White River Health System (WRHS) has announced Chad Graves, a local pastor with over 25 years of pastoral care experience, has been employed since January to enhance WRMC’s pastoral care program.
As pastoral care, Graves provides care to patients, families, and staff. He also helps with trauma care and the coordination of volunteer chaplains at WRMC, and Graves provides a presence for WRMC within the community.
Two of his 25 years of pastoral care has been at WRMC. Graves also pastors at a local church and works with Lyon College as a pottery instructor.
Graves completed his undergrad at ASU Jonesboro in pastoral care counseling. He continued his education with a master’s of divinity from Texas Baptist Institute & Seminary. From there, he completed a doctorate in theology from Liberty University.
“I enjoy getting to meet and learn more about patients,” said Graves. “I love people and consider it a great privilege to be able to care for the patients at WRMC.”
The late Jim Black started the WRMC pastoral care program in 1995 as the first chaplain. During his time at WRMC, he began the Teddy Bear Ministry as well as the hosting of chaplains dinners. Black also built the partnership with Batesville Area Ministerial Alliance.
Doc Spurlin joined WRMC in December 2008 and continued with the program with eight volunteer chaplains who alternated on-call for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Graves, along with volunteer chaplains, has plans to enhance WRMC’s pastoral care program and will begin a Bible study series for employees on March 6 from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Josephine Raye Rogers Conference Center at WRMC. Employees will have an opportunity to bring their lunch and participate in the studies. Graves will also have prayer with administrative staff on Mondays.
“We are eager to see pastoral care services advance within our system,” said Gary Paxson, WRHS CEO and president. “I believe this is a necessary service to provide for our patients and our employees.”
Today, there are 10 volunteer chaplains who alternate call at WRMC.
Pastoral care is an instrumental tool in the success of our mission to provide quality healthcare and improve the health of our communities, WRMC noted in a release.
WRMC also hosts the bi-annual chaplains banquet for all local clergy. The next banquet is scheduled on Monday, April 22 at 6 p.m. in the Josephine Raye Rogers Conference Center.