INDUSTRY – Healthcare
EMPLOYEES – 40-50 multi-faith chaplains serving 47,000 staff
About NewYork-Presbyterian Pastoral Care & Education Department
NewYork-Presbyterian is an extensive and integrated academic healthcare system that serves and cares for patients in the New York metropolitan region, as well as nationally and globally. The hospital system offers a multi-faith Pastoral Care & Education Department consisting of chaplains, residents, and interns who provide religious, spiritual, and existential support for varying situations faced by healthcare workers and patients and their families.
In spring 2020, NewYork-Presbyterian, like hospitals across the world, found itself facing the brutal beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic. While working tirelessly to care for patients and at great personal risk, frontline healthcare workers navigated an unprecedented amount of suffering and loss. Pastoral care teams found themselves experiencing compassion fatigue as a result of their empathetic engagement with patients and staff members during the darkest and most uncertain period of the pandemic.
Anchoring Resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic
In April 2020, NewYork-Presbyterian (Weill Cornell) Pastoral Care and Education Department partnered with Lumos Transforms to provide The Resilience Toolkit to their multi-faith department. Jennifer Kent, a resident chaplain seeking ways to deal with the stress of the work, discovered Lumos Transforms’ free Anchoring Resilience for Turbulent Times workshop. After repeatedly attending, Jennifer reached out to us, seeking to bring Anchoring Resilience training to the entire Pastoral Care & Education Department.
Caring for caregivers
In multiple sessions, Resilience Toolkit creator and founder of Lumos Transforms, Nkem Ndefo held space for the chaplains to share their experiences and gain a practical understanding of the stress and trauma they were experiencing as a result of the pandemic. Uniquely adapted for this multi-faith group, these Anchoring Resilience sessions created much-needed community, compassion, and connection during a tremendously difficult time. The chaplains normalized their stress responses and learned real-time stress-regulating tools that they report relying upon to this day.