Keeping Mission at the Centre

SJOG_MRD210814-153With a view to connecting and inspiring its people, St John of God Health Care has established a series of Mission-based ‘Formation’ seminars for all caregivers – from nurses, to patient care assistants, administrative staff to engineers and everyone in between.

Since March 2015, over 1375 St John of God Health Care caregivers across the country have attended the first Formation session titled, Many Faces, One Story.

St John of God Health Care Acting Group Director of Mission Cathy Scott says the Formation seminars are aimed at connecting caregivers with the Mission and Values and understanding the role they play in healing.

“St John of God Health Care sees it as vital to remain faithful to the Mission in a time of expansion and growth for the organisation,” Cathy says.

St John of God Health Care’s Mission is to continue the healing mission of Jesus Christ through the provision of health care services that promote life to the full by enhancing the physical, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of being human.

Its values of compassion, justice, respect, justice and excellence underpin the way in which this care is delivered.

But 2000 years after Jesus and six hundred years after St John of God’s lifetime, how does this work manifest itself in a contemporary setting? And what does it mean to continue the healing mission of Jesus for both religious and non-religious caregivers?

“By sharing, explaining and demonstrating our Mission and Values in contexts relevant to our caregivers, we can work together to continue to support and deliver the excellent care for which we are known,” Murdoch Hospital’s Director of Mission Colin Keogh says.

Caregiver Formation seminars, led by Directors of Mission in all St John of God Health Care facilities, offers an understanding of the various components of the organisation; how social outreach is the embodiment of the Mission in its purest form; and how a balance is struck between the Ministry of the Catholic Church and the governance required as a corporate entity.

The first in a series of three planned seminars shares the Good Samaritan’s story, the selfless work of St John of God and the continued work of the Sisters and Brothers of St John of God.

“We hope to inspire our caregivers with their spirit of selfless giving; of true and deep caring for others,” Colin says.

“This is presented in the context in which we are familiar – how patients come to be at our facilities and the way in which we provide the best possible care.”

Formation participant Clinical Nurse Brontie Hicks from St John of God Murdoch Hospital felt the day gave her a deeper understanding of how her work fits into the bigger picture.

“It was a terrific bonding exercise and has made me more connected to the organisation,” Brontie says.

“I feel not only long serving caregivers, but newer caregivers early in their St John of God journey, will benefit greatly.”

“The presenters kept it light and relevant to today’s way of life; appropriate for all backgrounds and faith.”

St John of God Health Care has long-term plans for caregiver Formation with two more seminars, Ethics in Healthcare and Social Justice in Health Care, to be delivered to all caregivers.

“This is certainly an integral part of our planning for the future,” Cathy says.

 “As times change, our organisation and people will change, so we need to keep the Mission at the centre of what we do and how we do it.”

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