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Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Joseph Health

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Bryan, TX, March 16, 2021— St. Joseph Health is now home to a Clinical Pastoral Education program. CPE is formal training, required for chaplains working in any healthcare setting. This training prepares chaplains for the unique and intense circumstances that take place in a hospital setting.

CPE is an inter-faith, accredited education, open to both ordained ministers and lay people who are interested in learning how to provide the unique care needed when individuals are sick or in crisis. The course, which can last up to six months per 400-hour unit, teaches the art of listening and responding, crisis skills, interpersonal skills, and much more, giving students the tools necessary to provide support in extremely difficult situations. This is all done in the hands-on environment of the hospital. The unit begins with a comprehensive, 3-day orientation, and then students spend 20 hours in the clinical setting each week, covering all shifts. They respond to calls alone and then go through a peer-review process so each student can give and receive feedback. Each encounter is an opportunity for all students to learn.

“Our CPE program is a beautiful extension of our mission because it educates members of our own community to provide spiritual care to anyone who might find themselves in a crisis, especially as it relates to their health,” said Raquel Webb, Manager of Spiritual Care at St. Joseph Health. “The program also expands the reach of the spiritual care department in our healthcare system, ensuring everyone is cared for holistically: mind, body, and spirit.”

Until now, this education was not available in the Brazos Valley. After becoming Board Certified in Chaplaincy, a journey that took four units of CPE which had to be completed remotely as there was not a local option available, Raquel recognized what an asset the program could be for St. Joseph Health as well as students interested in providing clinical pastoral support. Through dedication and much hard work, her vision has come to fruition. Beginning March 1, 2021, four individuals began their CPE at Bryan and College Station Hospital, expanding the capability to support patients and their families within the walls of the hospitals.

About St. Joseph Health: Since 1936 St. Joseph Health has been caring for the communities of Bryan, College Station, Brenham, Hearne, Navasota, Caldwell and Madisonville. With the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, the first Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center and the first accredited Chest Pain Center in the Brazos Valley, St. Joseph Health is a leader in critical care and the largest provider of cardiovascular care in the region. [For more information, please contact Communications Manager, Tracy Bates at 713-962-9347 or [email protected].]

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