All-volunteer chaplaincy program essential to well-being of Medical Center of Houston’s patients

“Our chaplains play a vital role in the patient care experience here at the Medical Center of Houston. I’ll say that anytime, on or off the record,” Melissa Phagan said.

Phagan is director of volunteer services at the Medical Center and executive assistant to the facility’s CEO.

Her duties include administrative oversight of the center’s all-volunteer chaplaincy program and she’s clearly enthusiastic about them and their work.

And about what they mean to patients.

“They play a role in the spiritual healing and physical well-being of our patients,” she said. “Having a chaplain come in and talk with or pray with a patient can be very important in the healing process. A lot of times patients don’t have a church home or anyone that can help them like a chaplain can, someone who can listen to them and pray for them if they desire. We love our chaplains.”

As currently organized, the hospital’s volunteer chaplaincy program began in the mid-1980s. Phagan said there are about 10 ministers involved and Jerry Bisping, a retired minister who formerly served on staff at Mount Calvary Lutheran church, coordinates the group.

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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