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Celebrating spiritual health care week (October 15-21)

Spiritual Health Care Week is a time of both celebration and education.  Organizations and institutions throughout the world take time to recognize spiritual health care providers and the comfort and counseling they provide within our health care facilities and our communities. Across all ages and cultures, we have come to recognize that a person's life is a complex balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority recognizes that spiritual health is an important part of holistic health care that must be considered when exploring patient illness. The theme for spiritual health care week in 2018 is "Hospitality - cultivating time."  Marion Magnusson, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s regional spiritual health services coordinator, acknowledges that taking the time to nurture relationships and recognize the importance of spirituality in health care is an essential part of providing care to patient as a whole.

“We are all spiritual beings, each one of us expresses this through our beliefs, values, traditions and practices. Cultivating and nurturing time with one another is a challenge in an age of instantaneous communication and multiple sources of connection,” said Magnusson. “It is important to remember the importance of taking time to build relationships and nurturing a whole being. This nurturing of connections requires an attitude of listening and appreciation.

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s spiritual health care services are provided by a group of 97 program and community-based spiritual health volunteers who are trained to provide compassionate, non-denominational care and support upon the request of our patients and their families. Spiritual health care practitioners provide support and services that can include:

  • Listening with an open mind
  • Paying attention to experiences of suffering
  • Companionship through life's changes and decisions
  • Arranging ceremonies, sacraments, rites of people’s choosing
  • Increasing self-awareness and building inner strengths
  • Kindness, compassion and respect from another human being
  • Holistic care based on hope, spiritual diversity, inclusivity
  • Honoring the mystery of everyday life

Peter Dyck, spiritual health service volunteer at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre, says that being a spiritual care volunteer is rooted in the practice of compassion. "Healing happens when we gratefully live and love others and ourselves."

For more information on spiritual health care services in our region, visit and click on the tabs for Care in Your Hospital/Program Profiles/Spiritual Health or contact Marion Magnusson, regional spiritual health services coordinator at 204-785-7028 or


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