Cindy Kim Hengst
Cindy Kim Hengst is a former NBA board member and currently serves as the convener for the AAPI Young Adult Peer Learning and Wellness Group. Her professional life started in healthcare as a radiation therapist in Cincinnati, Ohio working at a University Hospital setting treating pediatric patients to veterans. Her work brought her to Illinois where she took a position in a busy suburban hospital where she was encouraged to pursue further leadership roles and education. Ultimately, this resulted in managing a Radiation Oncology department for eight years in the western suburbs of Chicago. Her initial passion for healthcare was working with patients and developing relationships with them over the course of their treatment. As a manager, she was able to pivot this service by ensuring patient billing and finances were not being mismanaged by staff or third-party payers. Her focus was always on patients being offered the best treatment modalities in the area. Since having left healthcare, she has intentionally sought out ways to continue serving others. Much of this service has been in local and general church ministries, including mentoring families struggling with transitional housing concerns, leading preschool programs in the church, and serving on general ministry boards of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has been an active member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for more than 20 years in a variety of ways, including with NAPAD, Global Ministries, and with local regional ministries. She enjoys experiencing the world anew through the eyes of her young child and all the joys (and woes) that brings.
Getting to know Cindy
Why do you feel “called to care” about Disciples health and social service ministry?
Having worked in various cancer centers for over 10 years, I always felt fulfilled in serving and meeting the needs of others; both from patient care and an administrative perspective. Since having left my professional world to be at home to raise our daughter, I’ve intentionally sought out opportunities and ways to continue to impact others.
This opportunity is yet another door being opened for me to serve others not only in my own community but a larger community. I look forward to the work and joys that working with this organization will bring to the life of others and myself.
Who is a hero of yours, and why?
My folks. As an adult, I truly recognize the bravery and commitment of my parents; moving to a foreign land, learning a foreign language, and doing whatever it took not just to survive, but thrive. All the while, they never forgot where they came from, how they got there, and who deserved the glory for their success. Now, they are retired and enjoying the fruits of their bravery and commitment. I hope that I am able to continue living out their example of bravery and commitment to the things I believe in.
If I tried to find you in a supermarket, what aisle would you be in?
I would be in the produce section of my local supermarket; looking at the produce that is a little unusual and loading my cart with fruit. While my child will not touch vegetables, I can get her to try any fruit, so we ALWAYS have fruit in our home.