Spiritual Care Experience

Healthcare Chaplaincy

“When religious beliefs and practices are tightly interwoven with cultural contexts, hospital chaplains constitute a powerful reminder of the healing, guiding, and reconciling power of faith. Professional chaplains reach across faith group boundaries and do not proselytize. Acting on behalf of their institutions, they provide spiritual care through emphatic listening, demonstrating and understanding persons in distress.” – Association For Professional Chaplains

Starting with my experience as a resident hospital chaplain at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in 2014 where I earned four Clinical Pastoral Care units, I believe it’s the role of the chaplain not to have answers, but offer reassurance of God’s presence amidst difficult moments.

Today I serve as a hospital chaplain in Northwestern Ohio.  As a hospital chaplain, I offer religious and spiritual guidance to patients, staff, and administrators of the hospitals in our health system.  In this role, I provide spiritual care to patients in all areas of the hospital including intensive care, emergency, and psychiatric units.  I also serve as the chairperson of the ethics committee which relates to issues relating to the quality care of our patients. Each week, I lead a small support group for patients in the behavior health unit on the topic of grief. Additionally, I oversee and all liturgical and chapel services, giving patients, staff, and administrators, the opportunity to exercise their religious spiritual beliefs within the health system. Currently, I am in the process to become a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Highlights in my experiences in chaplaincy include:

  • Overseeing a spiritual care department in a clinical hospital setting consisting of 150 patients and 300 healthcare employees.
  • Assessing the spiritual needs of patients in a hospital setting regarding anxiety, fear of death, poor health, and a broad range of other issues and concerns.
  • Providing emotional and psychological support to staff, patients, and family members of all faiths and cultures.
  • Chairing ethics committee providing consultation for Bioethics, Palliative Care and Organ Donor committees.

Military Chaplaincy

“We (The Air Force Chaplains Corps) encourage people, regardless of their religious affiliation, that having faith in something greater than themselves proves to be a source of strength, hope, and resilience in coping with the vigorous and demanding task of defending our nation. – Ch. (Lt. Col.) Sammy Tucker 

As a chaplain in the military, I seek to encourage airmen, regardless of their religious affiliation, that having faith in something greater than themselves proves to be a source of strength, hope and resilience in coping with the vigorous and demanding task of defending our nation, Serving United States members of the military and their families, I serve I provide spiritual counseling while also helping them process loss and grief, family issues, and spiritual discernment. I also have worked with airmen in the detention unit providing spiritual care.  I also have served with my base chaplains, providing leadership for different workshops and events.  I also refer airmen to social workers, psychologists, or medical personnel as required.

Additionally, as a chaplain endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) which is committed to inclusivity and serving the spiritual needs of all people, especially the LGBTQ+ community, I have unrestricted ability to provide spiritual care and carry out sacraments to airmen regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.  To read the official statement from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) about the unrestrictive, open and affirming commitment to provide spiritual care to the LGBTQ+ community by those endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), click here.

For me, it’s an honor to give back to my country and those who protect our freedom because as an American they have given so much to me.

Highlights in my experiences in chaplaincy include:

  • Attending to the morale of the unit; helping individuals process loss, regret, and stress
  • Helping individuals explore questions related to spirituality, religion, vocation and life purpose.
  • Providing pastoral services and support for marriages, funerals, and baptisms
  • Advising military leadership about religious accommodations issues, acting as the subject matter expert.