Dickenson Community Hospital | News Article

Monday, May 8, 2017

For Wise County’s ‘Jibber’ Ward, Servant’s Heart Award as volunteer comes with lifetime of serving others

Jibber Ward

The annual Servant’s Heart Award, Mountain States’ highest honor, recognizes those among our team members – from frontline to leadership, volunteers and physicians – who display the heart of a servant by following Mountain States’ philosophy of patient-centered care and by going above and beyond the normal call of duty to help others, both at work and in the community.

 

NORTON, Va. – Charles “Jibber” Ward, our 2017 Servant’s Heart Award winner as a volunteer, is a member of the board of directors at Norton Community Hospital and serves as chairman. But his volunteering extends well beyond that, and goes back many years.

Some local residents say you won’t find many people in Wise County who haven’t been positively affected by Jibber in one way or another. His commitment to his local community started early in his life and continues today.

Ward, who lives in Coeburn, has been president/CEO of Miner’s Exchange Bank since 1984 and has held numerous other leadership roles including president of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management Class of 1985. He serves on the board of directors for the Town of Coeburn Economic Development Authority and the Coeburn Housing Rehabilitation Board, and chairs the Coeburn planning commission. Ward has also served on Norton Community Hospital’s finance committee and the Mountain States Health Alliance investment committee, among many other roles.

Ward provided significant support and guidance during the planning and execution of the Norton Community Hospital master facility plan that resulted in renovation and expansion of virtually every department and program at the hospital. As chairman, he encourages and facilitates dialogue and insightful discussion.

“He has always been a positive, community-minded voice of reason and an integral part of the progression of Norton Community Hospital since joining the board of directors in 1992,” said Mark Leonard, VP/CEO for the hospital.

In the community, Ward helped start the Robert Hale Scholarship award, set up through Miner’s Exchange Bank, in honor of a close friend and bank employee who passed away from cancer. The scholarship is awarded to a Coeburn High School student who is considered of strong moral character and seeks to better himself or herself though education.

“Jibber has always known that if you invest in your children’s education, you are investing in the future of the entire community,” said Patty Fields, Jibber’s longtime administrative assistant at the bank.

He has also given considerable time through music and ministry, singing for 44 years in the King’s Messengers Gospel Quartet, along with his wife, Brenda. He has taught Sunday school, conducted Wednesday night Bible studies and serves as associate pastor at the Grand Avenue Church of God of Prophecy. Ward is known throughout the community for his generous nature.

“I know personally that Jibber has been incredibly generous to those in need, providing both monetary, housing and other needs to individuals who fall on hard times,” said Deb Wells, fellow church member and King’s Messenger singer for 44 years. “One such instance recently was when our church pastor passed away unexpectedly. Jibber stepped up to pastor the church while also helping insure that the pastor’s widow continued to receive monetary assistance and housing for six months while she transitioned to living with her one of children.”

One other note regarding Jibber’s singing career: He has volunteered to do an Elvis impersonation at several hospital functions, including the Mountain States volunteer luncheon and the hospital foundation gala. The King’s Messengers have also performed as part of the Norton Community Hospital Christmas program, have appeared several times at the Grand Ole Opry, and have 18 recording projects to their credit.