Bethesda Hospice Care is a division of Bethesda Health Group, a 128-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:
*Complete Bethesda Health Group volunteer application
*Provide two references
*Have a criminal background check and a Missouri Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) background check, with 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, for the FCSR background check.
*Have an up-to-date flu shot, during flu season
*Take a TB Test and receive results prior to the start of the semester (only if serving 10 hours a week or more of direct-patient care)
*Participate in a 2-hour new volunteer orientation, prior to the start of the semester
There is no cost to the student for the entry requirements – Bethesda Health Group will cover all background check fees and provide for medical requirements (TB test and/or flu shot). Each requirement should be completed before the first day of class. All requirements must be met before interns visit patients. The volunteer coordinator will assist with completing these requirements.
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)
Rev. Dorothy M. Gannon, Chaplain
Supervisors' Bios/Additional Comments:
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 five 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 volunteer coordinator will oversee intake requirements (background checks, medical requirements, etc.) and orientation. The chaplain will 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.
January 2018, rev Apr 2018