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Chaplain Joe Hart discusses spiritual support at GBMC with Don Scott

October 13, 2017
Is spiritual support the same as religion but simply disguised? "No," says GBMC Chaplain (The Reverend) J. Joseph Hart, Director of Spiritual Support Services.

So, what is spiritual support? According to Reverend Hart, Spiritual Support services are a bridge for a gap in people's lives when they come to the hospital, whether it's an emergency or a scheduled appointment or a crisis. "We are there to spiritually and emotionally comfort our patients as they define it. We want to support their needs and beliefs, based on their definition."

In this conversation, Reverend Hart highlights:
  • The breadth of services provided -- from spiritual assessment visits to prayer shawls, pet therapy and a music ministry. "Studies show that anxiety is reduced when you hear music that comforts," he said.
  • The challenges his team addresses with end-of-life issues, where "we try to make those goodbyes as memorable as possible."
  • The Medical Ethics Committee at GBMC, comprised of doctors, nurses, social workers, and clergy who grapple with issues of medicine, ethics, beliefs, and theology to come to an understanding that will give perspective to patients and staff.
  • The launch of spiritual TV and media in-house at GBMC for further outreach, so patients and their families will know there is support and an avenue to navigate the tough questions.
GBMC Spiritual Support Services includes three full-time staff members, as well as more than 110 volunteer chaplains who are available 24-hours-a-day as part of every patient's care team.

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