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Kokua Mau Monthly Meeting June 2018

June 28, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm HST

Spiritual Care as a 6th Vital Sign

Kōkua Mau Monthly Meeting with Rev. Caroline Miura, BCC, Kauai Hospice, Spiritual Care Coordinator

Change of venue:
Thurs., June 28, 2018
Church of the Crossroads
1212 University Ave

Parking is $3 for 2 hours in the lot in front of the church. You can enter off of University, right before the Varsity building, or off of Bingham Street. We will end a bit early so you can stay under the 2 hours.
Given today’s rapidly changing landscape in palliative healthcare, the time is ripe for bringing spirituality back into the forefront of end-of-life care discussions in ways that people can get their needs met. Many patients talk about how decision-making has been the hardest challenge in facing the many options that arise when navigating one’s way with dignity through a devastating diagnosis. Spiritual Care can be a key to addressing the suffering that otherwise may lead to someone wanting to choose to die by Physician Aid in Dying (PAD), which has become a hot topic here in the islands.
Join us as Rev. Caroline Miura, Spiritual Care Coordinator from Kauai Hospice, leads us into an in-depth conversation about a discernment process that includes assessing for core spiritual needs in ways that allow the Interdisciplinary team (IDT) to best care for people in a manner that honors their values and hopes, while also addressing their fears.
Rev. Miura’s objective: My aim is for everyone to recognize how vital spiritual care can be to people facing life threatening illnesses, so vital that it be considered a 6th vital sign, after: temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, blood pressure, & of course, pain. If we aren’t routinely providing spiritual care we aren’t providing excellent care!

Learning objectives:

  • Learn about different definitions of spirituality & current research to better assist in screening & intervening for spiritual distress when appropriate.
  • Learn about tools & resources to increase patient/family peace of heart/mind.

We will take a closer look at the Spiritual Assessment & Intervention Model (“Spiritual AIM”) that was developed by Michele Shields and her team (2014). Spiritual AIM defines healthy spirituality as getting a person’s core spiritual needs for meaning and direction, for self-worth and community, and to love and be loved all met. The focus is on relationships and the idea that healing happens in relationship. At the end of life, Spiritual AIM can be utilized by chaplains to provide brief interventions that improve the dying patient’s final days, and, in turn, help the patients’ loved ones in their bereavement.

And we’ll look at these issues in light of the recently passed “Our Care, Our Choice:” law allowing Medical Aid in Dying.

Michael Balboni, in an article in the Journal of Pain & Symptom Management (2018) addressed chaplaincy views on PAD. He concluded: mutual respectful discussion in public discourse needs to be considered, rather than ignoring underlying religious reasons informing end-of-life controversies.

A physician who champions including spiritual care as the 6th vital sign in comprehensive assessments is Christina Puchalski, MD. She says: “Spirituality brings back the sense of a soul of medicine—where compassion becomes the central guiding principle of how healthcare professionals and patients interact and where meaning, healing, and wholeness can be as important as technical cures and fixes.”

Many people believe death is our last, greatest adventure, as Kathleen Dowling Singh says, for “In dying we move from chaos to surrender to eventual transcendence.” Mark Nepo is a cancer survivor who echoes this. In one of his books he recounts, “As cancer boiled me down to what is essential, I began to shine with a rawness of spirit that somehow frightened those who had been close. There was no going back. I had been transformed beyond my will. So I awoke on the other side, closer to the pulse of things.”

We hope you will join us.


June 28, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm HST
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Church of the Crossroads
1212 University Av.
Honolulu, HI 96826 United States
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