Rev. Richard DeFord, BCC, Chaplain for Fitzgibbon Hospital and Fitzgibbon-Mary Montgomery Hospice has received dual board certification from the Association of Certified Christian Chaplains (ACCC) and the Spiritual Care Association (SCA). Board certification in the ACCC comes after 1,600 hours of classroom training and clinical visits with patients through an intensive program called Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). With certification from the ACCC, board certification in the Spiritual Care Association is achieved as part of a collaborative arrangement between the organizations.
“Richard has a genuine gift of spiritual compassion, and we are blessed to have him at Fitzgibbon to share this with our patients and their families,” said Dr. Darin Haug, President and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital.
DeFord visits patients by request throughout Fitzgibbon Hospital, in addition to the Behavioral Health Unit and The Living Center. DeFord’s primary spiritual care role is with hospice patients, as he provides end-of-life care to them and their families. He also began a monthly prayer gathering in the hospital’s chapel for employees to gather and pray for one another on the first business day of each month.
The goal of CPE is to train those who provide spiritual care to be patient-centered by meeting people where they are, regardless of their faith background or lack thereof.
“Providing spiritual care during what, for some, are the darkest hours of their lives has brought me joy and fulfillment. I am so honored to have been allowed to care for our patients in this way and look forward to doing more in the days ahead,” said DeFord.
In addition to providing spiritual care at Fitzgibbon, DeFord also works as the Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for the Fitzgibbon organization.