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HealthCare Chaplaincy to Honor Two New York Trailblazers With Lifetime Achievement Awards

NYU Langone Medical Center, EmblemHealth Awardees Touch Lives Every Day

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 14, 2015)—James L. Speyer, M.D., professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Rev. Gregory L. Johnson, senior advisor for family caregiving-office of the CEO at EmblemHealth, both in New York, will each receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) on November 5.

The nonprofit organization will present the two health care professionals with the prestigious award at its annual Wholeness of Life Gala at the Mandarin Oriental-New York.

“Dr. Speyer and Rev. Johnson stand out in the health care scene, especially in the minds and hearts of patients and their families. Each has been an innovator in their respective fields and has demonstrated a remarkable and compassionate commitment to whole-person care,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO.

Speyer is a highly-respected medical oncologist and long-time advocate for patients living with cancer. He currently serves as associate director for strategic planning, network development and public affairs at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone; is an attending physician at NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospital Center in New York; and has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications.

Johnson, an ordained minister, created EmblemHealth’s Care for the Family Caregiver initiative in 2005, and, since, has been an avid advocate for family caregivers both at EmblemHealth and with multiple caregiving organizations, including the New York City Family Caregiver Coalition and the NYC chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He also serves as minister for the prayer circle at Marble Collegiate Church in New York; volunteer chaplain for the NYPD-GOAL (Gay Officers Action League); and spiritual director at the Addiction Institute of New York.

Also at the gala, HCCN will present Patient Care Awards to a diverse group of employees for their efforts in improving the patient experience at major New York area hospitals with which HCCN is affiliated. The awardees are: David Y. Wang, M.D., director of chronic pain education and assistant attending anesthesiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery; Doreen Bacotti, clinical nurse-breast medical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Floyd Roundtree, a patient transporter at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Charles Thompson, supervisor of grounds at Winthrop-University Hospital.

Evidence is mounting that spiritual care is a vital component of a person’s overall well-being and is especially critical during illness and near end of life. Meeting spiritual/religious needs can improve medical outcomes and patient satisfaction, and reduce costs.

“The 2015 gala comes at a pivotal point in the world of spiritual health and in HCCN’s 54-year history,” said Hall. “While our organization continues to provide traditional bedside chaplaincy, we also have been transforming the delivery of spiritual care through technology to respond to the changing health care environment and touch more lives. It’s a concept whose time has come.”

HCCN’s new services include on-call chaplaincy, in which people in spiritual distress can connect with professional multifaith chaplains via phone, email and video chat; interactive telehealth programs in palliative care and spiritual care; and HCCN-TV spiritual care programming.

For more information about the Wholeness of Life Gala, visit www.HCCNgala.org.

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September 2015 Issue No. 3

We hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter informative. We have included a downloadable PDF version created for readers who prefer that format. Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.

Sincerely,
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

 

Research

How spirituality and religion impact patient outcomes (FierceHealthcare.com)

Three new studies examine how personal beliefs influence cancer patients' physical, social and mental health. Although clinicians may be reluctant to discuss religious and spiritual beliefs with their patients, three new studies shed light on how faith can impact cancer patients' mental, social and physical well-being.

The studies, published online in Cancer, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicate there is a significant link between religion, spirituality and patient outcomes but variability on how they relate to the different aspects of health.

http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/how-spirituality-and-religion-impact-patient-outcomes/2015-08-142

3 Highly Visual Infographics Present Research Findings on the Benefits of Spiritual/Chaplaincy Care (HealthCareChaplaincy Network)

View and download these at http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/media-kit/infographics.html

Transforming Chaplaincy Project Launched: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes (funded by the John Templeton Foundation)

The project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with support from the APC, NACC, NAJC and ACPE, aims to equip healthcare chaplains to use research to guide, evaluate, and advocate for the daily spiritual care they provide patients, family members and colleagues. Transforming Chaplaincy has three initiatives. The project will provide: 1) Research Chaplain Fellowships to pay for 16 board-certified chaplains to complete a two-year, research-focused master's degree; 2) Curriculum Development Grants to 70 CPE programs to support incorporation of research literacy education in their residency curricula; and 3) a free Online Continuing Education course, Religion, Spirituality and Health: An Introduction to Research for members of the supporting organizations. Details about these three initiatives, including application information and timelines, are on the project website. The Calendar page lists activities that provide additional information about the Fellowships and CPE Grants. These include a webinar entitled Teaching Research Literacy in CPE, upcoming informational conference calls, and conferences and ACPE regional events where a Transforming Chaplaincy representative will be on hand to answer questions. You can sign up on the website to be on the email list to receive updates on applications and project-related events. You are also welcome to contact the project coordinator, Kathryn Lyndes, PhD, at mailto:MKathryn_Lyndes@rush.edu and 312.942.0247 for further information.

 

Palliative Care

"Tide is turning" in favor of palliative care, experts say (HealthAffairs Blog)

Two recent announcements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrate a clear commitment to improving the quality of care for older adults with serious illnesses. Together with the introduction of a bipartisan bill to better train our nation’s health care workforce, these announcements suggest that the tide is turning in the effort to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to medically complex and seriously ill patients.

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2015/08/06/expanding-access-to-palliative-care-services-the-tide-is-turning/3

 

Cancer

Spirituality may be tied to easier cancer course (Reuters Health)

Cancer patients who report more religiousness or spirituality may also experience fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment and more social connection, several new papers suggest.

The new analyses reviewed previous studies of spirituality involving more than 44,000 cancer patients altogether. The studies varied in many ways, but religion and spirituality were associated with better health regardless of specific religion or set of spiritual beliefs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/10/us-health-cancer-religion-idUSKCN0QF1K020150810

 

Importance of End of Life Care Advance Conversations

Why Medicare should reimburse doctors for end-of-life care conversations (theconversation.com)

On July 8, Medicare announced plans to reimburse physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for services to help their patients plan the care they would want if they were too ill to speak for themselves. If approved, the plan will take effect in January 2016. It’s about time.

I am a palliative care provider and a researcher in end-of-life care. In my experience, these kinds of services, called “advance care planning” (ACP), are incredibly valuable, especially to patients who are older and their families. My colleagues and I have found that 43% of elderly Americans require decision-making at the end of life about such things as life support and CPR. But 70% of them lack the capacity to make those decisions for themselves or to communicate them to others.

http://theconversation.com/why-medicare-should-reimburse-doctors-for-end-of-life-care-conversations-451424

Can We Talk?: People who discuss their end-of-life wishes are less likely to die in a hospital or burden relatives with tough medical decisions. Here's how to get the conversation started. (NeurologyNow)

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2015/11040/Can_We_Talk___People_who_discuss_their_end_of_life.22.aspx

 

Patient Satisfaction

For Hospitals, Sleep And Patient Satisfaction May Go Hand In Hand (Kaiser Health News)

As hospitals chase better patient ratings and health outcomes, an increasing number are rethinking how they function at night — in some cases reducing nighttime check-ins or trying to better coordinate medicines — so that more patients can sleep relatively uninterrupted.

“Sleep disruptions are actually not benign as far as patients are concerned,” said Dana Edelson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and an author on the 2013 study. “We’re putting them at unnecessary risk when we’re waking them up in the middle of the night when they don’t need to be.”

And possibly making the recovery a bit more difficult.

“Patients will tell you, ‘I was so exhausted, I couldn’t wait to get home and go sleep,’” said Yale’s Pisani.

http://khn.org/news/for-hospitals-sleep-and-patient-satisfaction-may-go-hand-in-hand/?utm_campaign=KHN:+Daily+Health+Policy+Report&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=21346022&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_zam7VLyhoaGbl9Ao7Bice_S7urbIe3MWEWlJeUg2bKOkockmXfGaNOwlKwUCaa9n0QvY8oGLzxvWV011-qDzUmFM0bUDcoijDEHGUgOJNPHxiPhI&_hsmi=21346022

 

Perspectives from Physicians

Why doctors overtreat patients. And how to fix it. (KevinMD.com)

Much of the aggressive and invasive health care we provide in the United States today, compared to time-tested, more conservative approaches, adds little value. And when independent scientific comparisons are done, the more complex approach often results not only in higher costs, but also in complications and adverse effects – all without significant benefit to the patient.

  • Overtreatment explained
  • How much does an ounce of prevention really weigh?
  • How we harm the dying
  • What should we do?

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2015/07/why-doctors-overtreat-patients-and-how-to-fix-it.html

Doctors Fail to Address Patients’ Spiritual Needs (The New York Times Well Blog)

Over the years, however, I have increasingly seen how many patients, especially when confronting the end of life, value their emotional, existential and spiritual feelings over further medical treatment when it begins to seem futile.

Eventually, my patient dying from cancer did speak with a chaplain. I noticed him visiting her one day as I walked by her door. I again spotted him two days later heading toward her door. The next morning, I thought that she looked calmer, more relieved than I’d seen her in weeks. She still had unremitting fevers and died a few months later, in that room. But the chaplain had helped her, I felt, in a way that I and medical treatment could not.

I still regret my silence with that patient, but have tried to learn from it. Doctors themselves do not have to be spiritual or religious, but they should recognize that for many patients, these issues are important, especially at life’s end. If doctors don’t want to engage in these conversations, they shouldn’t. Instead, a physician can simply say: “Some patients would like to have a discussion with someone here about spiritual issues; some patients wouldn’t. If you would like to, we can arrange for someone to talk with you.”

Unfortunately, countless patients feel uncomfortable broaching these topics with their doctors. And most physicians still never raise it.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/doctors-fail-to-address-patients-spiritual-needs/?emc=edit_tnt_20150814&nlid=26326540&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Three comments about professional chaplaincy/spiritual care were posted to the New York Times Well blog site when Dr. Klitzman’s piece was published:

Sue Wintz
Thank you so much Dr. Klitzman for writing on this very important and too often overlooked aspect of patient-centered care. As a board certified professional chaplain, I've spent over 30 years working with patients and families. I've also educated and supported physicians and other members of the health care team about important issues arising in care and treatment that would not have been addressed if not for the spiritual assessment I'd done through conversation with patients and their families. Spiritual, religious, existential, and cultural beliefs - whatever they may be - are central to how persons experience their illness, make decisions, interact with their families/families of choice and the health care team. We do them a disservice when we 6 ignore or overlook those aspects. In response to your statement that doctors say "If you would like to, we can arrange someone to talk to you" about spiritual issues." Professional chaplains are full members of the interdisciplinary team and in the hospitals in which I worked, consults and/or MD orders were made to me as they were to any other discipline. If someone appears to be experiencing spiritual distress, sometimes asking if they want to see a chaplain, especially if they don't define themselves as spiritual/religious or think that the chaplain is going to try and convert them (we don't, it's against our code of ethics) asking them that question may cause more embarrassment and distress. Just make the consult.

Jodie Futornick
I am also a professional, board certified chaplain, and I will attest that Rev. Wintz is exactly right. Chaplains are professionals with expertise in spiritual assessment and care. Our training is to accompany people on their journeys and help them to access the spiritual resources that are most helpful to them. Many people have pre-conceptions about the role of a chaplain, fearing that we come to preach or proselytize to them in their most vulnerable moments. Nothing can be farther from the truth. If a patient is, for example, a devout Catholic and wishes the sacraments of the Church, I can arrange for a priest to minister to them, but I also remain available to speak with them about the issues that are closest to their hearts and souls. Likewise, I visit with many people who profess no religious affiliation. My primary goal as a chaplain is to help people identify what gives deepest meaning to their lives and gives them the strength to face their health care challenges.

A third comment that was posted: Thanks to Dr. Klitzman for writing about this important issue, which is not only an end-of-life issue but also for patients and their loved ones who are coping with a life-changing health crisis either as an inpatient or outpatient, and wrestling with issues of spiritual distress – a painful disruption in one’s belief or values system. Spiritual distress presents itself both emotionally and physically, from rejection of care to chronic insomnia, and may or may not be grounded in religious belief or practice. Dr. Klitzman's article and some comments mention the role of chaplains, and that's good. To amplify: In addition to clergy who volunteer their services for those of their specific faith, there exist professional health care chaplains who are experts in providing spiritual care for everyone regardless of religion or beliefs. On the interdisciplinary health care team, professional chaplains are the spiritual care specialists. One becomes a professional health care chaplain when he or she is board certified by one of the professional chaplaincy associations. Requirements include graduate level study, 1600 hours of supervised clinical pastoral education, 2000 hours of clinical experience, demonstration of competencies through a rigorous peer review process, adherence to a professional code of ethics to serve all and not promote any particular faith tradition, and continuing professional education.

 

Technology

Hospitals Rev Mobile Patient Engagement (HealthLeaders Magazine)

Providers' willingness to partner with the technology industry to explore collecting personal activity-tracking information demonstrates the value of boosting patient engagement via mobile devices.

http://healthleadersmedia.com/print/TEC-319493/Hospitals-Rev-Mobile-Patient-Engagement

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Joins Sharecare as New Content Collaborator to Educate Consumers on Spiritual Care, Palliative Care, End of Life

Quick link to HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s page on Sharecare.com: https://www.sharecare.com/group/healthcare-chaplaincy-network

New York, N.Y. (September 16, 2015)-- Sharecare, a comprehensive health and wellness engagement platform, and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), a global leader in spiritual-related education, research and clinical care, today announced that HCCN has joined Sharecare’s vibrant community of experts as a content collaborator.

Through Sharecare’s interactive platform, HCCN will provide easily-accessible and consumer-friendly information online about spiritual care, palliative care, and end of life. These topics are applicable to all disease states and all population segments, including people who are healthy or living with chronic or terminal illness.

The collaboration comes amidst growing evidence that spiritual health is a vital component of overall wellness and whole person care, and as multi-disciplinary health care providers increasingly focus on palliative care to improve quality of life for people with serious illness.

 “We are excited that Sharecare is giving HealthCare Chaplaincy Network a dynamic platform to provide education and guidance about spiritual care, palliative care, and end-of-life care. This information can help facilitate critical conversations among patients, family members, and health care providers, and empower individuals to better manage their care, and find hope, comfort and meaning during times of need,” said Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO.

HCCN’s presence on Sharecare expands access to the nonprofit organization’s experts and resources, and builds on its recent efforts to extend the reach of spiritual care beyond the traditional hospital bedside. HCCN content posted on Sharecare addresses practical, spiritual and emotional issues, including advance directives, palliative and hospice care, spiritual distress, the role of chaplains, finding comfort near end of life, and grief. It links to HCCN’s online resources for consumers (www.soulcareproject.org, such as free counseling by professional, multi-faith chaplains, prayer requests, and spiritual self-assessment tools and exercises.

“When faced with illness, suffering or the grief that surrounds the death of a loved one, many people need advice not only about end-of-life care but also spiritual guidance, regardless of their beliefs," said Russ Johannesson, chief operating officer of Sharecare. "We are honored to add the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network to our family of content partners to provide our users with the knowledge, expertise and compassion the organization has provided to so many for more than 50 years.”

Recognition of the importance of spiritual care’s integration into health care is on the rise.  “Dying in America,” a 2014 consensus report by the nationally-acclaimed Institute of Medicine, found that, “Ideally, health care should harmonize with social, psychological and spiritual support to achieve the highest possible quality of life for people of all ages with serious illnesses or injuries.”

A number of research studies show that the majority of Americans say that spirituality, in some form, should be an important consideration in their health care. Yet one study showed that 72 percent of patients said their spiritual needs were minimally or not at all supported by the medical system even though spiritual support was highly associated with quality of life.

Visit HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s page on Sharecare.com at: https://www.sharecare.com/group/healthcare-chaplaincy-network

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"Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care Certificate" Course Starts Sept. 30th.  Click here for more information and to register.

New Course Created Due to Popular Demand...

...from the more than 400 satisfied students who asked for more after completing the online fundamentals course The Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate offered jointly by the California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™.

"Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care Certificate" Course

This advanced course explores specific topics in an in-depth manner that requires participants to engage in deeper critical thinking which can be articulated into advanced practice, enhancing professional practice and leadership in the provision of spiritual care as an integral component of palliative care.

Students Say:

"This is another outstanding course with excellent resources and rich discussion. I highly recommend this course to professionals who wish to expand their spiritual care and palliative care practice."

Learning Objectives:

  1. Integrate knowledge of palliative care into contributions to the plan of care
  2. Distinguish and demonstrate application of ways in which chaplains assist patients and families, in partnership with the team, in identifying the benefits and burdens of specific medical interventions
  3. Demonstrate and apply expertise in palliative care communication skills to assist in goal clarification in patient/family meetings
  4. Through spiritual assessment, define, document, formulate goals, interventions, and plans that can be articulated clearly in each palliative care situation, applied appropriately, and modified based on changes in the status of patient or situation
  5. Utilize QI data to refine palliative care programs and services specific to chaplaincy.
  6. Identify, recommend, and integrate diversity concepts, needs, and interventions into patient/family care plan.
  7. Analyze the needs and construct assessments and interventions specific to marginalized patient populations
  8. Identify and execute best practices for incorporating chaplaincy assessment and documentation planning/continuity of care

This Course Is For:

  • Chaplains who have completed the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Care Certificate course who want to build upon that knowledge base and continue to develop their skills to improve patient outcomes
  • Board certified chaplains wishing to enhance preparation for a specialty certification from a professional chaplaincy association
  • Department directors who meet the course requirements and desire to build upon the expertise and contributions of the palliative care team

Course Prerequisites:

Successfully completed the foundational course: Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate

OR

Obtained Board certification from a professional chaplaincy association

Registration Now Open for Course Starting September 30th

  • Instructor-Led Online Course
  • 56 Continuing Education Hours

Questions? Please call: 760-750-4006.

 

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Home Health Care News Reports: HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Adds Spiritual Care for Palliative Patients


By Amy Baxter
Home Health Care News
August 12, 2015

As demand for telehealth services is growing, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has added spiritual care services to its registry of traditional chaplaincy services in a technology-driven roll-out to comfort and help adults facing serious illness and grief. The company has announced two pilot programs to connect patients with serious illnesses via computer, tablet or mobile phones to spiritual care resources.

“For the growing population in need of palliative care, telehealth technologies are filling an increasing, and often unmet, need for individuals in crisis – whether physical, social, emotional, psychological or spiritual,” HCCN stated. 

Instead of traditional bedside chaplaincy that is typically face-to-face for end-of-life care, HCCN is bringing this spiritual care to the home setting. Telehealth and spiritual care services are cost effective care options, and the need for these services continues to grow, the company says.

HCCN made the move after seeing an increase in the number of palliative care patients and seeing greater benefits from such services, including shorter hospital stays and increased outpatient delivery of services. HCCN also noted that the growing trend of people utilizing home care and the opinion that more Americans want alternative health care treatments as part of their overall care.

“Studies show that 70% of Americans believe some form of spirituality should be part of their health care,” HCCN authors wrote in a statement. 

Of those surveyed, 72% responded that their spiritual needs were only minimally met or not supported by the medical system. HCCN noted that this increasing interest in whole-person care, including body, mind and spirit, supports the cost-effectiveness of new technology for this type of care for patients and their families. 

HCCN has collaborated with VOX and invested in two new telepath services in addition to its chaplaincy services: Palliative Connect and Spiritual Care Connect to digitally connect seriously ill patients in need of “skillful, compassionate end-of-life care.” HCCN found success with ChaplainsOnHand.org for helping patients deal with emotional and spiritual distress and has created two more sites tailored to specific patients, CantBelieveIHaveCancer.org and ChaplainCareforVeterans.org. Patients with all spiritual backgrounds are welcome to HCCN’s latest health care services. 

HCCN-TV is another portal with 10 programs for spiritual care-related topics for outpatient and long-term care settings. HCCN plans to soon have these programs available as downloads for private viewing. Program topics cover “big issues” and range from prayers, inspirational quotes, palliative and hospice care, grief, critical conversations to have with a loved one who is seriously ill and legal and financial planning. 

http://bit.ly/1gYDG6n 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Patient-Centered-Care-News-masthead-7-10-2015.png

August 2015   Issue No. 2

We appreciate the positive feedback and constructive advice from so many subscribers for last month’s first edition of this new e-newsletter. It links to selected articles on patient-centered care including spiritual care and chaplaincy care.

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will send it during the first week of each once a month. We hope that you find this content informative.

Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org

Sincerely,

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.


Patients Tell Their Stories

"Good Palliative Care, Bad Palliative Care: A Tale of 2 Doctors by Stage 4 colorectal cancer patient (WBUR’s CommonHealth)

This experience reminded me of the importance of my relationship to my physician, and that I cannot handle everything alone. My doctor or provider’s attitude, his or her words and connection to me as a human makes a physical difference in my well-being. This may not be true for everyone, but for me, it helps when I am heard, and when my concerns, which may not seem like much, are taken to heart Read more: http://ow.ly/PL0SG

Learning My Role in My Own Patient-Centered Care (hhs.gov/blog)

What started out as a bad case of the flu 14 years ago became a journey of more than 100 emergency room visits and hospital re-admissions, countless lab tests and numerous specialists. I became a case study of what happens when lack of patient engagement meets up with uncoordinated care.

The good news is I also became a case study of what happens when health care providers and patients truly communicate and work together. Read more:  http://1.usa.gov/1DqpOfq

As both a patient and a Doctor’s wife she writes: Humanize your physician: They are real people. (Kevin MD)

They live real lives. And the majority of them are people, much like my husband, who are in this field not for the money, but to make a difference in the lives of the people they meet. They are not perfect. But they try as hard as they can do the very best job they can. Read more: http://ow.ly/QaJKq

Spiritual Care

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has received the Excellence in Spiritual Care Award from the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN).  Special Surgery received the award at a ceremony at the hospital on July 27.

New York, NY -- July 28, 2015 
 "This award signifies that Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is committed to identifying and optimally addressing your patients' spiritual and religious needs," said Jose Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. "It is an honor to name HSS as the first recipient in the country to be recognized with this prestigious award."

 "We know that many of our patients' spiritual and religious needs are as important as their physical ones, making chaplaincy fundamental to the hospital's pursuit of health care excellence," said Louis A. Shapiro, HSS president and CEO. "I would like to thank the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network for this award and for inspiring us all to continue to integrate spiritual care into our health care practices for the comfort and benefit of all who choose HSS as their leading orthopedic and rheumatology hospital."

In applying for the award, health care institutions undergo a thorough and detailed process to determine if their organization currently provides excellent spiritual care.

Read morehttp://bit.ly/1DqsJop

Learn more about how a health care organization can earn the Excellence in Spiritual Care Awardhttp://bit.ly/1gHuHXS 

Controversies in faith and health care (The Lancet)

Differences in religious faith-based viewpoints (controversies) on the sanctity of human life, acceptable behaviour, health-care technologies and health-care services contribute to the widespread variations in health care worldwide. Faith-linked controversies include family planning, child protection (especially child marriage, female genital mutilation, and immunisation), stigma and harm reduction, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, gender, end-of-life issues, and faith activities including prayer. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and traditional beliefs have similarities and differences in their viewpoints. Improved understanding by health-care providers of the heterogeneity of viewpoints, both within and between faiths, and their effect on health care is important for clinical medicine, public-health programmes, and health-care policy. Increased appreciation in faith leaders of the effect of their teachings on health care is also crucial. This Series paper outlines some faith-related controversies, describes how they influence health-care provision and uptake, and identifies opportunities for research and increased interaction between faith leaders and health-care providers to improve health care.  Read more: http://bit.ly/1O1zMEk 

Chaplains are resource to help reduce palliative care staff burnout (Palliative Medicine, the official research journal of the European Association for Palliative Care

Study results show reveal that burnout and psychological morbidity are significant in the palliative care community and demonstrate a need to look at managing long working hours and promoting the use of coping mechanisms to reduce burnout and psychological morbidity. Coping mechanisms like physical well-being, clinical variety, setting boundaries, transcendental (meditation and quiet reflection), passion for one’s work, realistic expectations, remembering patients and organisational activities were associated with less burnout.  Read more:  http://ow.ly/PL3yI  

Healthcare in General

“Tipping Point” author Malcolm Gladwell’s 5 key thoughts on healthcare (Becker’s Hospital Review)

  • On the high prices for pharmaceuticals
  • On the misrepresentation of physicians' relationship with EHRs
  • On becoming a surgeon in 10,000 hours
  • On needing to change the practice of medicine
  • On healthcare's 'Tipping Point' and reducing waste
    Read more: http://bit.ly/1SZXouB 

Telehealth Growth

Modern Doctors’ House Calls: Skype Chat and Fast Diagnosis (NY Times)

The same forces that have made instant messaging and video calls part of daily life for many Americans are now shaking up basic medical care.  Read more: http://nyti.ms/1IK6SZz

Telemedicine Gets a Lift from UnitedHealthcare (Becker’s Hospital Review)

With the launch this spring of a nationwide telemedicine-provider network, the country's largest commercial health insurer is set to offer coverage for virtual doctor visits to 20 million beneficiaries by next year. Read more: http://bit.ly/1eQpxXx 

Long-term Care

Big problem that will get worse:
Studies show Americans don't know reality of long-term care

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, with funding from The SCAN Foundation, is undertaking a series of major studies on the public’s experiences with, and opinions and attitudes about, long-term care in the United States. Read more:  http://bit.ly/1SZXItl

A Thought-Starter

A Hospice Physician Writes “The Art of Dying Well” (Pallimed – A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog)

“In the success driven society that we live in, I’m surprised there is so little out there about a successful dying experience. There are hundreds of books about how to be a successful parent, a successful spouse, a successful employee or employer. There are success how to’s for education, healthcare, businesses, nonprofits and churches. 


“Likely, this absence of material about successful dying comes from the link of success to achievement. No one feels confident linking death with achievement. However, what about the idea of dying well? Is this something individually or culturally we should strive for?...” Read more: http://ow.ly/Q9kpK

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN) presented Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) the first Excellence in Spiritual Care Award at a ceremony at the hospital on July 27.

“This award signifies that your hospital is committed to identifying and optimally addressing your patients’ spiritual and religious needs,” said Jose Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. “It is an honor to name Hospital for Special Surgery as the first recipient in the country to be recognized with this prestigious award.”

 “We know that many of our patients’ spiritual and religious needs are as important as their physical ones, making chaplaincy fundamental to the hospital’s pursuit of health care excellence,” said Louis A. Shapiro, HSS president and CEO. “I would like to thank the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network for this award and for inspiring us all to continue to integrate spiritual care into our health care practices for the comfort and benefit of all who choose HSS as their leading orthopedic and rheumatology hospital.”

In applying for the award, health care institutions undergo a thorough and detailed process to determine if their organization currently provides excellent spiritual care.

There are 15 proprietary Standards of Excellence in Spiritual Care that HCCN has identified in the professional literature and through its extensive 50-plus year history as providers of spiritual care.

To receive the award, an organization must meet at least eight of the 15 standards, which include employing an interdisciplinary approach to spiritual care, engaging in quality improvement projects, and the strategic deployment of chaplaincy care resources.

Learn more about how an organization can earn the Excellence in Spiritual Care Award here.

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Left to right: Chaplain Margo Heda of HCCN & HSS, Lisa Goldstein – HSS Chief Operating Officer, Jose Hernandez – HCC Chief Operating Officer, Louis A. Shapiro – HSS president and CEO, Sister Margaret Oettinger, O.P. of HCCN & Director of Spiritual Care at HSS

About Hospital for Special Surgery

Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology and No. 7 in geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report (2015-2016), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to increase patient satisfaction and help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning—whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org.

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Dear Friend,

The Can'tBelieveIHaveCancer® website provides spiritual care for anyone facing cancer or who has faced cancer - whoever you are, whatever, you believe, wherever you are:
 

  • Free information for the Newly Diagnosed, Those in Treatment Now, Survivors, Those for Whom It's Not Going Well, Caregivers, and Friends.
     
  • Easy to request a free and confidential Chat with a highly experienced professional heath care chaplain by phone, email, or video.
     
  • Find prayers online for anyone or by religion


Can'tBelieveIHaveCancer® is a safe place to address fears, emotions, and the struggle to find meaning, comfort, and hope.

If you know of anyone that you think may want to know about Can'tBelieveIHaveCancer®, please do tell them about it.

b2ap3_thumbnail_CBIHC_logo_Vertical-6-26-2015.jpg

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This introduces the first edition of a new e-newsletter that HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will send to you once a month with links to selected articles on patient-centered care including spiritual care and chaplaincy care. We hope that you find this content informative.

Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.

Sincerely,

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

Making Patient-centered Care a Reality 

Duty to Relieve Spiritual Suffering? What Do Physicians Think? 

Seeing God Through My Patients 

Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for Counseling on End of Life 

5 Ways Hospice Care Is Changing Americans' Lives, Because End Of Life Care Should Be Anything But An Afterthought 

Advance Care Planning Does Not Adversely Affect Hope or Anxiety Among Patients With Advanced Cancer 

A Terrible Way To End Someone's Life 

Interesting story: his work in hospice & palliative care helped him deal with the Nepal earthquake & aftermath 

Palliative Care Fast Facts & Concepts 

Early palliative care can save money, reduce patient stay in hospital 

Research: Can the Oncologist's Attitude Affect Patient Outcomes?

Physical and Psychological Distress Are Related to Dying Peacefully in Residents With Dementia in Long-Term Care Facilities - Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 

More Family Caregivers Are No Spring Chickens Themselves 

10 key components of a post-discharge care model for older patients 

The Importance of Preventing Burnout Among Physicians and Nurses 

25 things to know about telemedicine & telehealth 

The digital doctor is in: Next wave in health care 

Talking to Kids about Death and Dying 

Hospice and the Surviving Spouse 

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Brother David Steindl-Rast reminds us that the Chinese word for “busy” is composed of two characters: “heart” and “killing.” When we make ourselves so busy that we are always rushing around trying to get this or that “done,” or “over with,” we kill something vital in ourselves, and we smother the quiet wisdom of our heart. When we invest our work with judgment and impatience, always striving for speed and efficiency, we lose the capacity to appreciate the million quiet moments that may bring us peace, beauty, or joy. As we seek salvation through our frantic productivity and accomplishments, we squander the teachings that may be present in this very moment, in the richness of this particular breath. -- Angeles Arrien, PhD (Courtesy Frederic Craigie's Reflectioin for week of July 6) 

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 “Learning how to experience gratitude involves being grateful as an attitude, not as a reaction when good things occur. One does not need to wait until things are perfect before being grateful; in fact, it may be just the opposite. It could be that the act of being grateful, in itself, makes one receptive to life’s blessings, and these blessings continue as we continue to be thankful."- Robert Emmons, PhD (Thanks Frederic Craigie’s reflection for week of June 22)

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Documenting Advance Directives among Seriously-Ill Patients

 IRB Approval NMSU 12188

Hello Health Care Providers!

Advance directive education is important for all seriously ill patients. The purpose of this study is to assess health care providers’ views on educating patients about advance directives, especially those with life-threatening cancers.

We are interested in hearing from you because many barriers exist to engage patients in such complex discussions and because all providers are responsible for moving patient education forward. Examining providers' views is needed to clarify their motivation to educate patients and understand the limitations that hinder their ability to engage patients in advance care planning education. It is very important for us to understand the whole picture from all different providers, including physicians, nurses, and social workers.

Your participation in this survey will allow us to assess providers’ attitudes, knowledge, and practices about educated patients on advance directive to develop a plan for end of life care. Your responses will assist researchers to develop better educational tools and programs to improve advance directive documentation which is especially important to deliver patient centered care for seriously ill older adults.

Voluntary Participation

This one-time survey can be completing in about 20 minutes (5 minutes for consent and 15 minutes for the survey questions). Providers can volunteer to participate by signing up immediately during recruitment efforts through Qualtrics survey link or by calling our office (575-646-1243) to enroll. We will also use snowball sampling and ask you to forward the survey link to other providers in social work, medicine, and nursing.

Please feel free to ask any questions directly or simply go to the Qualtrics link at

https://chssnmsu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6WCCpb2d4FQWfyd

For more information or if you have any questions pertaining to this research, you may contact Dr. Frances Nedjat-Haiem, PhD LCSW at haiem@nmsu.edu

We truly appreciate hearing from all providers doing valuable work to improve care for their patients and family members.

Feel free to forward this link to other providers!!!     Thank you so much for your time!

Sincerely,

Frances Nedjat-Haiem, PhD, LCSW
Associate Professor
New Mexico State University, School of Social Work
Hartford - Veterans Affairs Social Work Scholar, 2012-2014

Research Scientist, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

 

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Unique Professional Education Opportunity

More than 500 chaplains and other health care professionals have successfully completed this unique online Certificate program. Every class so far has been sold out. The opportunity to attend this highly-rated course starting July 15th should not be missed.

Learn more here.

Here's typical praise from a satisfied student:

             "I have learned more than I could have imagined."

This course is provided jointly by two leaders in their fields - the California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.

Students can earn Continuing Education Hours and get valuable training starting in July. This is the second to the last time the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate program will be held until 2016. 

Start the learning here. 

PS. If you know someone who could benefit from this course, please forward this to them.  Thank you..

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Call for Proposals

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network seeks proposals for 90-minute workshops for its 3rd Annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Global Conference April 11-13, 2016 in
San Diego, California.

Building on the successful 2014 and 2015 conferences, described by participants as "transformative for the field," the conference will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of best practices and latest data on the clinical, educational, research and advocacy aspects of integrating spiritual care in health care.

To apply to be a workshop presenter, please complete the form at this link by Wednesday, June 30. Workshops will be selected and announced by Wednesday, July 15.

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

See the 2015 conference workshop topics here and the 2015 conference faculty here.

If you have any questions, please contact us at events@healthcarechaplaincy.org and write in the subject line: Workshop Proposals. 

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2015 Convoation Picture

At the award ceremony (from left), Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HCCN, Pioneer Medal recipients Larry VandeCreek and Richard Payne, and Michael H. Schoen, HCCN’s chairman. 

 

Chaplains renewed their commitment to spiritual care and also joined in honoring two innovators in the field at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s Annual Convocation in New York on May 12. The ceremony took place in the sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue, the largest and one of the most beautiful Reform synagogues in the world. The magnificence of the setting lent a special dimension to the ceremony.

You can find the video from the entire Convocation at the link at the end of this story. Or to play the Convocation audio, please click here.

HCCN presented its Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care to Richard Payne, M.D., of Durham, N.C., an internationally-known expert in pain relief, palliative care, oncology and neurology, and the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity, Duke University Divinity School in Durham; and Larry VandeCreek, D.Min., of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a trailblazing researcher for the profession of health care chaplaincy, former editor of the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy and director of research at HCCN from 1998 to 2001.

In presenting the first medal, Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO, called Payne an “iconic figure”” in health care. “He has a profound commitment to science and, moreover, to patients during vital points in their health care,” Hall added. “As such, he has made both enormous contributions to the field and an enormous difference in people’s lives.”

“The Pioneer Award is so meaningful to me because of the quality and reputation of the Health Care Chaplaincy,” said Payne. “I am flattered beyond belief to be included on the list of previous awardees whom I consider mentors and heroes of the practice of humanistic health care.”

“To quote Dickens,” Payne said, “It is the best of times and the worst of times in health care.” He cited the challenge of meeting demand and accountability, while more people than ever have access to health care. In looking at the health care landscape, especially in light of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Payne offered this advice: “Changes in the way we care for those who are seriously ill and dying and their families must be patient-centric; that is, they must be based on the goals and values of the patient and respectful of their cultural and religious beliefs. We cannot allow palliative care to simply become a component of the ‘business’ of health care delivery.“

Payne is also the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics, Kansas City, Mo. Among his numerous accomplishments, he has more than 275 publications in his fields of expertise, has edited four books, and led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 1998 to 2004.

In presenting the second medal, Hall called VandeCreek a “true innovator” in the field. “His rich accomplishments have greatly advanced the field and focused a lens on the value of spiritual care in health care,” he said.

“The award is a capstone to my career,” VandeCreek said. “It validates my research efforts to describe more clearly how persons use their religion and spirituality to cope with illness and death.”

VandeCreek, the author of numerous books and journal articles,recalled his early years as a chaplain, when, he said, he felt like an outsider with the medical staff. It was an era when family medicine, which includes the social and psychological aspects of health care, was becoming acceptable, yet medical teams didn’t quite get it. The feeling was: “They (chaplains) probably won’t do any harm. Now,” said VandeCreek, “the mantra is show me your data.”

“I am gangbusters on research,” he added. “I’m happy to have been a part of the research that makes a difference.“

At the Convocation that followed, Hall led professional chaplains in the audience and those tuning in via webcast in a communal oath of recommitment to their service, which includes a pledge to “respect the religious and spiritual traditions of my patients, colleagues, as well as my own,” and “practice the art and science of spiritual care in an honorable and ethical manner.”

Listening by webcast were chaplains not only from the metro New York area but also from Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, and Finland.

In addition HCCN chaplain Rabbi Maurice Appelbaum at New Yorki's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was installed in the ministry of chaplaincy care.

“The convocation ceremony comes at a time of transformation in spiritual care in health care. The invaluable contribution of spiritual care to overall wellness is gaining recognition, both in research and in practice,” said Hall. “Every day, around the world, chaplains of all faiths are nobly making their mark by listening and walking with people on their personal journeys to overcome spiritual distress.”

 

 

To access the Convocation photo album on the HCCN Facebook page please click here.

To play the Convocation audio, please click here.

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Chaplains from around the world will renew their commitment to spiritual care as well as join in honoring two innovators in the field at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s (HCCN) Annual Convocation Ceremony, which will be held on May 12 at Temple Emanu-El in New York.

HCCN will present its prestigious Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care to Richard Payne, M.D.,  of Durham, N.C., an internationally-known expert in the areas of pain relief, palliative care, oncology and neurology, and the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity, Duke Divinity School at Duke University, Durham, N.C.;  and Larry Vandecreek, D.Min., of Grand Rapids, Mich., a trailblazing researcher for the profession of health care chaplaincy, former editor of The Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, and former director of research at HCCN.  

“The convocation ceremony comes at a time of transformation in spiritual care in health care. The invaluable contribution of spiritual care to overall wellness is gaining recognition, both in research and in practice,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “Every day, around the world, chaplains of all faiths are nobly making their mark, by listening and walking with people on their personal journeys to overcome spiritual distress.”

At the event, HCCN will lead professional chaplains in a communal oath of recommitment to their service, which includes a pledge to “respect the religious and spiritual traditions of my patients, colleagues, as well as my own,” and “practice the art and science of spiritual care in an honorable and ethical manner.”

In addition, HCCN will install two of its chaplains in the ministry of chaplaincy care, charging them in part to perform “with skill and wisdom, always tempered by compassion.” The HCCN employees provide chaplaincy services at major hospitals in New York: Rev. Tenku Ruff at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Rabbi Maurice Appelbaum at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

This is the fifth year that HCCN will be bestowing the Pioneer Medal to distinguished leaders in the field.

“This year’s honorees have been true pioneers in spiritual care. Their rich accomplishments and profound commitment to science and, moreover, to people in need make each of them deeply deserving of this recognition,” Hall said.

A number of research studies show that the majority of Americans say that spirituality, in some form, should be an important consideration in their health care. Yet one study showed that 72 percent of patients said their spiritual needs were minimally or not at all supported by the medical system even though spiritual support was highly associated with quality of life.

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's Board of Directors

and

Rev. Eric J. Hall

President and CEO

cordially invite you to celebrate spiritual care in health care at our

ANNUAL CONVOCATION

Also the Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care will
be presented to two guest speakers

RICHARD PAYNE, M.D.
Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity,  Duke Divinity School, and internationally known expert  in the areas of pain relief, care for those near death, oncology and neurology.

LARRY VANDECREEK, D. MIN. 

Trailblazing researcher for the profession of health care  chaplaincy and former editor of  The Journal of  Health Care Chaplaincy.

All are Welcome
Light Refreshments Will Be Served
Free and Open to the Public

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 

Temple Emanu-El

1 East 65th Street 
 New York, NY 10065

 If you wish to attend in person, please register here. (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-convocation-tickets-16562779720

For webcast, listen live at:

http://www.emanuelnyc.org/simple.php/wor_broadcast via Live365 Internet Radio.

 

 

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Caring for the Human Spirit

Two AttendeesHealthCare Chaplaincy Network's second annual Caring for the Human Spirit™ Conference April 20th -22nd at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando was a milestone event in advancing the integration of spiritual care in health care internationally.

The featured speakers said that spiritual care is at a critical juncture, noting that its significance as part of overall wellness is increasingly being recognized and the field is now poised to make major inroads toward fully integrating spiritual care into health care in the U.S. and globally.

Emphasizing this, Christina M. Puchalski, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish), said, "Spirituality should be considered one of the vital signs in the care and treatment of patients.”

Eric HallThe 400 in-person attendees and other health care professionals accessing recorded sessions were from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Namibia, India, Australia, and Singapore. They represented multiple disciplines, including chaplains, physicians, nurse practitioners and researchers.

The consensus of the attendees was that the conference was a major step forward towards the goal of delivering effective whole-person care to more people in need. “I’ve been to many professional conferences, and this is the best one I’ve attended,” remarked one participant.” “This was such a great opportunity to hear from experts in the field and to engage one to one with professional colleagues,” said another attendee. One acknowledged, “I’ve learned things at the conference I wish I knew years ago.”

Father RickThe program featured one keynote address, five plenary sessions, sixteen workshops, three intensives presentations, a dozen poster presentations, and occasions for small group conversations.

Dr. Puchalski presented the keynote address “Improving the Spiritual Domain of Whole Person Care: Reaching National and International Consensus.” She described the global initiative for implementation of inter-professional spiritual care, discussed the educational and clinical initiatives in spirituality and health within the context of the global initiative recommendations, and reflected on ways that health care professionals could apply the call to the world to improve the quality of spiritual care in their setting.

Dr. Puchalski said that her recent experience with her father’s ultimately successful surgery has helped her understand the importance of patient- centered, whole person care.

The second plenary speaker was Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, and Professor and Director of Nursing Research and Education at City of Hope in Duarte, California. Like the other speakers, Dr. Ferrell is a prominent advocate for the role of spiritual care within palliative care. In 2013 when announcing the new National Consensus Guidelines for Palliative Care as project co-chair, Dr. Ferrell stated emphatically, “If you’re not providing excellent spiritual care, you’re not providing palliative care.”

“Integration of Spirituality in Palliative Care Education and Research” was Dr. Ferrell’s plenary topic. She described national training programs to improve spiritual assessment and care by health care professionals, described research projects that have included spirituality as a component of interventions and outcomes, and identified opportunities for collaboration between spiritual care providers and clinical researchers to advance spiritual care and the evidence base for practice.

The third plenary speaker was Karen E. Steinhauser, MD, Health Scientist, the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Steinhauser made the case that given the principles of patient-centeredness and holism that that are central to palliative care, spiritual care is an integral component of the palliative care provision mandated in policy guidance internationally. Despite this, she said, spiritual needs are often neglected in clinical practice, and the body of evidence to inform spiritual care, although growing, remains limited.

Dr. Steinhauser provided an overview of existing evidence in the field of spiritual care in palliative care, highlighted gaps in current evidence and new and growing areas of research, and identified future strategies and a research agenda for spiritual care in palliative care.

Liliana De Lima, MHA, Executive Director of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, presented recent developments in palliative care worldwide in her plenary session “Making Spiritual Care Part of Health Care Worldwide,” including the important Palliative Care Resolution unanimously adopted by the World Health Health Assembly in 2014. She discussed the major challenges and opportunities for the development of spiritual care globally and identified tools and resources for advocacy to engage with the civil society in the advancement of spiritual care. In concluding, Ms. De Lima quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Capturing“Finding Room For God?: A Practical Theology For Spiritual Care In Healthcare” was the title of the plenary presentation by the Rev. Dr. John Swinton, BD, PhD, RMN, RNMD, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The Rev. Dr. Swinton’s theme was that in a health care context that requires generalities, reflecting on the particularities of any given religious tradition is always difficult and sensitive, and yet, religion remains an important aspect of patient and staff experience. How then, he asked, are we to hold the tension between developing spiritually neutral services and respecting and valuing belief systems that demand particularity? He explored this tension with a view to opening up space for critical but constructive conversation around the role of religion in the understanding and delivery of spiritual care.

In his concluding remarks the Rev. Dr. Swinton said, “Chaplaincy opens up the soul of health care.”

The Rev. George Handzo, MA, BCC, CSSBB Director, Health Services, Research and Quality, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network delivered the fifth plenary entitled “The Professional Chaplain: Taking the Lead in Integrating Spiritual Care Through Clinical Practice, Education and Research.” He described how the role of the chaplain in health care has become much more central to the health care enterprise and at the same time much more complicated and multifaceted.

The Rev. Handzo presented a role for the multi-faith chaplain in the demanding world of spiritually integrated healthcare, made the case for professional chaplaincy in their own setting, and described how to more effectively integrate and deploy chaplaincy resources in their healthcare. In conclusion, he recommended a sense of urgency to reduce the distress of patients and family caregivers as well as nurses and physicians and others who are under stress of providing care.

The conference’s workshops included these topics:

  • Demonstrating the Value of Integrating Spiritual Care in Health Care Through Increased Patient Satisfaction
  • TeleChaplaincy: The Online Practice of Professional Chaplaincy
  • The Impact of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training on the Perceived Incidence of Workplace Incivility Among Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses
  • Chaplain Visits and Patient Satisfaction
  • The Distinctiveness of Pediatric Chaplaincy and Related Developmental and Training Implications for Spiritual Care
  • Increasing Spiritual Care Awareness in Oncology Nursing Staff to Provide Quality Holistic Patient Care
  • Spiritual Assessment and Intervention Model: Articulation, Evolution and Evidence
  • Spiritually Integrated Therapy: A Curriculum for Mental Health Providers
  • Educating Health Care Practitioners in Spiritual Care – A Tradecraft Workshop
  • Can Trusting God Be Bad for Health? A Look at the Research
  • Addressing Cumulative Grief as an Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Team
  • Implementation of a Mental Health Certification Program for Chaplains
  • The Role of the Chaplain in Medical Education: Fostering Inner Personal Growth as Part of Professional Formation of the Students

 

Intensives topics were:

  • Online Education for Spiritual Care – Opportunities and Challenges
  • Spiritual Care Research in the Palliative Care Setting – Issues and Possibilities
  • Integrating Spirituality Into Clinical Practice: Enough with the Lip Service, Let’s Talk the Talk

 

In addition to the keynote and plenary speakers, conference faculty came from a wide range of health care institutions and organizations including:

  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • University of Chicago
  • Duke University
  • University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of California San Francisco
  • Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital, United Kingdom
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Rush University
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Life’s Door-Tishkofet, Israel
  • United States Veterans Administration
  • Institute for Palliative Care at California State University San Marcos
  • Tampa General Hospital
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Arnold Palmer Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

View photo album from the conference here.

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The recognition of the importance and value of spiritual care continues to grow! The Today Show's "Do You Believe? series" all this week takes an in-depth look at faith and spirituality, examining the many ways that spirituality can be communicated and displayed and featuring real-life stories.

Here are links to stories so far:

Does prayer work? Is there an afterlife? TODAY's survey offers snapshot of faith, spirituality.

Who is God today? Why these religious leaders say modern faith is 'about love.

Keep the faith: 7 apps to help your spiritual life. 

Can prayer heal? These parents credit faith with son's 'miracle' recovery.

How to raise a spiritual child: 3 exercises to try with your family.

Through Friday you can find more features as they appear.

For all of us who are committed to advancing the integration of spiritual care in health care, this Today Show series is an affirmation that our work and support are so vital.

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