ACCESS Spiritual Care Services Goes Extra Mile with Patients

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist, MSJ
December 7, 2017

Chaplain Shelley Haynes, MDIV, is in charge of ACCESS’ Spiritual Care Services. Spiritual Care Services are rooted in the belief that best practice, patient-centered primary care includes considering a patient’s spiritual needs as it takes into account stress, trauma, loss, and grief and isolation, among other factors.

 

Chaplain Haynes sees patients at five ACCESS health centers, including ACCESS Grand Boulevard Health and Specialty Center; ACCESS Family Health Society; ACCESS Russo Family Health Center; ACCESS Madison Family Health Center and ACCESS Evanston-Rogers Park Family Health Center.

 

An early proponent of spiritual care, ACCESS began its chaplaincy program nearly 15 years ago to provide screening and individual spiritual care. Research has revealed that many patients who may have a wide variety of diagnoses often struggle with their spirituality. Since ACCESS deals with a variety of cultures and understands that this is an important part of a person’s well-being, providers are educated about how to briefly screen for possible unmet spiritual needs. As part of the care coordination team model, this allows providers to quickly identify those who would benefit from a referral to the chaplain for counseling, support and/or linkage to community services.

 

The Chaplain also works to build and strengthen spiritual and religious resource linkages within the communities, which may include faith community partnerships to address population health concerns, such as community violence, health disparities, and inadequate housing. In the past, ACCESS has done this successfully with programs like Pin-A-Sister™/Examinate Comadre™ and Camp Getaway.

 

Another key focus is seeking out partnerships with populations who often have been isolated from or experienced barriers to spiritual care, such as LGBTQIA patients, or patients who have had involvement with the criminal justice system.

 

For more information about ACCESS’ Spiritual Care Services, please call 312.733.0239.