Mount Carmel Health, Columbus, OH
Last summer Geila left Seattle, where she’d been working as a staff chaplain at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and moved to Columbus, Ohio. Now she helps educate chaplains on how to provide superior care to patients, families, and staff.
She loves working with people and helping them connect with whatever healing resources are supportive and meaningful to them—faith, community, being outside, etc. Her role isn’t to “fix” situations but to provide clinical interventions that assist patients in their recovery and help them make decisions that best support their values as they near the end of their life.
Geila describes herself as a chaplaincy nerd—reading new research, adapting new clinical practices and standards, and exploring what is cutting edge in terms of chaplaincy care. She is curious about the ways that chaplains can speak into difficult systems (such as healthcare) and provide support in innovative ways. The church needs more chaplain researchers, she says. “We desperately need professional chaplains who can not only read and interpret research but who can also participate, lead, and devise research studies for publication.”
She says growing up in a multi-religious family (her father is Muslim and her mother is Christian) prepared her for her vocation as chaplain where her love for inter-religious dialogue and pastoral care intersect. “This type of ministry context reminds me of the values shared between all religions and honors where we differ. In truth, I have found we have had more in common than we have differences.”
Books on your nightstand/e-reader: Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor; Immunity to Change, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey; Living with a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich
Favorite way to waste time: Netflix
Favorite TV show: Doctor Who
Choose a superpower—fly or be invisible: Fly. I like traveling, and that would definitely be cheaper than a plane ticket!