For years, patients have walked into CHI St.Luke’s Memorial Hospital for physical healing, but a new team of spiritual doctors is healing the hearts as well.
A team of four doctors is making up the new Mission Oriented Team.
"It's at the core and the very heart of what we do,” Vice President of Mission integration jay Gilchrist said. "It's good work. It's God's work. It's holy work."
The new team is just the latest change after the hospital switched over to a religious based hospital system a year ago.
“We provide professional leadership to assure the integration of our mission as a core business practice for our ministry,” Gilchrist said. “Our expertise and work is rooted deeply in the CHI Core Values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence. We strive to help create a culture grounded in these values and expressed through our common vocation to heal as Jesus healed across the health continuum in all of our communities.”
Lufkin resident Kenneth Couch came to the hospital to have a stint implanted. Couch, a son of a WWII Army Chaplain said he appreciated the kind gesture.
"He offered to pray for me and I said pray for my doctor,” Couch said. “When you have to have a backup doctor I think it might be time to pray.” It was very nice for him to do that. I’ve been to bigger hospitals that didn’t do this so it is nice to have this here.”
The chaplains do everything from meeting with patients to families to even staff, and while the faiths may differ the need is there.
"I'm Baptist, he's Catholic, but I can overlook that,” Couch said. “I married one, so they can’t be that bad.”
The chaplains say while the healing hands of doctors are important, their hands offer a deeper healing.
"People look to find Jesus here,” Gilchrist said. “We want them to have a personal experience. While they might not heal physically, we are able to touch the heart.”