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Story by Beth Bayless. Photos by Susan Brown.

There is an old saying, “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying.”

calloutDouglas Johnson is a woman whose actions and words are in harmony, as she brings hope and joy to those she meets as a volunteer at CrossOver Healthcare Ministries. In October, 2014, CrossOver acknowledged that harmony when they presented Douglas with a Compassionate Care Award. This award recognized her more than ten years of volunteer service to people with medical needs.

So who is Douglas Johnson? She is a wife, mother, grandmother, active volunteer, potter, retired nurse practitioner, and a Christian who loves to serve. A native Richmonder, she married her high school friend and sweetheart Carl Johnson shortly after graduating from MCV/VCU School of Nursing. She took a break from nursing after the birth of her children but returned to her profession when they reached school age. Later, Douglas went back to school to become a nurse practitioner in the area of cardiology.
Crossover honors Douglas JohnsonWhen her son became ill, she retired from nursing to help his family. After his death, Douglas felt at loose ends and that was when she embarked on the path that led to her interests today. Learning to create pottery was one way she dealt with grief. Seeing clay become items of usefulness and beauty reminded her of the lines of the hymn:

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Douglas discovered another outlet when she was invited to join a Saturday mission trip to CrossOver Healthcare Ministries. CrossOver, which provides free health care to nearly 7000 patients every year, needed help to clear a backlog of patients who were entering their system. Douglas found her niche. For over ten years she has gone to CrossOver once a week to provide office nurse services to clients. She interviews patients, prepares them to see the physician, and if needed, provides education about their disease and its treatment.

Crossover honors Douglas JohnsonThis year Douglas’s interests in CrossOver and pottery merged as she donated the proceeds from the sale of some of her pottery to CrossOver.
As Douglas reminisced about her time at CrossOver, a smile crossed her face and she noted, “About two years ago, I realized why I do this. I am helping bring the *Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia.”

Watch video of Douglas serving at CrossOver.
Get more information about CrossOver.
*Read more KOH2RVA stories.


Beth BaylessBeth Bayless, a native of North Carolina, came to Richmond in 1984 after stops in Ohio and Georgia. A registered dietitian for almost 50 years, she received her BS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MS from Emory University. Beth sings in the Church Choir and JoySingers, and is a member of the Builder’s Class. Now retired, Beth enjoys taking Osher Lifelong Learning classes at the University of Richmond, going to ACAC (an exercise center) and chasing the goal of finishing a family history.

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