Yilu Ma of Interpreter Services, Brian Conley of Spiritual Care Services, and June Skuza, MEd, RD, and Kathy McManus, MS,RD, of Nutrition
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is world-renowned for its innovative, comprehensive patient care and cutting-edge research. It is also well-known for preparing the next generation of practitioners including future dietitians, chaplains, interpreters and other members of the care team.
In the past year, 37 chaplaincy interns and residents have completed a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program within the Spiritual Care Services Department, providing 18,000 hours of service. As a program accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), the internship provides a multi-faith, multi-cultural educational experience designed to improve the quality of pastoral care offered by all spiritual caregivers.
Chaplaincy students at BWH represent a broad spectrum of faith traditions and cultures, including Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Protestant, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Unitarian Universalist students. These students come from all over the U.S., as well as Germany, Haiti and Mexico.
The internship curriculum includes structured reviews of patient visits, open process groups, didactic presentations and study of other cultures and religious perspectives, as well as reflections on one’s own beliefs, family history and experiences of faith.
“The CPE program at BWH offers a structure to experience, reflect, and integrate learning and self-awareness,” said chaplain Katie Dalton, who has completed four units of CPE at BWH. “It taught me how to use my strengths and enabled me to follow a career path that has deep meaning.”
The dietetic internship at BWH is 102 years in the making, with its first student arriving in 1913. Since then, more than 1,000 interns have graduated and gone on to pursue fulfilling careers in the field.
The 11-month clinically focused program is designed to provide a strong theoretical knowledge base with exceptional practical experiences in acute care clinical nutrition, outpatient nutrition services, community nutrition, food service management and research in the field of nutrition. Last year, the program accepted 12 students from more than 140 candidates from across the country.
BWH registered dietitians, who are known for providing the highest-quality, evidence-based clinical nutrition management of patients, serve as preceptors to dietetic interns, striving to challenge and support them throughout the program.
With its close proximity to Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, BWH provides interns with opportunities to attend lectures, rounds, clinics and conferences conducted by leaders in their fields.
“After completing the internship, our graduates are extremely well prepared for a career in dietetics,” said Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director of the Department of Nutrition. “We are very proud of our students, who become trail blazers in the field.”
Over the past 10 years, several hundred students have completed their interpreter internships at BWH.
Ashley Tarnauskas, a student of the Boston University Interpreter Training Program and BWH intern, has been meticulously coached and mentored by Marta Solis, training coordinator in Interpreter Services.
Solis and others have supervised Tarnauskas while she interprets for patients in the ED, Operating Rooms, inpatient floors and ambulatory areas, providing encouragement and feedback every step of the way during her required 40 hours of practice.
“My experience has been incredibly valuable,” said Tarnauskas. “I’ve had the opportunity to witness how a professional interpreter works and use what I learned in the classroom to help patients.”
BWH has established academic partnerships with Boston University and Cambridge College to prepare the next generation of medical interpreters to serve the local and worldwide community.
“As a teaching hospital, we train students and at the same time, we learn from them,” said Solis. “It’s mutually beneficial.”