Picture of physical therapist holding photo album and smiling

When it comes to serving her community, Vickie Heierman, PT, plays many parts.

Heierman, the longtime rehabilitation director at Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph Jessamine, caught the theater bug when her son was in the drama club in middle and high school.

“I was a drama club mom,” Heierman said. “I traveled to festivals with my son and chaperoned many of his club’s trips. Those experiences got me interested in theater. Many of the people I met volunteered at the Lexington Opera House.”

Built in 1886, the Lexington Opera House hosts a variety of productions each year, including touring Broadway shows, and is home to the Lexington Theatre Company, which brings together Broadway actors, talented college students and local artists for performances. Heierman doesn’t take the stage at the Opera House, but without her and her fellow volunteers, the show might not go on. About 10 times each year, Heierman volunteers to take tickets, show patrons to their seats or check VIP credentials.

“The Opera House enhances Lexington’s culture,” Heierman said. “Being able to see a Broadway show without having to leave town is incredible. I enjoy seeing the energy of theater when I volunteer.”

Ministry and Motion

Contributing to Lexington’s cultural scene isn’t all Heierman does to better her community. She’s an active member of the city’s First United Methodist Church, where her projects have included leading a 34-week Bible study, participating in a mission trip to Puerto Rico, helping with vacation Bible school and serving as church lay leader. Currently, she teaches Sunday school, serves on the intercessory prayer team and volunteers once per year for Room in the Inn, a church program that gives homeless men meals and a place to sleep.

Heierman combines community service with a favorite pastime: running.

“I enjoy participating in charity races,” she said. “I always try to run the Shamrock Shuffle 3K, which supports Lexington Habitat for Humanity, and the Yes Mamm! 5K, which funds free mammograms at CHI Saint Joseph Health facilities. I also compete in a lot of races that support people dealing with addiction.”

Heierman has no plans to retire — she still loves her work after 40 years with CHI Saint Joseph Health — but when she does, she plans to devote more time to volunteering. It’s the role she was born to play.

“Volunteering builds me up and makes me so grateful for what I have.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.