News: Neillsville - MMC Partners with Pastors (12 Nov 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Marg, Joseph, Weiers, Wentz, Koppert, Fugate, Bolstad, Neville

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2014

MMC Partners with Pastors to enhance Spiritual Services (12 Nov 2014)

The Spiritual Services Team at Memorial Medical Center (MMC) in Neillsville is solidifying connections with area churches as part of its community partnership initiative.

Training is being offered for any pastor interested in becoming a volunteer t MMC. Candy Marg, MMC volunteer coordinator, said the training includes privacy with KIPAA regulations, patient interaction protocols, the volunteer registration process and partnership-building. Volunteers are also subject to a background check and must have a TB test.

‘We are looking to better serve our patients and staff with any spiritual support they might need,’ Marg said. ‘Having the opportunity to be able to talk or pray with a minister can be very beneficial for the overall recovery of a patient.’

Marg said the Spiritual Services Team consists of representatives from MMC, including hospital, ER, medical records, administration, registration and marketing.

These area pastors attended an Oct. 28 training session: Rev. Varkey Joseph, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Neillsville; Rev. Joe Weiers, Hillside Community Church, Neillsville; Rev. Steve Wentz, Living Hope Evangelical Free Church, Neillsville; and Rev. Jacoba Koppert, United Church of Christ, Neillsville.

Marg said Rev. Mark Fugate of Bible Baptist Church, Neillsville, and Rev. Lowell Bolstad of Calvary Lutheran Church, Neillsville, are scheduled to take the next round of training.

Rev. Weiers, who is president of the Neillsville Ministerial Association, said Thursday he appreciates MMC’s willingness to partner with the local clergy.

‘Their leadership is making us feel welcomed and included,’ Weiers said. ‘There is a spiritual component to the healing process.’

Weiers and Marg said the structure of the spiritual services endeavor would evolve to some extent. Pastors will be on call on a rotating basis for a specific amount of time. Weiers said while the Ministerial Association would coordinate the volunteer schedule, all are pastors are welcome to participate.

‘Another thing we appreciate from MMC is that it isn’t always the patient that needs spiritual services,’ Weiers said. ‘Sometimes staff members need debriefing from a tragic event.’

During the intake process, patients will be asked if they have a place of worship, if a pastor should be notified about their circumstances or if they would like a visit from the on-call pastor.

‘By no means will this be forced on anybody,’ Weiers said. ‘We are all volunteers.’

MMC CEO Ryan Neville said through the strategic planning process, looking at mind, body and spirit as wholeness in healing was identified as something the facility could improve upon.

We decided it was time for this initiative to be rolled out,’ Neville said. ‘So far, it is being embraced by the pastors, our patients and staff. It is a triple win.’

Neville said two rooms have been identified for use in private consultations.

‘If this gets to the point where the pastors want to have regular office hours on-site, we’ll find a place,’ Neville said. ‘It’s a nice opportunity for the pastors to reach out. When patients leave MMC, it is nice for them to end up in some kind of support network.’

Neville said the spiritual services initiative was one of eight areas needing improvement as identified through the strategic planning process. The other areas/goals are providing urgent care with on-site medication distribution 24/7; introducing new versions of electronic medical records; preparing a 2015 budget that is profitable; launching a Facebook/social media page; designing a mental health program; creating an on-site occupational health clinic; and instituting a new billing service.

There was no death date nor year, for an issue date, but assume it to be 1978… We will find when I get to 1978 I am sure.



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