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Congrats to our spiritual care colleagues!


Left to right: Arun Chatterjee, Doug Longstaffe and Michael Pasche.

Compassionate and caring, our Spiritual Care and Multifaith Services team is always striving for better.

From the only residency program of its kind in B.C. to an award-winning pilot providing interns experience caring for people living in the Downtown Eastside, our spiritual care colleagues can take credit for many accomplishments — including accreditation.

The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) recently announced that the team's VGH and Richmond clinical pastoral teaching programs have earned a five-year certification.

Evaluators impressed

CASC evaluators conducted onsite interviews during their visit and left suitably impressed.

“They were pleased to see a teaching program so well integrated with the rest of VCH, rather than standing separate as an isolated entity," says Doug Longstaffe, spiritual care profession leader. Other highlights they noted include:

  • Delivery of group training on how to facilitate dialogue with patients on awkward subject matters and disturbing or troubling topics. 

  • Development of a written statement of rationale for clinical pastoral education describing the basis and reason for the team's decisions and practice.

“Students are essential to fulfilling our mandate as teaching centres and they provide many hours of supervised service to patients," says Doug. “Accreditation affirms the quality of our education and training for these up-and-coming spiritual care practitioners." 

A team effort 

Doug is grateful to the many students, staff and educational partners — especially the Vancouver School of Theology as well as team members Matt Heyn, Michael Pasche and Arun Chatterjee — for their help in preparing for the evaluators' visit and review. 

“Their commitment to the accreditation process paralleled their daily commitment to their work," he says. 

“The accreditation experience has allowed us to reflect on our own processes and to see these through a more objective lens," Doug adds. “It's given us that extra push to tighten up our administrative processes and paperwork, and we've enhanced our didactic lecture sessions to improve student learning and, in turn, patient care."

SOURCE: Congrats to our spiritual care colleagues! ( )
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