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The Latest News:
Six New Studies to Highlight Effectiveness of Spiritual Care in
Health Care for People Facing Serious Illness

New Field of Research to Launch at March 2014
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Conference

New York, NY, February 18, 2014 —Six groundbreaking studies will be presented at the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) first annual conference, Caring for the Human Spirit®: Driving the Research Agenda for Spiritual Care in HealthCare, taking place March 31 – April 3, 2014 at The New York Academy of Medicine in New York City.

“This is the first large-scale attempt at forming an evidence base for spiritual care effectiveness in health care,” said The Rev. Eric Hall, HCCN President and CEO. “The conference will act as the launch pad for a rigorous new field of long-overdue research.”

Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the six studies include:

  • Hospital Chaplaincy and Medical Outcomes at the End of Life
    Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston)
    Project director, Tracy Balboni, MD, Project chaplain, Angelika Zollfrank, BCC

This study holds key implications for improving the availability of chaplain services to patients, and the involvement of chaplains on medical teams, particularly in end of life care.

  • Understanding Pediatric Chaplaincy in Crisis Situations
    Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City)
    Project director, John Lantos, MD, Project chaplain, Dane Sommer, BCC

This study is expected to help guide change in how medical professionals utilize chaplains in the care of seriously ill children.

  • Impact of Hospital-Based Chaplain Support on Decision-Making During Serious Illness in a Diverse Urban Palliative Care Population
    Emory University (Atlanta)
    Project director, Tammie Quest, MD, Project chaplain, George Grant, ACPE

Research will show that more than half of chaplain visits did not actually focus on spiritual issues

  • Caregiver Outlook: An Evidence-Based Intervention for the Chaplain Toolkit
    Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC)
    Project director, Karen Steinhauser. PhD, Project chaplain, Annette Olsen, BCC

This study will demonstrate that it is feasible for chaplains to work from a manual for intervention (the very first).

  • Spiritual Assessment and Intervention Model (AIM) in Outpatient Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer
    University of California, San Francisco
    Project director, Laura Dunn, MD, Project chaplain, Allison Kestenbaum, BCC

This is one of very few studies to provide an in-depth picture of what chaplains do in their work with patients.

  • “What do I do” – Developing a Taxonomy of Chaplaincy Activities and Interventions for Spiritual Care in ICU Palliative Care
    Advocate Charitable Foundation & Advocate Health Care (Chicago)
    Project director, Kevin Massey, BCC, Co-principal investigator, William Summerfelt, PhD

This study solves the mystery of how chaplains are helpful by revealing a common chaplain language, list of activities and intended effects and outcomes.

Keynote speakers will include leaders in the fields of Oncology and Palliative Care:

  • Linda Emanuel, MD, PhD, Director, Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Northwestern University
  • Kathleen Foley, MD, Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience & Clinical Pharmacology,
    Weill Medical College of Cornell University
  • Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Hospice & Palliative Care, Ohiohealth
  • Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Wayne E Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology,
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) is a health care agency dedicated to helping people faced with the distress of illness and suffering, find comfort and meaning.

About the John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.