Six Recognized as Newly Certified Chaplain Associates
Will provide pastoral care and counseling for patients and their families
January 28, 2011
From left: Gerald Cayer, executive vice president is with newly certified chaplain associates: Belle Foss, Glennice Cottle, Rita Porter, Jim Farley, Marge Beckler, and Alex Freeman.
Six individuals were recently recognized for completing a 100-hour chaplain associate training at Franklin Memorial Hospital. The newly certified volunteer chaplain associates are Marge Beckler, Glennice Cottle, Jim Farley, Belle Foss, Alex Freeman, and Rita Porter. Each will be available on a volunteer basis to provide pastoral care and counseling for the religious, spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families in the face of a new diagnosis, and/or dealing with death, grief, and loss.
Rev. Marriott Churchill, the director of chaplaincy services at Franklin Memorial Hospital, led the chaplain associate training that was based upon clinical pastoral education, the nationally recognized standard of training for chaplains in a variety of institutional settings. A team of four chaplains—Revs. Doug Dunlap, Tim Walmer, and Steve Bracy along with Rev. Churchill—provided the training over a 10-month period.
“The chaplain associates were taught patient-centered service, by listening for patients’ needs and feelings, as well as their own as they visit,” said Rev. Walmer. “They were taught to offer prayer when requested, but never impose it; to respect the patients’ perspective; and to work collaboratively with hospital staff—all in order that compassion expressed as a listening presence can further the healing process.”
A variety of teaching methods were employed including presentations, case studies, group participation, supervised practice, and reflection on the experience. Topics included such things as what patients experience during a hospital stay, helpful ways to initiate visits, listening skills, and serving the dying.
“The unique contribution chaplain associates make can be summarized as ‘ears, heart, and hands,’” said Churchill. “Ears, because they are trained to carefully listen—seeking to hear from the patient’s point of view, not only what is said, but what is not said. Heart, because compassion motivates them. And hands, because a healing touch comes from simply being present to people.”
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