Adventist hospitals across the country have begun rolling out a program that addresses the spiritual needs of outpatients during the clinical assessment process. The ultimate goal is not only to meet the physical and emotional needs of each patient entering Adventist outpatient clinics, but also to address each individual’s spiritual needs.

The new Clinical Mission Integration program has been especially well received by employees at clinics managed by Adventist hospitals in the Centura Health system. Program leaders recognize that an environment of spiritual wholeness cannot exist in an outpatient clinic unless its team members are empowered to create that environment.

Diana Goldy, regional director of CMI for Centura Health, is passionate about her new role in spearheading this program.

“I am in awe at the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of ordinary people who are called to the mission of Adventist Health System,” Goldy said. “It is extraordinary to see how God is extending the healing ministry of Christ, clinic by clinic.”

Building trust among team members

Rebecca Jacobson, one of three CMI specialists, shares Goldy’s enthusiasm for the program.

“Today, I was doing my rounds and stuck my head into the office of one of our nurses,” Jacobson said. “She turned her chair around to reveal eyes red from crying. Her son had moved out that morning to live with his father in Wisconsin. She agreed that it might be a good move for him, but she was still very much struggling with the new reality for her family. We were able to talk for a long time, and she asked that I continue to pray for her.”

To date, the CMI program has been implemented in 46 clinics involving 147 physicians. There have already been 48 team member referrals to Centura’s Employee Assistance Program.

“These referrals don’t typically happen unless there’s a sense of trust in the system,” said Eric Shadle, vice president for Spiritual Integration. “There’s a relationship in place before a team member is referred. It shows that there’s a tangible need for spiritual guidance and nurture in our clinics, and it validates what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Impacting the standard

The CMI call center is receiving as many as 100 calls per day system-wide from outpatients seeking spiritual guidance. Callers are connected with trained chaplains who listen, care and pray with them. The chaplains provide prompt spiritual care by phone and make follow-up calls as needed. They also provide callers with referrals to local faith communities upon request.

“The CMI program is only in its infancy, but already it is making a huge impact on our team members and patients,” Shadle said.

Janell Mitton, assistant administrator for orthopedic clinics at Porter Hospital said, “Having a CMI presence in our clinic has been a great experience. My team knows they have an additional person to talk to and lean on. Our crew has already identified that Rebecca, our Clinical Mission specialist, is an asset that will allow us to continue to set the standard in our field of care.”