Parallels between World AIDS Day and COVID-19 By The Rev. Dr. Ebony D. Only Today is World AIDS Day, the first ever global health day! Annually December 1 is an opportunity for humanity worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illness. For decades, HIV/AIDS was the health and human crisis that stood at the ground zero of marginalized people in a way that made it impossible for us not to see health disparities, political disempowerment, economic inequality, and the social and physical [...]
By The Rev. Dr. Ebony D. Only In our work at Bishop Anderson House, as the inaugural Community Chaplain Fellow, I am working to influence healthcare leaders to find creative ways to address the social determinants of health which have been proven to improve outcomes. I have been encouraging those with the power and influence to do so, to implore health care systems to proactively screen patients for social needs (i.e., housing, food, legal assistance) and connect patients to existing community resources to address those needs. These practices are critical while we work to change the policies that drive the [...]
Do you have a passion for helping others? Do you feel like you want to make a difference by being present to someone who is going through a transition on their life's journey? Bishop Anderson House is offering our Spiritual Care Visitor Training program beginning on Saturday, January 29, 2022. The program starts with virtual retreat sessions held on Zoom Saturday, January 29–10:00a-12:00p and 1:30p-3:00p; Saturday, February 5–3:00p-5:00p / All Central Time. Attendance at all three is mandatory. You will continue the self-paced program by taking seven online modules covering a variety of topics, completing two verbatims and providing two hours [...]
On Saturday, November 6, we gathered via Zoom to honor Ann Ryba for her 30+ years of service to Bishop Anderson House. In recognition of her contributions, Ann was made a Life Trustee. If you were unable to join us, click here to see a recording of the event or watch Ann's history in pictures. As well, if you would like to submit a story to be included in her memory book, please email Kim Lessner no later than Friday, December 10.
After 30 years of service with Bishop Anderson House, Ann Ryba will be retiring on 12/22/21. Ann was introduced to Bishop Anderson House through the Teddy Bear Ministry at Cook County Hospital in the 1980's. She later served on the Board of Trustees including two terms as the Board President. Ann continued as a staff member when she was hired over ten years ago. Ann has touched many lives, both directly and indirectly throughout her ministry. Help us to celebrate all of her accomplishments on Saturday, November 6th. Due to the current pandemic conditions, we will be hosting the party on [...]
During the month of September wellness events featuring massage therapy were offered to the Burn, Trauma ICU, Pediatric ICU and Labor and Delivery units of Stroger Hospital of Cook County. More than 75 medical personnel (nurses, doctors, social workers and unit administrators) participated across the two-week wellness event. Each recipient of a massage also received a small thank note stating “Your compassion, optimism and kindness do not go unnoticed. You are appreciated.” A heartfelt thank you is given to Tayonon Holistics and Gayleforce Healing Massage and Bodywork for their gifted massage therapists and the Helen Brach Foundation for the grant [...]
On Saturday, September 11, Bishop Anderson House hosted the first session of the Latinx Spiritual Care Visitor Training Program. All eight sessions are being videoed and will be incorporated into our online learning management system. Thanks to the United Thank Offering grant which is underwriting a major portion of this initiative. We are grateful to have professional chaplains and healthcare professionals sharing their areas of expertise and continuing our legacy of learning!
By The Rev. Thomas S. Rogers, III On May 18, the Bishop Anderson House staff had a retreat where we looked at where we are at right now with COVID-19 and all that is going on in the world. We did this by shifting our thinking from cause and effect (A + B = C) to systems thinking – taking in our wider context and thinking systems (i.e. Christmas tree lights on a Christmas tree where if one light goes out, the whole strand goes out). At the heart of the theory of living human systems is the idea that [...]
One of the things that happens in many organizations is a group will engage a topic like bringing in an outside speaker or read a book, but when the board at Bishop Anderson House engaged social responsibility and racial justice they had an action step: hiring a community-based chaplain to facilitate relationship and community building through the provision of spiritual, emotional, physical and social support to families, business, corporations, schools and groups in the near West side of Chicago. I am pleased to announce that after a search process involving 15 applicants, three phone interviews, and two face-to-face interviews, we have [...]
Chaplain Micheal Smith provides spiritual support for patients recovering from serious injuries in the Burn Unit at Stroger Hospital of Cook County. During the harshest weather months the Burn Unit experiences a significant increase in patients, including a large number of housing and food-insecure patients. Many homeless patients are immediately faced with the challenge of securing food after discharge, for some even when he or she is being discharged to a shelter. Recognizing this essential need, Micheal partnered with Burn Unit nurses, social workers and staff dietitians to create "Samaritan" backpacks with non-perishable items to [...]