As contemplative care practices becomes an increasing presence in American society, there is both the opportunity and the need to integrate practitioners into traditional medical settings, serving as contempaltive caregivers, and to bring contemplative compassionate care into hospitals, hospices and homes. Working in tandem with each of our partner institutions, we create a Contemplative Care Program that meets these goals and needs.

Current Partners:

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Lenox Hill Hospital, a 652-bed, acute care hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has earned a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. The hospital is particularly well known for excellence in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, orthopaedics, sports medicine, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and maternal/child health. The Hospital is also a recognized leader in public health education and community outreach. We work with the Spiritual Care Department in providing our Contemplative Care Volunteers to serve and care for the hospital’s patients, families and staff.

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As the first Buddhist-based organization to provide contemplative care program within a mainstream hospital, our student contemplative caregivers serve patients and staff under the supervision of our Senior Chaplain Supervisors. Beth Israel’s head of Pastoral Care states that we provide the hospital with a “wonderful presence of intentional care.” We also work closely with the Integrative Medicine Department providing contemplative chaplains for patients, families and staff.

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The Mount Sinai Medical Center is a 1,171-bed, tertiary-care, teaching facility acclaimed internationally for its excellence in clinical care. The Zen Center collaborates with the Department of Spiritual Care & Education and the Palliative Care Department in providing contemplative care to staff, patients and families. Jay Horton, Director of the Palliative Care Consult Service says, “As a clinician, I know that what NYZCCC is doing in the Contemplative Care Training is on the cutting edge of health care. It is critically important that those who would work with the seriously ill receive training in how to recognize and be with suffering. I know of no other organization that does so much to make this a reality and it’s why I support the mission of the Zen Center.”

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Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital was founded by William Augustus Muhlenberg, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion. St. Luke’s first opened in 1858 at 54th Street and Fifth Avenue.
In 1896 it moved to 114th Street. It is across the street, to the east, from Columbia University’s campus and to the South it is flanked by the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. The historic hospital building at Amsterdam Avenue and 114th Street was designed by prominent socialite architect Ernest Flagg. The chapel of that hospital has stained glass and is the work of the same architect. We provide contemplative chaplains to serve the patients, staff and families.

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Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital is located on 10th Avenue and 59th Street, two blocks west of Columbus Circle. The current 13-story Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed facility was built in 1990. The original hospital was on the same block but faced Ninth Avenue. Much of the original hospital, including the emergency room, was torn down to make way for two 49-story apartment buildings—One Columbus Place Tower I and II. The oldest remaining component of the hospital is the William J. Syms Operating Theater that had a glass roof built in 1892. It was named for a gun merchant who donated money for it. Its last operation was in 1941 and it is now a New York City Landmark. It is still free standing even as the tower surrounds it. The Emergency departments at both sites, staffed by 40 physicians board certified in emergency medicine and seven in pediatric emergency medicine, offer 24-hr specialized services for victims of sexual assaults. Both New York City Emergency Rooms have a 24-hour stroke team and Heart Attack (MI) Team. We provide contemplative chaplains to serve the patients, staff and families.

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Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester is a private, not for profit agency that provides comprehensive health care services to people with an advanced illness who live in Westchester County. Our programs and services are available to people of all ages with any diagnosis. Our mission statement is very clear: Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester will provide extraordinary and dignified comfort, care and compassion to every individual and family facing a serious or life-threatening illness. Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester is a life enhancing, health care organization whose programs and care are intended to promote our patients’ quality of life by addressing the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families. Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester understands that each patient and family are unique, and an individualized plan of care will be developed based upon the needs of the patient and family.

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NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the nations leading hospitals, is a training center for our chaplains. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) is 2,369-bed academic health care network providing services at five campuses. It is the largest hospital in New York and one of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world. In July 2010 U.S. News and World Report designated NYPH as 6th on its national “Honor Roll” of hospitals for the fifth straight year. The five NYPH campuses are Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York, Westchester Division and the Allen Hospital. We collaborate with their Pastoral Care Department led by The Rev. Dr. Beth Faulk Glover by providing Contemplative Chaplains for their sites. We also work with Dr. Craig Blinderman, the Director of the Palliative Care Service, providing training and support to the Palliative Care team.

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We provide our student contemplative caregivers to the patients and staff in its hospice residence, in patient unit, nursing homes, and to its home care patients and families. The nurse manager of their hospice residence states that our caregivers “transform the whole residence. When they are here, we all feel held.”