Humanists provide care with empathy and compassion while promoting science and reason, the struggles of working in religious institutions like hospitals and prisons, and the importance for humanists in the healthcare field to meet together and organize.
Our panel included Ovais Khalil, a cardiac trauma ICU nurse; his wife Megan, a mental health counselor who has worked in prisons; Jonathan Bailey, an LPN with the United States Army; and Kurt Robicheaux, lead certified ophthalmic technician at an ophthalmology referral center. They discussed the importance of humanism in the healthcare field and introduced the group: Humanists in Healthcare (on Facebook here).
Ovais Khalil is a cardiac trauma ICU nurse and a co-founder of Healthcare Humanists. After graduating high school, Khalil joined the Marines but later contracted a rare illness which forced him to become hospitalized. He was able to recover to a degree but was medically retired from the Marine Corps after four years. He completed a bachelors of science in computer networking in security and worked as a cyber security specialist for five years earning the CISSP certification. At that time, Khalil was a fundamentalist Christian and hoped to receive a Masters of Divinity while studying the Bible but saw so many contradictions that he left Christianity. “I still had a desire to help people and dedicate my life to making a difference so I decided to go to nursing school.” He graduated as valedictorian with an associates in nursing and got a job as an ICU nurse, eventually becoming a cardiac trauma ICU nurse. During the COVID-19 crisis, Khalil volunteers to take COVID patients in the ICU as well as assists with the Maryland medical reserve corps pandemic response.