“Adapting the Connector Model to address Social Isolation and Loneliness—In a Pandemic”
FaithHealth Grand Rounds
FaithHealth welcomed back our wonderful colleague and friend, Rev. Dr. Jay Foster. Jay who shared about his work at Indiana University Health (IUH) in Indianapolis.
“Indiana University Health is committed to developing effective partnerships with congregations to address “social determinants of health.” Jay and his team chose to focus a pilot project on social isolation and loneliness because 1) we in spiritual care have some experience to offer in accompanying persons at difficult times in life, 2) congregations of all faiths are well versed in “visiting the sick and the shut in,” and 3) social isolation, as well as the experience of loneliness, have significant detrimental effects upon health.
The IUH team are using the FaithHealth Connector model to partner with congregations to have volunteers offer an hour a week to persons after discharge from a hospital stay. This project was just ramping up in early winter when the pandemic hit. Jay and his colleagues have now re-tooled and are beginning to see folks after discharge, using telephone or face time or zoom. The interesting news—now, everyone knows about ill effects of social isolation, and, congregations are much more adept at using technology.”