Department of Pastoral Counseling

Scope of Services
It is the mission of the Department of Pastoral Counseling to provide spiritual and emotional support to all patients, visitors, and staff personnel of the GRHealth Medical Center and Clinics, particularly in times of loss and bereavement, and to do so in an interdenominational, multicultural manner in which all faiths are respected. We will work with the community to insure access and availability to the spiritual resources requested by our patients.

Organizational Chart
Director of Pastoral Care - Chaplain W. Jeffrey Flowers, M.Div., BCC 1 FTE I
Pastoral Care Coordinator - Chaplain Brennan Francois 1 FTE

Patient Care Settings
Chaplains in the Department of Pastoral Counseling perform their duties in various settings throughout the medical complex. Patient rooms, waiting areas, clinic rooms, intensive care units, and common areas throughout the hospital serve as settings for pastoral encounters. It is the goal of the department to be visible in, and maintain a relationship throughout, all clinics, nursing units, clinical areas, and support areas throughout the medical center.

Patient Population
Any patient admitted into the GRHealth System is a potential recipient of the services of the Pastoral Counseling Department as are their families and friends, and other associated visitors. A great deal of time is also given to staff support as the nature of health care work lends to stress related responses. We seek to support the staff as well as to help care for them when events occur in their family.

Professional Disciplines/Training
All of the full-time chaplains at GRHealth Medical Center are required to have graduated with a professional ministerial degr ee and are encouraged to be Board Certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains. The director of the department and the associate director are required to have this certification which can only be achieved when the following requirements are completed:
  1. A Master of Divinity degree from an accredited seminary
  2. A full year of Clinical Pastoral Education
  3. A minimum of 5 years clinical experience
  4. 50 hours of CEU’s per year
Board Certified Chaplains are cross-trained to serve all populations in a general hospital setting. Specialized training for areas is encouraged. The GRHealth Medical Center pastoral staff is diverse in gender, ethnicity, and theological tenets. Currently we have chaplains who have achieved special training in the areas of Pe diatrics, Neonatology, Geriatrics, Physical Rehabilitation, and Substance Abuse. All chaplains are required to have an understanding of the spiritual needs of the general population.

Treatments/Therapies/Services Offered
The Department of Pastoral Counseling provides emotional and spiritual support, particularly in times of loss and bereavement. Daily visitation is conducted throughout the hospital with special emphasis given to the Intensive Care Units, Pre-surgery areas, and all emergency situations. Follow-up contacts with all families who have experienced a loss at MCGHI occur from within the department. Literature is sent through the mail with an invitation to be a part of the many support groups that are available. Often members of the Department of Pastoral Counseling participate in funeral services or memorials. Local clergy are involved in the Pastoral Counseling Department in two ways:
  1. As consultants and clergy for particular faith group requests 
  2. As volunteer clergy to assist with staffing on the weekends
Continuing Education is provided for the community clergy to help create an awareness of the ever-c hanging healthcare environment.