As we understand that faith and health are central to human well being, Atlantic Health System invites faith communities near Morristown and Newton medical centers to join in a partnership that powerfully combines the healing influences of faith, hope, and compassion with the expert use of medicine’s best practices.
Care for the whole person, body, mind, and spirit is the foundation of this partnership and is the basis of cooperation for assessing the health needs of your faith community and implementing programs that address these needs. Below is a summary of the partnership. Learn more > for a full description of the Partnership.
The Faith Community Health Partnership seeks to:
- Support the spiritual and physical well being of the members of your faith community by collaborating with your faith community to provide healing spiritual and social support throughout their hospital journey;
- Enhance the spiritual and physical health of your faith community through developing health education programs that encourage best health practices and integrate these practices with core the beliefs of your faith community; and
- Enable your faith community to contribute to the health ecology of the larger community by modeling an integrated community approach to disease prevention and health care.
Why are faith communities important for health?
Our health is influenced by our belonging to a caring and engaged community. Studies show that about 80 percent of the factors that influence health and healing originate within the community, which may include centers of faith and worship. Members of faith communities often find sustained meaning, purpose, and caring relationships through faith- all of which are key to overall health.
Faith Community Partnerships help patients to integrate three critical components into the maintenance and recovery of their health: belonging, faith, and medical care.
How do Faith Community Partnerships Enhance Health?
Faith Community Partnerships can enhance health in two principal ways. Firstly, by creating a framework that helps those admitted to the hospital maintain their connection to the support network of their faith community before, during, and after their hospital stays. With the support of the faith community and the hospital chaplains, attention to the spiritual dimensions of health and healing will be assured.
Faith communities select “liaisons” who are trained by Atlantic Health System to provide spiritual support, listen empathetically, be supportive to patients and families during difficult times, provide a comforting presence, identify ways in which the patient’s faith community can offer additional support, and connect patients with faith community resources. Liaisons work under the direction of their faith leader and continue to receive training from Atlantic Health System. Learn more > for a full description of liaison responsibilities.
Liaisons are also supported by navigators who are selected and trained by Atlantic Health System to assist in connecting patients with resources provided by our hospitals. A navigator is assigned to each Faith Community Partner and will be notified when a member of the faith community has opted to participate.
Secondly, liaisons enhance the health of the faith community by working with Atlantic Health System to develop health education and healthy living programs that meet the health needs of various groups with in their particular faith community. For example, these programs may focus on healthy eating, physical activity, the prevention and management of chronic illnesses, and ways that faith communities might support the health of the larger community.