The Spiritual Side of Healthcare

Nov 23, 2020 | Past Sponsored

Clark Memorial Health Chaplain Joe Bradley helps patients and staff find purpose in crises.  Submitted photo.
As chaplain at Clark Memorial Health for 13 years, a large part of Joe Bradley’s role is helping patients and families process and try to make sense of a crisis.

“I’ve come to believe that all people are spiritual, whether they’re religious or not,” he says. “Even somebody who’s an atheist, I think they still have this desire to find meaning and purpose in life. So people are searching for the meaning of a particular event when they are in crisis. That’s a big part of faith. That’s what makes us human.”

Joe has found inspiration from the biblical book of Job, in which Job cries out to God after his life is struck by tragedy.

“Everyone’s familiar with that first chapter where Job has a religious response to his suffering,” Joe says. “But basically the next 30 chapters are lament and complaint. As chaplains we are not here to give a positive spin on everything; we sit with people in their grief.”

Originally from Bloomington, Indiana (and still a big Indiana University fan), Joe previously worked in business for 20 years before feeling called to a career change in ministry. After working for a church, he realized the visitation part of a minister’s role was what he most enjoyed.

Today he serves not just patients and families, but also hospital staff members.

“The language of warfare is often employed in healthcare,” he says. “A pandemic is a type of war. COVID-19 is the enemy. The medical team are the frontline warriors. I am here to support them.”



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