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Woman with recurrent ovarian cancer writes "Living With Cancer: A Tour of Hospice".nyti.ms/1nZFTua


Find NPR story at http://n.pr/1pgr4Hv




When "empathy" in health care makes Harvard Business Review, it’s time to take notice! If empathy is becoming a healthcare outcome, professional chaplains can certainly add value to that enterprise.One could say that they are the chief empathy experts in the system. http://bit.ly/1nDpPhf



HealthCare Chaplaincy Network was honored to present our Pioneer Medal for outstanding leadership in healthcare to Dr. Byock  in May of this year.


AARP Bulletin says “spiritual support just a click away”. g Spread the word! http://bit.ly/U9vgNI


Request for Conference Workshop Proposals by August 15, 2014
on Topics Pertaining to Integrating Spiritual Care in Healthcare

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network seeks proposals for 90-minute workshops for its conference,Caring for the Human Spirit: Integrating Spiritual Care in Healthcare, to be held April 22-24, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.

Building on the successful 2014 conference, the event will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of best practice and latest data on the clinical, educational, research and advocacy aspects of integrating spiritual care in healthcare.

Workshop proposals should include:

·         Title of workshop

·         Name(s) and credentials of the presenter(s)

·         Three learning objectives

·         An abstract of no more than 300 words describing:

          The issue the workshop will address.

          The relevance of this issue to the focus of the conference.

          The content to be presented to address that issue.

          The experience of the presenter(s) with this issue.

          The learning modalities to be employed.

All workshops should be aimed at the advanced practitioner/researcher and should maximize dialogue with participants. Preference will be given to multidisciplinary teams.

Proposals should be e-mailed to Sandra Jamison (sjamison@healthcarechaplaincy.org) by August 15, 2014. Questions should also be addressed to Ms. Jamison.  




"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
e.e. cummings


Read commentary here by colleague  Linda Emanuel, MD, PhD, a world renowned expert on palliative care. 


The publication e-Hospice International reports that the Rev. Sue Wintz of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has shared in The Huffington Post her own personal experience of how to recognize and respect the mental health challenges that may be associated with grief.

The Rev. Wintz argues that grief is not something that can be "defeated" through faith, or through any quick-fix. She shares her own personal experience of the sudden death of her daughter, saying that 10 years later, she still grieves for her child. 

"Grief is a journey and an event that affects our lives forever," says the Rev. Wintz. "It does not mean we cannot continue to participate in life and find joy, but the reality is that after a loved one's death we look at life through a different lens."

It is important, particularly for professionals who work with grieving people, to be educated about and aware of the signs of grief-related mental illness in order to be able to offer appropriate support and advice through these times. 

She says: "There are times when grief's accompanying depression, anxiety, emotional and spiritual distress becomes too difficult for the bereaved person to bear. That's when the right resources need to be activated. Families, friends, and co-workers need a basic knowledge of grief in order to normalize the bereaved person's experience and provide them support. We also need to understand when a bereaved person needs additional mental health support when the trauma becomes difficult to manage."

The Rev. Wintz is facilitating a new online course, Mental Health Fundamentals for Spiritual Care Providersoffered by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and the California State University Institute for Palliative Care.


Read the full article at The Huffington Post and learn more about this important course and how to register here.





Friends and colleagues filled the sanctuary of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in midtown Manhattan on May 13th to attend HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s 2014 Convocation. This annual event commissions chaplains, celebrates staff accomplishments and honors leading academic/clinicians.  

HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Pioneer Medal recognizes the singular accomplishments of an individual whose seminal research and/or innovative practice shape the way we think about and understand the complex and critical issues in contemporary health care.

Amy Berman, BS, RN, was the first of the night’s two Pioneer Medal honorees.
Ms Berman
is a Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation, and heads the Integrating and Improving Services program, focusing on developing innovative, cost-effective models of care for older adults.  She also directs a number of collaborations with the U.S. Administration on Aging/AARP that addresses the needs of family caregivers. 

She is also a cancer patient.

Ms. Berman’s keynote address focused on the Moral and Spiritual Crisis of Care.
She noted that she was offered two very different paths of treatment for her cancer.

“The first doctor wanted to throw everything at the cancer—the most intense
chemotherapy my body could handle, followed by a mastectomy, radiation, and more chemotherapy.  Fight. Fight. Fight.  Fight the cancer. 

“The other doctor asked what I hoped for.  I told her that I wanted the Niagara Falls trajectory.  I start with great quality of life and end…you know what end means.  I want to feel good, good, good, and then drop off the cliff.  Keep me feeling as good as possible for as long as possible but don’t push for more bad days. 

“The first doctor would have dropped me off the cliff immediately.  I would have gone from feeling well to having nausea, burns, going through surgery, swelling of the arm, being very debilitated.  And it would not have changed the final outcome for me.

“I chose the doctor that asked me what I wanted.”

The second of the evening’s Pioneer Medal honorees was Ira Byock, MD, who is
considered one of the most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine.

Dr. Byock is a palliative care physician and professor of medicine at The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and former Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  He is also a Past President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Byock is a leading public advocate for improving care through the end of life. His books have become standards in the fields of hospice and palliative care.

Dr. Byock’s keynote address celebrated the work of chaplains. “You have chosen
a difficult career path,” he said, addressing the assembled clinical staff of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. “
You are professionals who have dedicated so much time and effort to acquire and hone the skills of caring for fellow human beings. There are far easier – and dare I say, more lucrative – ways of making a living than being a health care chaplain.

“The work you do begins with seeming simplicity – by showing up and leaning forward –meeting the other with an open heart. Yet it is not easy, nor is it always safe. It takes a special kind of courage to simply sit with a person who is seriously ill -- or metaphorically walk with a person on a journey that neither of you would choose. Yet this act of accompaniment is the essence of the therapeutic relationship.”

You can link to Ms. Berman's and Dr. Byock's articles.



The Convocation continued with the commissioning of new clinical staff member,
the Rev.Christine Davies, manager, chaplaincy services and ACPE supervisor at
NYU Langone Medical Center. 

The evening concluded by recognizing the following staff members who have reached milestone service anniversaries:  Al-Hajji Imam Yusuf H. Hasan, 20 years; Rabbi David Keehn, 20 years; Rabbi Dr. Bonita E. Taylor, 15 years; The Rev. Daniel Shenk, 10 years;  Luiza Georgescu, 10 years.




The Young Professionals Council Invites you to join us at our first
#CHEERSTOTHECAUSE Summer Meet and Greet.
Hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.


June 12 // 6-8pm


STK Meatpacking
26 little west 12th Street, NY

Small Bites & Open Bar

Rsvp by June 2, 2014 to Lisha Bodden, Manager, Young Professionals Council: lbodden@healthcarechaplaincy.org or 212.644.1111 ext. 132

The Young Professionals Council 

Who we are: A dynamic group of young professionals socially committed to raising awareness among their peers about the importance of compassionate spiritual care in hospitals, online and elsewhere for all – whoever they are, whatever they believe.


A 10% registration discount to the institute is being offered for anyone who registers because of a HealthCare Chaplaincy announcement including this post. Registrants should check the box on the registration form which says "Check Here If Registering From HCCN Announcement".

Focus on Practical Ways to Integrate Spirituality and Compassion into Healthcare

The 6th Annual Spirituality and Health Summer Institute at the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWISH) will take place in Washington DC July 23 -26, 2014. 

For those interested in working with a diverse group of professionals across disciplines including physicians, chaplains, nurses, social workers, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, pharmacists, administrators, and educators, this is an excellent learning opportunity.

The summer institute is co-directed by Christina Puchalski MD and George Handzo MDiv BCC.  With a “hands-on” approach, this year’s institute has the following goals:

·         Discuss evidence for spiritual care and compassionate presence, the tools to bring spirituality to the forefront of clinical care, and the roles of members of the interdisciplinary team.

·         Participate in experiential learning, including large- and small-group case discussions and treatment/care plan development by interdisciplinary tams with standardized patients.

Speakers include:

·         Christina Puchalski, MD, Co-Director

·         George Handzo, MDiv, BCC, Co-Director

·         William Breitbart, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

·         Xavier Gomez-Batiste, MD, PhD, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain

·         Ewan Kelly, PhD, MD, NHS Education for Scotland, University of Edinburgh

·         Marvin Omar Delgado Guay, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center

·         Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

·         John Mullet, MDiv, BCC, St. Anthony’s Hospital/BayCare Health

·         Kevin Massey, MDiv, BCC, Advocate General Lutheran Hospital

·         Shane Sinclair, PhD, MDiv, University of Calgary, Canada

·         Jennifer Bires, MSW, George Washington University, Medical Faculty Associates

·         Sermsak Lolak, MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

GWISH is the first university-chartered institute for spirituality and health in the United States and is committed to education and clinical issues related to spirituality and health.  Its founder and director is Christina Puchalski MD.

Find details here.


9TH Annual Healthcare Renewal Retreat:  The Art of Presence

Another learning opportunity sponsored by GWISH takes place annually in Assisi, Italy and is planned for August 14-20 this year.  The interdisciplinary retreat is designed to provide respite and renewal, reflection and nourishment, and to re-ignite one’s original call to serve others.  It will be held at a monastery in the heart of Assisi, providing sanctuary and a place of reflection with other professionals from around the world.

Retreat facilitators this year include:

·         Christina Puchalski MD – Physician, educator, and leader in spirituality and health

·         Michael Stillwater – Musical artist and educator

·         Doris Laesser Stillwater, Dipl. Psych. FH – Contemplative psychologist

·         Edward O’Donnell – Spiritual director and educator

The retreat leaders act as guides, drawing from their medical, psychological, spiritual, and artistic backgrounds to provide a learning environment integrating spirit, heart, mind, and body.  Participants will engage in individual and group work to learn practical tools to integrate into their personal and professional lives.

Topics include:

Awareness of the Call:  Relieving stress and understanding/renewing call to service

Awareness of the Sacred:  Ability to integrate contemplative practice into one’s life

Boundaries and Intimacy:  Practice attentive listening and setting boundaries in patient care

Compassionate Presence:  Learning, growing, and integrating the practice

Attending to Patient Spiritual Needs:  Integration of spiritual care in the clinical setting

Keeping the Call Alive:  Plan to integrate learnings from the retreat in one’s profession

Find details here.




Surgeon urges better Doctor/Patient communication to improve patient satisfaction & outcomes. http://bit.ly/1sxDaNz Professional chaplains are a big asset to facilitate communication.


For those who wish that every ill person or caregiver in need of compassionate care receives it – whoever they are, whatever they believe -- please read important international call to action to educate & advocate for outcome oriented chaplaincy. Find open access article at link. http://bit.ly/1iB2J8R  


Hear why thousands have visited the new www.chaplainsonhand.org to find spiritual comfort bit.ly/SJ4a0j Please spread the word so more people in spiritual distress can take advantage of this free resource, including the ChatWithAChaplain and Submit A Prayer Request features.


Attend our annual Convocation,  It’s free and open to the public.


HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Launches
ChaplainsOnHand.org and Chat With A Chaplain

New York, NY (April 3, 2014)‒A new website for online health care chaplain services launched today at the annual HealthCare Chaplaincy Network conference in New York. The new resources of ChaplainsOnHand.org provide counseling to anyone seeking help – regardless of religion or beliefs. This is the first service of its kind specifically geared to health care.

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