna, 18; and Aidan, 15.
When did you start working at ComfortCare?  I started working here in March of 2016.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? First, I am amazed that we get to do what we do because of so many committed donors and volunteers.  I am also inspired by the dedicated staff that I have witnessed give so much of themselves to meet the needs of the women and families we serve.
What is the favorite part of your job? I love watching the young people engage and connect to our curriculum knowing that something they hear or see will have a positive impact on them for the rest of their lives.
What is your favorite patient story? Though I don’t have direct patient contact, I do love to hear about all of the healthy, happy babies that get their start through the many ComfortCare services.

 

 


Melissa Wolcott
 Melissa Wolcott, Director of Development
Family:  I’ve been married to my husband Brent for 7 years now and we have been blessed with 3 children, Olivia, Asher, and Micah.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I am inspired every time I hear that a patient chooses to “parent.” This tells me that God is moving in the counseling room, through our staff and volunteers and it excites me to know more lives are changed!
What is your favorite part of your job? While I don’t work directly with our patients, I favor my position in this ministry that plays a part in the overall goal of saving the preborn and reaching their families for the cause of Christ
What is your favorite patient story? I don’t have a specific patient story, but while working at ComfortCare I’ve represented our ministry at numerous community events. I have had many people come up to me sharing how ComfortCare helped “their daughter” or “their granddaughter” or even themselves and how they always had such a great experience. I have been blessed to meet some of the babies too.


Holly Zickefoose

Holly Zickefoose, Director of Patient Services & Director of Community Education – Rockbridge
Family: My parents and younger sister live nearby – outside of Staunton and in Harrisonburg, respectively.  I have an older sister who lives in New Hampshire and an older brother who lives in North Carolina with his wife and 4 children.  In addition, I recently adopted an energetic puppy named Millie.
When did you start working at ComfortCare? I started working for ComfortCare in July 2012.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I am inspired by the volunteers who give so freely of their time in order to support the ministry.
What is your favorite part of your job: I love the positive atmosphere as well as the individuals I get to be around every day. It is such a blessing to get to be a part of the love and support that is extended to our patients.
What is your favorite patient story? Not too long after I started working for ComfortCare, I had the opportunity to talk with a young woman who was contemplating abortion. After we had talked, her boyfriend came in the room for the results of the pregnancy test. Although he seemed uninterested and was apparently pressuring his girlfriend to abort, he seemed to have a miraculous change of heart after listening to what the nurse had to say. It was amazing to see how God orchestrated the conversation to speak to the boyfriend’s heart. During their next visit for an ultrasound, the couple reported that they planned to either parent the child or put it up for adoption.

BOARD MEMBERS:

Chairman: Pastor Tim Bohlman, M.Div.

Vice Chairman:

Secretary: Leslie Wiggs,  BSW

Treasurer:

Member: Sam Calhoun, Esquire

Member: Ethelyn Kilmer

Member: Heather Kilgore

Member: Curt Wilbur