Spiritual Care & Education
Rev. Gale Kennebrew, D.Min., BCC, ACPE
The mission of the Department of Spiritual Care and Education is to provide spiritual care to patients, families, and staff through assessment, intervention, education, and research. Our vision is to to exemplify the highest standards of professional chaplaincy and pastoral education in health care.
The Department of Spiritual Care and Education partners with community chaplaincy programs to provide faith-specific ministry to patients and caregivers at MD Anderson. Denominational volunteers are trained and supervised by each program and its denominational coordinator under the direction of the Spiritual Care and Education and Volunteer Services departments. These partners include, but are not limited to:
The Catholic Chaplains Corps provides sacramental and pastoral care to the patients, families and staff of hospitals and institutions of the Texas Medical Center, Houston. In addition to the designated staff, the Corps sponsors the pastoral assistants - specially trained lay personnel who assist the staff in brining the healing presence of Christ to those whom the Corps serves.
Jewish Family Service/Jewish Federation of Greater Houston: A chaplain visits Jewish patients and their caregivers in the hospital and the outpatient clinics. Additionally, a dedicated group of volunteers make daily visits. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, the chaplain provides spiritual direction and development, supportive counseling, prayer, or resources and referrals for Jewish life in the Houston community.
The Lifeline Chaplaincy program is an extension of the Churches of Christ ministry in the Greater Houston Area. Its emphasis is on patient visitation and family support, as well as continued education for pastoral care volunteers. Phone: 713-524-1055
Lutheran Chaplaincy: Chaplain Dube, a clinically trained pastoral care-giver, provides a caring and sensitive ministry to patients and families in the Texas Medical Center. He provides a Christ-centered, Cross-focused, Word, Sacrament and Prayer ministry for patients, family members and friends. This ministry is available, primarily but not exclusively, to Lutherans from out of town whose home Pastors might not have the opportunity or means to personally visit their parishioners.
Presbyterian Outreach to Patients provides pastoral care to Presbyterian patients and families in the Texas Medical Center. Lay Ministers are trained to serve in this specialized ministry and are credentialed by the respective hospital. This ministry is overseen by a Board of Directors who come from Houston area congregations.
The Department maintains a large database of other religious community resources to connect patients and caregivers to their particular faith group. For more information, call us at 713-792-7184.
Spiritual care volunteers provide companionship, prayer, spiritual assessment or just a listening ear for patients and caregivers in MD Anderson's outpatient clinics. These volunteers are specially trained to be sensitive to all faiths and beliefs through the use of inclusive religious language and referrals to various faith communities. The outpatient areas covered by spiritual care volunteers include main clinics, treatment and diagnostic areas,surgery (pre-op waiting and recovery rooms) and waiting rooms.
Spiritual care volunteers should be able to:
- Convey genuine interest in and care for patient and family
- Meet individuals at their point of need in the here and now
- Make a brief spiritual assessment and referral as necessary
- Listen respectfully to the story and the underlying feelings
Previous spiritual care experience, training through Stephen Ministry or the Community of Hope is helpful, but not required. Volunteers must attend a 2.5 hour orientation provided by Volunteer Services, which includes filling out an application and undergoing a criminal background check. To apply, call 713-792-JOIN.
For all other questions please contact the Chaplaincy Office: 713-792 7184.
Department of Spiritual Care and Education
MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 0005
Houston, TX 77030