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27
September 2017  Issue No. 25

Noteworthy

Registration for the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference is now open
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will host its 5th annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, April 23-25, 2018, in New Orleans, LA. There will be over 30 workshops, Pre-Conference Intensives and a specialty track for nurses and social workers.
 
Register by January 31, 2018, for a chance to win two tickets to the New Orleans Jazz Fest! Discounted rate for SCA members.

Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference

Spiritual Care

Spiritual training for doctors

A study conducted by Faith in Practice has shown that doctors who are trained on spirituality are twice as likely to conduct regular spiritual assessment. (Fierce Healthcare)
 

Palliative Care

Palliative care needed sooner than later

Yale University School of Medicine conducted a study which shows that earlier access to hospice and palliative care are needed to address disability at the end of life. (Globe News Wire)

Palliative Care - Viewpoints

The demand for palliative care rises

The benefits of palliative care continues to grow. Dr. Helen Senderovich explains why she administers this type of treatment as opposed to others.  (The Star)

Paid advertisement
To advertise with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, contact comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org 

End-of-Life Care

Hospice care as an afterthought

Although Medicare has fully covered the cost of hospice care for the terminally ill since 1982, only 43% of people have initiated that type of care. (U.S. News)
 
 
Talking about death can be very useful 
It makes sense to inform loved ones on end-of-life care is helpful when it comes to making decisions if the patient is unable to do so. However, putting it into practice is so much harder.

Spirituality

The link between spirituality and the environment
 
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have reminded people of the power of Mother Nature. While we feel we have an important role on this planet - possibly by our job; our role as a provider - it can be taken away in an instant.  How can this aid in our spiritual journey? (Edmond Sun)
 

Health Report

Whole person care starts with food
 
You know the saying: "You are what you eat." This has never been more true than now. Maintaining a healthy diet supports brain, mental and physical health. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
 


The need for social connection is higher than you think
 
In the age of social media, people are more isolated. Loneliness can cause severe health problems that were once solely attributed to poor diet and genetics. (American Journal of Managed Care)

Good Reads
 
Raising funds for a homeless man

Mental health issues has driven a Colorado man to become homeless. However, generosity has gotten him on his feet.
Read more

DID YOU KNOW...

The Excellence in Spiritual Care Award is a unique recognition. The program is designed to affirm strengths and create a guide for improving the provision of spiritual care based on identified best practices.  Read about the evaluation process.
 
 
Contact Rev. Amy Strano to learn more
astrano@healthcarechaplaincy.org
212.644.1111 x219
 
 
 
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Mercy Health

 

HEALTHCARE CHAPLAINCY NETWORK HOSTS CPE PROGRAM AT MERCY HEALTH – YOUNGSTOWN

Hospital and Students benefit from online education

 

New York, N.Y. (August 16, 2017) – HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) has partnered with Mercy Health – Youngstown in Ohio in advancing their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program by providing a CPE Certified Educator, as well as introducing HCCN’s CPE online program to the organization. Mercy Health is the largest health system in Ohio.

HCCN’s CPE program is a convenient and accessible path to further spiritual care education. It offers a standardized, cutting-edge approach to help future and current chaplains. The program includes online self-guided courses, authored by top experts; video conferencing for didactics, group process time, student presentations, one-on-one supervision by an ACPE Certified Educator – more commonly known as the CPE Supervisor.

“We developed HCCN’s distance-based CPE program as a way to educate individuals in multi-faith spiritual care who do not live near CPE centers,” explained Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “We are pleased that Mercy Health – Youngstown is able to benefit from our CPE program and that we can continue reaching those who want to further their spiritual care education.” Mercy Health – Youngstown has provided CPE since 2010. When their CPE Educator retired, Chaplain Sandra Lucas, the Regional Director of Spiritual Care, searched for the most convenient and cost-effective way to continue the program.

“There were no CPE programs in this area except ours,” explained Chaplain Lucas. “After exploring options at several hospitals, it was suggested I look into HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. I liked what I saw, particularly that their program is fully accredited through ACPE.”

HCCN developed an innovative approach to CPE in early 2016 and has since had over 125 students completing units through CPE.org. Deborah Damore, Director of Clinical Services for HCCN and ordained minister, has been serving as the CPE Certified Educator for the Youngstown units through CPE.org since February 2017.

Distinctive from traditional teaching methods, HCCN’s online CPE course offers students the ability to gain much of the training from clinical hours at a local institution, while engaging in the educational hours from the comfort of a home or office. This specific course is unique from standard enrollment through CPE.org in that all students are able to complete their clinical hours at Mercy Health – Youngstown. They also meet as a group for the online CPE class. The first unit, which began in Spring 2017, was a success encouraging the hospital to contract with HCCN for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 units.

“At first, it was a big adjustment even though the only difference – a big difference – was that the [CPE] Educator was online,” said Chaplain Lucas. “However, we learned that not only does it work, it works well. Healthcare facilities without the resources to hire an ACPE supervisor could offer CPE online.”

HCCN’s CPE program is provided by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™, a global leader in spiritual care education, clinical care, and research. HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is accredited to offer Level 1/Level II CPE by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE), One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030, 404 320 1472, www.acpe.edu. Learn more at www.CPE.org

 

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is a global healthcare nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care 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 healthcare 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 Mercy Health Youngstown

Mercy Health - Youngstown is an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley, which encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area – Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio. It is part of Mercy Health, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. Mercy Health - Youngstown provides a full spectrum of healthcare services – acute inpatient and trauma, outpatient and ambulatory, rehabilitation, behavioral, emergency and urgent care, primary care physicians in patient-centered medical homes, specialist physician care, home health, home medical equipment, long-term care and hospice care, as well as Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. Learn more at www.mercy.com/Youngstown.

 

Media contact
Charysse Harper
charper@healthcarechaplaincy.org
212-644-1111, ext. 107

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August 2017  Issue No. 24

Noteworthy

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Hosts CPE Program at Mercy Health - Youngstown
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) has partnered with Mercy Health - Youngstown in Ohio in advancing their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program by providing a CPE Certified Educator, as well as introducing HCCN's CPE online program to the organization.

Palliative Care

Costa Rica opens new Center for Pain and Palliative Care of the Social Security Administration

Since January 1991, Costa Rica began applying palliative medicine. The inauguration of its newest center will ensure that up to 12,000 patients receive various forms of palliative care. (Costa Rica Star)
 
 
Understanding the need for palliative care

In a Netflix documentary entitled Extremis, palliative care physician Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter highlights the way to decrease physical and emotional suffering to offer patients a more humane way to die. (NPR)
Read more

Spiritual Care

When medicine no longer works

Spiritual care is an unseen sedative that affects the health care decision-making of a patient. Research has shown that spiritual care reduces patient suffering and improves their quality of life. (US News)  
Spirituality reducing veteran suicide
 
In 2014, Veterans Affairs released a study showing that 20 veterans died from suicide each day displaying a neglected area in care. This year, the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua, NY,  Veterans Affair Medical Center announced a study on the positive link between using spiritual care to assist in veteran suicide prevention. (MP Now)


End-of-Life Care

The End-of-Life Option Act

In June 2016, California became the fourth state in the United States to allow medical aid in dying for patients suffering from terminal illness. However, when a patient makes a request, are doctors able to professionally assist from a personal standpoint? (NY Times)
Patient Experience

The art of listening

Though an advanced degree and years of experience are very important for anyone who wants to become a chaplain, the most underrated skill is listening. Responding to the needs of a patient can be a thin line between what the person does and does not say. (In Depth)

Spirituality

Integrating spirituality into patient care

According to a study by Adventist Health System, health care professionals who receive adequate training on engaging patients on issues of spirituality are twice as likely to conduct regular spiritual assessments. (Fierce Healthcare)

Health Report

The relationship between religion and body weight
 
Body weight has been labeled as a health concern, but researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, note that it is also an important psychosocial identity as they analyze the correlation between religion and body weight. (Healio.com)
 

Good Reads
 
A milkshake fulfills a dying woman's wish

After experiencing a second bout of pancreatic cancer at a hospice in Arlington, VA, a woman (an Ohio native) requested a milkshake from Tommy's restaurant in Cleveland Heights, OH. To her surprise, she received it! (WGN TV)
 
Read more


Finding healing in religious songs

While the link between spirituality and mental health is well known, nurse Jill Hamilton examines the impact of religious songs on African American cancer survivors. (Emory)

Read more

DID YOU KNOW...

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's Caring for the Human Spirit complimentary magazine is released twice a year (April and October).  If you are interested in receiving the hard copy, please send an email to Charysse Harper - charper@healthcarechaplaincy.org 
 
 
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July 2017 Issue No. 23

Noteworthy

Open Letter to Health Care Executives on the Spiritual Care Association
As the Spiritual Care Association finishes the first quarter of its second year, the same principles apply: to advance professional chaplaincy and the spiritual care field. A letter was sent to Health Care Executives providing more information about its education and certification models.

Palliative Care

A growing need for Palliative Care in the United States

Nearly 90 percent of large US hospitals with 300 beds or more offer palliative care services, yet there is only one palliative care physician per 1,200 people with serious illness in the United States. Cambia Health Foundation aims to change this. (Health Affairs)

Spiritual Care
 
Chaplain's role in hospitals

Johns Hopkins Medicine investigators conducted a study to understand how parents of hospitalized children view the role of chaplains. (Journal of Palliative Medicine)

Patient Experience

Spiritual Care Board to assist patients in ICU

The aftermath of an operation can be frustrating, scary and leaving you feeling vulnerable and/or isolated. A chaplain and a monk created the first spiritual care board to offer support to those who need it. (CNN)
 
 
First UK university teaching hospice

In an agreement with the University of Leeds, St. Gemma's Hospice has begun teaching hospice, making it the first formally-recognized university in the United Kingdom to do so. [ITV]
Read more

Spirituality

Finding hope and spirituality in sports

Though the final score is important to many, some look at sports as a way to build character, while raising your spirituality level. (Desert News Faith)

Health Report

Lose the pills; take a prescription in well-being
 
A study by Newcastle University in the United Kingdom examines the positive effects of prescribing non-medical activities to cope with long term health conditions. (Science Daily)
 
 
 
Spiritual practices to reduce our stress levels

We have a lot on our minds. One way to metaphorically - and literally - inhale and exhale is to use a variety of spiritual practices to keep yourself balanced. (The New Indian Express)

End-of-Life Care
 
Veterans look to hospices as an alternative

Since the U.S. Veterans Administration implemented its Comprehensive End of Life Care Initiative in 2009, the amount of terminally ill male war veterans to enroll in hospice care has surpassed elderly men who did not serve. (Reuters)

Read more
Good Reads
 
The subtle symptoms of death

"Terminal lucidity", a term coined by biologist Michael Nahm in 2009, describes the moment of energy and clarity that sometimes precedes death. (NY Times)
Read more


Finding happiness in being miserable

It is not possible to be constantly happy. One therapist explains how feeling discontented aids in our level of happiness.

Read more

DID YOU KNOW...

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has been supporting chaplaincy departments for over 50 years? We are currently providing services to dozens of institutions in the United States that range from on-site chaplaincy services to more innovative programs that bring comfort and meaning to patients.
 
To learn how your institution can benefit,
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UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ENTERS IN CLINICAL PARTNERSHIP TO ENHANCE ITS CHAPLAINCY DEPARTMENT

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s Collaboration Marks First in Newark

 

New York, N.Y. (June 21, 2017) – HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) has begun a clinical partnership with University Hospital (UH) in Newark, NJ. This is the first hospital in Newark – the largest city in New Jersey – to collaborate with HCCN to enhance its spiritual care department.

As a partner institution, UH will benefit from HCCN's clinical expertise in integrating spiritual care as a unique contributor to evidence-based best practices within patient-centered healthcare. In addition to staffing their chaplaincy services department, HCCN will provide a wide range of value-added services. University Hospital’s Chief Experience Officer, Joan Dauhajre, after evaluating the hospital from a patient’s perspective, initiated the partnership to elevate UH’s spiritual care services.

“The hospital did not have a formalized program and depended on volunteer chaplains,” said Dauhajre. “HCCN allows us to develop an official structure that serves our patients, families, staff and physicians, in addition to being a training site for future chaplains.”

HCCN assumes full management of the Department of Chaplaincy Services. After a focused recruitment, HCCN was pleased to hire Helen Kurczynski to serve as Manager of Chaplaincy Services. In this role, Kurcynzski, in consultation with HCCN, will actively work to assess the strengths and needs of University Hospital so as to implement an integrated, multifaceted Chaplaincy Department which will serve the spiritual and religious needs of patients, their loved ones, the staff and all who are part of the UH community.

“We have hosted clinical partnerships for over 20 years,” explained Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “It is our pleasure to venture into this agreement with a Level 1 Trauma Center, as we feel that our expertise will be strongly utilized to strengthen University Hospital’s patient care.”

HCCN’s proficiencies include – but are not limited to – multi-faith spiritual care resources, such as telechaplaincy services, spiritual care websites, and HCCN-TV Spiritual Care Network; evidence-based quality indicators as demonstrated in the Excellence in Spiritual Care Award; and robust educational initiatives – both as continuing education for chaplains and through HCCN’s chaplaincy training program – CPE.org – to build and grow the field of spiritual care.

As a clinical partner, University Hospital joins other institutions in HCCN’s ongoing dedication to the development of clinical chaplaincy programs, including Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, NYU Winthrop Hospital and St. Mary’s Center.

 

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is a global healthcare nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care 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 healthcare 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 University Hospital
University Hospital is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, and is the Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey. Located at University Heights in Newark, New Jersey, University Hospital is a principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services across many medical specialties. In September, the Hospital announced a partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to expand cancer services across Essex County. For more information about University Hospital, please visit http://www.uhnj.org/ .

 

Media contact
Charysse Harper
charper@healthcarechaplaincy.org
212-644-111, ext.107

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June 2017  Issue No. 22

Noteworthy

HealthCare Chaplaincy's clinical partnership with University Hospital
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) has begun a clinical partnership with University Hospital in Newark, NJ (UHNJ). As a partner institution, UHNJ will benefit from HCCN's clinical expertise in integrating spiritual care as a unique contributor to evidence-based best practices within patient-centered healthcare. In addition to staffing their chaplaincy services department, HCCN will provide a wide range of value-added services.


Advocacy

Patient Choice & Quality Care Act introduced in Congress

Patient Choice & Quality Care Act gives patients and families living with advanced and life-limiting illnesses access to the information and services they need. An Advanced Illness Coordination Services demonstration will be conducted that will allow an interdisciplinary team to provide early palliative care and wrap-around, home-based services to individuals with multiple and complex chronic conditions. (Hospice Action Network)


Spiritual Care
 
Spiritual Care's value in providing for the elderly

In a joint position statement, Palliative Care Australia and Meaningful Ageing Australia explained the importance of spiritual care as part of palliative care in caring for the ageing. (Palliative Care Australia and Meaningful Ageing Australia)


Emergency Room testimonies: Chaplains and Spiritual Care
 
Podcast: A look at the impact of spiritual care from the words of chaplains who are in emergency rooms. (Interfaith Radio)
 

Palliative Care

Perinatal Palliative Care on the rise in the United States

Since 1997, San Diego Hospice and Institute for Palliative Medicine (SDHIPM) has been providing perinatal palliative care, a specialized medical and emotional support for families who learn as a result of prenatal testing that their babies may die before or shortly after birth. There are now 212 programs in the United States, showing a need for this support. (Annals of Palliative Medicine)
 
 
Improving the quality of care in nursing homes
 
Unlike hospice care, palliative care can be delivered simultaneously with life-prolonging disease treatment. With the new quality measures introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid in 2016, nursing homes are working to adapt by integrating palliative care into their structure. (McKnight's)
 
 

Spirituality

Overcoming hardships with spirituality

Podcast: A healthy sense of spirituality is key to our ability to bounce back from adversity. Listen to more in this seven-minute excerpt of Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice, by Brené Brown. (Courage Works)

Health Report

Raising well-being for universities students 


A recent survey found that life satisfaction levels in universities students in the UK are lower than the rest of the general population. That, along with other factors, have led experts to call the situation a "mental health crisis." Some universities offer programs and initiatives, such as pet therapy sessions, to increase the well-being of the population. (Independent)

End-of-Life Care
 
Dying Openly and Without Fear


Since Canada legalized "medical assistance in dying" in June 2016, more people have chosen to die by lethal injection. John Shields, who suffers from amyloidosis - an incurable disease - took the opportunity to host his own wake prior to his chosen day of death. (New York Times)
 
Read more
 
 
Social care for the ageing prison population

The number of prisoners over the age of 60 in England and Wales have tripled in the past 15 years; however, social care has not. Initiating a national strategy to improve this area would be needed in order for terminally-ill prisoners to die in a humane fashion. (Care Appointments)

Read more
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May 2017  Issue No. 21

Noteworthy

Save the Date: Caring for the Human Spirit Conference, April 23-25, 2018
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will be hosting its 5th annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference: Integrating Spiritual Care in Health Care at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, LA, April 23-25, 2018. There will be a multitude of workshops for chaplains, nurses, social workers, physicians and other healthcare professionals to earn continuing education credits and/or hours.
A new addition to the upcoming meeting will be the inaugural Spiritual Care Association Meeting: an event that will include a reception on the Tuesday night and a breakfast on the Wednesday morning. More information will be made available shortly.
Spiritual Care Association collaborates with 12 international offices
 
In 13 months, the Spiritual Care Association (SCA) has made its presence felt in various countries, most notably in the ones where it collaborates with 12 international offices: China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Malawi, Pakistan, Singapore, Ukraine and Zambia (two offices). SCA supports each organization with resources, training, and, together, advance the importance of spiritual care and the profession of chaplaincy.

Spiritual Care

Visual tool to assist support spirituality of elderly

Developed by Dr. Julie Fletcher, in partnership with Meaningful Ageing Australia, ConnectTo, is a visual tool that represents a person's connection to five spiritual areas: self, others, nature, creative and "something bigger." (Aged Care Guide)

Palliative Care

Uruguay to organize National Spiritual Care Initiative

As the first country to pass the Inter-American Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, the small South American country of Uruguay is on the path to proposing a national spiritual care initiative headed by Uruguay Palliative Care Association. (Huffington Post)

Viewpoints: Palliative Care

Promoting National Hospice and Palliative Care Week in Canada

May 7-13, 2017, was National Hospice and Palliative Care week in Canada. The theme this year was "Hospice Palliative Care is about living well. Right to the end." It is suggested that if Canadian patients had access to quality palliative care, less would look to assisted suicide as an option. (Montreal Gazette)

Health Report

Culture of wellbeing tied to technology

Physical health is influenced by a variety of factors that include exercise, proper diet, mental health, social interactions and genes. Technology can also be added onto this list. The mixture of marketing and consumerism has given the rise to technology leading the way on impacting modifications in health care that can play a big role in the landscape of the U.S. healthcare industry. (J.Walter Thompson Intelligence)


Professional Practice

Telehealth improving access to Palliative Care
 
Living in rural and resource poor areas should not limit a person's access to palliative care. With the use of telehealth - including telechaplaincy - Palliative Care clinician and founder of ResolutionCare, Michael Fratkin, is able to provide to the needs of his patients even from afar. (GeriPal)

End-of-Life Care
 
How to have a better death with Palliative Care
 
Roughly two-thirds of deaths occur in a hospital or nursing home. It is no surprise that most people in good health prefer to die a pain-free death at home. Palliative care can aid in this transition.
Read more

Good Reads

People are less religious, but more spiritual
 
Being spiritual does not equate to being religious. While 11% of American attended a religious gathering weekly in 2010 compared to 17% in 1990 -- according to data from General Social Review -- more people have placed themselves in spiritual spaces, such as hospitals, state prisons, cemeteries, prayer rooms, nursing homes and colleges. (RealClearReligion)

 Read more

Overcoming grief
 
Facebook Chief Operating Officer and author of Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, lost her husband, Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey CEO) in 2015. In her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, Sandberg chronicles the path to help the bereaved recover and find happiness. (TIME)
Read more 
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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)

Read more

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.  
 
Read more

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 
 
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HCCN Logo

 

 

 

 

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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 SCA

 

 

 

 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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HCCN LogoSCA Logo

 

 

 

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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February 2017  Issue No. 18
Noteworthy

Advocacy Effort: Spiritual Care Association Presses Legislators for Spiritual Care Inclusion
 
In a major step in advocacy efforts for the field of spiritual care, the Spiritual Care Association (SCA) brought spiritual care to the attention of Congress last month. Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of SCA and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, along with the organization's legislative advisor, M. Todd Tuten of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, met with key health policy staff of Senate Finance Committee members and a bipartisan group of Committee staff. This marked the first time that advocates met with them to underscore the value of spiritual care in health care. High on SCA's agenda was discussion about S. 3504, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016, with an eye on solidifying the role of spiritual health in federal programs. (SCA)
 

Spiritual Care

Family-Centered Guidelines for Critical Patients Include Spiritual Care

Guidelines that identify the evidence base for best practices for family-centered care in the neonatal, pediatric, and adult intensive care unit (ICU) were published in Critical Care Medicine. The researchers made 23 recommendations from moderate, low, and very low levels of evidence that cover topics such as family presence, family support, communication with family members, and operations. Among them, the article says, "given the consistency of expression of family values for availability of spiritual care, the accreditation standard requirements, and the association with increased satisfaction, we suggest that families be offered spiritual support from a spiritual advisor or chaplain." (Critical Care Medicine) 


Palliative Care

Palliative Care Continues to Grow, Wider Access Still Needed

As the number of Americans living with serious and chronic illness has increased so has the penetration of palliative care in U.S. hospitals, with programs reaching a larger proportion of hospitalized patients in need. Despite growth in U.S. palliative care, many programs are still not adequately staffed to reach patients in need, according to a new comprehensive profile of hospital palliative care programs participating in the National Palliative Care Registry™. (PRWeb)


End-of-Life Care

Older Person's Weight Impacts 'Good Death'
 
The heavier someone is, the less likely that person will have what many people might call a "good death," with hospice care and a chance to die at home, a new study finds. That difference also comes with a financial as well as a personal cost, the research shows. (Science Daily)
 


Home-Based Care

Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Program Starts in California
 
Blue Shield of California, Hill Physicians Medical Group, and Snowline Hospice have announced a new home-based palliative care program involving an interdisciplinary group of providers -- including a physician, nurse, social worker, home health aide, and chaplain -- to deliver comprehensive care and support for seriously ill patients and their families in Sacramento, Calif. The program will provide training, resources and support to develop a successful program to be used as a model moving forward. Of interest, University of Southern California researchers also will study it to compare primary care clinic palliative care vs. home-based palliative care. (PR Newswire)
 
House Calls for Geriatric Patients Increase Among Nurse Practitioners
 
As the demand for house calls in the geriatric patient population grows, an increasing number of nurse practitioners have stepped up to provide these home visits, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. This has implications for both house-call providers and nursing education, according to one of the investigators. (Contemporary Clinic)
 

Viewpoints: Patient Experience

Perfecting Palliative Care

Making the case for providing palliative care isn't the challenge. The specialty helps patients live not just happier, but also longer lives with their disease -- while also reducing costs, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center research shows. However, despite making inroads into health systems nationwide, palliative care programs often have room for improvement. This article offers five keys for transforming palliative care in your hospital system. (HealthLeaders Media) 
 
How States Can Expand Access to Palliative Care

As the new administration strategizes how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act -- including how to shift risk and responsibility for health care payment to states and others -- the authors of this article suggest that state policy will play a more dominant role in determining who gets care, how it is paid for, and how to set and achieve a standard of quality and safety. As such, states should consider levers to expand local access to palliative care. (Health Affairs Blog)

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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   January 2017  Issue No. 17
Noteworthy

HealthCare Chaplaincy Requests Research Project Information
 
One of the core initiatives of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) is to encourage, facilitate and conduct the development of evidence for the effectiveness and value of spiritual care and chaplaincy care. In pursuit of this, HCCN is investigating ways that the organization could enable researchers to carry out studies. HCCN would like to know if you have or would be interested in gathering data on an initiative you have developed or could develop. (HCCN)
 
'Caring for the Human Spirit' Conference to Highlight Value of Spiritual Care in Health Care

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) will hold its fourth annual "Caring for the Human Spirit Conference" on March 13-15 in Chicago, Ill., with a content-rich agenda focused on the further integration of spiritual care throughout health care disciplines and settings. Featured speakers are: Roshl Joan Jiko Halifax, Ph.D., founder of the Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Sante Fe, N.M.; Deborah B. Marin, M.D., Blumenthal Professor of Psychiatry, and director, Center for Spirituality and Health, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; The Rev. Kathie Bender Schwich, MDiv, FACHE, senior vice president, Mission and Spiritual Care, Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Ill.; Shane Sinclair, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cancer Care Research Professorship, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgery, Alberta; and Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., CPXP, president, The Beryl Institute, Southlake, Texas. There will be multidisciplinary sessions and workshops designed for health care chaplains; and, new this year, specific tracks for nurses and social workers, respectively, with the opportunity to earn a certificate as a spiritual care generalist. (HCCN)
 

Research Review

On End-of-Life Care: Hospice Care Linked to Higher Family Satisfaction

Families of terminally ill cancer patients may be more satisfied with the end-of-life treatment their loved ones receive when it involves hospice care, a recent study suggests. Hospice was associated with better symptom relief, attainment of pain management goals, and quality of end-of-life care, the study found. Families of patients who received at least 30 days of hospice care reported the highest quality of life outcomes. (Reuters Health)

On Patient Experience: Go to the Wrong Hospital and Death Risk Triples

Not all hospitals are created equal, and the differences in quality can be a matter of life or death. In the first comprehensive study comparing how well individual hospitals treated a variety of medical conditions, researchers found that patients at the worst American hospitals were three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to have medical complications than if they visited one of the best hospitals. (The New York Times)

Read more

Spiritual Care
 
National Institutes of Health Funds Study of Dignity Therapy in Elderly Cancer Patients
 
Marking one of the first times the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded a study that includes a chaplain-led spiritual care intervention, NIH's National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Nursing Research have approved a new five-year study entitled "Dignity Therapy RCT Led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Outpatients." The goal of the study is to improve spiritual care outcomes for elderly patients receiving palliative care and facing a cancer diagnosis by optimizing a nurse-led or chaplain-led intervention focused on patient dignity. Diana Wilkie, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (University of Florida), Linda Emanuel, M.D. (Northwestern University), and George Fitchett, Ph.D. (Rush University Medical Center) are the principal investigators; the Rev. George Handzo of HCCN is among the co-investigators. (HCCN)


Professional Practice

Kids' Care May Suffer When Parents Clash With Medical Staff

Rude parents can rattle medical staff enough to compromise the quality of care their critically ill child receives, suggests a new study involving simulated emergency scenarios in a neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to rudeness helped explain about 40 percent of the variance in good medical decision-making between different teams in the study, said co-author Amir Erez. The researchers also found that doctors and nurses could "inoculate" themselves against potential rudeness by taking part in computer training that decreased their emotional sensitivity, Erez said. (HealthDay)
 
Impact of Hospital-Employed Physicians on Quality of Care

While hospitals have increasingly become employers of physicians during the past decade, physician employment alone probably is not a sufficient tool for improving hospital care, according to the findings of a new study.  (Annals of Internal Medicine)

Read more

Good Reads

On End-of-Life Care: One Man's Quest to Change the Way We Die

B.J. Miller, M.D., a hospice and palliative care specialist at University of California San Francisco and a triple amputee, used his own experience to pioneer a new model of palliative care at a small, quirky hospice in San Francisco. (The New York Times Magazine)
 
On Palliative Care: Doctor Uses Family Inheritance to Improve Palliative Care

Shoshana Ungerleider, M.D., is just three years into her career as a hospitalist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, but she is already drawing attention in the palliative care community. Two years ago, Ungerleider turned a family inheritance into a philanthropy aimed at improving palliative care, in which keeping a patient emotionally and physically comfortable takes precedence. (Stat)

Read more

Viewpoints: Palliative Care and Hospice

Eyes on the Prize Part II: Palliative Care Post-Election

As is true with any change of Administration, this is a time of uncertainty, and so it's worth evaluating the likely future of the palliative care field ----    as we continue to try to improve the care received by people with serious illnesses. Bottom line: we think the foundations of our field and the reasons for our work are not only unchanged, but heightened, as a result of the 2016 Presidential election. (CAPC)
 
American Children Deserve a Better Death

In the U.S., about 41,000 children and young adults die each year from a variety of illnesses, ranging from congenital defects to accidents. Many of them qualified for palliative care and for hospice care. But the number of dying children is dwarfed by the more than 2.5 million adults who die each year, many of whom also qualified for these end-of-life services. And that's precisely the problem: The low demand has made it very tricky to set up effective palliative care programs for children. But that doesn't mean there isn't a need.  (Slate)

Read more


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   December 2016  Issue No. 16
Noteworthy

21st Century Cures Act to Boost Treatment, Technology Funding
 
President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13 ----    an expansive and bipartisan effort to fund and treat health conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, mental health, and opioid abuse, and to speed drug development and technology innovations. 
 
New American Medical Association Policy Underscores Value of Spirituality
 
With research suggesting that patient satisfaction is lower and cost of care is higher in the absence of spiritual support from care teams, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted policy recognizing the importance of individual patient spirituality and its effect on health. Delegates also encouraged giving patients access to spiritual care services. (AMA Wire®)


Research Review

On Palliative Care: Study Highlights Benefit on Quality, But Not Life Extension

People who receive palliative care have better quality of life and fewer symptoms than people who don't receive such care, but there's no evidence that palliative care has any impact on how long a patient will live, according to a research review of the available evidence. The study lead author says the data "paints a pretty compelling message" that supports the value of palliative care. (HealthDay)

On Chaplaincy: Study Reveals Desire to Be Research Literate

An online survey conducted by 12 professional chaplain organizations found that more than 80 percent of chaplains surveyed thought research was definitely important and nearly 70 percent thought chaplains should definitely be research literate. The study authors note that these results "bode well for the future of chaplaincy research" and urge actions to facilitate further research engagement. (Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy)

Read more
On Spirituality: Study Shows Church, Spiritual Practices Can Relieve Postpartum Depression
 
Churches and other faith-based communities are an untapped resource that health care providers should consider when suggesting treatment options for African-American and Latina mothers who have histories of postpartum depression (PPD), according to the findings of a newly published study by a University at Buffalo-led research team. (University of Buffalo News Center)
 

End-of-Life Care

Rapid Response Teams Increase: What's Impact at End of Life?

Rapid response teams (RRT) are used extensively in many hospitals, including major cancer centers; however, research shows that adverse outcomes are more common for patients who require RRT intervention than among the general hospital population. In looking at the role of RRT, although there is a huge need for members to be involved in end-of-life care, ultimately the introduction of an RRT did not improve the quality of care being provided for those facing end-of-life concerns. (Oncology Nursing News) 
 

Viewpoints: Patient Experience

Evolving in a New Era of Women's Health

While the science of women's health is better understood than it was 20 years ago, female-focused service lines must continue to evolve to meet women's unique lifelong health needs in an ever-shifting health care landscape. This article suggests four keys to success. (HealthLeaders magazine)
 
Giving Patients an Active Role in Their Health Care

A fundamental redesign of the patient's role - from that of a passive recipient of care to an active participant charged with defined responsibilities, equipped to dispatch them, and accountable for the results ----    can help patients and their families manage their health care. The authors suggest that we view the patient's role as a job and then design that job in such a way as to drive the best health outcomes possible. (Harvard Business Review)

Read more

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HIGH-QUALITY ONLINE CERTIFICATE COURSES
IN SPIRITUAL CARE IN PALLIATIVE CARE 
For SPIRITUAL CARE SPECIALISTS (Chaplains) and
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  • ADVANCED PRACTICE SPIRITUAL CARE IN PALLIATIVE CARE

 
 
 
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   November 2016  Issue No. 15
 
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are short summaries of each selected item with links to the entire pieces. Also included is a downloadable PDF version for readers who prefer that format. Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.

May you enjoy a Thanksgiving holiday filled with the goodness of friends and family.

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & Spiritual Care Association
We're Giving Back on #GivingTuesday
 (November 29) and You Can Benefit 
4TH ANNUAL
Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference 
March 13-15, 2017 | Chicago, IL.
#GivingTuesday 
is November 29, and HealthCare Chaplaincy 
wants to give back!
 
On Tuesday, November 29, anyone who registers for our 
annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference  
will automatically receive 10% off.
 
This discount will be available only on November 29 and will expire at midnight.
 
We look forward to seeing you at our conference!
Click here to learn more about the conference.
 
Advice From the Head of a Major Public Hospital System
 
Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE is President & Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the U.S. He recently spoke at the World Economic Forum, and what he posted on Twitter is a good reminder for every health care provider. Dr. Raju said, "We must continue the proactive shift to value, which differs for each patient. Don't ask 'What is the matter?' ask 'What is the matter to you?"
Spirituality & Health Care

Hospice Chaplain Reflects on Life, Death and the "Strength of The Human Soul" (NPR)
 
Kerry Egan's job is to help dying people accept their own mortality. It's profoundly sad, but it's also rewarding. "I'm constantly reminded of ... how much love people have for each other, and the love that's all around us that we just don't necessarily take a moment to see," she says.
A MD Writes: Should Doctors be Allowed to Bring Their Religion to Work? (Quartz)
 
Yesterday, I stubbed my toe on an IV pole. Though not uncommon for someone working in a hospital like myself, this particular IV pole was located not in a cancer ward, but in a synagogue-the synagogue that is part of our hospital.
 
While living in the US, I expected church to be separate from state. Most US citizens regard religious liberty as a core value guaranteed by their country's Constitution. Although in practice that may not always be the case, conceptually, this is the American way.
 
When I moved from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv 19 years ago, however, I realized things were different. As there is no separation of church-er, synagogue-and state in the deeply Jewish nation of Israel, I've since given up the inviolable principle of religious liberty. Today, I reside in a country where religion is inserted into government as well as life in general.
 
Patient Experience

A Patient's Advice on How to Improve the Patient Experience (KevinMD)
 
Every patient has a story and an experience, and my patient experience began on July 6, 2004.

One month after graduating from high school, I was involved in a near-fatal car accident. My heart shifted across my chest, lungs collapsed, major organs were either lacerated or failed completely, my pelvis was shattered, and I lost 60 percent of my blood. I was airlifted to shock trauma near death and underwent immediate surgery: 14 lifesaving surgeries total. On life support and in critical condition, I was then placed in a medically induced coma for the next two months.

During my time in ICU, I had dozens of great care providers looking after me, but there were also several care providers that were excellent. The difference came from their level of compassion and communication.

Read more
"It's the Patient, Stupid."  (The Huffington Post)
 
In 1992, the other Clinton-Bill-successfully ran for President using the key message, "It's the economy, stupid." The phrase was coined by his campaign team to remind themselves and voters that the key to victory lay in focusing on the weak economy. It was a clever slogan. More importantly, it was a simple and potent reminder of what actually mattered to people.

When people talk about "patient-centered care" like it's a radical, revolutionary idea, I have a similar reaction ("It's the patient, stupid"). Who else but the patient should be at the center of the care system? Organizing the health care enterprise around the patient should be an obvious no-brainer.

And yet, the reality is that too often the patient is an afterthought. The patient winds up being secondary to the needs of providers, insurers, drug companies...everyone else with a stake in our health care system. Purchasers, providers, and payers are usually part of decision-making, but the most important "p"-the patient-is generally excluded. 
 
How Person-Centered is Your Health Care Organization? (HealthAffairsBlog)
 
The movement to transform the country's health care delivery system has been underway for several years now, and some moments of truth are approaching. The ultimate success of this monumental effort to improve the way we pay for and deliver care will be measured not only by cost savings, but also by how well payment reform results in better health outcomes and a value-based system that delivers genuinely person-centered care.

The Health Care Transformation Task Force-a unique private-sector, multi-stakeholder group whose 42 members represent six of the nation's top 15 health systems, four of the top 25 health insurers, and leading national organizations representing employers and patients and their families-has been at the forefront of helping to accelerate the pace of this transformation. As part of our efforts to transition our health care system toward value-based payment, we strongly support ensuring that new models of payment promote a person-centered care system that improves the care experience for patients and family caregivers. We believe that, to do this, patients and consumers must be engaged as partners at all levels of care and care design including the building of alternative payment models.
 
A Physician Writes: 5 Things Physicians Realize When They're Patients (Kevin MD)

There are so many insightful stories out there about what happens when physicians experience life as a patient or family member. They always make sobering reading for everyone in health care. Over the years I've heard dozens of these stories from fellow physicians, describing experiences when they've unfortunately been sick themselves. It's an inevitable fact of life for everyone that they will be the patient one day, but it's often an especially life-changing experience for anyone who already works at the frontlines of medicine. Based on these experiences, here are 5 pieces of universal feedback.
 
Palliative Care

10 Take Home Lessons From the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) Annual Seminar (Pallimed)
 
I was fortunate to attend the 2016 CAPC conference in Orlando. Below are some of the most notable pearls I will be taking home with me. 
 
Study Results Serve as "Call to Action" to Increase Investment in Palliative Care
 
Only one-fourth of U.S. hospitals complied with established quality standards for having a fully staffed palliative care team, according to study results published in Health Affairs.
 
"What we wanted to do with this study was underscore the gap between what this patient population needs based upon consensus quality guidelines and what is actually happening in hopes it will be a call to action for health system leaders to appropriately invest in staff training and capacity for these programs," Diane E. Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care and a HemOnc Today Editorial Board member, said during an interview.
 
Meier and colleagues pooled data from the National Palliative Care Registry on staffing of palliative care programs in hospitals during 2012 and 2013. Data indicated that nearly 18,000 additional palliative care physicians would be needed to meet the needs of existing palliative care programs in the United States.

Meier spoke with HemOnc Today about the findings and the impact she hopes they will have on palliative care programs across the country.
 
End-of-Life Care

Illness Sparks a Quest to Transform End-of-Life Care (HealthLeaders Media)
 
After a health system executive was diagnosed with cancer, her CEO tasked her with creating a system wide initiative to transform end-of-life care. 
 
Publications
High-Quality Online Certificate Courses in Spiritual Care in Palliative Care ─ for Spiritual Care Specialists (Chaplains) and Spiritual Care Generalists (Nurses, Social Workers, Physicians, Others)

NEW: Courses are now Available at a Significantly Reduced Price yet 
With the Same High Quality Curriculum, Instruction and Support That 
Course Takers Praise Highly
Delivering quality spiritual care to palliative care patients requires both the chaplain as the specialist and involvement by the other members of the interdisciplinary team as spiritual care generalists.
 
The hundreds of health care professionals (chaplains, nurses, social workers, physicians, and others) who have completed these courses say that as a result they have significantly enhanced their knowledge and skills to deliver spiritual care in palliative care settings.

Register Now for Next Courses Which Start January 11th.

Have questions? Email comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org  
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4TH ANNUAL
Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference
March 13-15, 2017 | Chicago, IL.
#GivingTuesday
is November 29, and HealthCare Chaplaincy
wants to give back!
 
On Tuesday, November 29, anyone who registers for our
annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference
will automatically receive 10% off.
This discount will be available only on November 29 and will expire at midnight.
We look forward to seeing you at our conference!
Click here to learn more about the conference.
 
The HealthCare ChaplaincyNetwork™ is pleased to announce our 4th annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference. This one-of-a-kind, event will be held in Chicago on March 13-15, 2017 and will draw an international, multi-disciplinary audience on-site and via webinar.
 

Join Chaplains from Many Countries for the
Ceremony of Renewal of Commitment to Spiritual Care

Come Pray With Us!

Session: Sunday, March 12 / Seats Are Limited
Gundersen Lutheran Respecting Choices® First Steps Advance Care Planning Facilitator Training

Internationally recognized, evidence-based model that creates a culture of person-centered care

  • Learn the skills to facilitate foundation Advance Care Planning discussions with any adult
  • Allows any member of the interdisciplinary health care team to engage earlier in the patient care process
  • One-day onsite training
  • Instructor: Jim Kraft, Director of Advance Care Planning and Collaborative Services, Ford Health System
  • Cost is $375, includes online courses to be completed in advanced and on-site at the Caring for the Human Spirit® in Chicago
Conference Daily Activities

The three-day event will consist of one keynote address, four plenaries, and more than 30 workshops of which attendees will select five. The program includes breakfast and lunch, and ample opportunities for networking, visiting exhibit booths and reviewing scientific posters.

Full Conference Registration fee includes breakfast for three days, lunch for two days, and the President's Reception on Monday evening. Learn more

Conference Registration
*Early Bird* rate through February 18, 2017:
$380 (Chaplains); $480 (Non-Chaplains)

Rate after February 18, 2017:
$450 (Chaplains); $550 (Non-Chaplains)

One-Day Rate:
$200/day (Chaplains); $250/day (Non-Chaplains)
Group Discounts available, see our website for more details.

Virtual Conference/Webcast
$800 per site
The real-time broadcast will include keynote and plenary presentations and select workshops. HCCN will select one workshop per series to broadcast. The broadcast is available in English.
*Specialty Track workshops will not be broadcasted live.

The Webcast provide an excellent opportunity to engage entire staff or multiple members of an organization who might not otherwise be able to attend and facilitates the sharing and dissemination of knowledge while minimizing cost and travel time.

Hotel Room Rate
$199 + State and Local Taxes
Learn more about the venue here

Questions
Questions about the conference? Email us at events@healthcarechaplaincy.org
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While a professional chaplain is the spiritual care specialist on the interdisciplinary health care team, there is growing recognition that delivery of spiritual care requires the participation of nurses, social workers and other team members as spiritual care generalists. Nurses and social workers receive little or no professional education training in spiritual care yet they say they very much want it.

Therefore, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and the Spiritual Care Association (SCA) have created these two opportunities to raise nurses' and social workers' spiritual care knowledge and delivery:
 
The first opportunity is four online courses through the Spiritual Care Association's Foley Learning Center:
Each course was written by a subject-matter expert, uses a state-of-the-art learning management system, is self-directed and can be taken at your own pace, and upon completion earns one a certificate of completion and continuing education hours.
 
Learn more about the spiritual care generalist courses for nurses, for social workers and the Foley Learning Center on our website. The fee for each course is $295 for SCA members and $495 for non-members. 
 
Learn about all the benefits of SCA's annual membership for health care professionals.
 
Earning the first-of-its kind Certificate as a Spiritual Care Generalist is the other learning opportunity for nurses and social workers who attend this preeminent, multidisciplinary professional education opportunity in spiritual care and meet the requirements:
Find details about the conference and this unique Certificate program here

For those of you who are not a nurse or social worker, I ask that you forward this to those whom you know to inform them of these learning opportunities that so many of them say they desire.

Please send any comments or questions to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
Sincerely,
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and
Spiritual Care Association
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There is growing recognition that excellent patient experience encompasses the whole person, including spiritual care. For that reason HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has published the attached white paper ─ "SPIRITUAL CARE: What It Means, Why It Matters in Health Care" ─ a milestone publication for the field. No other document has presented with such clarity and with such comprehensive source documentation (93 footnotes) on these topics:
  • What is Spiritual Care
  • Spiritual Well-Being
  • Spiritual Care and Patient Satisfaction
  • Spiritual Care Generalists and Specialists
  • Role of Board Certified Chaplains
  • Bottom-Line Impact of Spiritual Care
In addition, this white paper describes how professional chaplaincy is evolving to become an evidence-based profession with objective standards for quality care and scope of practice similar to other health care disciplines. There is substantial support in the field for this forward movement.
 
I hope that you find this white paper useful, and I encourage you to share this with others who would find it informative ─ chaplains, administrators, nurses, social workers, physicians, educators, students, volunteers, policy makers and others who are interested in whole person care.  The white paper is also online at www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/spiritualcare.
 
I welcome your comments at eric.hall@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Peace & Blessings!
  
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & Spiritual Care Association
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   October 2016   Issue No. 14
 
Patient-Centered Care News
Every month we select ten articles from the many published recently. This month we present twice that, because there is so much good writing that reflects the growing commitment to patient-centered care. In addition, at the end of this message you will find announcements about valuable spiritual care resources, including free webinars this week and next and early bird registration for the "go-to" interdisciplinary event for spiritual care next March in Chicago ─ the fourth annual Caring for the Human Spirit® conference.
 
We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are short summaries of each selected item with links to the entire pieces. Also included is a downloadable PDF version 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 & Spiritual Care Association
Thought for Today ----    An Imperative for the Chaplaincy Profession
 
"Chaplains (must) address questions regarding the basic concepts of outcome and evidence: Why are these concepts so important to healthcare? How can we demonstrate the value of the professional chaplain in a language that both physicians and administrators can understand and appreciate? Can the chaplain truly measure the care provided in such a way that it maintains the integrity of the care while measuring its impact on health and the bottom line?"

Source: Harold G. Koenig, M.D. & Kevin Adams, M.Div., BCC, "Religion and Health," Association of Professional Chaplains publication, Healing Spirit (Fall 2008)
Spirituality & Health Care

Spiritual Care "Is Silent Revolution That's Transformed Healthcare" (Religion & Ethics Newsweekly)
 
More and more hospitals are now putting added emphasis on the spiritual care of their patients, and it is paying off both figuratively and literally. Correspondent David Tereshchuk reports from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he interviews hospital chaplain Father Rick Bauer, who says that more than any other health professionals the chaplain "has the ability and the job to be totally present to you and listening to you." He also talks with Dr. Christina Puchalski, founder and director of George Washington University Medical School's Institute for Spirituality and Health about the improved outcomes that result from having chaplains available to patients and the benefits for medical institutions of having better patient satisfaction. Says Dr. Puchalski: "You can't practice excellent patient care if you don't practice excellent spiritual care."
Exploring Nurse Communication About Spirituality (American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine)
 
Conclusion: It is evident that patients want to discuss spiritual topics during care. Study findings illustrate the need to develop a spiritual communication curriculum and provide spiritual care communication training to clinicians. 
 
California Is The First State To Require Spiritual Care In Health Care (Huffington Post)
 
If you get sick in California, and you are covered by the state's Medi-Cal health insurance, you will be pleased to know that your health care just got better. California is the first state to recognize that spiritual care is a standalone discipline in health care and a trained and certified palliative care chaplain must be available for any patient who wants one. Spirituality, defined in the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care is a "fundamental aspect of compassionate, patient-and family-centered care that honors the dignity of all persons."

The California Department of Health Care Services policy now calls for a palliative care team to meet the physical, medical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs of you and your family; and recommends that the team include, but is not limited to a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a registered nurse and/or nurse practitioner, a social worker, as well as a chaplain....

Hopefully this serves as a model that all states will soon follow for the good of patients and their families. 

Patient Experience

3 Ways to Improve Patient Experience With Empathy (The Beryl Institute)
 
Here are three strategies any healthcare organization can adopt to make a measurable difference in the quality of the patient experience.

* Affirm Emotions
* Hear the Story
* Be Creative

Read more
Health Care Administrators Who Claim "I Don't Do Direct Patient Care" (The Beryl Institute)
 
There appears to be a divide in healthcare into clinical and administrative silos. Two different approaches to healthcare, but both are supposed to have one clear objective: make patients and their families the number one priority. There has to be a way to tie the two functions together to see not only how each group not only takes part in creating the patient experience, but also how both roles need to be symbiotic in creating value for the patient. 
 
A Patient and Social Worker Writes: "Stop With the Unnecessary Questions" (KevinMD)
 
When I find a lump in my left breast, I am stunned. I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I'm immobilized. It takes me several days before I tell my partner, who has to push me into action. I get the referral from my doctor and schedule a mammogram. The radiology practice fits me into their schedule that same week, but I still have several days to sit with the unknown.

Finally, the day of the appointment comes. I wait in the reception area for an hour before the x-ray technician calls my name. As we walk to the exam room, me in my usual long leg braces and aluminum forearm crutches, she is chatty and asks, "How did you get here today?" 
 
Fragmentation of Care: Necessity? Opportunity for Quality? (PlainViews® from HealthCare Chaplaincy Network)
 
Recently, I responded to an email from a professional chaplain who told us the story of his own hospitalization that was characterized by multiple caregivers who didn't communicate well, unneeded treatments, lack of communication with him as the patient about side effects and no contact with chaplaincy. Not an unfamiliar story unfortunately.

A couple of people who saw my response encouraged me to disseminate it further. Here is my somewhat edited response. 
 
Articles by Physicians

Five Tips for Effective Quality Improvement in Palliative Care and #3 Will Blow You Away (Pallimed blog)
  • Tip #1: Define the problem - Have a problem statement.
  • Tip #2: Define the problem, again.
  • Tip #3: Problem first, solutions (much) later.
  • Tip #4: Have an aim statement.
  • Tip #5: Explore the "Why".
The "Surprise Question" May Help Stimulate Palliative Care Discussions
(AAHPM SmartBrief and MedicalResearch.com)
 
The "surprise question" -- "Would you be surprised if this patient died in the next year?" -- helped identify primary care patients at risk of death but missed most patients who could benefit from palliative care, said researcher Dr. Joshua Lakin at Harvard Medical School. The study in JAMA Internal Medicine tested the screening method in a diverse, primary care population. 
 
The Special Nature of Palliative Care - for Both Patients and Caregivers (genesishealth.com)
 
Palliative Care offers family meetings and helps to ease the discussion between the patient and family members about overall goals and what types of care are best for an individual. We all have a different view of quality of life. What is important to one patient may not be important to another.

Our goal is to listen to patients and develop an understanding of what quality of life means to them, and then convey this to family members and other members of the medical team.  
 
Patients Want to Make Their Own Informed Choices. We Need to Let Them. (KevinMD)
 
Patient-centered care is often talked about as a virtue worthwhile to attain because it puts them at the heart of their health care team.  Empowerment goes one step further by actually giving power and authority to the patient.  It is a very important concept that is often missed in the world of big-box medicine today.  There is actually an organization devoted to this concept called the European Network on Patient Empowerment (ENOPE).  According to them, an empowered, activated patient:
  • understands their health condition and its effect on their body
  • feels able to participate in decision-making with their health care professionals
  • feels able to make informed choices about treatment
  • understands the need to make necessary changes to their lifestyle for managing their condition
  • is able to challenge and ask questions of the health care professionals providing their care
  • takes responsibility for their health and actively seeks care only when necessary
  • actively seeks out, evaluates and makes use of information
The Lost Art of Asking Questions (Kevin MD)
 
Most people know from experience or through intuition that there is a right time and a right way to ask important or sensitive questions. You don't usually just blurt out requests for raises or marriage proposals, for example.

In many areas of life, knowing when and how to ask difficult questions is viewed as an extremely valuable skill, for example in criminal investigations and in journalism.

In some cases, this kind of skill can even make you a media star: Interviewers like Barbara Sawyer, Oprah Winfrey, and Howard Stern are more famous and better paid than most of the celebrities they engage in intimate conversations in front of their national or worldwide audiences.

This year, the U.S. presidential debates have been said to require unusual savvy from their moderators and their performance may even affect the outcome of the election.

Why is it, then, that in health care, so little value is placed on when and how you ask sensitive or important questions?
Palliative Care

Most Hospital Palliative Care Programs Are Understaffed (eHospice USA and Kaiser Health News)

In 2013, two-thirds of hospitals with at least 50 beds reported having a palliative care program. At hospitals with 300 beds or more, the figure was 90 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine earlier this year.

But not all programs provide the same level of service. In the September issue of Health Affairs, an analysis of 410 palliative care programs found that only 25 percent funded teams in 2013 that included a physician, an advanced practice or registered nurse, a social worker and a chaplain, the four positions that are recommended by the Joint Commission, which sets hospital standards, including those for accreditation. If "unfunded" staffers were counted, those who were on loan from other units, for example, the figure rose to 39 percent. 
 
'Mystery Shopper' Study Finds Barriers To Palliative Care At Major Cancer Centers (Science 2.0 and American Society for Clinical Oncology)
 
A team of researchers, using a novel approach, found that while many cancer centers offer palliative and supportive care services, patients may face challenges when trying to access them. The study showed that expanding awareness and education to patient-facing cancer center employees about such services could make an important difference. This study will be presented at the upcoming 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in San Francisco.

Read More

Related to the "Mystery Shopper" story: What  Is Your Front Desk Saying About Palliative Care? (Geripal)
 
End-of-Life Care

What It Feels Like to Die (The Atlantic)
 
Science is just beginning to understand the experience of life's end. ... During six-and-a-half years of treatment, although my mother saw two general practitioners, six oncologists, a cardiologist, several radiation technicians, nurses at two chemotherapy facilities, and surgeons at three different clinics-not once, to my knowledge, had anyone talked to her about what would happen as she died.

There's good reason. "Roughly from the last two weeks until the last breath, somewhere in that interval, people become too sick, or too drowsy, or too unconscious, to tell us what they're experiencing," says Margaret Campbell, a professor of nursing at Wayne State University who has worked in palliative care for decades. The way death is talked about tends to be based on what family, friends, and medical professionals see, rather than accounts of what dying actually feels like.

James Hallenbeck, a palliative-care specialist at Stanford University, often compares dying to black holes. "We can see the effect of black holes, but it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to look inside them. They exert an increasingly strong gravitational pull the closer one gets to them. As one passes the 'event horizon,' apparently the laws of physics begin to change."

What does dying feel like? Despite a growing body of research about death, the actual, physical experience of dying-the last few days or moments-remains shrouded in mystery. Medicine is just beginning to peek beyond the horizon. 
 
At the End of Life, Searching for the Right Word (KevinMD)
 
Writes the daughter about her mother in hospice care:
 
I clicked on an article titled, "What Happens to My Body Right After I Die." In the third paragraph I read, "At the moment of death, all the muscles in the body relax ..."

I read the line again. "At the moment of death, all the muscles in the body relax."

My eyes lingered on the word "relax." As I stared at it, I took a deep breath and felt the knot in my stomach ease.

Maybe "fighting" is the word that an endless line of others needed or will need as they watch their loved ones slowly exit life, but it wasn't the word I needed.

I needed the word "relax." That word felt comforting, compassionate, acceptable.

On day eight, I didn't ask the nurses, "How much longer?" I didn't need meaningless words to fill the space between the question and the inevitable, unknowable answer.

Instead, I whispered in Mom's ear, "I love you." And then, I sat patiently by her bed and waited for her to relax.

And finally, on day nine, as I held her hand, she did.
Calming Effect: Families Turn to Hospice Workers to Help Ease Final Goodbye (Chicago Tribune)
 
Hospice nurses, who are sometimes referred to as palliative care nurses, are registered nurses who care for patients who are no longer responding to medical care. "On its surface it sounds morbid, but it's really a peaceful process," says Barbara Metzger, a University of Illinois Chicago graduate who has been practicing hospice care for 12 years. "You're working with the patient to make sure he or she is comfortable and safe, and you're preparing the family for the inevitable." 
 
Caregivers Are Suffering

Family Caregivers of Patients With Advanced Cancer Report High Anxiety, Depression (Oncology Nurse Advisor)

Nearly 25% to 33% of family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers report high levels of anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as significant time providing care, a study that will be presented at the 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in San Francisco, California, has shown. 
 
Unusual News

Geisinger Refunds Patients $400,000 for 'Uncompassionate Care' (Becker's Hospital CFO)
 
As of August, Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., returned more than $400,000 to dissatisfied patients since the health system launched its ProvenExperience initiative in November 2015, reports The Daily Item.
 
Under the ProvenExperience initiative - spearheaded by President and CEO David Feinberg, MD, and piloted last October - patients can request refunds if they are dissatisfied with their hospital experience. Refunds work on a sliding scale, meaning patients can seek refunds as little as $1 to more than $2,000. 
 
Free: Two Webinars This Week and Next
 
Wednesday, October 19th: Free Live Q&A Forums About the New Spiritual Care Association hosted by prominent health care chaplains the Rev. Sue Wintz, BCC and the Rev. George Handzo, BCC
 
 
October 25th: FREE "Advocacy for Spiritual Care in a Changing Political Environment" presented by Washington, DC expert M. Todd Tuten ─ Senior Policy Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 
 
"Reforming Chaplaincy Training" Webinar
 
October 27th: Presented by the Rev. David Fleenor, BCC, ACPE Supervisor, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education, Mount Sinai Health System
 
Early Bird Registration Now Open for the "Go-To" Interdisciplinary Conference on Spiritual Care
Subscribe to the Preeminent Monthly Professional Journal for
Effective Chaplaincy Practice
Learn More & To Subscribe Here
 
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 establishes evidence-based quality indicators, scope of practice, and a knowledge base for spiritual care in health care. As health care providers emphasize the delivery of positive patient experience,  SCA is leading the way to educate, certify, credential and advocate so that more people in need, regardless of religion, beliefs or cultural identification, receive effective spiritual care in all types of institutional and community settings in the U.S. and internationally.  SCA is committed to serving its multidisciplinary membership and growing the chaplaincy profession. For more information, visit www.SpiritualCareAssociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook and LinkedIn. The nonprofit SCA is an affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
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