Story Posted: 2023-07-03
Hospital Highlights: Mission Office & Ethics
The Mission Office oversees and serves the departments of Spiritual Care, Spiritual Care Education, the Healing Arts and the Robert Steane Holistic Research Chair. The role of the Mission Office is to ensure all staff have the resources they need to live out the charism, mission, vision and values of St. Paul’s Hospital. We coordinate opportunities such as Mission Week and Community Day, and seek to offer encouragement to staff. And while our Hospital is full of life, healing and community, we recognize that those who walk through our doors also may be feeling sadness or fear. Mission Office seeks to engage with these emotions alongside more positive ones, and give patients and families creative and meaningful outlets for any emotions they may experience while they are with us.
The mission of Healing Arts is to enhance and support the holistic component of care by creating opportunities where patients, families, community and staff can connect and engage in the creative arts to support health and well-being. New programming initiatives this year included creative-writing workshops for staff, music bingo for dialysis patients, and the creation of a Green Thumb Community Committee alongside Hospital and Foundation Leadership to expand awareness of the therapeutic impact green spaces have on well-being and healing. The Team continued to build relationships in our community and work in collaboration with local organizations such as Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, SCYAP, Common Weal Community Arts and Prairie Harm Reduction, as well as facilitating monthly music therapy groups in the community.
Members of our Healing Arts Team offer regular workshops to advance understanding of the relationship between health and the arts; support training and mentorship opportunities for healthcare workers, volunteers, and university students; collaborate with faculty and students at the U of S College of Medicine and SaskPolytech Nursing Program to create experiential in-service sessions and placement opportunities; and are visiting speakers at healthcare events and post-secondary institutions.
Estate Gift Supports Innovative Holistic Care Research
St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation is grateful for the thoughtful generosity of the late Robert Steane. His phenomenal gift has allowed us to establish the $3 million Robert Steane Legacy Fund that currently supports both Prairie Hospice Society and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation’s areas of greatest need. Robert’s generosity has also extended the services of our Music Therapy Program into the realm of dialysis at St. Paul’s Hospital, which has had an incredibly positive impact on patients and families.
Further, Robert Steane’s legacy gift has facilitated the establishment of the Robert Steane Holistic Care Research Chair, enabling work on qualifying and quantifying the important role and impact of Holistic Care services on the healthcare experience. Because this Chair is the first of its kind in Canada, the findings that emerge will help us to advance awareness and understanding of Healing Arts and Spiritual Care not only in our own community, but nationally as well. Research Chair Simon Lasair has been exploring how best to integrate Spiritual Care and the Healing Arts into front-line health care. Data collection began at both the Hospice at Glengarda and St. Paul’s Hospital in late January 2023, with the intention that this data will be available for deeper analysis in Summer 2023.
Spiritual Care and Spiritual Care Education
Spiritual Care seeks to support all who enter our doors by offering opportunities for patients, families and staff to find meaning and comfort in the manner and form most valuable to them. Because hospital stays can involve unexpected and challenging diagnoses, patients may feel a need for spiritual support to explore and share their feelings. The Spiritual Care Department connects patients and their families with a faith group representative of their choice whenever requested, and also facilitates milestone events such as weddings, baptisms and memorial services.
As well, we have established educational events for Hospital staff and facilitated learning opportunities for medical students. Spiritual Care Education also coordinated a three-part webinar series for continuing education in Spiritual Care in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Clinical Psychospiritual Education (CPE) program here at St. Paul’s Hospital. Over the years, almost 350 students have participated in this program, which prepares Spiritual Care practitioners with the skills required to respond to peoples’ spiritual needs in settings such as ours.
Ethics Services plays a large role in providing staff, patients and families with the support they need when dealing with challenging health care decisions. This support is provided through both consultations and education programs. This year, the Emmanuel Health Ethics Committee focused on the social determinants of health, and on ways whereby we can help vulnerable people within our community overcome barriers preventing them from accessing much-needed care.
Community Support Helps Healthcare Workers with Ethical Dilemmas
The W.F. Mitchell Bioethics Seminar is a keystone annual event made possible through an endowment bequeathed to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation in memory of the late William F. Mitchell, a local business owner with a strong sense of ethics both in business and in our community.
This year, the Committee invited Dr. Cory Neudorf to give a presentation addressing “Health Inequities in Saskatoon: An Update on Reports & Actions.” His reflections on the topic, delivered on November 8th, 2022 and offered both in person and online, addressed barriers within our community that prevent marginalized groups from accessing health care and experiencing positive health outcomes. Dr. Neudorf also reinforced the work St. Paul’s Hospital staff do every day to help vulnerable people overcome those barriers, and highlighted how health and community organizations can continue to move forward to improve the wellness of all those that we serve.