Healing the Healers: Special Edition is a FREE film and written resource for Hospital Chaplains on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospital Chaplains on the Spiritual Frontlines of COVID-19
Holding Spaces for Fear, Loss and Hope
Coping, Self-Care and Holding Sacred Space
Rev. David Fleenor from Mount Sinai Center for Spirituality and Health in New York, NY has been in the epicenter of the COVID crisis for several weeks. Rev. Shawn Mai of the Park Nicollet-Methodist Hospital CPE Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is looking ahead towards when the peak is predicted to reach Minneapolis.
Shawn and David, colleagues and friends, reach out to one another for moral support and shared wisdom as they both face new and unimagined obstacles and heartbreaking scenarios. They share learned lessons and navigate ethical challenges together, as they lean on each other.
This intimate, peer to peer conversation is filmed in 3-parts, each a 10-minute portion of the conversation, and intended to be a quick supportive resource for Hospital Chaplains on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resource highlights learned wisdom, provides practical methods of self-care, draws on helpful theology, gives voice to fears, encourages support, and ultimately, creates a moment of virtual rallying for those who are in the very center of facing this crisis.
Each short video link is accompanied by a written resource for anyone considering the aspects of providing spiritual care in health care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those exploring the dimensions of pandemic pastoral care in other contexts will find it valuable as well. Uplifted here are spiritual care sub-topics that emerged in David and Shawn’s conversation, as well as pandemic-related issues from ongoing national spiritual care dialogues.
For the convenience of chaplaincy educators, students, and residents, all sections are tagged with relevant ACPE Outcomes and APC Competencies. While each of the three filmed zoom conversations is accompanied by a standalone written resource, the content of the three resources do not overlap, and may be considered as a single rich engagement of pandemic chaplaincy topics.
For the creation of this resource, we are grateful to the Rev. Sarah Knoll Sweeney, an ACPE Certified Educator at the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas. In terms of pedagogical development, Rev. Sweeney brought to this task her formidable experience as former Chair of the ACPE Curriculum Committee, Founding Convener on Community of Practice for Educators Utilizing Online Options, and Accreditation National Site Team Chair.
Rev. David Fleenor, BCC, ACPE
Rev. David Fleenor is a board certified chaplain and an ACPE Certified Educator. After earning two graduate degrees in theology, he was ordained an Episcopal priest at Church of the Transfiguration in New York City, where he served as associate priest for 10 years. He has worked as a clinical chaplain in oncology, psychiatric and medical settings, and as a CPE educator and chaplaincy administrator. He now serves as the Director of Education at the Center for Spirituality and Health at Mount Sinai. His research interests include prayer and novel approaches to chaplaincy education. His professional mission is to be a leader in the transformation of health care chaplaincy into an evidence-based profession.
The Rev. Shawn R. Mai, M.Div, BCC
Rev. Shawn Mai is currently Manager of the Park Nicollet-Methodist Hospital CPE Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His undergraduate degree is from Gustavus Adolphus College and he has his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Shawn has been an ELCA pastor and chaplain for 30 years and in healthcare leadership for the last 20, serving in several different health care organizations in Minnesota. Shawn has been a certified educator with ACPE since 2009 and has taken the method of process education to health care leaders to promote the integration of head and heart in health care delivery. Shawn lives with his husband in downtown Minneapolis and they both enjoy spiritual refreshment and renewal at their lake home in the St. Croix River Valley in western Wisconsin.
Written Resource Contributor
Sarah Knoll Sweeney
Sarah Knoll Sweeney is a Certified Educator with the ACPE and has served as a school and hospital chaplain and Episcopal priest since 2008. She is on the CPE faculty in the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas. She served as Chair of ACPE Curriculum Committee, Founding Convener on Community of Practice for Educators Utilizing Online Options, and Accreditation National Site Team Chair. In 2015, Sarah published “CPE Supervisor’s Response to Experience and Application of the Faith of a Muslim CPE Student,” in Plainviews.
Sarah received her M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA and her BA in Religious Studies (magna cum laude) and Women’s Studies from the University of Kansas.