Microgrant Recipients

Supporting Resilience Among Frontline Providers

Brandeis University

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab

with funding from

The Henry Luce Foundation


The goal of this fund is to provide resources to chaplains who are partnering with an administrator (staff member outside of chaplaincy department) at their organizations to extend the work on the frontlines of COVID-19, especially the needs of the most impacted, as well as the social inequalities around or related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Round 1 Recipients

See Round 2 recipients here

“Wellness is Essential”
Hampton VA Medical Center
Hampton, Virginia

Chaplain Kimberly Willis, Supervisory Chief, Chaplaincy Services
Dr. Elena McSwain, Health Systems Specialist

The Hampton VA Medical Center “Wellness is Essential” campaign is a multi-pronged campaign developed in response to identified challenges and stressors within Environmental Management Service. The campaign includes guided spiritual meditations and presentations on coping mechanisms, family care, and interpersonal relationships.  Central to the campaign is a Studio Elsewhere-created Recharge Room designed using evidence-based practices and a bio-feedback massage chair.  The room is a participant voice-controlled multi-sensory experience incorporating biophilic scents, sounds, lighting and visuals designed to address stress, anxiety and trauma. Each participant will be offered refreshments and invited to take a pre and post survey.

Caring for the Caregiver: Developing Wellness Champions
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco, California

Claire Bohman, Executive Director, Sojourn Chaplainc
Aiyana Johnson, Chief Experience Officer

Sojourn Chaplaincy at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and trauma center is developing a wellness curriculum for hospital staff.  Caring for the Caregiver: Developing Wellness Champions will be focused on a leadership development model training healthcare staff in basic spiritual care, resilience practices as well as triaging and referrals.  After this program is complete, each department in the hospital will have a “wellness champion” who is equipped to provide basic spiritual support in their workplace.  We also hope to have a portable curriculum available for chaplains to utilize in implementing similar programming in their contexts.

Code Lavender: Supporting Our Front-Line Family project
ProMedica Health System
Lucas County, Ohio and Monroe County, Michigan

Kenneth Papenhagen, Chaplain Supervisor
Dr. Paula Grieb, Chief Nursing Officer and VP Patient Care Services

COVID-19 and the issues surrounding inequality in our communities has had a significant impact on the staff at ProMedica Health System.  The Code Lavender: Supporting Our Front-Line Family project will address these stresses through three objectives: (1) Create a Code Lavender support program to be used in five local hospitals with staff chaplains, as well as Air/Mobile and Market on the Green locations. (2) Expand our chaplains’ knowledge through training in stress management, compassion fatigue and suicide prevention.  3) Develop a care curriculum for staff in stress management, empathy training and suicide prevention including self-care, team care and spiritual care.

Pine Rest Prevails: Fostering Spiritual Resiliency in Frontline Staff
Pine Rest Mental Health Services
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rev. Dr. Randall Meyers, Staff Chaplain
Bob VandePol, Executive Director, Employee Assistance and Church Assistance Programs

Pine Rest Prevails: Fostering Spiritual Resiliency in Frontline Staff allows the Pine Rest Chaplains to provide education and spiritual reflections on qualities that build resiliency for frontline staff and resources for managers when their employees require additional assistance. Chaplains will expand opportunities for providing spiritual support of staff, targeting programs most impacted by COVID-19. A labyrinth with guided meditations will be made available to all employees for centering, self-care, and prayer. These activities will help staff unveil their strengths and foster their personal resiliency, in turn reducing their stress and increasing job satisfaction and knowledge of resiliency skills.

Spiritual Leadership Theory Pilot
Owensboro Health
Owensboro, Kentucky

Rev. Rebekah Wagner, Director of Pastoral Care
Joni Sims, Chief Nursing Officer and VP, Patient Care Services

To address the needs of nurse managers for spiritual support, this project will provide training in Spiritual Leadership Theory (SLT), daily spiritual practices and bi-monthly spiritual direction meetings over three months with an option to continue. SLT prioritizes the utilization of spiritual practices and concepts to empower and develop leaders.[1] Findings from a pilot project included improvements in the nurse manager’s ability to be reflective rather than reactive, interact with team members holistically and experience a sense of spiritual refreshment and renewal.

We’re Better Together: Supporting Resilience among Frontline COVID-19 Healthcare Staff
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota

Beba Tata, BCC, Staff Chaplain
Kim Brake, Nurse Manager

A multi-modal interdisciplinary team support pilot at Mayo Clinic, We’re Better Together, will include unit-based Schwartz Rounds, reflective prompts for journaling or one-to-one sharing with a colleague, and/or half-day retreat participation based on the Courage and Renewal Circles of Trust facilitation. Nursing administration partnership, as well as IDT membership on the Schwartz Rounds committee will be key contributors in planning, encouraging colleague participation, passing on feedback and helping to evaluate and make future recommendations.