Listening and Healing Presence: Spiritual Care at Stamford Hospital

Published: December 21, 2015

By Rev. ReBecca Sala, Manager of Spiritual Care

Peace, healing, and support mean something different to every person. During the holidays especially, these three factors play an important role. Meet Reverend ReBecca Sala of the Stamford Hospital Spiritual Care team. If you’re going through a hard time during your hospital stay, or if you and your family simply need some spiritual support, this dedicated group is here for you. In her own words, Rev. Sala describes who the Spiritual Care team is and what inspires them.

The Spiritual Care Department is under the Patient-Centered Services umbrella, led by Deborah Fedeli, Director of Patient-Centered Services and consists of myself, as Manager, one full-time chaplain, eleven per diem chaplains, two Roman Catholic Priests assigned by the Diocese of Bridgeport and numerous spiritual care volunteers. We provide 24/7 coverage to the patients, families and staff at the hospital represent twelve faith traditions. Last year alone, we made over 25,500 patient visits.

I am most inspired by the patients, staff and families that I encounter everyday in the hospital. I am in awe of what people can go through and keep their faith and sense of hope as well their sense of humor in the most difficult of situations.

As chaplains, we provide a non-anxious, non-judgmental presence to patients, families and staff. We meet people where they are, not where we want them to be. It is a gift to be listened to, without interruption or comment. When patients, families or staff are given the opportunity to talk, the answers come to them and that clarity can bring peace and healing.

The holidays are stressful enough, and when you add a hospital stay to the mix it can be very difficult. Staff will call us to support patients and families who are alone at the hospital during the holidays or any other day. We explore with the patient or family what nurtures their spirit and feeds their soul and bring a little piece of home to them while they are here.

Every Thanksgiving, the Spiritual Care Department designs a Thanksgiving card with a blessing. This year, all of the chaplains signed it and six chaplains took time on Thanksgiving morning and gave the card to all of the patients and staff at the hospital. We wanted to remind everyone that we are thinking of them and that they are a blessing.

As we enter this holiday season, I invite anyone who has lost someone or who is dealing with a difficult illness to be gentle with yourself and reach out for support. When a major loss occurs, there is before and after, and nothing is ever the same again. It is about how you navigate through this new normal and move through your grief.

I am available to talk with anyone who feels like they could use additional support. My number is 203-276-7445 and email is: [email protected].

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