Spiritual Care

October 30th, 2017

Oct. 30, 2017 — On TV, hospital chaplains visit patients to pray. At JPS, chaplains are integral members of the healthcare team. They play key roles in medical ethics and organ donation, helping patients and families navigate excruciating life and death decisions. Chaplain Lee Ann Franklin is the new director of Spiritual Care and Ethics at JPS, dedicated to building upon a foundation built by longtime director Dann Baker, who died in July.

Chaplain Lee Ann Franklin

Chaplain Lee Ann Franklin, director, Spiritual Care and Ethics

Q: You are a familiar face at JPS. What did you do while you were away?

A: I did my residency at JPS in 2011 and ‘12, and then was a staff chaplain in 2014 and ‘15. I’m from Kansas City, and needed to return to be closer to my parents, who were growing older and dealing with health issues. With Dann’s support, I was able to become director of spiritual care at North Kansas City Hospital. I told Mr. Earley I’d be back.

Q:  You recently changed the name of your department from Pastoral Care to Spiritual Care and Ethics. Why?

A: We are still pastoral care. We’re always going to be pastoral care. We are building on Dann’s great foundation. In the context of the department’s name, the word pastoral speaks to a time when the cultural norm in America was most people went to church and were Christian. ‘Spiritual’ is more inclusive. We are here for people of all faiths, and people with no faith.

Q: What are some of your goals for Spiritual Care and Ethics?

A:  We will be increasing our focus on outcome oriented chaplaincy, and integrating the spiritual assessment model, which is about working with people to help them analyze their needs, hopes and resources, helping them define what their hopes are, helping them define their goals and working to incorporate those into their plan of care. The medical care a patient receives should be compatible with their hopes and goals, enabling them to experience the things that make life most meaningful for them.

Blessing of the Hands

JPS chaplains will be visiting work sites across JPS Health Network between October 30 and November 12 to offer Blessing of the Hands, a nondenominational tradition at JPS and hospitals across the country.

If you would like a chaplain to visit your unit on a specific day or time, email Chaplain Lee Ann Franklin at lfrankli@jpshealth.org.

We will also be focusing on supporting our fellow JPS team members. We will be rounding on staff, developing ways to improve our collective well-being. The well-being of staff is tied to our ability to provide whole-person care for our patients.

Q: Have you always been a chaplain?

A: My first career was with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, where I was a writer and creative director. I graduated seminary in 2004, and went back to Hallmark to work on their “hope and healing platform.” I got my MBA from the University of Kansas in 2010 because I wanted to help Hallmark make organizational change.

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