Bethesda Hospice Care is a division of Bethesda Health Group, a 117-year-old provider of health care services in the St. Louis area. Bethesda Hospice Care provides care for terminally ill patients and their families. The patients may reside in Bethesda Dilworth, 9645 Big Bend in Webster Groves; Bethesda Southgate, 5943 Telegraph Road in Oakville; Bethesda Meadow, 322 Old State Road in Ellisville, in other long-term care facilities, or in their own homes, so there is flexibility with regard to the location of the practicum sites.
Hospice is a philosophy of palliative, or comfort, care for patients whose life expectancy is 6 months or less. Bethesda Hospice Care is dedicated to improving the quality of life at the end of life.
Interns will work as part of an interdisciplinary team to meet the spiritual and religious needs of the patient and his/her family. As a chaplain intern, each student will receive orientation and the opportunity to "shadow" two chaplains, the social worker, and the nurse to experience the hospice care philosophy. The learning contract may include visits with patients and families, interaction with facility staff, and grief education, according to the goals chosen by the student. Interns will have the opportunity to apply theological principles, and to be a sign of God's presence and loving care. The intern will focus primarily on spiritual care and companionship for patients, with some care and involvement with the families and the grief journey they experience.
Chaplain interns are required to:
*Participate in a half-day Bethesda Health Group orientation program, scheduled during the first month of the internship.
*Take a TB Test and receive results prior to the start of the semester.
*Have Missouri background screening completed and the results received prior to the start of the semester.
*Provide a copy of his/her current driver's license.
*Provide proof of auto insurance.
*Provide a copy of his/her social security card.
*Have 2nd background screening completed by Bethesda Health Group.
*Illinois residents are also required to have an Illinois background screening completed with the results received before the semester begins.
There is no cost to the student for the entry requirements with the exception of the small fee to conduct an initial Missouri and possibly an Illinois background screening as required by Aquinas Institute. Each requirement should be completed before the first day of class. All requirements must be met before interns visit patients.
The hospice office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We can accommodate an intern's schedule within these parameters during orientation. As interns begin to see patients on their own, more flexibility in scheduling is available.
Number of Positions Available: 1-2
Past Aquinas Institute Interns at This Site:
Br. Isaac Anderson, OP (FA12/SP13),
Br. John Paul Phillips, OP (SP10),
Mary Catherine Heimburger (FA09)
Supervisors' Bios/Additional Comments:
Deborah Moll: Deborah has worked for Bethesda Hospice for six years, doing grief care and chaplain work with both patients and families, as well as staff support. Past work and ministry experiences have included social work, campus ministry, retreat work, congregational Bible study, deacon ministry and graduate student field work supervision for two local seminaries and a university in the metropolitan area.
Rev. Dorothy M. Gannon, Chaplain: The Rev. Dorothy M. Gannon is a member of the United Church of Christ, a graduate of Aquinas Institute of Theology with an M.Div., and has completed 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education. She currently serves as a chaplain for Bethesda Hospice Care and as a community educator focusing on companioning the grieving and the dying. In a previous life, Dorothy was a service coordinator for folks with developmental disabilities and an administrator for a St. Louis office of the Department of Mental Health.
Additional Comments: The chaplain will oversee orientation and meet formally with the student for an hour, bi-weekly. The chaplain and the other members of the hospice team are available for consultation and support at any time. The chaplain seeks to be a mentor and guide, as the student learns to reflect upon the impact of faith formation, scholastic learning, life experience, talents, and preferences, and how these factors shape the student's ministry.