Alliance Community Hospital welcomes new chaplain
Alliance Community Hospital (ACH) recently welcomed a new chaplain. Jonathan Dodson was chosen to join the ACH team as the official hospital chaplain. He will work with the Hospice and Palliative Care Teams, as well as offer spiritual support for all other hospitalized patients and Community Care Center residents.
"I want to serve and respond to the needs of local parishioners when they are patients," Dodson said. "I want to be a resource for all of the community faith leaders and I want to provide support to everyone. I'm currently working on creating courses to help faith leaders better serve their community. These courses will include training on how to treat hospice patients and their caretakers or family and then also a course based solely on emergency response and how to provide urgent, emotional and pastoral care in a major disaster."
Dodson received a Bachelor of Science in forestry management at Colorado State University and a master's in divinity at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. He and his wife, Jeanette, grew up in a small town in Colorado, but when she received a job offer as an associate minister at First Congregational Church of Hudson in 2011, they decided to move east.
"I thought that it was a great opportunity for my wife, but I was also happy because there are so many pastoral care training programs in this area and I knew that I could take advantage of those opportunities for myself," Dodson said.
Time spent at the Cleveland Clinic provided him with education about the Planetree philosophy and a more holistic approach to the well-being of patients.
"I want to work on the spiritual needs of not only patients, but their caregivers and hospital staff as well. This Planetree idea is what sets ACH apart from other area hospitals"
As a Planetree affiliate, ACH recognizes the spiritual needs of its patients, no matter what belief system. The hospital has an ongoing prayer chain for patients wishing to be prayed for by colleagues and volunteers during their stay at ACH. Patients are prayed for by first name only. Patients can have their name added to the prayer chain by asking their nurse or social worker to contact the Spirituality Committee. ACH also offers communion for patients, visitors and staff every Sunday in the chapel located on the third floor of the hospital. A number of spiritual resources are available to accommodate all denominations of faith 24/7 in the chapel.