For friends, families and caregivers of patients who have passed away at the hospital in the past year, the chaplaincy staff of Rabbi Hodgetts, Pastor Nicholas Gilbert, Father Edward Pieroni and Reverend Burkhard Weber hosted an interfaith service of remembrance on September 20. A packed crowd in the Sopkin Auditorium listened to reflections, poems, readings and music.
“Participants were moved by the service,” says Pastor Gilbert, director of spiritual care services. “It helped them get in touch with themselves and with their community. It was restorative.”
During the winter holidays, which can be an especially difficult time to be in the hospital, patients and families often welcome daily visits from the chaplains. “We’re always sensitive to people’s belief systems, and we treat the whole person—body, mind and spirit,” Pastor Gilbert says. “We seek out every family we can find to offer spiritual support.”
As part of her mission to honor The Miriam’s Jewish heritage, Rabbi Hodgetts educates the hospital staff about traditions that help bring a sense of the sacred into the medical space. “The more educated our team is in this area, the more they can bring that experience to patients. At Hanukkah, I teach care staff, most of whom are not Jewish, about the holiday and to play the dreidel game. We have electric menorahs in each unit and in some patient rooms, which provide an actual light in the darkness for those in the hospital,” says Rabbi Hodgetts.
Spirituality transcends religion. There is a nondenominational chapel on the first floor of the hospital that is always open for meditation and prayer for patients, families and staff experiencing spiritual distress.
Carey is responsible for a wide range of programs, research and services, including those that help people quit smoking, lose weight, exercise, manage stress, and prevent HIV and AIDS. He also oversees initiatives to supplement medical treatments and enhance quality of life in cancer survivors and cardiac rehabilitation patients.
“At the centers, we develop more effective ways to promote health behavior change,” says Carey. “We seek to better understand the benefits of, and the barriers to, these changes. We are at the cutting edge of our field by every measure, including recruiting talented students and faculty, making high level scientific contributions and successfully competing for the most prestigious National Institutes of Health grants.”
Arthur Sampson, executive director of The Miriam Hospital, adds, “When patients have the confidence to take control of their own healing in some small way, the experience of changing unhealthy habits gained over a lifetime is enhanced. Dr. Carey brings sensitivity to his research work that will have far-reaching impacts on the lives of our patients.”