Lessons in Faith
Danbury Hospital Seeks Interns for Clinical Pastoral Education Program to Support Patients and Families with Spiritual Healing
If you believe you can make a difference through your faith and a desire to help others with health concerns, Danbury Hospital has an educational experience waiting for you. A key element in enhancing Spiritual Care at the Hospital has been the development of a new Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program, led by Spiritual Care Director, Rabbi Jeffery M. Silberman, D. Min., D.D., BCC.
As a Planetree organization dedicated to supporting every patient’s mind, body and spirit, the Hospital is inviting chaplain intern applications for this hands-on program for clergy, seminarians and qualified laypersons of all religious traditions. Chaplain interns spend significant time (a total of 300 hours of patient visits) with patients and their families to address spiritual and emotional issues, while earning one unit ofl credit for CPE. In order to be eligible for certification by the Association of Professional Chaplains, four units of CPE meets one of several requirements. Spiritual Care does not emphasize any one religious tradition, chaplain interns work with people of all faiths. The program draws upon expert teaching by an experienced chaplaincy professional and other hospital staff.
CPE at Danbury Hospital is focused on helping interns develop their listening skills and the ability to explore different spiritual answers to life’s questions. Modern chaplaincy in the healthcare setting calls for individuals who can become more patient-centered and culturally literate, providing spiritual and emotional support on a multi-faith level.
“Spiritual concerns and religious beliefs affect how a person manages under stress, and can factor into healthcare decisions. We nurture the spirit as a basic element of patient care that improves patient satisfaction and contributes to more successful medical outcomes,” said Rabbi Silberman.
“Spirituality is not particular to specific religious affiliation. It’s a connection that every individual feels for their own spiritual resources, whether that means internal meaning or faith in a ‘higher power.’ We help people access their own spiritual resources so they can better cope with current circumstances,” he explained.
Chaplain interns at Danbury Hospital learn to provide a supportive presence, build trust, actively listen and encourage reflection, help clarify issues for the patient and when appropriate, lend an alternative theological perspective. Prayer and religious rituals may also be offered if the patient requests.
For more information on the Clinical Pastoral Education Program, call the Spiritual Care Department at Danbury Hospital at 203-739-7059 or visit and apply online at DanburyHospital.org.
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, neonatal, cardiovascular and cancer services; weight loss and orthopedic surgery; digestive 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.
For more information, visit WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org