Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fauquier Health Celebrates Pastoral Care

David Smith, Fauquier Health chaplain, gathered his volunteer chaplains together October 28 for a Pastoral Care open house in the Sycamore rooms. Chaplain Smith lent his own caring presence to the event by greeting all who visited with his welcoming smile and quiet, reassuring voice. And of course, to start things off with a lively note, he led a drumming session.

Chaplain Smith has expanded the pastoral care offerings at Fauquier Health to include:

• The Spirituality Work Team (SWT) meets the first Monday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Chestnut Room. This is an open meeting and all are invited to attend.

• Praying Hands Ministry: This initiative of the SWT responds to the request of patients who are asked upon admission if they would like to have someone pray for them. The names of those patients are sent to SWT members (under confidentiality) and the SWT members are asked to pray for these individuals.

• In addition to the Praying Hands Ministry, the Hospital has lay ministers from the community come to the hospital chapel each Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and conduct a “Healing Prayer” service of liturgy readings and prayer. With chaplain assistance, patients are identified who desire prayer and are included in this service. A system wide “Prayer Line” is available to patients and staff who wish to have prayer offered in their behalf by calling ext. 2229 and leaving a request on an automated system.

• In conjunction with our Palliative Care initiatives, a special group of volunteers designated as “Chaplain Assistants” are working with the hospital Chaplain to provide support to patients who do not have family or friends to be with them during their difficult time. These volunteers provide a “Caring Presence.”

“David’s leadership is so inspired,” said Beverly Hunsaker, a volunteer chaplain and follower of the Bana’i faith. “David is so organized – he keeps us focused. There was a time, years ago, when volunteer chaplains were barely tolerated here, but the hospital is so welcoming now. There is a new attitude about the role of religion and healing.”

The Rev. Liz Danielson, founder of Spiritual Care Ministries, was also eager to talk about her work with Fauquier Health. She works with the Chronically Ill Support Group, which meets Tuesdays, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in The Bistro. The chronically ill are largely a forgotten group, she said. “There are people here who are hurting from constant back pain or other illnesses,” she said. “They are functioning, they are working, but it’s difficult. They need our support.”

Donna Meadows (mother to Beth Foddrell, physician relations specialist) is a part of the Wednesday night prayer group, along with Betsy Anderson and Connie Chintall. Led by Chaplain Smith, they pray for anyone who asks to be remembered.

The Fauquier branch of Gideon International was represented at the Pastoral Care open house as well. Betsy Surles and Clyde Tisdale handed out Gideon Bibles to those who stopped by.
Kaye Kready, a volunteer chaplain, was present, representing Liberty Community Church in Bealeton.

Rochelle Applewhite, chaplain’s assistant, was also at the open house, sharing information on the Caring Presence program. Trained by Chaplain Smith, volunteers serve at the bedsides of those who are dying without family members present. Rochelle said, “We listen to them, bring music or read poetry. We are just there for them so they are not alone.”

She said the volunteers are expanding their duties to attend patients who are ill who are alone and want someone to talk to.”

No comments: