Changes in Funding for Chaplaincy Services

Hospital chaplains fall victim to provincial budget

The people who provide spiritual guidance and counselling in Saskatchewan hospitals will soon be forced to look for employment elsewhere after the program fell victim to the provincial government’s sweeping budget cuts.

“They are saving $1.5 million in salaries and costs associated with this, but I mean, odds are it’s going to come back and cost many times that in terms of impact on the system,” said Philip Weaver, president of the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care.

“Studies have shown that spiritual care actually ends up saving money to the system rather than costing money to the system. So people who end up receiving spiritual care during their hospitalization generally have a shorter length of stay, fewer infections post surgery and shorter costs associated with their end of life process.”

Currently, there is no timeline on the government’s decision to pull funding from the program.

Calling it a “short sighted attempt to save money,” Weaver noted Saskatchewan will be the only province in Canada that doesn’t provide this service to its patients and employees. He said the Fraser Health Authority in B.C., which removed funding from its chaplaincy program in acute care facilities late in 2009, has decided to reinstitute the program.

Weaver said chaplains are there to help anyone who needs it, regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs. He noted it’s not about dealing with physical injuries but helping understand and deal with emotional trauma and new situations, such as coming to terms with losing the ability to walk or putting a child up for adoption.

NAHC Conference April 24/25th

The Conference will take place on April 24th and 25th and will take place at Finnstown Castle Hotel, Lucan, Co.Dublin and our theme for the Conference this year is The Practice of Surrender in the Conscious Dying Process-A Path of Learning to radically let go. Our speaker for Monday is Francis Bennett whom some of you are no doubt already familiar with. Francis Bennett, a former Trappist monk and Hospital and Hospice Chaplain will explore and reflect on the path of surrender as the primary practice for our every day life. He has been offering spiritual direction and workshops in America and in Europe over many years and we are most fortunate and privileged to have a speaker of his caliber with us this year.
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Accreditation of Centres at Ballyclare & St Lukes Home, Cork

The three CPE Centers in Dublin and the Centre at Cork University Hospital have been accredited by the Healthcare Chaplaincy Board (HCB) with their remit of accrediting the original CPE Centres. The more recently established Centres in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland and at Northridge House , St Luke’s Home Cork have just been accredited by the recently formed All Ireland CPE Accreditation Board (AICAB). The Director at the Centre in Ballyclare is Sr Mary Jo Cocoran and the Centre is supported by the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplaincy Association and Northern Ireland Department of Health. The Director at Northridge House is Rev Bruce Pierce and the Centre is supported as part of the outreach programme of St Luke’s Home, Cork.
The AICAB consisted of representatives of the following bodies – National Association of Healthcare Chaplains, ACPE(Ireland) Ltd, Chaplaincy Accreditation Board and the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association. Fr Brian Gough is Chairperson of AICAB with the remit to accredit the CPE Programmes at the designated Centers. AICAB also involves an overseas CPE Supervisor to enhance objectivity and best international practice. On the February accreditation site visits to Ballyclare and Northridge House Rev. Dr. Neil Elford was part of the team. Dr Elford is a member of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care and part of the CASC Centre Accreditation Committee. Currently he is Director for Spiritual Health Mission & Ethics at Providence Care & Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, Ontario.

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Reaccreditation of CPE Centres in Dublin

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ACPE(Ireland) Ltd has been recently informed by the Healthcare Chaplaincy Board that the CPE Centres at both the Mater Hospital and St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan have been reaccredited.
Congratulations to the Supervisors – Myriam Massabo and Catherine Keenan