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2012 press releases


Advocate Health Receives Grant to Study Chaplains Role in Palliative Care

Oak Brook, Ill.Advocate Health Care, one of the nation’s top health systems, is conducting an 18-month long study on how chaplains provide palliative care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), thanks to a grant from the HealthCare Chaplaincy provided by the John Templeton Foundation. Advocate was one of six organizations nationally to receive the funding.

As a faith-based, healthcare system, Advocate’s chaplains play a critical role in providing care for patients and families dealing with life-threatening situations in the ICU. The study titled, What do I do?— Developing a Taxonomy of Chaplaincy Activities and Interventions for Spiritual Care in ICU Palliative Care, will identify exactly how that care is provided and its impact on patient outcomes.

“The study will give us a more precise description and listing of all the essential activities performed by our chaplains working in the ICU,” said Rev. Kathie Bender Schwich, senior vice president, mission and spiritual care, Advocate Health Care. “The knowledge will ultimately benefit our patients and families and help our clinical teams align more closely with the work of the chaplains.”

The connection between physical and spiritual care is a foundational principal at Advocate. Chaplains help patients and families with ethical questions, give counseling on advance directives and provide connections to spiritual sources of strength, among a host of other spiritual services.

The primary sites being studied in the research project are Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Chicago’s north side and Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. Chaplains from all of Advocate’s 12 hospitals are taking part in the study. It will be led by Rev. Kevin Massey, vice president of Mission and Spiritual Care, Advocate Lutheran General and will conclude in 2013.

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About Advocate Health Care - Advocate Health Care, named among the nation’s top health systems, is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the largest health care providers in the Midwest. Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care, including 10 acute care hospitals, two integrated children’s hospitals, five Level I trauma centers (the state’s highest designation in trauma care),two Level II trauma centers, one of the area’s largest home health care companies and one of the region’s largest medical groups. Advocate Health Care trains more primary care physicians and residents at its four teaching hospitals than any other health system in the state. As a not-for-profit, mission-based health system affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, Advocate contributed $571 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland and Central Illinois in 2011.


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