HealthCare Chaplaincy Grants ‘Excellence in Spiritual Care Award’ to Interim HealthCare Hospice of Greenville, SC

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network recently granted its “Excellence in Spiritual Care Award” to Interim HealthCare Hospice, of Greenville, S.C., distinguishing the local agency as the first hospice and only the third organization in the nation to receive this honor.

Hospice takes the concept of spiritual care and spiritual support for those with extreme health issues to another level.

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) recently granted its “Excellence in Spiritual Care Award” to Interim HealthCare Hospice, a part of Interim HealthCare of the Upstate South Carolina, Greenville, S.C., distinguishing the local agency as the first hospice and only the third organization in the nation to receive this honor.

The award signifies that Interim, after undergoing an extensive evaluation, meets HCCN’s proprietary standards of excellence and is committed to optimally addressing the spiritual and religious needs of patients and their families.

Ray Schroeder, president and owner of Interim HealthCare of the Upstate South Carolina, said the award is especially meaningful since spiritual care has been a cornerstone of the hospice since it began in 1996. He started it after his mother, Grace, received positive medical and spiritual care from a small hospice in Florida.

“I’ve always tried to follow the example of doing the right things the right way for the right reasons in running my business or living my life,” Schroeder said. “Hospice takes the concept of spiritual care and spiritual support for those with extreme health issues to another level. I truly believe that my mother knows how deeply committed we are to emphasizing spiritual care and support through our agency. That makes me very happy.”

Cornelia Scibetta, executive director of Interim HealthCare Hospice, added: “Spiritual care is integral to the care from all disciplines at Interim. This validation demonstrates our commitment to our community. We are humble and will strive to live up to this distinction.”

Interim HealthCare Hospice serves more than 300 families each year. Its parent organization, Interim HealthCare of the Upstate South Carolina, is a locally owned and operated agency that has been providing home health care services since 1979 and an affiliate of the national, 300-unit Interim HealthCare network.

HCCN introduced the “Excellence in Spiritual Care Award” last year as part of the nonprofit organization’s efforts to raise the bar on spiritual care as a critical component of whole-person care. The other recipients are hospitals: Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, the first awardee, and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore. Additional health care settings nationwide currently are in the review process.

The 15 standards of excellence include employing an interdisciplinary approach to spiritual care, engaging in quality improvement projects, and strategically deploying chaplaincy care resources. As part of the evaluation, HCCN specialists identify areas in need of improvement, provide consultation to achieve goals, and assist in more fully integrating chaplaincy services into overall health care delivery.

“Spiritual care is a vital aspect of every health care journey, but can be especially meaningful for people facing end of life and grief,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “We applaud Interim HealthCare Hospice for its dedication to easing that journey through high quality spiritual care that offers hope and strength during a difficult time.”

The Greenville agency decided to apply for the award as “the next natural step in our progression to continue to distinguish ourselves,” said David B. Gladson, a board-certified chaplain and clinical care manager for psycho-social-spiritual care at Interim HealthCare Hospice. “Being the first hospice in the country to achieve this award is an affirmation that we are heading in the right direction.”

HCCN’s award program aligns with a growing body of research demonstrating the positive impact of spiritual care, including overall patient satisfaction and better patient quality of life near death. To view infographics on the value of chaplaincy, visit http://www.hccninfographics.org.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve patient experience and satisfaction, and to help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning—whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on twitter and Facebook.

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Carol Steinberg
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
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