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February 2017  Issue No. 18

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.
   January 2017  Issue No. 17

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

   December 2016  Issue No. 16

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

Start a CPE Center at Your Facility

Earn revenue for your department or for yourself as either a CPE Supervisor or Supervisor in Training
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Doctors and Others)


   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 
Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference 
March 13-15, 2017 | Chicago, IL.
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. 
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  
Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference
March 13-15, 2017 | Chicago, IL.
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 about the conference? Email us at events@healthcarechaplaincy.org