Sojourn Chaplaincy: Advancing Equity in Healthcare

This month, Sojourn Chaplaincy was awarded with a ZSFG Equity Award in honor of our work supporting the unique religious and spiritual needs of patients here at ZSFG.  The Equity Council has been working to fight racism, breakdown bias and improve equity in healthcare.  At their inaugural awards ceremony, the council chose to honor the important work of Sojourn Chaplaincy’s diverse team in supporting the religious and spiritual equity of patients here at ZSFG.  We are very grateful to receive this award.  

In celebration of this award, we will be highlighting the work of several key Sojourn Chaplains who have made tremendous efforts in moving forward the work of Equity and Justice here at ZSFG.  

Sign up for our mailing list here or Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to follow these incredible chaplains as we celebrate their work.  Please join us in celebrating these dedicated Chaplains and the life giving work they do.

2024 Hero and Heart awarded to Chaplain Claire Chuck Bohman

Rev. Claire Chuck Bohman, Sojourn’s Executive Director, was awarded the 2024 Hero and Heart Award from the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation on February 8, 2024, at its Hearts in SF 2024 Gala. This award was presented to Chaplain Claire for their years of service supporting the patients and staff of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Chaplain Claire is the first chaplain to receive this honor in the history of the foundation. The Board and Staff of Sojourn Chaplaincy congratulates Chaplain Claire on this well deserved honor. Thank you, Chaplain Claire, for being a champion for Sojourn Chaplaincy and its mission to heal hearts through innovative spiritual care.

Pictured above from left to right: Recipients Dr. Andre Campbell, Rev. Claire Chuck Bohman, and Dr. Hali Hammer, and ZSFG CEO, Dr. Susan Ehrlich.

Sojourn staff enjoying the Hearts After Dark party.

Sojourn Honored by SFGH Foundation

This year the SF General Hospital Foundation chose to honor the tremendous work of Sojourn Chaplaincy in their annual Hearts in SF Event. We are so grateful and honored to receive this honor and to be among so many healthcare heroes here at the General. This event was held online and hosted by Pria David Clemens of KQED at the SF Giants Stadium. You can watch the Sojourn segment below or you can watch the entire event and celebrate all the award recipients by clicking here.

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Emotional and Spiritual Care

Since 1982 Sojourn has practiced the mission described in its name: “to stay with for a time.” We offer compassion and understanding to patients and their loved ones as well as to the staff at SFGH. Our vision: Comprehensive spiritual and emotional support for everyone who needs it.

Sojourn Chaplains offer support through a skilled response to suffering. Chaplains work alongside patients, families and staff to support them in reconnecting with their inner resources that will carrying them through the challenges they face.

Orlando Vigil Altar 1Sojourn provides a critical element of San Francisco General Hospital’s holistic care. SFGH staff members are skilled in providing resources for physical, mental and emotional health. Sojourn completes the circle, by attending to the spiritual needs of patients, families and staff.

Dr. Jeanne St. Pierre, former Unit Chief of the LGBT Psychiatric Unit at SFGH writes: “Often in a day I realize the inadequacies of modern medical treatments for trauma, schizophrenia, substance dependence, and other causes of emotional suffering. At those times I am particularly grateful for the Services of Sojourn chaplains. Chaplains offer kindness and understanding to those who will likely never be cured, yet do not need to be alone with their pain.”

Ceremony 6

Trans Spiritual Care Initiative

In 2013, California led the nation in banning Transgender exclusion in health care plans. This made it illegal for Health Insurance Companies to deny transgender people access to lifesaving healthcare. After years of organizing and struggle for access to healthcare, California insurance companies can no longer discriminate against trans people. This has opened the doors to access to health care that many Transgender Californians have never had before.

The Trans Spiritual Care Initiative was born when Sojourn Chaplains were approached by Trans members of their spiritual communities about challenging experiences with Chaplains. These experiences ranged from problematic at best to disturbing.  Sojourn Chaplaincy’s chaplain training program was born during the epidemic as a ministry for people dying from AIDS.  During these painful times, we learned how important justice rooted training is for Chaplains and Spiritual Care providers.

Here at Sojourn at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, we serve many trans and gender variant patients–some of whom are the most marginalized in the trans community. Training around gender diversity has become an important part of our Chaplain training.  We are developing this curriculum to improve our care for trans and gender variant patients at ZSFG.  We are also developing this training with the hope that it become a resource for Chaplains, Spiritual Care Departments, clergy and healthcare providers across the country  who would like to improve their services and provide more culturally appropriate care for gender variant patients.

In a time when the trans community is facing so many challenges and an increasingly hostile political climate, we believe it is critical for the faith community to stand up and take leadership to support LGBT rights.  We are hopeful that the Trans Spiritual Care Initiative will create critical new resources to help Chaplains and other spiritual care practitioners provide better care and develop deeper relationships with the trans community.  As spiritual people, we know that relationships are powerful.  As Chaplains, we know that bearing witness to the suffering of others can create openings for solidarity rooted in personal connection.  We launch this initiative with a prayer for healing and justice for the trans community.  May we be open to the divine gifts that are possible when we open to witnessing the pain and struggle of all members of our human family and work toward a more just world.


 

Sojourn Receives Hearts Grant Award

Sojourn Chaplains Floyd Trammell and Claire Bohman with ZSFG's new CEO Susan Ehrlich and SFGH Foundation Board Officer Ellen Newman
Sojourn Chaplains Floyd Trammell and Claire Bohman with ZSFG’s new CEO Susan Ehrlich and SFGH Foundation Board Officer Ellen Newman

Sojourn Chaplaincy is honored to announce we are recipients of a Hearts Grant from the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.  The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation has given Sojourn Chaplaincy $3,800 to support our work providing multi-faith spiritual care to the patients, families and staff of ZSFG.  This money will go specifically to efforts to make our Prayer and Meditation room more accessible to people of different faiths and spiritual traditions.  One dimension of this grant is to create a chest accessible for staff and visitors to store Muslim prayer rugs, Buddhist Malas, and other religious supplies.

We are thrilled to receive this generous grant and for all the support of the SFGH Foundation.  Deep bows of gratitude to all the Officers, Members and most of all the donors of the SFGH Foundation.  Thank you for supporting our work and for supporting the spiritual and emotional needs of the patients, families and staff of ZSFG!

Feeling inspired?  You can also support the great work of Sojourn!  Gifts of all sizes are invaluable.  We are able to provide quality spiritual care and training for spiritual care providers because of donors like you.  Please give to Sojourn today.  All gifts are tax deductable.

Blessings and Gratitude.

ZSFG: The Heart of the City
                                                                       ZSFG: The Heart of the City