Press Releases & Announcements

Clinical Pastoral Education Program Begins at Danbury Hospital

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - Danbury, CT

Clinical Pastoral Education is an exciting new spiritually focused training program beginning in September at Danbury Hospital. “Spiritual care is a relatively new term in the fields of counseling and religion. Actually, it is something of a hybrid discipline in addressing a person’s spiritual distress by listening and helping a person access their own resources of faith, religion or spirituality,” said Rabbi Jeffery M. Silberman, the Director of Spiritual Care at Danbury Hospital, who is also a certified educator in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

In this unique part time educational offering, CPE offers an opportunity for students to learn how to provide spiritual care by making visits to hospital patients, interacting with families and supporting staff in the difficult personal illnesses and situations while in the hospital.

Science has begun to explore and validate the tasks of spiritual care. A recent study by Dr. Amy B. Wachholtz, a psychiatrist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School finds that 49 percent of Americans have used prayer to deal with a health concern. Dr. Lisa Saunders of the Yale University School of Medicine has written that when a patient can tell his or her story, it helps the patient to understand how their own healing can occur. A primary focus of spiritual care is listening to the patient’s story and drawing upon the person’s belief system as a source of strength and healing.

When CPE began in the 1920’s it was designed for seminarians and clergy. Today, all manner of people from many religious backgrounds who find themselves on a spiritual journey enroll in the intense training that CPE offers. Therefore, laypeople as well as clergy are eligible to apply for this program. The part time program entails about 16 hours a week on a flexible schedule. Interested persons can call the Department of Spiritual Care (203) 739-7885 for more information. Applications can be obtained at the national website or by calling the Spiritual Care office at Danbury Hospital.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is a patient-centered health care organization established in 2010 by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and their affiliated organizations, to provide the highest level of care to patients throughout Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. In addition to the two hospitals, other network affiliates include:

  • an integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • an agency for home care and community health services 
  • a full-service retail pharmacy located at Danbury Hospital 
  • emergency medical services an occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women’s, neonatalcardiovascular and cancer servicesweight loss and orthopedic surgerydigestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management.  Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.

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About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center.  The hospital is nationally recognized as a tertiary health care center with an innovative high-tech, high-touch environment and is also a member of the Planetree organization. In addition to offering the latest robotic and minimally invasive surgical and imaging technology, it was the first hospital in Connecticut to adopt electronic health records systems. It offers a Level II Trauma Center and Level IIIb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Medical staff members are board-certified in their specialties, and most serve as faculty members of the nation’s finest university medical centers offering a higher level of experience.