Dr. Leonard Hummel is a Chaplain Hospice at Allina Health Care in Ulm, MN and is also Professor Emeritus at United Lutheran Seminary. He shares with us the nature and importance of the hospice chaplain in the end-of-life process including how it is integrated into the healthcare system and each patients support and medical team. He also shares some of the more specific challenges of shepherding people through the end-of-life experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. He reminds us that the end-of-life is a universal experience, that while shared, is also unique for each individual.
Elizabeth Pfiester is the founder and director of the non-profit T1International, which is based in the UK, and is dedicated to using ethics and solidarity in its quest for more accessible insulin. The initiator of the grassroots campaign #insulin4all, it does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies or any organization that would compromise its ability to advocate for insulin affordability and access.
Pfiester holds a master’s degree in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from The London School of Economics and Political Science. We caught up with Elizabeth during a busy August at T1International.
You can learn more about the insulin price crisis in the U.S. and how T1International advocates around the world are seeking change so that this essential medicine gets into the hands of all who need it. https://www.t1international.com/
Rev. Peter Kuhn, Director of Spiritual Care and Education, WellSpan Health joins The Seminary Explores for a conversation about spiritual care in some of South Central Pennsylvania’s hospitals. Like all hospital departments right now they are rapidly adapting to how they provide care and education in changing circumstances. Kuhn is an ACPE Clinical Educator and a Board Certified Chaplain. He studied Theology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. His Supervisor training is from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Leon Reed shares the results of recent studies on poverty in Adams County and Pennsylvania to help answer why poverty prevails in the U.S. even when the economy has flourished. The definition of poverty now includes single persons making $20,000 or less and a family of four making $59,000 or less. He observes that the two fundamental issues are jobs and housing. In the justice system, the poor who get charged with misdemeanors have difficulty making bail and paying fines, resulting in their return to prison. Meanwhile, federal and state funding has dropped drastically to the point where programs that help are being curtailed or shut down.
Kate Braband, Senior Associate Director of Program Development, Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia describes the success that the Carter Center, initiated thirty years ago by President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, has had in controlling guinea worm, one of the more painful and debilitating of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (WTD) in Central Africa. Not long ago, cases numbered in the thousands; today in the twenties. Guinea worm is controlled, not by vaccinations, but by changes in behavior, especially drinking filtered water. Education and supervision are largely in the hands of the locals. Other projects by the Carter Center derive from their mission of building hope, restoring health, and fighting for peace. To achieve these goals, the Center enlists national governments, the United Nations, and international corporations.
Dr. Margaret Swartz, Clinical Psychologist, Yorland Psychological Associates, York, PA, presents the tragic extent of suicides in America, especially among white males who own guns. She describes the characteristics of potential suicides, including low self-image, depression, and anger. Among the actions needed, she stresses the importance of addressing the issue openly with those who appear to have the tendency, followed by professional therapy.
National hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Angela Dohrman, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, SpiriTrust Lutheran, discussed providing quality care for senior citizens. The discussion included: definitions of senior care, the difficulties in sustaining quality care, the recruitment of personnel, Affordable Health Care act, regulations for senior care facilities, the calling or vocation of SpiriTrust personnel.
In a conversation with Fran Quigley the Seminary Explores learns of some deeply-held misconceptions we have about drug costs, the urgency for change, and how people of faith might fit in. Quigley is Clinical Professor and Director of the Health and Human Rights Clinic at Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He is the author of four books: Prescription for the People: An Activist’s Guide to Making Medicine Affordable for All, If We Can Win Here, How Human Rights Can Build Haiti, and Walking Together, Walking Far.
Clay Pasqual, a college senior, spent the summer as intern for the Fund for American Studies in the Institute for Business and Governmental Affairs. The focus of his work dealt with healthcare issues in the United States. The internship included:
- Attending congressional hearings
- Working on Press Releases and Community Materials
- Attending and participating in a seminar
- Expanding healthcare to include issues beyond medicinal and hospitalization, i.e. socio-economic
Dr. Dwight Michael, physician in family practice with Gettysburg Family Practice and member of Physicians for a National Health Program and Health Care for All Pennsylvania, believes that healthcare is a human right, recognized as such by every modern industrialized nation except the United States. Opponents have not considered the savings that a single-payer system would bring to the economy; on the contrary, he asserts, the cost of not adopting universal health care will be counted in the trillions by 2020.
Please note this discussion was recorded on July 7, 2017, references to specific bills in Congress should understood in this context.