Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital Offers Employees New Forms of Spiritual and Personal Support Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

By: Amy Barnett
| Published 04/10/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital has been providing spiritual hope in a variety of ways to doctors, nurses and essential staff who are working tirelessly during this worldwide crisis.

“We are living in an extraordinary time of opportunity. We are being awakened through fear and unknowns to be invited to see, as never before, what is truly essential in our lives,” said Rev. Randall Trego, director of Spiritual Care at Houston Methodist The Woodlands.

Each morning during the hospital’s leadership huddle, Trego offers similar words of hope and says a prayer for all employees; and each week, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he has launched new programs to help meet employees’ spiritual needs. These programs include a daily prayer emailed to each of the hospital’s more than 1,500 employees; another prayer and reflection posted within the hospital’s daily human resources email; and a live, weekly interactive webinar for all leadership members to connect virtually and hear positive encouragement from each other.

This week, Trego teamed up with the hospital’s HR department to add an additional webinar for all employees and institute a prayer hotline that allows employees to text him directly and ask for prayer anonymously or request a call back from him or one of his volunteer chaplains.

“We are a faith-based hospital that cares about the spiritual health of our employees, and what Rev. Trego brings to our hospital truly sets us apart,” said Debbie Sukin, CEO, Houston Methodist The Woodlands, regional senior vice president, Houston Methodist.

The hospital is also offering additional new services to meet other personal needs of employees.

This week, this gift shop reopened, by appointment only, just for employees. It offered all Easter merchandise at a discounted rate and free basket assembly. The hospital cafeteria, Blue Heron Bistro, now stocks essential grocery items such as eggs, milk and cereal at vendor’s cost, so employees don’t have to go to the grocery store on their way home from work.

As a health care system, Houston Methodist is providing financial assistance to those needing childcare due to school cancellations, among other financial aid.

“Our employees are taking care of our community, and it is our duty and privilege to take care of our employees. You will not find a more dedicated team of health care professionals – all of our doctors, nurses, clinical support staff, food services and environmental services employees are working with unwavering commitment to offer unparalleled safety, quality and service to our patients. I am so proud of this team,” added Sukin.

As employees continue to fight on the frontlines, each is often reminded by their leadership team and spiritual care director that “we will get through this and be stronger in the end.”

“We must be truthful in naming the feelings we have - anxious, scared, isolated, and exhausted; yet, we remain hopeful and steadfast,” added Trego. “As healthcare professionals called to serve, we are deeply aware and satisfied to be co-authors of the new world that will come. Perhaps living in a world that is groaning, we may discover again to trust in God, who holds us together.”

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