Kashouvot’s connection with the department began in July 2013.  Department Head Professor Reuven Or wanted to improve the patients’ experience in this heroic and often harrowing area of medicine.  Approximately half of the transplants are unsuccessful and the patients die of their underlying disease, and the other half live with ravaging side effects in the short and/ or long term.

Kashouvot's chaplain Valerie Stessin worked in the day clinic from August 2013-2015 two days per week.  Chaplain Dina Herz replaced her in August 2015 and works both in the inpatient and day clinic sections.  The department head asked Dina to increase to three days per week in January 2016, and we are seeking partners to continue to make this increased presence possible.  Dina offers support in English, Hebrew, German and Yiddish.  She has built trust with staff members, is included in interdisciplinary staff meetings, and has been given access to the inpatient department, signs of acceptance and success.

The chaplain can guide patients in honest conversations about their fears and wishes and allow family members to express their conflicted feelings without having to “be strong” for the patient.

The program includes visits with patients and family members, individually or together, a modest estimate is 6 visits per day, 900 per year.  The population is a reflection of Israeli society in all its diversity including young people.  Our chaplains receive monthly supervision so they can avoid burnout and learn to be even better chaplains.

We would like to introduce a chaplain in an additional department (funding permitting) and are in discussion with hematology and internal medicine senior staff for this purpose.

The presence of the chaplain in Hadassah at conferences, meals and other events exposes her to other staff and has led to meetings with other departments,

This project was made possible thanks to generous grants from anonymous donors from Jerusalem and Boston and the Houston Jewish Community Foundation

 

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