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Pastoral Care Week 2011

October 21, 2011
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pastoral Care Week (Oct. 23-29) with a luncheon, symposium and daily prayer services centered around the theme “Voices Shared,” which focuses on finding unity in the midst of diversity, empowering others, and pastoral/spiritual caregivers claiming their own voices.
Pastoral Care Week honors clergy of all faiths who provide pastoral care in a range of settings, including hospitals.  Promoting continued education for clergy, laity and institutional servants regarding the values of pastoral/spiritual care; expressing appreciation to institutions and staffs that support pastoral care ministries and celebrating the education for and practice of pastoral care are among the objectives this week.
On Monday, Oct. 24, the Pastoral Care Department at RWJ will host an Appreciation Luncheon for all 27 chaplains and 45 volunteers. The department was the first in New Jersey to offer a chaplain residency program and has trained hundreds of chaplains, pastoral caregivers and clinical pastoral education (CPE) supervisors since its creation in 1983.  It has won numerous awards for excellence and is often cited as a major reason for patient satisfaction at the hospital.
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Pastoral Care will partner with area clergy and other care providers for a symposium entitled “Partnering for Wellness.”  Panelists include Rev. Lisanne Finston, founder and director of Elijah’s Promise, Jeffrey Vega, president of New Brunswick Tomorrow, Rev. George Blackwell, family support coordinator with the NJ Sharing Network, and St. Peter’s Hospital Chaplain James Jones.
This is the first of three symposia to be held during the year to connect RWJ with the local community.  “The goal of these symposiums is to continue to celebrate and foster the partnerships that meet the needs of New Brunswick residents and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital,” says October symposium organizer Rev. Martisha Dwyer, Community Resource and Emergency Department Chaplain at RWJ and longtime New Brunswick resident.
And each weekday from Monday, Oct. 24, through Friday, Oct. 28, the 1 p.m. daily prayer service in the RWJ Chapel will include specific prayers and songs led by persons from different faiths.
For more information about Pastoral Care week activities at RWJ, email Pastoral Care Week Chair Rev. Ann Shamy, at
Reporters interested in attending these activities may contact Peter Haigney or Zenaida Mendez at RWJUH Public Relations - (732) 937-8521.
For more information about Pastoral Care Week, visit

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, NJ.  Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ( 

As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties.  The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report three times. In addition, RWJUH was named among the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and received the Equity Care of Award as Top Hospital for Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion from the American Hospital Association.

Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJ Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center.  The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.