“Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, here in Hawaiʻi chaplains serving with Pacific Health Ministry remain diligent in providing spiritual and emotional care to patients, families, staff and physicians at 11 healthcare facilities on three islands.

Our presence, whether via phone, tele-communication, or in person (respecting the required six-foot distance), helps to ease the myriad of concerns being widely expressed about childcare, job security, loved ones living in another part of the world, and fears of contracting the virus. Chaplains are an essential part of the interprofessional team of caregivers. We listen, pray, and offer words of hope, gratitude and encouragement from a variety of sacred texts. We also inform everyone that our spiritual care support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chaplains are a non-anxious presence, and are calm and compassionate listeners in times that are overwhelming and uncertain.

Thank you to all healthcare providers on the frontlines who are working to ease and overcome this suffering with loving care, research and hope.

A recent example:
The Queen’s Medical Center, West Oʻahu opened a drive-through testing tent for the COVID-19 virus on Monday, March 23. To prepare the medical team, a “Day in the Life” training exercise was held on the preceding Friday. Chaplain Thomas Hong provided a blessing upon the tent and all those who participated, which included nurses, security, and administrators. As the team engaged in the exercise, Chaplain Thomas observed that “staff seemed more determined than ever to serve the West Oʻahu community-at-large during this pandemic.

The Pacific Health Ministry Chaplains wish everyone good health and wellbeing.

Rev. Anke Flohr, Executive Director, Pacific Health Ministry
and Rev. Al Miles, PHM Lead Chaplain serving at The Queen’s Medical Center Punchbowl