Internal Resources – Other IU Health

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health

A Code Lavender is a holistic intervention code that hospital staff can call for themselves when they are being overloaded by stress and traumatic events at work.

When this code is triggered, a Code Lavender team is called to a designated quiet room within the hospital where staff can go for chaplain consultation and some down time. A chaplain will serve as a guide for staff to work through complex emotions. In the room, resources are also offered that will promote relaxation and restoration. The aim is to help staff refresh emotionally and physically.

Different therapeutic items in the room are offered to stimulate all 5 of the senses - touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight. These items may include coffee, tea, water, granola bars, chocolate, essential oils, restful music, colorful 3D handheld labyrinths, coloring books and markers, calming pictures, and self-care reading material such as poetry, words of affirmation and employee health referral information.

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is currently using this method of self-care for medical staff.

 Bunch of supplies scatter across a table.

Tranquility Cart

Chaplains are called upon many times a day to help bring peace, care and compassion to patients and families. IU Health Methodist and University Hospital team members sometimes also need this type of care during their shifts. Medical staff members look forward to chaplains bringing the Tranquility Cart to their units. The cart is filled with rejuvenating beverages, snacks, treats and small items such as lip balm.

Chaplain L. Vern Farnum said, “The chocolate and lip balm go fast!”

Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services

Sanctuary Moment: An August of compassion
August 25, 2022

August is a transitional month—schools start, children go off to college, people start new jobs, as baseball winds down and football starts up. All around us transitions are happening in our schedules and plans. Farmers are preparing for harvest as the days begin to get shorter and the temperatures become cooler. It is a season of transition.

Life is all about transitions. We are always transitioning from one day to another, one month to another and one season to the next. These changes are a constant for all of us no matter our job or our culture. Transitions and change are a continual, on-going reality of life with which we all contend.

Two hands making a heart shape displaying a sunset in the background.

Managing transitions is an essential skill for living productive, purpose-filled and meaningful lives. The lessons of the ancient Stoics provide us with a guide in effectively managing change and transitions. The Stoics remind us that change and transitions are part of everyone’s life. Most changes are not personal. Yet, we interpret them to be personal and react with great emotion. This leads us to anger, revenge and doing harm to ourselves and others. As Seneca, one of the greatest Greek Stoics said, “We can no more change most of life’s events than we can the weather.”

Life happens for all of us. We all encounter the blessings and curses of life. As Victor Frankl reminds us in his pivotal book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” the last freedom all of us have is the freedom to choose our attitude toward an event. It is important to understand, we choose. We decide how to react, respond and behave. It is our choice.

Seneca also reminds us, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” Each day, no matter the difficulty, the challenge, the hardship or the suffering we encounter, let all of us choose to be kind.

This August, as we experience the challenges of change and transition, may we do so with abiding compassion.

Let us create an August of compassion.

L. Vern Farnum, D.Min, BCC, CT
AHC Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services Director
Methodist Hospital Chaplain Manager

Contact an IU Health Chaplain

At IU Health, we never forget that our patients are much more than simply a disease to be treated or an injury to be healed. We know each patient is a multifaceted person, with physical, emotional and spiritual needs. That's why the people in the spiritual care and chaplaincy services department work closely with medical staff to assure the well-being of the whole person.

Scrabble pieces spelling out pause, breathe, ponder, choose, and do