Pastoral Care Week or Spiritual Care Week gives opportunities for organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which the caregivers provide.
Meet Hospice Care Chaplain Tobby Smith
Chaplain Tobby Smith currently serves as lead chaplain on Paradigm Health’s spiritual support team. In addition to providing support to the field chaplains, he provides spiritual care to patients, caregivers and team members. The role of the chaplain is to ensure that those who desire spiritual support have their spiritual wishes and needs fulfilled. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and a master’s degree in theology and chaplaincy, with a PhD in theological studies.
At one point in Smith’s career, he had a longing to serve as a chaplain, so he sought specialized training in the field, thinking he would join the military, but God had other plans. Smith was ultimately called to serve in hospice and palliative spiritual care for the past decade.
“Chaplaincy has been an extension of the pastoral ministry that I have been doing for almost 20 years,” shares Smith. “I enjoy being able to bring hope, encouragement and a steady hand in times of difficult change.”
Meet Hospice Care Chaplain Joel Flowers
Paradigm Health Joel Flowers serves as chaplain serving Kokomo and surrounding area patients and families. He provides spiritual care to patients that have requested a chaplain, their families, and as support for Paradigm Health staff.
“My role is to make sure that spiritual needs for our patients are being met,” shares Flowers. “As well as spiritually supporting family members and caregivers.”
Flowers late wife always believed he was well suited to be a chaplain and encouraged him to follow that career path. He began his hospice journey as a chaplain in 2013 an joined the Paradigm Health care team in 2021. He holds a master of divinity degree and has completed clinical pastoral training which is necessary to work as a chaplain.
With 41 years of ministry, Flowers shares that he finds chaplaincy to be the most rewarding. “As a hospice chaplain and a people person, I enjoy getting to know our patients and hear their life journey. In the 10 years I’ve worked as a hospice chaplain, I’ve met many fascinating people.”
Meet Hospice Care Chaplain Lynn Martin
At a young age, Paradigm Health chaplain Lynn Martin realized she had a heart for people in need. Throughout her life, she’s been sensitive to the needs of others, but until recently, she had never considered a career in hospice and palliative care. She’s been active in ministry since the age of 5, serving the church in many capacities and understanding early on, serving God was a natural part of her life journey.
“I continued to live out my consciousness of care while working in corporate America by serving on several community and civic boards addressing the needs of the least, the lost and the left behind,” Martin says. “This was my extension of care outside the church, allowing me to be Christ’s hands and feet in a working environment.”
In 2010, Martin felt the need to better equip herself for the ministry and began attending seminary, completing her master of divinity degree. In 2020, Martin began working on my doctor’s degree in ministry with a focus on pastoral care.
“After retirement, I realized how much I missed operating in my spiritual gift of care when I was asked to care for a dear friend diagnosed with stage four breast cancer,” Martin shares. “ For 18 months, I was her caregiver emotionally, physically and spiritually. It blessed me beyond measure, and I knew then that God was calling me to hospice care. After my friend passed, I longed to continue work in hospice chaplaincy.”
In June of this year, a good friend referred Martin to Paradigm Health and after researching the company and meeting their staff, she knew she had found a company whose heart for care perfectly aligned with her own. It was important to her to not only work for a company that provided a culture of excellence for their patients, families and employees but also one where the presence of God was felt and welcomed. As a new member of the Paradigm Health team, Martin shares that is a place she can successfully fulfill the call to care God has placed in her life.