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Hospital chaplain’s hard work celebrated
Rev Anna Baker (pictured on right with Mrs Murray-Geary) is one of the chaplains at Waikato Hospital who provide spiritual care and support to people of any or no faith.
“This can include working with people in major life crises and events to listening and comforting them through the varying experiences of hospital and life outside too.
“We also lead chapel services each Sunday and offer a number of other services of blessing, thanksgiving and celebration.
“A chaplain is always available at Waikato Hospital,” Rev Baker said.
“Chaplains work in ways that respect all persons’ dignity, privacy, culture and beliefs.”
Four full-time and four part-time chaplains, six chapel helpers and 20 volunteer chaplaincy visitors also form the team at Waikato Hospital.
Chaplains have contributed to the health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand hospitals since 1868.
Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams said the week is a reminder that health care is about more than physical well-being.
“Hospital chaplains provide an important service for patients and relatives grappling with grief and illness.
“Often the work they do and the help they provide is very much behind the scenes. It can often be intense, demanding and dramatic supporting a patient and their family, and hospital staff too.
“Next week is a chance to thank them for the guidance and encouragement they provide,” Mrs Adams said.
The Ministry of Health funds approximately half of the cost of hospital chaplaincy, the balance being funded by local churches and the community.
The Hospital Chaplaincy Week Appeal is another way the money is raised.
This year’s Hospital Chaplaincy Week will be launched at the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton, 9.45am Sunday 19 September with representatives of the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy (ICHC), the Waikato Hospital Chaplaincy Support Committee and hospital personnel.
All are invited to join this celebration.
For more information about Hospital Chaplaincy Week and to make a donation, visit www.beingthere.co.nz or phone 04 801 8008 or 04 381 3496.
Date: 17 September 2010