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Dear Franklin,
We are living in unsettled times.
A quick Internet search on the prevalence of fear and worry in America today will yield broad coverage of the subject and the issues driving this widespread apprehension. From just a brief sampling:
  • “Why Americans are More Afraid than They Used to Be” (Time Magazine)
  • “Mass Shootings and Trauma: In a World that No Longer Feels Safe, How Do We Cope?” (USA Today)
  • “We're Living in the Age of Fear” (Rolling Stone Magazine)
  • “Americans are More Fearful of Terrorism than at Any Other Time since 9/11” (Time Magazine)
Americans are unsure about the safety of their families, finances, and communities. At the same time, many are facing life-altering situations of their own that can include their or a family member’s health crisis, loss of a loved one, troubled relationships, and isolation due to age, illness or any number of factors in their personal lives.
Someone to Talk To 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network hears from people every day who are struggling to face the fear in their own lives, or hoping to help another who is suffering from illness, addiction, depression, or other difficulties that challenge us to our core. Our line is open to people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and worldviews, and is not restricted to addressing one particular type of problem.
HCCN offers a place to turn for anyone seeking support, understanding, and an end to isolation that is sometimes fueled by fear or despair. Our chaplains offer person-to-person care at numerous hospitals and outpatient facilities in New York and beyond. And, via phone, email or video call, people are reaching out to our helpline – called Chat with a Chaplain or Chat with a Counselor – for connection, relief and a way forward.
Why Chaplains?
Misunderstanding continues to this day about what chaplains do. Dispelling this misunderstanding is critically important, especially given the unique set of skills that chaplains bring to their work. A chaplain can be part of any faith tradition, or no faith tradition. She or he may be a clergy member, but even chaplains who are clergy are specifically trained – through both academic work and a clinical residency – to address the emotional, existential and spiritual needs of anyone who seeks help, regardless of that person’s faith, or lack thereof. Proselytizing is not under the chaplain’s purview. Chaplaincy care is open to all, without exception.    
In this complete openness and compassionate understanding that all faiths – whether of organized traditions or individually-held – connect with each other in our spiritual depths, chaplaincy is a profession that can bring healing in these times of fear, hurtful rhetoric and division.  
Reaching More People at Times of Deepest Need
At HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, we are working to make a greater difference in this world of ever-increasing need – to reach greater numbers of people in crisis with our Chat with a Chaplain or Chat with a Counselor helpline, and to provide more bedside chaplaincy services at our partner hospitals where we care for patients, families and medical staff.
Indeed, the services of our chaplains are more in demand than ever before. In 2017, we added six new hospitals to those where we provide direct chaplaincy care. Increasing numbers of nurses, social workers and doctors are looking to HealthCare Chaplaincy for education on how to address the spiritual, emotional and existential concerns of their patients – how, in other words, to care for the human spirit in conjunction with all else they do. And we are leading the way in defining and sharing best practices to ensure that this kind of care, which considers patients’ values and deepest concerns, is based on what works in relieving suffering and improving patient experience and satisfaction.   
Your year-end support will make a profound difference
in the lives of many who are facing the challenges
that can define us as human beings.
Your gift will enable HealthCare Chaplaincy Network to help individuals overcome fear, pain and isolation and work toward resolution as together we face our world, ourselves, and our potential for wholeness and happiness. 
Wishing you every blessing for a peaceful holiday season and coming year.
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President and CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network


November 2017  Issue No. 27


Inaugural Spiritual Care Briefing on Capitol Hill
Entitled, "Spiritual Care: What It Means, Why It Matters in Health Care," HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and, its affiliate, Spiritual Care Association (SCA) hosted the first meeting on Capitol Hill for United States legislators and their staff at the end of October.
Newest Evidenced-Based White Paper is Released
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and Spiritual Care Association have released their latest white paper on the integration of spiritual care in the medical field for the role of a physician entitled "Spiritual Care and Physicians: Understanding Spirituality in Medical Practice."  This is third white paper by both organizations.

Palliative Care

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has deemed November to be National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. This year's theme is "It's about how you live." During these 30 days, uncover resources that can assist in educating and promoting the cause. (National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization).

Palliative Care to aid in advanced lung cancer

The improvement of medical treatment over the past 10 years has been positive for those diagnosed with various illnesses. In a video interview, Dr. Sara F. Martin, M.D. explains the benefits that palliative care can have on the side effects of advanced lung cancer. (Cure Today)


Life satisfaction is higher for those who are spiritual
The relationship between happiness and spirituality continues.  In a recent study, evidence supports that Americans who identify as spiritual and religious or spiritual, but not religious, are more satisfied with their lives. (HuffPost)

End-of-Life Care

The best time to make end-of-life decisions

Connecticut Hospital Association created a program in 2016 called Care Decisions Connecticut to promote the quality of life for those with terminal illnesses. (New Haven Register)

Health Report
Don't be an overachiever; stay home if you are ill

For some, it is difficult to take time off work when they are not feeling well, because they do not want to seem unreliable or appear replaceable.  Not surprisingly, doctors advise to take a sick day or two, as coming to work can actually hurt others more than it may harm you. (The New York Times)

Good Reads

Remembering Veteran's Day with a Veteran, who is also a Chaplain
Veteran's Day was celebrated on Saturday. That day held special significance to Berean Rev. Joe White, who is a veteran and a chaplain at Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He explains what it means to serve those who have served.  (Richmond Register)


The Wholeness of Life Gala will take place tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 16, at Guastavino's in New York City! Learn what this event means to us.

October 2017  Issue No. 26


HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) forms partnership with New York State Chaplains Task Force (NYSCTF)
Through its affiliate, Spiritual Care Association, HCCN and NYSCTF will be working closely to heighten attention to the need for spiritual care services in their local communities and around the country.

Palliative Care

Mesothelioma patients did not respond to palliative care

Inspired by a 2010 study which led to the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommending that palliative care start early for all cancer patients, a new study shows that palliative care did not improve the quality of life on newly-diagnosed mesothelioma patients. (Medical Xpress)

Senegal improves its palliative care efforts 

A 2012 study found that 16 of out 22 countries in Francophone Africa had no healthcare providers administering palliative care. Since then, the government of Senegal has made improving access to palliative care a priority. (Human Rights Watch)

April 23-25, 2018, Sheraton New Orleans



State of the Science of Spirituality and Palliative Care Research
A two-part review, which was formulated from a conference on "State of the Science in Spirituality and Palliative Care Research," held at Duke Integrative Medicine. Part 1 addresses the current landscape of outcomes in research in palliative care, while Part 2 explores current research guiding spiritual care provisions to patients and families within palliative care. (Journal of Pain and Symptom Management)
Read more:   Intro    Part 1   Part 2
Cutting stereotypes with spiritual inclusion 
Understanding what makes us different leads us to appreciate those diversities. The Transformations Spirituality Center aims to remove inaccurate stereotypes by offering programs, performances and concerts to address current issues. (Western Herald)

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

End-of-Life Care

Faith communities bring end-of-life care planning to the forefront

Advance care planning is still an after thought for many people. Leaders of various faith communities work hard to educate their members on the benefits of having a strategy in place. (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

Health Report
Improve your wellbeing with a healthy workplace
Because people spend the majority of their time at work, it is important to have a work environment that is healthy. A negative work space leads to poor mental and physical health, while the opposite not only promotes happiness, but productivity, too. (UN News Centre)

Empathizing too much diminishes your health

In a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, the more empathetic a person was, the more he/she experienced anxiety or low-level depression. (The Washington Post)
Read more

Good Reads

Good economy = a rise in death rates
Though the above title can be alarming, this is only in the short term. For example, in a recession, the unemployed can sleep longer, have more time to exercise and may eat more health.  Learn more of the factors for this analysis. (New York Times)


Our online store is a one-stop resource center for educational content, publications, research and tools for chaplains and other professionals working in spiritual care, palliative care and health care.  
Explore what we have to help you. 
September 2017  Issue No. 25


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.


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


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
212.644.1111 x219
August 2017  Issue No. 24


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)


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


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