2018 Healthcare Hero Spotlight: Shawn Kelley

Shawn Kelley, Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego volunteer

A few years ago, Shawn Kelley’s wife Jan started volunteering for Trauma Intervention Programs (TIP) of San Diego, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting emotionally traumatized people during emergency situations. In 2015, Shawn became an on-call volunteer for TIP after seeing the difference it made for Jan.

During one of his 12-hour volunteer shifts, within roughly 20 minutes of getting a crisis call, Shawn will travel to the scene of a crime or tragic accident to provide support to secondary victims. These people could include witnesses, friends and family members that have experienced trauma and need compassion for their healing and long-term recovery. To date, Shawn has responded to 168 crisis intervention calls.

“Nearly every experience is emotional, yet rewarding and gratifying. Our motto is it’s okay to cry, but never longer or harder than one of the victims because their lives are impacted more than mine,” said Shawn.

Survivors have acknowledged Shawn’s calm and caring presence, as well as his knowledge of the protocol working with first responders and Medical Examiner’s Office personnel.

“Shawn is one of our go-to volunteers who rarely, if ever, hesitates to take on extra shifts to ensure our citizens always have a TIP volunteer available,” said Sher DeWeese, TIP Executive Director. “He can be counted on in so many ways and we are very fortunate to have him on our team.”

Shawn is a Texas native who moved to San Diego in 1990. He has more than 40 years of experience as an automechanic and owns Valley Auto in El Cajon. He and Jan have four children, and also are active members at Foothills Community Church. Shawn is involved as an usher and in the security and men’s ministry programs.

Grossmont Healthcare District holds an annual awards event to recognize front-line volunteer caregivers and other individuals like Shawn who improve health and quality of life for East Region residents. Nominated by their peers, honorees are considered as true unsung heroes of healthcare whose day-in and day-out work might not otherwise be celebrated. For more information on criteria, nomination deadlines, and more, visit our Healthcare Heroes special events page.