Have you ever been in distress and felt the need to turn toward your spirituality to regain your ground? Many people find comfort in their own spiritual beliefs, as it brings them back to the core of what truly matters. We recognize the importance of spiritual care for patients as well as family members, which is why Hancock Health Chaplaincy Services are always available at Hancock Regional Hospital. Recently, this service, led by Russ Jarvis, was a recipient of the Excellence in Care Award from the Healthcare Chaplaincy Network.
Spiritual care to soothe the body, mind and soul
As a board-certified chaplain, Russ Jarvis is dedicated to creating a healing environment through spiritual care. Chaplaincy services are here to help patients as well as their families with a variety of needs, including:
- Providing a caring and listening ear during times of emotional distress
- Making referrals to appropriate religious groups on behalf of families or patients
- Advice for those struggling with religious, spiritual, or ethical issues
- Providing requested religious rites or rituals
The work of Hancock Health chaplains is interfaith, so helping those in need to draw upon their own spiritual resources is key to helping bring peace and healing. “Spiritual distress,” says Jarvis, “is something that occurs when individuals or families incur illness or injuries which can upset or challenge the foundation of their faith…We look to see if there are signs of distress so we can tend to that and help them as they process and move forward with life.”
Jarvis works in tandem with Hancock Health’s physical and mental health providers to create a holistic approach to whole-person wellness, which has become one of the cornerstones of this health network.
Excellence in Care
Associate chaplain, Laura Baker, applied for the Excellence in Care Award through the Healthcare Chaplaincy Network. The chaplains found that they had 14 of the 19 requirements to be awarded (far surpassing the minimum of 10). Some of these included employing board-certified chaplains, screening patients for religious or spiritual concerns and having a dedicated sacred space on hospital grounds.
Both Jarvis and Baker are employed through Hancock Health and they work with about 10 other on-call chaplains to help patients around the clock. Not only that, but the Hancock Health Foundational Network also connects patients and families with clergy members from 30 local churches.
Hancock Health Chaplaincy Stories
Four individuals recently shared their chaplaincy service stories with us about the excellence in care that they received from the Hancock Health Chaplaincy Service team:
“I think everyone I’ve come in contact with has been very nice, sweet, and supportive. I’m very spiritual kind of person, so I just feel the spirit of God and the presence around me. It’s wonderful to have them come in when you are discouraged during an illness. When I’m feeling really bad physically, I feel discouraged. The visits with Chaplain Russ lift me up.” – Monika
“We were able to have a wonderful conversation. It was one human being talking to another human being, and I was appreciative. I am a minister, but no one needs to feel like religious credentials, or a church affiliation is required to have a positive experience.” – Michael
“It was just the greatest help to my husband ‑— he and Chaplain Russ shared the love of writing, so they bonded over that and was such a support for us. He and his wife even came over for dinner one evening. We celebrated our anniversary three weeks early because we knew my husband probably would not live to see it, and Russ and his wife came and even did a little renewing of the vows, which made my husband so happy. We didn’t have a church home, and Russ spoke at my husband’s funeral. He has kept in touch and called to check in on me, so it was very helpful for me as well. The Hancock Health chaplaincy program is really wonderful and even put me in touch with a wonderful grief counselor.” – Janice
“I’ve not had any type of surgery or been in hospital; and I found myself ill and in a really dark place. He shared some Bible verses that gave me hope. Every time I’m back there for an appointment, he stops and chats. While he’s a chaplain, he doesn’t preach; he just gives great guidance. Even if you are non-believer, he is personable and warm hearted. To be able to talk to someone like that when you are ill is really reassuring.” – John
You are in excellent hands with Hancock Health
With a knowledgeable, skilled and caring staff, Hancock Health creates an environment where healing is not only possible but expected. The Chaplaincy Service is just another way to help patients and families feel that they are being treated with dignity, respect and the utmost compassion.
If you or a loved one needs help from our Chaplaincy Service, you can ask a hospital staff member to page the chaplain, visit the chaplaincy office on the hospital’s second floor or call the office directly at (317)468-4500.