Healthcare Chaplaincy Network Celebrates 60 Years of Service at Wholeness of Life Gala

Chaplains honored for their extraordinary service during the COVID-19 pandemic

For six decades, this organization has led the way in the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy.”

— The Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN President and CEO

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, October 11, 2021 / — The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), a global health care nonprofit organization, achieves a milestone this year as it celebrates its 60th anniversary at HCCN’s Wholeness of Life Gala on November 4, 2021, 7 p.m. ET at Guastavino’s, 409 East 59th Street, Manhattan.

The Black Tie-optional event will require that guests be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and provide proof of vaccination in order to attend.

The Wholeness of Life Gala will honor chaplains for their extraordinary service during the COVID-19 pandemic and commemorate the lives and enduring contributions of members of the board of directors who were lost during the pandemic.

“For six decades, this organization has led the way in the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy,” said the Reverend Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HCCN. “During its long history, HCCN has helped many people faced with illness and grief find spiritual comfort and meaning, whoever they are and whatever their beliefs.”

The Wholeness of Life Gala is HCCN’s single largest source of awareness-raising and revenue-raising, enabling the organization to continue its mission to improve patient experience and patient satisfaction.

Gala attendees will also have the opportunity to celebrate chaplains by submitting their staff chaplains’ names to be included in an electronic program.

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The organization began in 1961 as the East Midtown Protestant Chaplaincy, and provided chaplains from local clergy to deliver spiritual support to patients in hospitals on the east side of Manhattan. Over the span of its 60-year history, HCCN’s reach has expanded greatly, providing chaplains for a wide variety of Metro New York hospitals and as far away as Rhode Island. Health care institutions served include Hospital for Special Surgery; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Vassar Brothers Medical Center; NYU Langone Health; St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital; St. John’s Riverside Hospital; University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey; Lifespan Health System in Rhode Island, among many others.

In the decades following its founding, visionary leaders transformed what began as a small, local, Christian program into an internationally recognized model for multi-faith spiritual care, education, and research, with an expanded focus on the training of professional chaplains and the development of innovative models of evidence-based practice.

In 2013, Hall assumed leadership of HCCN. Within a short time, the organization expanded into more international sites, while supporting new methods for training in spiritual care and credentialing for several non-chaplain health care groups. These groups include first responders, physicians, nurses, social workers, palliative care and hospice workers, and volunteers.

In 2016, the Spiritual Care Association™ (SCA) was formed to provide education, training, and certification based on standardized, evidence-based practice and quality indicators, ensuring that the skills and performance of spiritual caregivers can be measured objectively. Most recently, SCA joined with the University of Spiritual Care and Theology™, thereby providing an academic base for spiritual care education and training.

HCCN is now the recognized leader in education, research, and advocacy for the importance of spiritual care in health care. The SCA’s Learning Center is the most extensive and most successful online chaplain education program worldwide. In recent years, the organization has catalyzed spiritual care research through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, which has resulted in several ground-breaking studies that provide an evidence base for the effectiveness of spiritual care in health care. Through the development of Common Standards and Quality Indicators in chaplaincy care, the publication of several key white papers, and the annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference, HCCN’s outreach and advocacy is now felt throughout the field of chaplaincy, nationally and internationally.

“It’s an honor to serve on the board of such an influential organization as the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network,” said Michael H. Schoen, Board Chair. “In the past two decades, HCCN has transformed itself yet again to become the major innovator and change agent in the field of professional chaplaincy. That’s an achievement our founders and our current leaders can be proud of.”


More About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network

The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is a nonprofit health care organization that helps people and families faced with the distress of illness and suffering to find spiritual comfort and meaning. HCCN provides clinical pastoral education, continuing professional education, and research on the effectiveness of chaplaincy care. For more information, or call 212-644-1111.

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