August 5, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Eileen Murphy, 2021 Specialist of the Year

Did you know that Dr. Eileen Murphy has eight siblings? Throughout her childhood, she was motivated to care for others and be self-sufficient. Today, not only is she an OB-GYN, but four of her five sisters are also doctors, and the fifth is a registered nurse. Sounds like health care runs in the family! Dr. Murphy is a stellar specialist and a joy to have as a volunteer outpatient gynecologist (and, when called upon, a volunteer vaccinator!). Her altruism is inspiring, and her dedication to bettering the world is apparent in everything she does. Read on to learn more about the wonderful Dr. Murphy!


Is there a specific area of healthcare you are interested in or healthcare experiences you are seeking?

To promote patient health education, self care, autonomy and freedom from needless anxiety or worry.


If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?

To blanket the world with world peace, equity, clean water, and freedom from homelessness.


Do you have any special talents/skills you’d like to share?

Helping patients understand reproductive physiology by simplifying concepts and principles.


Outside of volunteering with CommunityHealth, how do you like to spend your free time?

I am a docent at the Field Museum, and I volunteer at a food pantry (Nourishing Hope), the Indiana Dunes National Park, and the Chicago Architecture Center.


What’s your favorite book or movie?

My favorite book is The Red Tent and my favorite movie is “Dan in Real Life.”


What is something that not a lot of people know about you?

I am totally dependable. If I say I will do something or be somewhere, you can count on me 200%.


If you could be one animal, what would you be and why?

A bird, to be able to fly.


What does your ideal vacation look like?

Hiking in nature’s beauty or learning history in detail.


Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?

I became familiar with CommunityHealth over a decade ago, but my more recent volunteerism began in 2020.


Do you remember your first day? What surprised you?

The wonderful, helpful staff everywhere.


What has kept you volunteering all this time?

I (we) help those who need help.


What is something you’ve learned from volunteering at CommunityHealth?

Every effort counts. Patients are appreciative. Health care barriers abound. Keep trying.


What has been your biggest takeaway from your time with CommunityHealth, and how does this impact your other life or career goals?

Just keep on giving.


How has working with CommunityHealth influenced your perception of healthcare?

We desperately need equitable universal health care. It is truly ridiculous.


Can you share an especially memorable moment working with a patient/fellow volunteer/staff member?

Just because I explained the issues well and understandably, this patient said I was the best gynecologist she ever had.


How can CommunityHealth be more supportive of your journey?

Maybe have all the volunteer gynecologists meet and problem solve every 3-4 months.


What does being a healthcare professional mean to you?

Being frontloaded with holy knowledge of the human condition.


Why is volunteering important to you? What do you get out of it?

It is part of my fabric. You are what you say and do.


What advice would you give to a new volunteer at CommunityHealth?

Lean into the process. Be patient. The support staff following up on your orders and care are incomparable, tireless, efficient, and thorough. Excellent care rules.