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 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.
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.
Family: I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Mike, for nearly 20 years. We are blessed with two beautiful teenage daughters, Lauryn and Carmen.
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 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!
Tell us about your name and family. Jerelyn – a name with purpose: Jerelyn is from the Hebrew language and means, “Living for God.” There’s an old song that states my philosophy of life. It goes like this, “We are the reason He gave His life and He is my reason to live.” From birth, I knew my purpose was to “live for God.”
Commitment to service was at the core of the Christian home where I was raised. My father never missed a Sunday preaching in over fifty years. My mother was equally dedicated to her husband, children, home and service. In my heart, there is nothing as special as Christian ministry.
I have been blessed with one son who proudly serves our country, a loving daughter-in-law, three beautiful grandchildren, and two adorable great-grandchildren.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? I have been inspired by ComfortCare’s ministry to women. What ministry do you know that touches the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an unplanned pregnancy? ComfortCare does and that inspires me! The programs give help to the women that enter the doors and support to the family, friends, and guys that are also going through this experience.
Since you are new to ComfortCare, tell us what you are looking forward to doing in your position. In serving at ComfortCare, I will be part of a team that brings hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the discouraged, support to the one who feels all alone, light to the darkness, and shares God’s love that offers a brighter future.
Our fundraising events will promote the true, positive image of the agency to churches, the community, and individuals. When they embrace our mission and when they know of lives changed, support will be there: both financially and through volunteers.
All of this is to the glory of God, not to ourselves, but oh what fun to serve Him.
Tell us about your family: As the oldest of seven, I was raised in a loving Christian family that treasures life and encourages active support for the pro-life cause. I’ve lived in the Shenandoah Valley for 11 years and am thankful to call this place home.
How long have you been involved with ComfortCare and in what capacity? I started volunteering as a patient advocate in October of 2017, and, while continuing the volunteer activities, also became a staff member in June of 2019.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? Several things: the mercy of Christ – which is why we’re here to share it with patients, how we can see God working in their hearts even while they sit with us, and the lives – both of mothers and babies – that are changed through the ministry of Comfort Care.
Do you have a favorite patient story you’ve been involved with that you’d like to share? Actually the common theme among a good number of patients that’s the most thrilling to me is when I’ve had the opportunity to see someone’s heart changed. These women, who come in with abortion in mind, and leave planning to carry and parent her child is my favorite story ever. It’s been incredibly clear to me that sometimes a woman just needs someone to be there for her, and walk her through the options she has. This is why ComfortCare exists, and it’s so encouraging to personally witness how fruitful this ministry truly is.
What are you looking forward to in this job? As a volunteer, I love working with patients, and appreciate the incredible staff that assists us. Now as a staff member myself, I look forward to working with our team to support the ministry, assist in using the resources God has given us, and build relationships with our amazing, supportive community as we continue to serve our patients.
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.
Ruth Peaden, Director of Patient Services – Lexington
Tell us about your family: My husband Kris an I have been married for 21 years and are somewhat empty nest-ers. We have two boys: Trent, who lives in Va Beach and Joshua, who is attending Radford University. Our other children are our dogs, Pi & Sparky, and our turtle Oscar. My husband and I moved here to start a Nazarene Church in Rockbridge County.
What inspires you about ComfortCare? Comfort Care inspires me because it looks at the whole person through the eyes of Jesus: lenses of love and compassion; Loving them right where they are when they don’t know where to turn or what they’re going to do, equipping them to make educated decisions, and supporting them thru counseling and resource referrals.
What are you looking forward to in this job? I am looking forward to partnering with and watching our Magnificent Maker at work.
Chairman: Curtis Wilbur
Vice Chairman: Dr. Stacy Clark
Secretary: Danielle Wolfe
Treasurer: Amy Yoder, CPA
Member: Scott Risser
Member: Cheryl Nester
Member: Michelle Spivey
Member: Pastor Steve Paulus