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The Spiritual Care Department upholds the definition of spirituality used in our field which is “…the dynamic aspect of human life that relates to the way persons (individuals and community) experience, express and/or seek meaning, purpose and transcendence and the way they connect to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, to the significant and/or the sacred. Spirituality is expressed through beliefs, values, traditions and practices.” (Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2014.)
We welcome and include all people, and work in collaboration with the interdisciplinary care team. Our Spiritual Care Providers (SCPs) are assigned to specific units throughout the hospital, where we respond to referrals and visit most patients and families needing spiritual support. Frequent situations to which we are called include patients, families, and/or staff grappling with moral distress; and patients/families facing a new diagnosis; having to decide on treatment options; looking to change their goals of care from curative to palliative; and needing to explore their end-of-life concerns and ethical issues.
We are a team of ten full-time staff: Rev. Alice Cabotaje, MDiv, BCC, ACPE Certified EducatorDirector of Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education Rabbi Shulamit Izen, MAHL, BCC, ACPE Associate Certified Educator Rev. Donna Blagdan, MDiv, BCC, Spiritual Care Provider – Oncology Rev. Diana Donahue, MDiv, BCC, Spiritual Care Provider – Cardiology Chaplain Kate Gerne, MDiv, BCC, Spiritual Care Provider – Pediatrics and Emergency Department Rabbi Ben Lanckton, MHL, BCC, Spiritual Care Provider – Surgical Rev. Erica Long, MDiv, Spiritual Care Provider – Psychiatry, Respiratory, and Emergency Department Chaplain Joseph Meekins, MA, MDiv, Spiritual Care Provider – Neurology and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic Chaplain Julie Supple, MDiv, BCC, Spiritual Care Provider – General Medicine and Emergency Department Coordinator, Eucharistic Ministry Program Wendy E. Rice, Staff Assistant III
Working alongside with us are five Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Residents and 15 per diem Spiritual Care Providers. Staff Spiritual Care Providers (SCPs) and CPE Residents also provide support to the interdisciplinary, which include Resiliency Rounds, Pause to Renew (Hand Massages, Aromatherapy), Tea for the Soul, and Mindful Meditation with different staff groups in the hospital. We also participate in Ethics rounds and consultations. These gatherings help staff have time and space to (1) process their thoughts and feelings; (2) experience solace, calm, and renewal especially in times of moral distress; (3) learn practical, brief meditative practices for stressful situations; and (4) have a safe space for them to receive care.
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