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Hackettstown Regional Medical Center Names Chapel in Beloved Administrator’s Memory

Story by Lisa Dimiceli
Published 4/25/12

Left to right: Jason Coe, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center (HRMC) president; Nancy Kinzli, Forrest’s widow; and Carl Bannister HRMC’s chaplain and manager of Pastoral Care

Forrest Kinzli’s Hackettstown Regional Medical Center (HRMC) family in Hackettstown, N.J., recently looked for a way to honor their friend and colleague, and they came upon a very fitting tribute—the recent naming of HRMC’s chapel the “Forrest Kinzli Chapel.” Kinzli was instrumental in the design of the new chapel, having put a great deal of personal thought and care into the stain glass design. The beautiful stained glass panels and windows in the chapel tell the story of creation in an artful and meaningful way, thanks to his careful selections.

“The chapel dedication was such a great honor,” said Nancy Kinzli, Forrest’s widow. “Forrest would be deeply touched—he felt he was part of a family at HRMC, and it was important to him that the chapel incorporate images of people and nature in the midst of spirituality,” she added.

Kinzli had a written mission statement for life: “To be a fully alive human being, to live with integrity and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

As Organization Integrity Officer for HRMC responsible for overseeing Pastoral Care, Mission Development and Emergency Management, Kinzli made an indelible impact upon everyone with whom he interacted. Prior to coming to HRMC, he served as chaplain at Florida Hospital in Orlando, and, previously as district pastor for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. A native of Nebraska and one who enjoyed learning, one of Kinzli’s favorite classrooms was the great outdoors, where he cherished free time spent hiking with family and friends.

He did his best to live his life’s mission with vigor and tremendous personal faith, until his enthusiastic journey was cut short in February 2011, when he passed away from a brain tumor.

“Throughout his years at HRMC, Forrest touched the lives of many people within our institution in different capacities—he was always conscientious, courteous, reliable and trustworthy,” said Carl Bannister, HRMC’s chaplain and manager of Pastoral Care Services. “Forrest was always willing to offer support to those in need, and he is greatly missed.”

Described as a man of great intuition, perspective and values, Forrest was viewed by everyone around him as an excellent role model of integrity, stewardship and kindness. “Forrest didn’t view people by their position, but valued each for their individual worth. He was very understanding and never judgmental, yet he, himself, always looked for ways to improve,” said Jason Coe, HRMC president.

“Forrest was always approachable and an excellent, active listener,” added Coe. “Those of us who had the benefit of working with [him] appreciated how he helped us look at things from many sides and rethink them, if necessary, based upon his intuition, perspective and strong, personal values.”

“Integrity was very important to Forrest, and he saw that at HRMC - I remember him saying that you don’t always get a sense of integrity within an organization, but he did at HRMC - and he cherished that,” Nancy Kinzli remarked.

Based on the crowd gathered outside the chapel at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center for the naming ceremony, it’s clear that Kinzli’s work family cherished him in return. In retrospect, it’s quite evident that Kinzli did accomplish what he set out to do … and what a fitting and loving way for those who benefitted from knowing him to say with grateful smiles and a few tears, “Mission accomplished, Forrest.”

HRMC is a member of Adventist HealthCare, which is located in Rockville, Md.