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CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Sulphur Springs Launches New Staff Chaplaincy Program

Staff Chaplain Charles Kimbell

Charles Kimbell, a Chaplain within the CHRISTUS Health Care System for the past ten years, is now part of a new program as Staff Chaplain at the Sulphur Springs hospital. Kimbell’s position places him as a member of a patient’s Care Team. Although volunteer Chaplains have been part of the system for years and are still needed, the Staff Chaplain position was recently created for the new Care Through Chaplaincy program.

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Kimbell has been an ordained United Methodist Church minister for the past 30 years, serving in various churches across Texas. He was asked by a minister in 2006 during UMC Conference if he had ever considered becoming a chaplain, and he had not, although as a minister he was often called upon for grief counseling. He learned that Clinical Pastoral training is for a very specific field. While still pastoring his church in the Tyler area, Kimbell undertook a one-year training program in Palliative Care toward a Certification for Professional Clinical Chaplaincy, and through that, he experienced a change in heart and direction. That was due to exposure to what ‘care through chaplaincy’ in palliative care actually entails. He is eager to become part of the Care Team for patients and their families at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Sulphur Springs. He is also excited about opportunities to serve individuals and families experiencing effects of severe trauma whom he may encounter in an Emergency Room setting.

During a KSST Good Morning Show interview, he stated, “volunteer chaplains are still important and needed here. Added to that now will be spiritual care consultation by a Staff Chaplain, a member of the Care Team, as the CHRISTUS mission statement ‘to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ’ is carried out on a fuller basis. What we might not have realized til recent years, is that Palliative Care means much more than Hospice care. Palliative care begins pre-hospice and extends beyond the limits of hospice. For a victim, it should actually begin at the time of diagnosis of a debilitating or terminal illness. And as our society changes, more and more people are professing little or no faith. Current professional training is a most vital need in the field of Chaplaincy today”.

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Author: Enola Gay

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