Dr. Todd Graham honored with bench re-dedication

NOW: Dr. Todd Graham honored with bench re-dedication

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Our Lady of Fatima chapel at Saint Joseph Health System to honor the life of Dr. Todd Graham.

Dr. Graham was shot and killed by forty-eight-year old Michael Jarvis in the parking lot outside Saint Joseph Orthopedics, after Dr. Graham had refused to prescribe opioids to Jarvis’s wife. Graham was fifty-six years old.

“He was warm. He was funny. He was very bright and he cared about his patients, incredibly,” remembered Chris Karam, president of the Saint Joseph Health System.

Dr. Graham’s death sent shockwaves through the medical community across the country, and even brought attention to the opioid crisis nationwide.

Here locally, Dr. Graham was remembered by friends and colleagues with a memorial bench, placed at Saint Joseph’s Rehabilitation Institute—one of the facilities he worked at for the health system.

Now, on the fifth anniversary of his death, the bench was brought onto the grounds of Saint Joseph Health System, in a place that Karam says is more visible, giving more people the opportunity to reflect on Dr. Graham’s life, as he touched many members of the community.

Karam said “He made such a difference in the community with who he treated, and his colleagues in the physician community respected him as well for his clinical expertise, so he was an important member of our community.”

The memorial bench was re-dedicated in its new home by members of Dr. Graham’s family. While they declined to speak with ABC57, Karam said they worked closely with the family in choosing to move the bench to the hospital grounds—and he believed they were appreciative of its new location.

“We placed it in a place close to our chapel, for the serenity of the chapel, as well as the environment near our discharge door, so that when people leave, they can see the bench and pay respects and honor Dr. Graham,” he said. “You can hear the water fountain to the south of us, and it’s a calming presence, and that’s important, as people offer reflections and thoughts and prayers for Dr. Graham and those he cared for.”

Karam added that in the wake of Dr. Graham’s death, they are making strides to learn from what happened and keep hospital personnel safe in the future.

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