Meet the Board: Joe Muhler

Throughout 2022, we will introduce our readers to members of our St. Joseph Community Health Foundation Board of Directors. We start with our Board Chair, Dr. Joseph Muhler, a retired family physician who joined the Board in 2016.

Q:What inspires you about the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and their Foundress, Saint Katharina? Are there particular values or works that you find especially important?

A: The Poor Handmaids first inspired me in 1978 as a Family Practice Resident assigned to St. Joseph Hospital. No person who sought medical care was turned away irrespective of their race, gender, or station in life; more importantly, the Sisters and their staff treated every individual under their care with exactly the same compassion and devotion.

Q:Please share a memorable interaction you have had with a grantee and their staff/clients.

A: Few grantees touched me as did Heart of the City Mission Foundation and their director, Pastor Timothy Stauffer, at our site visit in 2019. This ministry does remarkable work in food rescue, but they really excel in walking with those they serve, just as Saint Katharina and her Sisters did on their arrival in Fort Wayne. From providing bicycles to those without personal transportation, music lessons for children, shower and laundry facilities for the homeless, to helping kids to college to get a degree, they affirm the personal dignity of each person they serve and help defeat generational poverty.

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the St. Joe Foundation Board?

A: Site visits! There is nothing as innervating as seeing the grantees with sleeves rolled up on their home turf. I thought that I had a pretty good feel for the resources of our community after 38 years practicing on the south side of the city, but with every cycle of site visits, I discover and am humbled by the generosity and compassion of organizations and individuals reaching out to the marginalized and victimized people in this community.

Q:Tell us about an accomplishment in your professional or personal life that you are proud of.

A: My wife and I contribute to Unbound. This is an organization that partners with international families living in poverty and empowers them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their desired potential. It has many commonalities with Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ’s values and ministries. My wife and I sponsor a girl in Uganda who is just two weeks younger than our oldest granddaughter and every letter we receive from her reminds us of the vast gap between the privilege of the first world and the desperate circumstances of the third world.