The Department of Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care offers services to patients, families, caregivers, and staff with the mission to provide direct care to the entire community.
The Spiritual Care staff includes a board certified or board eligible chaplain at each medical center and in Behavioral Health as well as a dedicated group of trained chaplain associates, who provide around the clock coverage for all UM Shore Regional Health facilities. The chaplains provide nondenominational spiritual care and offer resources for most religious traditions found in our community.
The Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care team offers programs that educates clergy and serves the patients and families who turn to UM Shore Regional Health for their healthcare needs.
Clinical Pastoral Education is a nationally accredited educational program that UM Shore Regional Health offers for clergy, seminarians and select lay caregivers. Participants develop skills in the specialized field of healthcare ministry through classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience. Completion of this course of the program may lead to Certified Healthcare Chaplain designation. The training program is accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.
Chaplain Associate Program is related to Clinical Pastoral Education. Local clergy and designated lay caregivers who have successfully completed training receive pastoral privileges and participate in the UM Shore Regional Health on-call program. Office space and a stipend are provided for Chaplain Associates who respond to calls for their services.
Continuing Clergy Education is offered to members of the religious community five times a year. Presenters brief participants on topics such as hospice; family health; alcohol and addiction; maternal and perinatal health; health and spirituality; crisis ministry; and ministry during natural or other kinds of disasters. These educational programs are offered at no charge and lunch is provided.
Therapeutic Music is provided by a professionally trained and certified harpist. UM Shore Regional Health is one of just a handful of facilities in Maryland using therapeutic music as part of its comprehensive spiritual care program. The harpist, who is an integral part of the Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care Department, plays for patients, visitors, and staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester and UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.
Clinical Ethics at UM Shore Regional Health is supported by a Patient Care Advisory Committee, which consists of approximately 25 physicians, nurses, allied health providers, clergy, and community representatives, who are available for consultation with patients, families, and staff. Mandated by the State of Maryland, the committee relies on the expertise of a medical ethicist with a doctorate in ethics and a long career in clinical ethics, academic teaching, research, and publishing and editing. The committee also provides policy review and performs an education function within the system.
Education in both spiritual care and medical ethics is a primary mission of the Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care Department. In addition to the educational activities outlined above, the Director provides education to nurses, physicians, nursing students at Critical Care University and Graduate University, and to members of the community served by UM Shore Regional Health.