Below links to the archives for the monthly e-Newsletter HealthCare Chaplaincy Today, the quarterly publication The Beacon, and lists selected news items.
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New York (August 13, 2013) Consistent with HealthCare Chaplaincy’s 52-year history of evolving to meet the changing demands of American health care, Rev. Eric J. Hall has been named president and CEO following a rigorous search process.
He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Walter J. Smith, SJ, who served in that position for the past 22 years. Father Smith has been appointed chancellor of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc. and will continue to serve as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors.
HealthCare Chaplaincy is a leader in integrating spirituality within health care and the growing specialty of palliative care in order to improve patient care and its experience.
“The Board of Directors is enormously grateful to Father Smith for his contributions to the growth of HealthCare Chaplaincy for more than two decades. We are thrilled that he will continue to play a key role on our team,” said Michael Long, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc. Board chairman.
Long commented, “Rev. Hall brings to our organization superb credentials as we pursue our mission through research, education, and clinical practice and develop the National Center for Palliative Care Innovation. The National Center will embody those three core areas, including a 120-unit enhanced assisted living residence for people with serious, chronic illnesses who can no longer live independently.”
Most recently Rev. Hall was the founder and president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Under his leadership and vision, the AFA grew to more than 1,600 member organizations coast to coast and has helped improve awareness and care for Alzheimer’s patients through the creation of numerous programs and services. He has served on the National Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Disease, working with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and other national experts to develop and implement the nation’s first plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.
The Wall Street Journal 12/6/2011 Read "Bigger Roles for Chaplains on Patient Medical Teams" and "Informed Patient: Bringing Spirituality to Medicine."
John Templeton Foundation Awards HealthCare Chaplaincy $3 Million Grant Seeking to Revolutionize Chaplaincy Care
New York (September 14, 2011) – The John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, has awarded a three year $3 million grant to HealthCare Chaplaincy, a leader in the research, education and practice of spiritual care and palliative care, to advance scientific research on professional chaplaincy’s contributions to health and health care, particularly palliative care, which relieves suffering and improves one’s quality of life.
This grant – the largest in size and scope for professional chaplaincy research – is expected to create a cadre of board certified chaplains skilled and committed to carrying forward the future research agenda for the chaplaincy profession. Unlike medicine, nursing and social work, professional health care chaplaincy lacks the scientific research that adequately defines and documents its best practices.
Select, fund and supervise about six interrelated and interdisciplinary national research projects to propose and test models, methods and measures for chaplaincy practice in the growing field of palliative care
Close the research gap by establishing evidence-based standards of chaplaincy care practice in palliative care
Team experienced behavioral and social science researchers with chaplains to develop their research skills
Grow the number of skilled chaplain researchers by training, mentoring and supervising aspiring chaplain-researchers whose projects are not selected for funding through the competitive RFP process, but who, nonetheless, show considerable promise as researchers.
HealthCare Chaplaincy will bring together three times each year these teams of professional chaplains and medical, social and behavioral science researchers to share their insights and discoveries in their funded research.
HealthCare Chaplaincy will issue its Request for Proposals in late 2011.
Project co-leaders are Linda Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Buehler Center on Aging, professor of Health Industry Management at the Kellogg School and professor of medicine at Northwestern University Medical School, and the Rev. George Handzo, BCC, vice president for chaplaincy care leadership and practice at HealthCare Chaplaincy. Both are nationally recognized experts in their fields.
The project will engage more than a dozen distinguished consultants and adjunct faculty from prestigious colleges, universities and professional schools from across North America and from Health Care Chaplaincy’s staff.
PBS Series Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Interviews HealthCare Chaplaincy's Rev. George Handzo for Segment "Faith and the Brain" 7/18/09
The Rev. George Handzo, HealthCare Chaplaincy's vice president for pastoral care and leadership, was featured last week on the PBS show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, considered the best TV program on the role of religion and the ethical dimensions related to current news events.
Rev. Handzo was interviewed for the segment "Faith and the Brain" where "Correspondent Lucky Severenson explores the field of neurotheology to learn if meditation and prayer have a direct impact on the brain. Traveling to the University of Pennsylvania Center for Spirituality and the Mind, the report showcases the use of imaging technology to scan the part of the brain that's activated when a patient prays or meditates. It's called the frontal lobes -- where empathy, focus, compassion and reason reside. Dr. Andrew Newberg of the Center demonstrates his discovery that the way we view God can make a huge difference in how it affects our well being."
In February, Rev. Handzo and Dr. Newberg participated in the TIME Magazine forum "Faith and Healing."
Rev. Handzo brings a remarkable perspective to this topic: he was educated first as a geologist at Princeton University, then at the Yale University Divinity School, followed by his distinguished career as a board certified chaplain. He says, "Faith and science are different realms of knowing. I respect both, but one does not depend on the other. The program asks: 'There are some who argue that certain people are predisposed or hardwired toward transcendent experiences and some are not.' Science may draw one conclusion on this premise of hardwiring, but faith is going to draw another conclusion. Is there a right and wrong? Who knows? Does it matter? Who knows? That’s what makes the world interesting."
You can find the video segment and transcript here.
HealthCare Chaplaincy Responds to Senate Finance Committee 5/19/09
The Senate Finance Committee invited public comment on the report it released on April 19th -- "Transforming the Health Care Delivery System: Proposals to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Health Care Costs." HealthCare Chaplaincy submitted a response jointly with three other leading organizations -- The George Washington Institute for Spirituality & Health, the Association of Professional Chaplains, and the City of Hope National Medical Center.
The response says, "The palliative care model and its emphasis on interdisciplinary teams, and patient-centered care (including the recognition of spiritual needs), provides a powerful model which can serve to address many of the health care policy goals set forth in the Senate’s report on health care."
Palliative Care be included in the health care reform legislation as a recommended model for delivering chronic care and managing chronic care patients during acute care admissions and after discharge from acute care settings. Palliative care or home-based teams would coordinate care for the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the patient’s care and would include professionals qualified in each area.
Palliative care must include attention to spiritual, religious, and existential aspects of care as consistent with the National Consensus Project for Palliative Care Guidelines and National Quality Forum for Preferred Practices and that care should be provided by the interdisciplinary health care professionals including a board certified chaplain.
Demonstration project to test the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams with palliative care training for chronically ill patients in acute care settings with the goal of producing more coordinated, lower cost, and higher quality care with reduced readmissions. The teams would include a physician, a nurse, a case manager, and a board certified chaplain. Spiritual issues of healthcare professionals should be attended to as a way of improving workplace stress management and team cohesiveness.
Demonstration projects to test the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams with palliative care training to manage chronic patients at home. The goal would be to manage all aspects of the patient and family needs in such a way that readmission was delayed or avoided.
Time Magazine Features HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Work in “How Faith Can Heal” Cover Story
Time Magazine’s cover story “How Faith Can Heal” (February 23, 2009) describes how HealthCare Chaplaincy bridges science and faith to bring comfort to patients in the hospital and to help them find meaning. Time writes that HealthCare Chaplaincy “is slowly going national, and even the most literal-minded scientists welcome the development.” President & CEO The Rev. Dr. Walter J. Smith, S.J. contributed to the main piece “The Biology of Belief”.
The Rev. George Handzo, Vice President, Pastoral Care Leadership & Practice, participated with TIME’s Science Editor Jeffrey Kluger and scientists Richard Sloan, Ph.D. and Andrew Newberg, Ph.D. in “Faith and Healing: A Forum”, which appears in the magazine and in video. Contents are online at time.com. Read the details