Projects

Caring for Communities of Faith: Conversations and Interventions to Enhance Wellness for Faith Communities Served by IU Health in Central Indiana

Contact: Ann Cottingham
Email: ancotting@iu.edu
Phone: 317-274-9067

DESCRIPTION

Faith leaders play foundational and diverse roles in the lives of their faith communities. They articulate a framework of belief and meaning that provides a foundation and context for their faith community members’ life experiences, values, and priorities. The goals of this project are to create a partnership between faith leaders and IU Health to enhance the care and health of faith leaders, faith community members and local communities. 

AIMS

The project team partners with IU Health and local faith and community leaders to address faith leader identified high priority areas of need, including education on responding to mental illness, providing appropriate care for patients and families from diverse spiritual traditions, supporting faith leader health, and responding to specific health related needs of individual faith communities. 

RESOURCES

Upcoming Webinar
TBD
Date | Time

The webinar series has been designed to bring together faith leaders, healthcare providers and chaplains to discuss current needs of patients and families of individual faith communities. This ongoing series is scheduled quarterly and is approved by various organizations that perform accreditation and establish standards for healthcare delivery.

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Chaplain Family Project

Contact:
Shelley Varner Perez, MDiv, MPH, CPH, BCC
Email:
svarnerpe@iuhealth.org
Phone: 317-962-8115
and
Alexia Torke, MD, MS
Email: atorke@iu.edu
Phone: 317-274-9221

DESCRIPTION

The Evans Center meets bi-weekly to collaborate about the ongoing development of this research project. This research project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of proactive, professional spiritual care for the family decision makers of critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Board eligible or board-certified chaplains provide spiritual care to family decision makers at pre-determined time intervals as part of the study. The intervention is based on the Evans Center approach to spiritual care called the Spiritual Care Assessment and Intervention (SCAI) Framework. This project is a close collaboration between the IU Health Academic Health Center (AHC) Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research(CAR) at the Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

The SCAI Framework was developed to balance the need for a reproducible research tool for spiritual care assessment and intervention, with an open, individually responsive approach to spiritual care that would feel authentic to chaplains, patients, and families. We have developed the SCAI framework through an interdisciplinary process involving chaplains, theologians, researchers, and other clinicians and revised it based on feedback over the years. Although it was developed for ICU family members, some questions have also been adapted for the clinical settings in which it was being used, such as the outpatient oncology clinic. As a result, you may notice small differences in versions of the framework that have been used overtime.

The SCAI Framework is registered under Creative Commons under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You are welcome to use the materials posted here for your own clinical use or for research conducted by non-profit entities. For any other uses, contact Dr. Alexia Torke at the Evans Center.

AIMS

The aim of this project is to study spiritual care in the outpatient setting leading to significant and measurable improvements in spiritual well-being, quality of life, satisfaction, and other outcomes for patients and their caregivers.

RESOURCES

Chaplain Family Project Pilot Manuscript
SCAI Framework Documentation Form
SCAI Pocket Card of the Four Dimensions and Questions
SCAI Training Video
IU Health Chaplaincy Services

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The Congregational Care Network (CCN): an engagement program with congregations by the IU Health Department of Spiritual Care, Chaplaincy & Congregational Partnerships
(An Affiliate Project)

Contact: Jay Foster, DMin, BCC
Email:  jfoster11@iuhealth.org
Phone: 317-963-6224

Caregiver looking after an older woman

DESCRIPTION

The Congregational Care Network (CCN) cooperates closely with area congregations to promote physical health and spiritual wellness to their members. The Evans Center is a partner in the project to help conduct evaluation of outcomes. The CCN partners with congregations in Marion and Monroe Counties to address social isolation. IU Health Chaplains and Social Workers identify patients 50 or older who have a chronic illness and live in the same community as the congregation, and offer that patient the opportunity to connect with a congregational volunteer who offers companionship as the patient adjusts to life at home following a hospital stay. Congregational volunteers are available for persons of all faiths and for those who do not identify with any particular faith or tradition.

AIMS

The IU Health CCN team provides education, program support, and guidance related to behavioral health issues. A second aim is to develop strong connections with congregations across the span of the IU Health Network, in rural areas as well as urban, to addressing a broad range of social impediments to health. Utilizing an IU Health Community Impact Investment grant, the CCN provides resources to partner congregations to amplify their ministry beyond their walls and into their neighborhood.

RESOURCES

IU Health Chaplaincy Services

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Religion and Spirituality in Medicine Scholarly Concentration
(An Affiliate Project)

Contact:
Co-Director: Alex Lion, DO, MPH
Email: alion@iu.edu
Phone: 317-944-8784
and
Co-Director: Mona A. Raed, MD, FAAP
Email: mraed@iuhealth.org
Phone: 317-948-3478

Person with arms out enjoying the sunset over a body of water

DESCRIPTION

The Evans Center, in partnership with the Co-Directors of this new (2021) Scholarly Concentration offered by the IU School of Medicine, meets bi-weekly to collaborate on ideas for the development of this program. In the Religion and Spirituality Scholarly Concentration, medical students will be introduced to major spiritual traditions, spiritual concepts in health, and the ways they interact. These include religious traditions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. These also include non-religious spiritual traditions such as feminist spirituality, western humanism, and secularism. Spiritual concepts include personhood, belief, hope, meaning-making, compassion, cure/healing, and suffering. Course sessions will be led by a spiritually diverse faculty, with discussion of spiritual traditions led by leaders within those traditions.  Phase One Year One began in June 2021.

AIMS

A Scholarly Concentration is an optional experience that complements the core medical school curriculum and empowers students to delve into diverse topics. Students completing a Scholarly Concentration benefit from the IU School of Medicine’s statewide network of experts and resources. They will receive unique mentorship opportunities, develop skills, and complete scholarly projects that are valuable for residency applications and professional development.

RESOURCES

For more information about this Scholarly Concentration, please visit:  Religion and Spirituality in Medicine Scholarly Concentration on the IU School of Medicine website.

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