CPE across Borders
By Dagmar Grefe, ACPE Certified Educator  |  August 27, 2018

Earlier this year in January, I had the privilege of visiting Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, during an ACPE mission trip. As a result of the connections I made during the trip, my CPE summer students at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), linked for two seminars with chaplaincy students of Rambam Hospital.

Rabbi Michael Schultz, Director of Spiritual Care at Rambam Hospital, invited me to teach his chaplains studying in a specialty pediatric unit, the first of its kind in Israel. In August, we utilized videoconferencing to join students in Haifa and Los Angeles. The first session focused on family dynamics in pediatric spiritual care. During a second session, Dr. Debra Lotstein, Director of CHLA’s Division of Comfort and Palliative Care, introduced the practice of pediatric palliative care and its collaboration with spiritual care. Her presentation was complemented by a case discussion. Rabbi Schultz in turn will teach a seminar on the use of text in spiritual care.

Bridging 7,500 miles, students from both hospitals had an opportunity to learn together about spiritual care, discover similarities and differences of their contexts, and to engage in intercultural education. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long-term international collaboration that will benefit our students, staff, center, and ACPE.

Rev. Dagmar Grefe, PhD, ACPE is the Manager of Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Clinical Assistant Professor Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine. She may be contacted at DGrefe@chla.usc.edu.
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