Issue 64, September 2012

Excitement Building for Wholeness of Life Awards


On July 24th the 14 West hospital unit staff at NYU Langone Medical Center crowded into a room on the 14th Floor of Tisch Hospital. Drinks and snacks waited to be served until the guest of honor had arrived. Margaret Frank-Bader, nurse manager, had been told that there was a problem in the conference room.

The surprise party was a well-kept secret. Margaret entered the room to the sound of applause and learned that she had been selected as the winner of this year’s Wholeness of Life Award.  In an impromptu speech, between tears of joy and surprise, Margaret said: “You make me who I am, as a person, as a nurse, as a manager.”

Each year, HealthCare Chaplaincy presents the Wholeness of Life Award to staff members chosen by their peers at our partner institutions, who go above and beyond in demonstrating respect and caring for the whole person, body, mind and spirit.

This coveted award will be presented to 12 Patient Care Honorees at HCC’s annual gala on November 8th at the Mandarin Oriental, New York.

Community service and lifetime achievement

In addition to awards for patient care, awards are also presented for community service and lifetime achievement.  Last year, the Lifetime Achievement Honorees were Shelley and Donald Rubin, founders of the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, and Angela Lansbury, longtime star of stage, film and television.  The Community Award was presented to Daniel R. Tishman,  chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction.

You can hear Angela Lansbury explain the meaning of the award here.

The excitement is building for this year’s dinner, featuring community honorees Lidia Bastianich and Sylvia Weinstock, and Lifetime Achievement honoree The Rev. George Handzo.

Meet the honorees

Lidia Bastianich

“Tutti a tavola a mangiare!”  “Everyone to the table to eat!” That’s the signature line
of this chef extraordinaire…star of the Emmy-nominated television series, Lidia’s Italy, and one of the best-loved chefs on television.

Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants – Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto.

Her best-selling cookbooks include Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, and Lidia’s Italy.

Despite her busy schedule, Lidia gives freely of her time and knowledge, participating in
community service activities and special events on behalf of the James Beard Foundation and Public Television.

Sylvia Weinstock

“Leonardo da Vinci  of Cakes.” “The Grande Dame of Butter Cream and Ganache.” “New York’s reigning cake diva.” 

An elementary school teacher-turned cake maker extraordinaire, Sylvia is cake-maker to the stars, to royalty, to the white House, and to legions of brides-to-be who want the most beautiful wedding cake possible.

Sylvia looks upon her career as a creator of beautiful, romantic and fabulous cakes, as reward for her diligence in fighting breast cancer.  She devotes a substantial portion of her free time to bolstering the spirits of women who find themselves threatened and facing the same challenges Sylvia faced.  She is a generous contributor to organizations that support medical research seeking cures for cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases.

The Rev. George Handzo, BCC

George, HCC’s former VP of chaplaincy affairs, is senior consultant, chaplaincy care leadership & practice at HealthCare Chaplaincy. A mentor, leader and innovator, he has advanced excellence in chaplaincy throughout his career, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional health care chaplaincy.

George was the founding director of chaplaincy services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for over twenty years, and is a past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains. He serves on the Distress Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

He is a sought-after advisor, contributor and lecturer both within professional chaplaincy and the larger health care arena.

Join us

On November 8th, at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental, 35 floors above Columbus Circle, with the city lights sparkling below, more than 500 friends will gather to celebrate this annual benefit, including health care business and civic leaders and our institutional partners from hospitals and other health care centers throughout the city.

This much anticipated event helps support HealthCare Chaplaincy’s important programs in research, education and clinical practice.

You can order tickets to the 2012 Wholeness of Life Awards Dinner here.

HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Clinical Pastoral Education Program Gives
Students a Unique Experience

“HealthCare Chaplaincy offers CPE in eight different hospitals in one of the largest cities in the world,” explains John Valentino, director of clinical pastoral education and chair, Eastern Region Accreditation Committee, Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.

“These eight hospitals have nearly 6,000 patients, plus their families, and 70,000 employees, from all over the world.  The opportunity to provide spiritual care to a diverse ethnic and international client population is unparalleled.  The student will experience different family systems and values at work as well as diverse expressions
of spirituality and theologies.”

Students learn through hands-on practice, clinical supervision and academic study how to listen to and attend to patients and their loved ones more effectively. CPE expands students’ practical knowledge about grief and bereavement, health care decision-making, caregiver support, conflict resolution, and the increasingly important areas of patient experience/satisfaction and cultural and religious diversity.

“HCC’s CPE program offered me critical skills in learning how to relate to patients, to other clergy, and to myself,” noted Rabbi Eli Kaunfer, CPE student.  “I have never experienced such a rich, reflective and intense process as the CPE program. Now as a rabbi, I use the lessons I learned in CPE every day as I connect to students and fellow worshipers.”

Part of what makes HealthCare Chaplaincy’s CPE program so effective is the quality of faculty/student collaboration.

At Mount Sinai Medical Center, Rabbi Nathan Goldberg, ACPE supervisor, has been mentoring a student who’s been working with the hospital staff, training them in both listening skills and in meditation for stress relief.  So the student has become both a teacher and part of the staff support continuum, in addition to her chaplaincy role with the patients.

At NYU Langone Medical Center, the Rev. David Fleenor, director  of chaplaincy services and ACPE supervisor, has been working closely with a student who just completed her fourth CPE unit on her way to becoming a board certified chaplain.

NYU Langone had a need for chaplaincy services at Hospital for Joint Diseases, which is part of NYU, so David arranged for his former student to volunteer there several days a week while being mentored for board certification.

HealthCare Chaplaincy is one of the largest providers of CPE in the U.S., is the only center that provides chaplaincy education, practice, and research, and is an international leader in all three disciplines.

The Fall CPE term is about to start, and the Spring term begins in February 2013. For information, visit our website, or contact the Registrar at 212-644-1111 x 219, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Rev. Dr. Walter J. Smith, S.J.
President & CEO

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

Claire H. Altman
Executive Director

HealthCare Chaplaincy
HealthCare Chaplaincy is an international leader in the research, education and practice of multifaith spiritual care and palliative care, which relieves suffering and improves one’s quality of life. We provide professional chaplaincy services—arguably the most cost-effective resource to increase patient satisfaction—in numerous hospitals in metro New York. During the past 51 years, our professional chaplains have helped close to 6 million patients, loved ones and hospital staff find meaning and comfort regardless of religion or beliefs. We are developing a National Center for Palliative Care Innovation, including a large enhanced assisted living residence.