After more than a year providing Chaplaincy services by phone as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to be at the bedside of a patient in the hospital, or sit and visit with a Handmaker resident is such a blessing!
Since March 16, 2020, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Deborah Oseran Chaplaincy Project has operated strictly at a distance, in much the same way that so many of our community’s essential services have moved to this model. I have been proud of the comfort and care I have been able to give to our community members via phone, but the heart of my work is being together with those I serve. As Southern Arizona slowly opens up, it has been a great pleasure to return to providing meaningful, in-person connection.
Hospitals in our area have begun to loosen restrictions on visitation. I have been welcomed back into Tucson Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Handmaker, and I am hopeful that Banner Health will follow suit in the near future. Although there are new protocols in place in these locations, the spiritual needs of those who call me there remain the same.
I am happy now to be able to visit patients in hospice by request of the family or hospice provider. Although all hospitals and hospice organizations provide Chaplaincy services, not all employ a Jewish Chaplain such as myself. I am honored to be able to fulfill that need in our Southern Arizona Jewish community.
Stacey Tarquinio is the Southern Arizona Jewish Community Chaplain. She can be reached at [email protected] or 520-419-8338.