Spiritual Care Association Retains Leading Law Firm to Advance Advocacy Efforts for Quality Spiritual Support

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The Spiritual Care Association today announced that it has retained Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, to spearhead advocacy efforts aimed at raising the bar on spiritual care and further integrating it into the U.S. health care system.

M. Todd Tuten of Akin Gump will be leading the advocacy effort.

This paves the way for the first time for spiritual care stakeholders to build a united and loud voice on Capitol Hill around this important aspect of whole-person care.

The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) today announced that it has retained Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, to spearhead advocacy efforts aimed at raising the bar on spiritual care and further integrating it into the U.S. health care system.

Leading the effort will be M. Todd Tuten, a senior policy advisor in the firm’s Washington, DC office who has extensive congressional and private-sector experience, including the development and implementation of substantive policies and strategies on a broad range of legislative and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on health care. He is actively engaged in the debate on proposals to strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and the nation’s health care system.

Rev. Eric J. Hall, SCA’s president and CEO, said SCA is fortunate to have secured such a well-respected firm. “This paves the way for the first time for spiritual care stakeholders to build a united and loud voice on Capitol Hill around this important aspect of whole-person care,” Hall said. “We must amplify spiritual care issues in the public interest in order to move the profession forward and, moreover, to assist countless people in need.”

SCA is a new international professional membership organization for chaplains and other health care providers, clergy, and health care organizations and institutions. It has secured nearly 1,000 members in just three months, since its formation in April 2016.

According to Hall, SCA plans to educate and engage federal legislators and policymakers with the intent of securing laws, policies, reimbursements and resources that support quality spiritual care for individuals and their family caregivers throughout the continuum of care and in all types of health care settings.

The professional organization is asking interested SCA members to sit on an advocacy advisory committee. It will be seeking input from this committee and overall SCA membership as well as collaborating with other groups to identify issues, develop a robust and effective advocacy agenda, and mobilize grassroots efforts at the federal, state and local levels.

In addition, Hall said, “We welcome others who want to get involved and strengthen our collective voice.”

The initiative is a major component of SCA’s overall goal to transform the field of spiritual care through evidence-based education and chaplaincy certification, research and advocacy. SCA is an affiliate of the 55-year-old HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, a nonprofit organization based in New York.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Its award-winning health care team represents participants in all aspects of health care and life sciences.

About the Spiritual Care Association
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that establishes evidence-based quality indicators, scope of practice, and a knowledge base for spiritual care in health care. The nonprofit SCA is an affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), a health care nonprofit organization founded in 1961, which provides spiritual care-related information and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Visit http://www.spiritualcareassociation.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on twitter and facebook.

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Carol Steinberg
Spiritual Care Association
+1 (212) 644-1111 Ext: 121
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