The Partnership of Medicine and Faith – Episode 137

The Partnership of Medicine and Faith

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Featuring: Rev. Robin Childs & Rev. Wendell Scanterbury

Published: November 10, 2018

The hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration have an in-depth discussion with CTCA chaplains Rev. Wendell Scanterbury and Rev. Robin Childs about their respective views about the progression of faith and spirituality within the healthcare system, and how spiritual care has evolved beyond just patient and family support. They also talk about the integration of the relationship between pastoral care professionals and healthcare clinicians where there had once been a power struggle.

Show Notes:

CTCA chaplains Rev. Wendell Scanterbury and Rev. Robin Childs talk with the hosts about the role and the relevance of pastoral care in an age where it once resided only philosophically in the minds of individuals. They also stressed the understanding that pastoral care support and chaplains actually help people with being able to receive whole-person care, addressing the issues of people from a human perspective.

“We are a spirit that has a body and has a soul, and so dealing with some of the mental, emotional challenges that can happen with you when you’re dealing with the effects of cancer, pastoral care and the chaplains get to really delve into those conversations and really get to unpack those well to hear people and then to support them from a humanity perspective in that regard.” The guests also point out that pastoral care has now evolved to the place where it allows chaplains, counselors, etc., to “sit at the table, where we really can bring that discussion back to the clinical staff.”


  • “Even beyond the experience of having medical care intervention, you cannot ignore what a person is thinking and feeling and wondering and confused about and all those things that are going on in their mind, in their heart, and emotions, but also in the larger network of relationships. These are things that, if they are not dealt with, will actually contribute in a detrimental way to the outcomes of the person and their family. The role of pastoral care, or spiritual care, has become profoundly significant in addressing that aspect of the whole person.”
  • “I think there is a desire in this partnership from the clinical perspective to hear what the chaplains have to say, what we have to share because, quite often, what we hear from the patients are things that they may never share with their medical care team, and yet it is such a critical part of how they would experience their care. The partnership that exists now is really the clinicians standing with the chaplains, talking together, working on their approach to care together.”
  • “I’m always asked for my input and always free to offer. I’ll often have a pulmonary doctor who are the ones who run our ICU say, ‘Robin, what’s your take on the family dynamics?’ They turn to us for the whole picture, the whole spirit of the person, how they’re doing emotionally.”
  • “I walked in a room, actually, in the ICU to visit a patient one time, and she said, ‘Oh! I’m glad that you came, but my anesthesiologist already prayed with me. Well, good!’ That was really so cool to hear.”


CLICK HERE to download this week’s resource: “Integrative Cancer Care

Read Feeding your faith, not your fears, in the battle against cancer
Read Using integrative therapies to help manage side effects of cancer treatment
Read Integrative cancer treatment’s role in the whole-patient journey

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