The Pastoral Care department provides emotional support and a comforting touch to patients and their families when faced with a hospital stay. The mission of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is to participate in the healthcare ministry of the church. It is the embodiment of that mission which differentiates St. Anthony’s from other hospital organizations. Believing that every person is created in the image of God and therefore having intrinsic dignity and value, we strive to create a caring climate at St. Anthony’s that emphasizes hospitality, love, respect, service, compassion and faith.
Through our healing ministry, Pastoral Care’s Chaplain (lay or religious) and Pastoral Associates play an important role in helping patients resolve any religious/spiritual problems they may have, thus improving their health and adjustment.
The Chaplain and Pastoral Associates are part of the interdisciplinary team and are responsible for providing spiritual assessments, interventions and documentation in the patient’s chart. Perhaps the most important act of “healing” a Chaplain or Pastoral Associate can perform is to empower the patient or family member to access his/her own spiritual and religious coping strategies.
Understanding a patient’s spiritual needs assists with the patient’s overall care. According to The Joint Commission, “the state of a patient’s spiritual well-being is directly linked to their physical well-being.” The goal of St. Anthony’s Pastoral Associates is to minimize disturbances in the patient’s spiritual life so that spiritual resources can be used to the maximum to aid in physical healing.
Spiritual needs are not necessarily religious needs. While spiritual needs often include religious experiences, spiritual needs has a much broader, individual scope – it is how/where we form our core beliefs and life values that define how we perceive/experience comfort, peace and hope.
To meet the spiritual needs of patients, we understand and respect religious diversity, are sensitive and open-minded regarding the patient’s religious beliefs, and support their religious practices as long as they are not harmful to the patient or to the facility.