In 2002, the North Shore Medical Center, Salem, Massachusetts, was one of 3 community hospitals granted permission to perform cardiac surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions. The Cardiac Surgical program was built with the foundation of an interdisciplinary team model and relationship-based care at the core. Because the interdisciplinary care would enhance communication among health care providers and promote a culture of safety, families were invited to become active members of their loved one’s health care team. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the role of the chaplain, as a member of this interdisciplinary team, in facilitating a healing environment.

Our cardiac surgical unit (CSU) is an 8-bed, single-stay unit; patients are admitted before their operation, are cared for immediately after surgery, and recover from surgery in our unit until discharged. This unique model of care provides patient-centered care from one specialized...

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