Spiritual Care Association (SCA) President and CEO Rev. Eric J. Hall visited Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, to advocate increased awareness of the importance of spiritual care and to promote legislative and regulatory initiatives to expand access to quality spiritual care.
Rev. Hall met with senior officials at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explore opportunities for collaboration and potential engagement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Innovation Center. He also enlisted the support of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, co-chaired by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC-6), to urge CMS to specifically recognize the role of chaplains and spiritual care for Medicare beneficiaries.
Rev. Hall also met with Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA-10), a former minister and Member of the House Committee on Armed Services, and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI-7), a former minister and Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. He emphasized the need for federal policies to include chaplains and spiritual care professionals as members of the integrated care teams serving patients, while noting that the American Medical Association recently adopted a resolution underscoring the importance of spiritual care.