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Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s ‘Learn at Lunch’ Program Continues

'Spiritual Care at Cottage Hospital' will be the focus of the April 25 forum

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s “Learn at Lunch” program is a series of informal educational events for staff, volunteers, board and friends.

The purpose is to deepen our knowledge of issues related to our work and to give us practical ideas we can apply. It is also a chance for us to get to know one another.

People are welcome to bring a lunch with them. The program will begin at noon and end by 1 p.m., and usually on the second and fourth Mondays of the month.

April 25 — “Spiritual Care at Cottage Hospital” with Pam Washburn, director of spiritual care for Cottage Health Systems

Every year, thousands of patients come in and out of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Some come for tests. Some come for planned surgery. Some come to the emergency room as a result of accidents or sudden event. Every year, hundreds of people are born at Cottage, and hundreds die.

In the midst of all these dramas, spiritual care professionals and volunteers seek to serve the spiritual needs of a vast variety of people. From a spiritual perspective, what goes on at Cottage? What services are provided? What can any of us — our family, our friends or our patients — expect while being at Cottage? How can agencies such as Hospice of Santa Barbara support what unfolds there?

The Rev. Pam Washburn, MDiv, BCC, has been director of spiritual care at Cottage since October 2005. Her duties include promoting the spiritual care of each patient with compassion and dignity; providing pastoral and sacramental ministry to patients, their families and hospital staff; promoting and strengthening the hospital’s bond with local and regional faith communities; acting as a resource to patients and their families when making bioethical decisions regarding treatment to include discussions concerning Advanced Health Care Directives; and promoting and encouraging educational outreach to the greater Santa Barbara area on spiritual, pastoral and ethical aspects of health care.

Washburn will share her journey that led to her current responsibilities, give us an overview of all she is responsible for and discuss with us how we can integrate our services with that of the hospital.

May 9 — “Living Well, Dying Well” with Ed Bastian, Ph.D., president of the Spiritual Paths Foundation

Most of us try to avoid thinking about death until the moment it stares us in the face. But when we engage our inevitable mortality in the present moment, we open the door to fearlessness, joy and the complete experience of being alive.

Ed Bastian’s recent book, Living Fully, Dying Well, is a guide for bringing an open mind and heart to the final challenge we all must face. Integrating scientific and spiritual perspectives from around the world, this collection of teachings includes life review exercises to access the liberating deathbed revelation at any stage of your life, practices for easing the suffering of a terminal illness, essential teachings about gratitude and the key practice for living life fully at any age. Bastian will share key points of his perspectives with us as they relate to hospice work.

May 23 — “The Medicine We Carry: The Soul-Work of Sarah House” with Stephen Jones, Ph.D.

At Sarah House, dying is approached not as the final stage of a disease but as the completion of a life. How might this conscious shift to tending the more human side of the dying experience help us re-envision end-of-life care? Just what does Sarah House offer the people who live there? What does it mean to the people who work there, and to the families and friends who visit dying loved ones? And finally, what might places such as Sarah House represent to a culture seeking a more meaningful system of health care?

Stephen Jones has worked at Sarah House for nearly four years and serves as the assistant house manager. He just recently received his doctorate in depth psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he completed his dissertation on the healing work of Sarah House. Jones believes that beyond symptom management and pain control, the dying have a need to be seen, heard, held and loved — old needs linked directly to feeling human. Discussing suffering and healing at the level of soul, his dissertation recognizes that not all sources of pain are disease related and not all means of healing are medically administered. He will present a summary of his work and discuss its implications for what we do.

Other Upcoming Events

April 13 — Solo Art Exhibition with local artist Michele Zuzalek

Hospice of Santa Barbara welcomes local artist Michele Zuzalek, who will display her art in its Leigh Block Gallery. Zuzalek’s exhibition, titled “Full Circle,” charts Zuzalek’s path to recovery as she battled cancer.

Zuzalek, a single mother and award-winning painter, was diagnosed with cancer and told she had three to six months to live. Her increased devotion and commitment to painting during her eight months of chemotherapy helped her retain her strength and passion for life as cancer caused her to face her own mortality. The paintings are transcendent and spontaneous; coming from a deep place. It is from this place that Zuzalek gained the strength to go on during her illness. She remains in remission — happy, healthy and whole. Click here for more information.

April 13 — “Spirituality and End-of-Life-Care” Teleconference

Join Hospice of Santa Barbara at the 18th Annual Living with Grief Program from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara, with a focus on “Spirituality and End-of-Life Care.”

During the teleconference, presenters will discuss the differences between spirituality and religion. A 30-minute panel discussion featuring Frank Senso of George Washington University and the Rev. Susan Copeland with other local clergy professionals will follow. The conference is presented by Hospice of Santa Barbara and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. Click here for more information.

— Cristina Garcia is an administrative assistant for Hospice of Santa Barbara.

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