NEWPORT—Tammy Francis was surprised and honored to receive an award at a recent training seminar held at Carson Springs Baptist Conference Center.

The Opus Peace Non-Profit Organization named Francis Ambassador of the Year.

Opus Peace holds workshops and training sessions for health care providers to learn about and treat soul injury.

Soul injury can be experienced by almost anyone and can include victims of sexual assault, accidents, natural disasters, abuse, neglect and domestic violence.

People who have experienced heartache from loss of personal health or a loved one’s health, death of a loved one and even betrayal by a loved one can experience soul injury.

There are many symptoms of soul injury that may range from mildly annoying to intensely overwhelming.

Deborah Grassman, one of the founders of Opus Peace, has 30 years of experience caring for dying veterans and their families.

She approached Francis several months ago about soul injury and its treatment progressing in to the hospice care field.

“That’s when I knew Tammy Francis cared,” Grassman said.

“We were having dinner at a local restaurant several months ago and I was talking to Tammy about soul injury and how the Hospice Foundation of America has come to us about it when she said, ‘You’re on to something, we need this.’

“I said Tammy, Smoky Mountain can be on the cutting edge of this and you and I can go to conferences and present together, and that’s when she said, ‘I don’t care about that.”

Tammy said, ‘We want our patients to have everything. We don’t have soul treatment right now and I want our patients to have that. I want them to have access like that.

‘I don’t care about being at a podium talking about it, I want to be doing it because I care about patient care.’

Grassman said that’s the moment when she knew that Francis had a true love for her patients and their well-being.

“When she said that to me that day it said a lot. That came from a humble heart, that came from a caring heart and that’s why she is receiving this award today.”

Angela Sipe, Executive Director of Opus Peace, presented Francis the Ambassador of the Year award.

Sipe thanked Francis for her courage and service to others.

“It is truly my pleasure to honor you with this award for your courageous honesty, passionate advocacy and humble service.

“Thank you so much for your commitment.”

Francis thanked the Opus Peace Organization for their work with soul injury and the training they provide. She said that providing her employees with the necessary tools to help others is a main focus.

“I am humbled by this honor,” Francis said.

“It is my desire to equip my employees with the tools that will help our patients in the best way possible.

“Home comfort and spiritual healing at the end of life as well as assisting the family members to cope and accept the loss of a loved one, these items are my focus.”

Opus Peace hopes to change how traumatic and insidious soul injury is approached by healthcare professionals and others.

They are developing a nationwide team of ambassadors to promote their message.

Congress recently endorsed a soul injury proclamation, and January has officially been recognized as Soul Injury Awareness Month.

Donations help provide educational materials and workshops for the organization. Visit www.opuspeace.org or www.soulinjury.org to learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation.

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