Clergy Education Series Addresses Preparing for Pandemic Flu

Area clergy and lay ministers discussed the role of parish ministry in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak at the September lunch and learn speaker series hosted by Shore Health System.

The speakers were Gary Poole, Director of Safety and Security for Shore Health System; Rosa Mateo, MD, an infectious disease specialist on the Shore Health System medical staff; and Brian Childs, PhD, Director of Ethics and Spiritual Care for Shore Health System. Poole presented information about the plan Shore Health System has developed for responding to a community health crisis. Dr. Mateo reviewed how a flu epidemic develops and steps public health professionals take to address community needs. Childs facilitated a discussion of how the clergy can help their congregations prepare for the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of a community-wide health crisis. Participants left the session with a manual prepared by several national faith groups, which lays out information clergy can use in their ministries to prepare for and respond to a flu outbreak.

These lunch and learn sessions are offered as part of the Shore Health System Chaplain Associates Program. They are held quarterly and are open to clergy from Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties.

The next clergy lunch and learn session is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19. The speaker will be Anita Tarzian, RN, PhD, an internationally recognized scholar from the Law School of the University of Maryland, who will address ethics, disabilities and spiritual wholeness.

Shore Health System also offers Clinical Pastoral Education, an advanced clinical and pastoral training program that prepares clergy and lay caregivers for ministry with the sick and their families.

For more information about the Chaplain Associates Program and Clinical Pastoral Education, contact Brian Childs, PhD, at 410-822-1000, ext. 5259.