Jennifer Gingerich

In response to the thoughts shared about the Signature video – I wonder how much of the bottom-line and protocol focus that you all pointed out is related to Signature being a for-profit company?  I have only worked in non-profits with faith-based roots, and the culture of spiritual care has been more like what Larry described in his own setting: we offer spiritual care because that’s part of who we are.  Not because it produces better outcomes.  However, I do see in the wider healthcare chaplaincy arena that there is a concern for chaplains needing to prove their worth to administration.  That seems to be a significant piece of the emerging realm of chaplaincy research.

Signature’s unique tone may also come from being a big company with many locations – perhaps that leads to a desire to standardize practices more than smaller organizations need to.  I recall a song in which the singer sarcastically talked about the church becoming “just like IBM.”  Is this making spiritual care replicable like Target and McDonald’s make their practices standardized?  There is value in that in some ways: using best practices and ensuring high quality care, presumably.  And yet as we read in one of the week 2 articles, a big part of the care we give has to do with the person of the chaplain, and each one of us is different, as are our settings and our residents.