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This annual event (this year October 19-25) is a great opportunity for healthcare institutions to recognize the important and often unrecognized work and gifts of spiritual caregivers in their midst and to inform patients, family members, and staff that they are available to help.

Find resources and items to spread the message here


Dear Colleague,

You are invited to participate in a research survey that looks at the role of spirituality, broadly defined as meaning purpose and connectedness, in healthcare. Dr. Christina M. Puchalski, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) and Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University (GWU) is the principal investigator (PI). Taking part in this survey is entirely voluntary.

The purpose of this survey is to evaluate healthcare professionals' attitudes and comfort levels integrating spirituality in patient care and self-care. Your input is very important because the information from this survey will help us develop topics for a future training program.

There are no physical risks associated with this study. All information you provide will be treated as confidential and will be used only for research or statistical purposes by GWish. Any information publicly released (such as statistical summaries) will be in a form that does not personally identify you.

To ensure anonymity, your contact information is not required in this survey. Your willingness to participate is implied if you choose to take part in this survey by clicking the survey link below. The total amount of time you will spend on this survey is about 5 minutes. You may refuse to answer any of the questions and you may take a break at any time. You may stop your participation at any time.

You will not benefit directly from your participation in the study. Others, however, may benefit from future training that will be developed based on your responses and those of others who complete the survey.

Please click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser to access and complete the survey by August 25, 2014.

ISPEC Project - Need Assessment Survey

The Office of Human Research of George Washington University, at telephone number (202) 994-2715, can provide further information about your rights as a possible survey respondent. Further information regarding this study may be obtained by contacting Dr. Puchalski, PI, at (202) 994-6220.


Christina M. Puchalski, M.D.

Professor, Medicine and Health Sciences

Director, George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences



Professor Sue Wintz, MDiv, BCC reports from the California State University Institute of Palliative Care: “The course’s first class, which began in July, included chaplains, physicians, nurses, students, and community religious leaders. Right from the start there was created an exhilarating environment for learning and dialogue across professions. Participants have engaged in stimulating discussion and sharing of questions, experience and resources. They’ve identified both practical and creative interventions to integrate the essential element of spirituality when caring for persons struggling with mental health issues. As the faculty member, I’m excited, too!” 

Learn more and to register here.

Also SOLD OUT has been the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate course now in its second year. Registration is open for next year’s classes that start January 26, April 15, July 13.

Learn more and to register here


Note: This Mini-Retreat may be audio and/or video recorded and available for later purchase. Availability will be announced in a future issue of the HealthCare Chaplaincy e-newsletter. Subscribe here.

Three experts will speak and lead exercises to help health care professionals learn practices  − whoever you are, whatever you believe  − to reduce the stress that comes from very demanding work:

Exploring the Spiritual Practice of Meditation
Miriam Healy
Zen Teacher

Exploring the Spiritual Practice of Keeping the Sabbath
Rabbi Amy E. Goodman
Assistant Director of Hospice Development for MJHS Foundation

Exploring the Spiritual Practice of Play & Humor
Nicholas Mosca, MDiv, Harvard Divinity School
2013 Winner of the Billings Preaching Prize Competition

8 am to Noon

Kimmel Center for University Life at NYU
60 Washington Square South
New York City, NY 10012

Fee $25

Get more information and to register here. 


Now is the time to establish a strong, clear voice for the inclusion of effective spiritual care as a standard of health care and for the profession of health care chaplaincy.

That’s why HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has launched Caring for the Human Spiritmagazine for all who recognize this importance and for those who are discovering it.

Download to read and to subscribe here.

We invite you who are professionals to submit articles on aspects of today’s care that you’d like to see communicated to a wide and influential audience. For deadline and word count, contact managing editor Bernie Rosner at brosner@healthcarechaplaincy.org

We invite the global organizations in the fields of chaplaincy, spiritual care, medicine, social work, palliative care and hospice to consider this magazine an extension of your mission. Together, collaborating on this publication, we can make the field of spiritual care stronger, wiser and demonstrably effective.


Leaders of the 6 U.S. Professional Healthcare Chaplaincy Organizations
 Hold Unprecedented Meeting to Advance the Integration of Spiritual Care within Healthcare

New York, NY (August 12, 2014) – “A welcomed beginning of a broadening conversation” was the theme of a recent meeting hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in New York City, which brought together leaders of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Association of Professional Chaplains, College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and NESHAMA: Association of Jewish Chaplains.

The six leaders affirmed their commitment to collaborate to expand the reach of professional chaplaincy and therefore serve more people in need of spiritual care.

Each remarked about the meeting and its implications.

Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network: “Individually each of our six organizations has its own strengths. Working collectively we can accomplish much more to contribute to quality healthcare in the U.S.”

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education executive director Trace Haythorn: “Our field has matured to a place where we can move from focusing solely on what’s happening within our individual organizations to a more global approach to advocacy on behalf of chaplaincy in general, to work to advance quality spiritual care wherever our members serve.”

Association of Professional Chaplains CEO Patricia F. Appelhans: “From the Common Standards for Professional Chaplaincy, which form the basis for board certification, to Standards of Practice, our chaplaincy organizations have enjoyed a long history of collaboration. We look forward to our continued work together to advance the profession through research, advocacy and other projects of mutual interest.”

George Hankins-Hull of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy: "As important as the discussion was the sincerity, and an overall feeling of collegiality that suggests to me that we might accomplish more working together through face to face relationships as we seek to advance the profession of clinical chaplaincy.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to represent CPSP, as together our organizations strive to secure the best possible professional future for those we train, certify and credential."

Mary T. O’Neill, treasurer of the Board of National Association of Catholic Chaplains: “NACC is committed to promoting spiritual care in collaboration with other  professional chaplaincy groups.  It was evident that all shared a strong commitment to this profession, a conviction about its importance in the care for the whole person, an investment in making this care known and available to all who need it, and a willingness to work together. 

Cecille Asekoff, executive vice president, NESHAMA: Association of Jewish Chaplains: “NAJC is committed to continued collaboration between all of the professional spiritual care organizations. The time spent together was productive both on an objective level of furthering the field of professional chaplaincy in a comprehensive and organic manner, as well as recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each organization. Talking together on both formal and social levels will serve to strengthen professional pastoral/spiritual care and chaplaincy worldwide. We look forward to being part of the conversation.”

The six groups will meet next in fall 2014.



Woman with recurrent ovarian cancer writes "Living With Cancer: A Tour of Hospice".nyti.ms/1nZFTua


Find NPR story at http://n.pr/1pgr4Hv




When "empathy" in health care makes Harvard Business Review, it’s time to take notice! If empathy is becoming a healthcare outcome, professional chaplains can certainly add value to that enterprise.One could say that they are the chief empathy experts in the system. http://bit.ly/1nDpPhf



HealthCare Chaplaincy Network was honored to present our Pioneer Medal for outstanding leadership in healthcare to Dr. Byock  in May of this year.


AARP Bulletin says “spiritual support just a click away”. g Spread the word! http://bit.ly/U9vgNI


Request for Conference Workshop Proposals by August 15, 2014
on Topics Pertaining to Integrating Spiritual Care in Healthcare

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network seeks proposals for 90-minute workshops for its conference,Caring for the Human Spirit: Integrating Spiritual Care in Healthcare, to be held April 22-24, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.

Building on the successful 2014 conference, the event will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of best practice and latest data on the clinical, educational, research and advocacy aspects of integrating spiritual care in healthcare.

Workshop proposals should include:

·         Title of workshop

·         Name(s) and credentials of the presenter(s)

·         Three learning objectives

·         An abstract of no more than 300 words describing:

          The issue the workshop will address.

          The relevance of this issue to the focus of the conference.

          The content to be presented to address that issue.

          The experience of the presenter(s) with this issue.

          The learning modalities to be employed.

All workshops should be aimed at the advanced practitioner/researcher and should maximize dialogue with participants. Preference will be given to multidisciplinary teams.

Proposals should be e-mailed to Sandra Jamison (sjamison@healthcarechaplaincy.org) by August 15, 2014. Questions should also be addressed to Ms. Jamison.  




"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
e.e. cummings


Read commentary here by colleague  Linda Emanuel, MD, PhD, a world renowned expert on palliative care. 


The publication e-Hospice International reports that the Rev. Sue Wintz of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has shared in The Huffington Post her own personal experience of how to recognize and respect the mental health challenges that may be associated with grief.

The Rev. Wintz argues that grief is not something that can be "defeated" through faith, or through any quick-fix. She shares her own personal experience of the sudden death of her daughter, saying that 10 years later, she still grieves for her child. 

"Grief is a journey and an event that affects our lives forever," says the Rev. Wintz. "It does not mean we cannot continue to participate in life and find joy, but the reality is that after a loved one's death we look at life through a different lens."

It is important, particularly for professionals who work with grieving people, to be educated about and aware of the signs of grief-related mental illness in order to be able to offer appropriate support and advice through these times. 

She says: "There are times when grief's accompanying depression, anxiety, emotional and spiritual distress becomes too difficult for the bereaved person to bear. That's when the right resources need to be activated. Families, friends, and co-workers need a basic knowledge of grief in order to normalize the bereaved person's experience and provide them support. We also need to understand when a bereaved person needs additional mental health support when the trauma becomes difficult to manage."

The Rev. Wintz is facilitating a new online course, Mental Health Fundamentals for Spiritual Care Providersoffered by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and the California State University Institute for Palliative Care.


Read the full article at The Huffington Post and learn more about this important course and how to register here.





Friends and colleagues filled the sanctuary of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in midtown Manhattan on May 13th to attend HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s 2014 Convocation. This annual event commissions chaplains, celebrates staff accomplishments and honors leading academic/clinicians.  

HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Pioneer Medal recognizes the singular accomplishments of an individual whose seminal research and/or innovative practice shape the way we think about and understand the complex and critical issues in contemporary health care.

Amy Berman, BS, RN, was the first of the night’s two Pioneer Medal honorees.
Ms Berman
is a Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation, and heads the Integrating and Improving Services program, focusing on developing innovative, cost-effective models of care for older adults.  She also directs a number of collaborations with the U.S. Administration on Aging/AARP that addresses the needs of family caregivers. 

She is also a cancer patient.

Ms. Berman’s keynote address focused on the Moral and Spiritual Crisis of Care.
She noted that she was offered two very different paths of treatment for her cancer.

“The first doctor wanted to throw everything at the cancer—the most intense
chemotherapy my body could handle, followed by a mastectomy, radiation, and more chemotherapy.  Fight. Fight. Fight.  Fight the cancer. 

“The other doctor asked what I hoped for.  I told her that I wanted the Niagara Falls trajectory.  I start with great quality of life and end…you know what end means.  I want to feel good, good, good, and then drop off the cliff.  Keep me feeling as good as possible for as long as possible but don’t push for more bad days. 

“The first doctor would have dropped me off the cliff immediately.  I would have gone from feeling well to having nausea, burns, going through surgery, swelling of the arm, being very debilitated.  And it would not have changed the final outcome for me.

“I chose the doctor that asked me what I wanted.”

The second of the evening’s Pioneer Medal honorees was Ira Byock, MD, who is
considered one of the most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine.

Dr. Byock is a palliative care physician and professor of medicine at The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and former Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  He is also a Past President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Byock is a leading public advocate for improving care through the end of life. His books have become standards in the fields of hospice and palliative care.

Dr. Byock’s keynote address celebrated the work of chaplains. “You have chosen
a difficult career path,” he said, addressing the assembled clinical staff of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. “
You are professionals who have dedicated so much time and effort to acquire and hone the skills of caring for fellow human beings. There are far easier – and dare I say, more lucrative – ways of making a living than being a health care chaplain.

“The work you do begins with seeming simplicity – by showing up and leaning forward –meeting the other with an open heart. Yet it is not easy, nor is it always safe. It takes a special kind of courage to simply sit with a person who is seriously ill -- or metaphorically walk with a person on a journey that neither of you would choose. Yet this act of accompaniment is the essence of the therapeutic relationship.”

You can link to Ms. Berman's and Dr. Byock's articles.



The Convocation continued with the commissioning of new clinical staff member,
the Rev.Christine Davies, manager, chaplaincy services and ACPE supervisor at
NYU Langone Medical Center. 

The evening concluded by recognizing the following staff members who have reached milestone service anniversaries:  Al-Hajji Imam Yusuf H. Hasan, 20 years; Rabbi David Keehn, 20 years; Rabbi Dr. Bonita E. Taylor, 15 years; The Rev. Daniel Shenk, 10 years;  Luiza Georgescu, 10 years.




The Young Professionals Council Invites you to join us at our first
#CHEERSTOTHECAUSE Summer Meet and Greet.
Hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.


June 12 // 6-8pm


STK Meatpacking
26 little west 12th Street, NY

Small Bites & Open Bar

Rsvp by June 2, 2014 to Lisha Bodden, Manager, Young Professionals Council: lbodden@healthcarechaplaincy.org or 212.644.1111 ext. 132

The Young Professionals Council 

Who we are: A dynamic group of young professionals socially committed to raising awareness among their peers about the importance of compassionate spiritual care in hospitals, online and elsewhere for all – whoever they are, whatever they believe.