Alameda Health System (AHS) celebrates our chaplains during Spiritual Care Appreciation Week, October 23 – 29, 2022. AHS recognizes the invaluable role chaplains play in the health and well-being of patients and staff considering their historic role of engaging in crisis.
“Through their support during times of need and their everyday service of providing spiritual care and comfort, our chaplains are dedicated to creating a culture of well-being for staff, patients and the community,” said Manager, Care Management in Spiritual Care Thomishia Booker.
Currently there are six chaplains serving AHS patients at Highland, Alameda, San Leandro and John George hospitals who provide counseling to staff, patients and visitors of all religious faiths and to those without any religious affiliation.
“The role of spiritual caregivers promotes open and safe conversations that lead to moments of hope and resilience,” said Booker, “and at AHS spiritual care comes in many forms. It is always personalized to the individual and can include prayer, grief support, conversation and guidance.”
AHS chaplains share a common purpose and passion for building relationships of trust and connecting with those they serve. Chaplain Sue Magidson shared she finds joy in working with a diverse group of people. “I’m blessed to hear their stories and learn from them as I provide support,” she said. Chaplain Robert Williams shared, “Being a chaplain allows me the most rewarding opportunity to spiritually support vulnerable patients, families and staff.”
One of the most critical roles our chaplains play is providing end-of-life care and support. During the end-of-life process, chaplains honor and nurture a patient’s spiritual needs and they are an important part of a hospice care team. Chaplain Fleeta Turrentine shared, “I find gratitude in co-journeying with the patient while making their transition.”
Gratitude and love are common themes mentioned by AHS chaplains when asked what they find most rewarding about what they do. Chaplain Betty Clark said, “I love the work and the love I receive and provide to patients and staff.” Chaplain Donald Miller shared, “I love bringing peace and spiritual healing to our patients, their families and our staff.” Chaplain Bob Bevier agrees, “I love just ‘being there’ for patients, especially for those in greatest need.”
During Spiritual Care Awareness Week and every week AHS celebrates our chaplains for their tireless dedication to the total health of our staff and patients in body, mind and spirit.