Hospital Bringing Best-Selling Author, Speaker to Hermiston


In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on over 99 percent of his body.

He was given a 1 percent chance to live, but on Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., Good Shepherd Health Care Systems (GSHCS) will be hosting LIVE INSPIRED, featuring  O’Leary at the Hermiston Conference Center. This family-friendly presentation is free and open to the whole community. For more information go online or call 541-667-3509.

This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. Originally printing 200 copies for friends and family, his parents have sold more than 60,000 copies, most in back-of-room sales at O’Leary’s speaking events. It was a book that first invited O’Leary to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world.

John O'Leary
John O’Leary will speak in Hermiston at the Hermiston Conference Center on Aug. 23. (Photo: GSHCS)

O’Leary speaks at more than 100 events each year. One of those events, the Healthcare Service Excellence Conference in Long Beach, Calif., was attended by 18 GSHCS frontline staff, and administrators.

“I was in awe as John shared his story of survival,” said GSHCS Chief Operating Officer Jim Schlenker. “What struck me the most about John’s experience was how much of an impact each of the healthcare workers made in his life. He recounts the story of everyone from the janitor to the physicians and a chance encounter with a hero that would change the rest of his life. I know each of our employees who attended the conference were so inspired that we wanted to invite John to share his story with all of our employees and with our community.”

GSHCS Quality and Customer Experience Coordinator and Service Excellence Initiative Process Director Devin Goldman was moved by hearing O’Leary’s talk.

“His story touched me deeply and one thing he said has stuck with me and is something that I carry with me and want each of our employees to be compelled to ask, ‘What more can I do?’, simple words that have a deep meaning. What more can we do in our jobs, for our co-workers, our patients, our community, our spouses and our children – it’s a mantra I encourage you to ask yourself each day.”



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