Respiratory therapist whose career spans decades also gives freely through volunteer service

Angela Fields is a Norton Children’s respiratory therapist and a longtime dedicated volunteer for Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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Angela Fields is a giver in the truest sense of the word. At work, as a respiratory therapist at Norton Children’s Medical Center, she gives compassionate care to young patients who are having trouble breathing. She takes it upon herself to find ways to connect with the children she treats, gladly studying up on popular cartoons if that means added comfort for the patient. Angela gives joy to co-workers too. She’s known to stop and talk to everyone she sees in the cafeteria, and her holiday decorations are a cherished annual tradition.

Naturally, Angela’s giving doesn’t stop when the workday ends. She’ a longtime volunteer at Norton Healthcare Foundation and Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation events. For Angela, volunteering her time is more than a willingness to help. Rather, it’s something she feels she needs to do.

“Wellness isn’t just about exercising or eating well,” Angela said. “It’s mental health too. For me, serving others is mental health.”

Time and time again, Angela has raised her hand to work golf scrambles, a 5K walk/run fundraiser, Snow Ball, Festival of Trees & Lights — you name it! But if she had to name a single favorite service opportunity, it would be the Norton Children’s Hospital Home & BMW Raffle. The raffle is now in its 14th year, and Angela has been proud to sell tickets for all 14 of the prize houses. A “people person” if there ever was one, Angela has never met a stranger at the raffle’s weekly open houses — or anywhere for that matter.

“I love talking to people and getting to tell them about the lifesaving care supported by our foundations. I can only sell things I believe in,” Angela said.

Role models set an example to help us grow into the best versions of ourselves. Angela grew up watching her mother work as a nurse at Home of the Innocents, a facility that serves various needs of vulnerable children. That example later inspired Angela’s career in health care. Between work and raising a family as a single parent, Angela’s mother stayed busy — but she didn’t let that stop her from finding time to serve the world around her.

“My mom taught me to give back. You’re not supposed to just live your life. You’re supposed to go back and reach somebody and bring them with you,” Angela said.

Service can be a light in the darkness not only for others, but for yourself as well. When Angela lost her best friend in a car accident, she struggled for a long time. She’s grateful that a supervisor eventually pushed her to open her heart back to the world. Today Angela honors her friend’s memory by constantly looking for opportunities to make the world a better place. 

In 36 years with Norton Healthcare, Angela has touched countless lives — both as a respiratory therapist and a volunteer. Those who know her are grateful for the warmth she shares. Many others who don’t know her have benefited from the hope she provides through service.

“You never know what angel you might be entertaining,” Angela said.