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April 2017  Issue No. 20

Noteworthy

Spiritual Care Association Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
 
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) marked its one-year anniversary on April 11, bolstered by significant growth in size and stature since its formation. The nonprofit international organization, an affiliate of the 56-year-old HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), has garnered more than 1,300 members -- chaplains and other health care professionals, clergy and organizations -- and has a presence in 12 countries. Also of note, SCA has begun certifying chaplains, utilizing its certifying process grounded in evidence-based knowledge and objective testing that ensures demonstration of clinical competencies. (Spiritual Care Association)
 
HCCN/SCA President Recognized for Significant Contributions to Field
 
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) presented Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HCCN and SCA, with its 2017 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award for Significant Contributions to the Clinical Pastoral Field at the organization's conference in March. CPSP's Robert Charles Powell, M.D., Ph.D., said of Hall's work: "A new outsider now has tried to discern the essence -- the commonality -- of what the various clinical pastoral organizations have been trying to accomplish."  (College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy)

Presentations for physicians, nurses,
social workers and chaplains
 
Venue: Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York

Research Review

Standardized Palliative Care Consultation Criteria Improves Quality of Care

A new study among hospitalized patients with advanced cancer demonstrates that the standardized use of triggers for palliative care consultation is associated with a substantial impact on multiple quality measures, including declines in 30-day readmission rates and an overall increase in support measures following discharge. (Journal of Oncology Practice) 


Palliative Care

Charter Emphasizes Palliative Care for Older Persons

Representatives from major religions and palliative care organizations, who met in Rome on March 30 to address the pressing need for palliative care for older persons, approved a charter that recognizes that "each older person has full value and human rights, and contributes to society including when fragile and in need of care." The charter also calls on caregivers, policy makers, spiritual and religious leaders, and others to advance access to palliative care for older persons. (ehospice)


Spiritual Care

UK Debates the Value of Hospital Chaplains

While many describe hospital chaplaincy care as "invaluable," others are questioning its worth in the UK. The debate: In these times of austerity and with almost half the population of England and Wales identifying as having no religion, are chaplains really worth the expense to the National Health Service trusts?  
(The Guardian) 


Professional Practice

Telehealth Is Opening Doors for Hospice and Palliative Care
 
A handful of palliative care services across the country have found ways to incorporate telehealth into their continuum of services. Hospices, too, are exploring regulatory and practical requirements and opportunities, according to Judi Lund Person, vice president, regulatory and compliance, for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Have we just scratched the surface? 
(AAHPM Quarterly)
 

Patient Experience

New C-Suite Position to Watch: Chief Experience Officers
 
As payers tie more reimbursement to patient satisfaction scores and demonstrated outcomes, and as patients are more informed about the choices they can make, health systems are increasingly developing new ways to improve performance. Some of these methods include the creation of new executive roles aimed at ensuring patients and caregivers have the tools they need for success. Among them: chief experience officer (CXO), which is driven by the desire to improve the larger patient experience -- a combination of excellence in clinical care and patient perception -- and the experience of caregivers. (Managed Healthcare Executive)

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Advocacy Update

Petition Tells Congress That 'Spiritual Care Matters'
 
SCA and HCCN are spearheading an online petition that calls on Congress "to recognize spiritual care as a key aspect of whole-person health care; and to support and facilitate expanded access to optimal spiritual care and resources across health care settings." The groups are urging consumers and health care professionals to sign the petition to send a strong message to Congress that "spiritual care matters." (Spiritual Care Association) 

Read more

Sign the petition
Senate Leaders Reintroduce Chronic Care Act
 
Bipartisan leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee recently introduced the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 (S. 870). Largely unchanged from the original bill introduced in the last Congress, it would implement Medicare payment policies designed to cost-effectively improve management of chronic disease, streamline care coordination, and improve quality outcomes. Of interest is section 502, which requires the Government Accountability Office to study the formulation of a comprehensive care plan for beneficiaries, which includes an examination of interdisciplinary teams that "may include a chaplain, minister, or other clergy ..." HCCN is urging Senate sponsors to further refine the act by changing the word "may" to "shall," which would ensure consideration of spiritual health as part of the study.  
 
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Good Reads

Mongolia: A Surprisingly Good Place to Die
 
A campaigning doctor has helped make Mongolia a better place to die than many much wealthier nations. For a country that had no palliative care to speak of barely a decade ago, the change has been dramatic. Among the advances, all of Mongolia's 21 provincial hospitals as well as the nine district hospitals in Ulan Bator have at least five palliative care beds, and the National Health Service now has to provide palliative care by law. (Mosaic)

Read more 
Israeli Family Hopes for 'A Good Day'
 
The only supportive and palliative care center for children in Israel has opened on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus. It is here that one family, whose eight-and-a-half-year-old daughter has an extremely rare and incurable genetically transmitted neurodegenerative disorder, hopes for a good day. (The Jerusalem Post)

Read more 
 
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, is a global health care 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 improve patient experience and satisfaction and to 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,  call 212-644-1111, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that includes a comprehensive evidence-based model that defines, delivers, trains and tests for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. SCA, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, a global nonprofit organization focused on spiritual-related clinical care, research and education. Visit www.SpiritualCareAssociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.
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New York, N.Y. (April 10, 2017)—“Spiritual Care: What It Means, Why It Matters & Your Role on the Interdisciplinary Team” will be explored at an educational forum for health care professionals on May 10 in New York.

Presented by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and the Spiritual Care Association (SCA), the forum will feature an interdisciplinary panel and specific sessions for physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains. It will take place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller Research Laboratories, 430 E. 67th St., New York, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. for nurses, social workers, chaplains and others. Physicians can attend a physicians’-only session from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., or participate in the entire program.

The program reflects the view that “collaboration among various health care disciplines is essential for providing effective, compassionate whole-person care to patients and their families across clinical settings,” the organizations said. Its goals include increasing the effectiveness of interdisciplinary health care team in providing spiritual care, and improving the quality of life, medical outcomes, and health care experience for patients.

Presenters are: Deborah Marin, M.D., Blumenthal Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Spirituality and Health at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Melissa Stewart, LCSW-R, senior clinical social worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Rev. Kevin Massey, MDiv, BCC, vice president-mission and spiritual care at Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Ill.; and Cristy DeGregory, Ph.D., RN, a gerontologist and clinical assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM) and the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. The UASOM is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Alabama School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is pending approval from the National Association of Social Workers, and has been submitted to the Maryland Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The cost is $150, including breakfast. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/2mIcsnt.

 

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, is a global health care 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 improve patient experience and satisfaction and to 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, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

 

About the Spiritual Care Association

The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that includes a comprehensive evidence-based model that defines, delivers, trains and tests for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. SCA is a nonprofit affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. Visit www.spiritualcareassociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

 

Media contact: Carol Steinberg csteinberg@healthcarechaplaincy.org 212-644-1111, ext.121

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 SPIRITUAL CARE ASSOCIATION URGES CONSUMERS, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO TELL CONGRESS ‘SPIRITUAL CARE MATTERS’

 

New York, N.Y. (March 27, 2017)—The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) and its affiliate, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) are spearheading a petition that calls on Congress “to recognize spiritual care as a key aspect of whole-person health care; and to support and facilitate expanded access to optimal spiritual care and resources across health care settings.”

The groups, both leading nonprofit organizations in the field of spiritual care, are urging consumers and health care professionals to sign the online petition to send a strong message to Congress that “spiritual care matters.” The petition is available at www.change.org/p/tell-congress-that-spiritual-care-matters

“It’s time to stand together to put spiritual care on the radar of policy makers,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of SCA and HCCN. “When we talk about patient-centered care and whole-person care, we must include spiritual care. A unified call for action is critical to ensure that spiritual care becomes more mainstream, so that patients and their families receive optimal support in what is often their greatest time of need.”

The petition notes that a significant body of evidence supports the efficacy of spiritual care as a value-added service in health care, including a positive relationship between spirituality and health and well-being, as well as a correlation between spiritual support and patient satisfaction and lower cost of care.

It also points out that authoritative bodies emphasize the inclusion of spiritual care in health care. Most recently, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates adopted a policy recognizing “the importance of individual patient spirituality and its impact on health and encourages patient access to spiritual care services."

In addition, the petition cites patients and family members on the merits of spiritual support, including speaking with a professional chaplain: According to one individual quoted in the petition: “Without someone to talk with, my health problems seemed overwhelming, I am so glad I found you because talking with you has eased my burden.”

Separately, SCA and HCCN are encouraging consumers and health care professionals to contact their U.S. senators to influence legislation related to the inclusion of chaplains on interdisciplinary health care teams.

Specifically, in the last session of Congress, bipartisan leaders of the Senate Finance Committee introduced S. 3504, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016; the legislation is likely to be reintroduced in the current Congress. Of interest is section 502, which requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the formulation of a comprehensive plan of longitudinal care for Medicare beneficiaries with serious or life-threatening illnesses, which includes an examination of interdisciplinary care teams that, as defined by the legislation, “may include a chaplain, minister, or other clergy …”

“Given the importance of spiritual care to individuals facing chronic conditions and assessing end-of-life options, we urge the Senate sponsors to further refine the CHRONIC Care Act by changing the word ‘may’ to ‘shall.’ This would ensure that spiritual health will be considered as part of the GAO’s study,” said Hall. “Moreover, it would mark another step toward inclusion of spiritual care and enhanced overall health care.”

 

About the Spiritual Care Association

The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that includes a comprehensive evidence-based model that defines, delivers, trains and tests for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. SCA is a nonprofit affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. Visit www.spiritualcareassociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, is a global health care 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 improve patient experience and satisfaction and to 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, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

Media contact: Carol Steinberg csteinberg@healthcarechaplaincy.org 212-644-1111, ext.121

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March 2017  Issue No. 19
Noteworthy

Evidence-based White Paper on Nurses' Role in Spiritual Care Released
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and its affiliate, the Spiritual Care Association, on March 13 released the first evidence-based white paper on the integration of spiritual care in nursing practice --"Spiritual Care and Nursing: A Nurse's Contribution and Practice." The new white paper is designed to help guide the field, empowering nurses to better integrate basic levels of spiritual care into their practice, raise their comfort levels in addressing spiritual issues, and understand when to refer to professional chaplains to provide in-depth support. (HealthCare Chaplaincy Network/Spiritual Care Association)
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Honors Two Pioneers for Outstanding Health Care Leadership
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network presented its prestigious Pioneer Award for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care to Roshi Joan Jiko Halifax, Ph.D., founder of the Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Santa Fe, N.M.; and Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, Ph.D., RN, a professor at Loma Linda University School of Nursing, Loma Linda, Calif. HCCN bestowed the awards during its 4th annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference, held Chicago March 13-15 in Chicago and attended by professional chaplains, doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals from 18 countries. (HealthCare Chaplaincy Network) 


Spiritual Care

New Spiritual Care Communication Board Helps ICU Patients Express Spiritual Needs

A new spiritual care communication board created by the Pastoral Care & Education Department at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center is helping mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) communicate their emotional and spiritual needs. Working with a chaplain, patients point to words or illustrations that indicate their spiritual or religious affiliation, emotional state, spiritual needs, and desired chaplain intervention. The overall purpose of the board is to reduce anxiety in patients and ensure they receive the most appropriate spiritual care. (Newswise)

On the Job Profile: Hospital Chaplain's Work Is a Blessing and a Challenge
 
As part of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's mission to inform the public and professionals about the role of chaplains, HCCN liaised with a reporter and local chaplain to facilitate an article in The Boston Globe that highlighted chaplaincy as a career. The Globe spoke with Alyssa Adreani, a chaplain at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, about how hospital chaplains are considered part of the treatment team, sometimes even improving health outcomes. "Everyone has a story -- it is my privilege to listen to it," Adreani said. (The Boston Globe)


Palliative Care

Early Palliative Care Benefits Children With Cancer

In a study aimed at establishing whether pediatric cancer patients have unmet needs at the initiation of cancer therapy, and whether patient and family attitudes are a barrier to early palliative care involvement, researchers found that a significantly higher percentage of children -- median age of 14 -- than parents reported that initiating palliative care near the time of diagnosis would have been helpful for treating symptoms. In addition, a higher percentage of children endorsed palliative care intervention if pain or symptom management was a problem if the cancer worsened or returned and throughout the entirety of the cancer care. (Healio) 

UK Survey Informs Oncology Care Research Agenda

Asked about priorities for future research to improve care, cancer patients identified palliative and end-of-life care information, while oncology nurses highlighted the use of eHealth and technology to manage cancer symptoms at home, according to researchers at the University of Surrey in England. In addition, patients cited cognitive changes from cancer treatment; and patients and nurses identified factors affecting the early presentation of cancer symptoms, and the availability of psychosocial support services and the post-treatment management of anxiety following treatment. (UPI)


Home-Based Care

Emergency Visits Decline for Dying Patients Receiving Palliative Care at Home
 
Community-based palliative care -- care delivered at home, not the hospital -- was associated with an average 50 percent reduction in emergency department visits for patients in their last year of life, according to a study that reviewed 12,000 records for patients who died of cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and/or liver failures in Western Australia from 2009 to 2010. The greatest reduction was seen in patients who were older, had a partner, lived in major cities and more affluent areas, and had no prior history of emergency department visits. (Dotmed.com)
 
Innovative Home Visit Models Associated With Reduced Costs, Hospitalizations
 
Researchers evaluated five models of teams led by registered nurses or lay health workers (practice-extender teams) who provide home visits to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, and found that two of them achieved significant reductions in Medicare expenditures, and three others reduced emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or both for beneficiaries relative to comparators. (Health Affairs) 
 
 
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, is a global health care 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 improve patient experience and satisfaction and to 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,  call 212-644-1111, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that includes a comprehensive evidence-based model that defines, delivers, trains and tests for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. SCA, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, a global nonprofit organization focused on spiritual-related clinical care, research and education. Visit www.SpiritualCareAssociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook.
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LEADING SPIRITUAL CARE ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE FIRST EVIDENCE-BASED WHITE PAPER EXPLORING NURSES’ ROLE IN PROVIDING SPIRITUAL SUPPORT

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 13, 2017)–HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and its affiliate, the Spiritual Care Association (SCA) today released the first evidence-based white paper on the integration of spiritual care in nursing practice—“Spiritual Care and Nursing: A Nurse’s Contribution and Practice.”

The new white paper is designed to help guide the field, empowering nurses to better integrate basic levels of spiritual care into their practice, raise their comfort levels in addressing spiritual issues, and understand when to refer to professional chaplains to provide in-depth support. It is available online at
www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/spiritualcare/nursing.

According to academic studies cited in the report, many nurses recognize their role in caring for their “patients in their entirety . . . [and] in this meeting, in this area with those who are vulnerable and in pain, nurses can and must find space to achieve the spiritual care.” Yet, “most nurses have had minimal training and education around providing spiritual care to their patients, and often have even less comfort attempting to do so.”

At the same time, while most patients and families do not anticipate in-depth spiritual support from their nurses, a high percentage of patients have expressed a desire for providers, including nurses, to ask about and potentially address spiritual and religious concerns.

“The white paper highlights that nursing has long been associated with spirituality and meaning making,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HCCN and SCA, and one of the contributors to the white paper. “It’s time to reinforce nurses’ valuable contribution to spiritual care and build on it, especially given today’s increasing recognition that whole-person and patient-engaged care relies, to varying extents, on the entire interdisciplinary team. This can powerfully influence optimal health care.”

With contributions by SCA’s nursing advisory board and chaplaincy leaders, the white paper lays out the roles of nurses as spiritual care generalists and professional chaplains as spiritual care specialists. It notes that providing proactive spiritual care has been proven to have a positive impact on clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost.

Among the questions explored are: What can a nurse do to address the spiritual needs of a patient or family member? How is spirituality the same or different from religion? When should a nurse refer a patient or family to a professional chaplain? Is it ever ok to pray with a patient, or to share the nurse’s own faith and religious resources?

Cristy DeGregory, Ph.D., RN, a gerontologist and clinical assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, who contributed to the white paper, said it is “key” to understand the role of each member of the interprofessional team in the provision of spiritual care.

“We often think spiritual care is only necessary at the end of life or reduce it to the screening assessment done upon admission. But it is important to find ways of extending spiritual care and recognizing the potential importance for all patients,” she said. “This paper is a tool to help nurses more effectively contribute to providing better integrated spiritual care.”

In addition to this white paper, ongoing efforts by HCCN and SCA to educate nurses, as well as other disciplines, include a growing number of online courses, webinars, conferences and articles on various aspects of spiritual care. In October 2016, HCCN released a transformative white paper, “SPIRITUAL CARE: What It Means, Why It Matters in Health Care.”

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™, based in New York, is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-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, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on twitter and Facebook.

About Spiritual Care Association
The Spiritual Care Association is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership organization for spiritual care providers that includes a comprehensive evidence-based model that defines, delivers, trains and tests for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. Membership is open to health care professionals, including chaplains, social workers, nurses and doctors; clergy and religious leaders; and organization. SCA, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. For more information, visit www.spiritualcareassociation.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on twitter and Facebook.

Media contact:
Carol Steinberg
csteinberg@healthcarechaplaincy.org
212-644-111, ext.121

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