A Legacy of Caring
Dr. John "Pat" O'Gara and his wife, Marilyn, dedicated their professional lives—and now their post-retirement years—to caring for others.
"I believe God put us on this earth to take care of each other," Mrs. O'Gara says. She practiced as a nurse at Methodist for more than 20 years.
"Nursing can be a challenging profession, but I truly enjoyed and found much satisfaction caring for my patients," she adds.
Dr. O'Gara joined Methodist as a board-certified anesthesiologist in 1970 and practiced until 2004.
"I took great interest in communicating with my patients before surgery, getting to know them and providing reassurance and emotional support," he says.
He also took great pride in teaching the next generation of caregivers. He volunteered to have a medical student shadow him, routinely, 6-8 hours a day.
"The greatest joy I had in medicine was teaching medical students," Dr. O'Gara says.
After his retirement, he continued to teach, volunteering at Nebraska Methodist College for 10 years.
"We've always been proponents for education in whatever we've been doing in the medical field," Mrs. O'Gara says.
That admiration for education and Methodist's role in their lives have inspired the O'Garas to support the hospital and Nebraska Methodist College financially for more than four decades.
"We've been very blessed from our association with Methodist," says Mrs. O'Gara, who became an active Methodist volunteer after her retirement.
They encourage others to celebrate and help strengthen Methodist through planned gifts to Methodist Hospital Foundation.
Several O'Gara family members are now continuing their legacy of caring. Son Jeff O'Hern transitioned to a nursing career (at Methodist) after seven years in the corporate world. Daughter Julie O'Gara is studying to become a nurse practitioner in Kansas City. Now, a third generation is joining in—granddaughter, Jessie O'Hern is also pursuing a nursing career in North Dakota.
"That slogan—the Meaning of Care—has meant so much to me since I retired because that's what it was all about," Dr. O'Gara says.
You too can create a legacy for future generations at Methodist. Contact Elizabeth Borisow at (402) 354-4825 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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