Beyond Clinical Specificity: A Model of Chaplaincy and Clinical Spiritual Care within the Shifting Paradigm of Population Health

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2022

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Abstract

This thesis will examine hospital chaplaincy and its role within the changing paradigm of population health by addressing the question of what chaplaincy looks like beyond the walls of the hospital. The thesis will include several moves that account for the development of the profession and possible areas of growth in dialogue with public health and behavioral health. The first move is historical. This section will cover the development of chaplaincy at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and its relationship to counseling, community engagement, and accrediting bodies. It will also discuss the formation of FaithHealth as both a divisional identity as part of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and a distinct department of community engagement. The second move will be to present the role of chaplain manager within the division of FaithHealth of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and its pioneering work of integrating chaplaincy, community engagement, and licensed counseling. The third move will describe the function of chaplain managers during the coronavirus pandemic and the structure that allowed the model to adapt to a changing landscape. The final move will evaluate the role of chaplain managers from the individuals that assume these roles and leaders within the medical system and provide a snapshot into future possibilities for this role and innovative ministry opportunities.The purpose of this work is threefold: 1) to provide a model for integrating spiritual care, behavioral health and population health into the role of chaplain manager; 2) to advocate for the profession’s continued expansion by adapting chaplaincy’s skillsets in community health; 3) to begin a conversation about modifying educational and professional bodies to best prepare graduates and professionals for the changing landscape of healthcare. Such a model could provide clearer vocational pathways for dual degree divinity school programs and forge new partnerships between public health and divinity schools. Furthermore, given the reinstated associational connection between pastoral counseling and clinical pastoral education, this model of integration could create new associational paths to certification. The connection between pastoral counseling and chaplaincy that thrived before managed care will be revisited as it shows different, yet complementary, fruits of deeply rooted spiritual care.

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Ridenhour, Adam W (2022). Beyond Clinical Specificity: A Model of Chaplaincy and Clinical Spiritual Care within the Shifting Paradigm of Population Health. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26779.

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