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On Wednesday, June 16, 2023,Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority’s spiritual health coordinator, Ferdinand Funk presented 10 people with their Spirit of Caring volunteer education resource certification of completion.  As graduates, the students are eligible to volunteer with the region’s spiritual health program, providing spiritual health services to patients and residents of personal care homes under Funk’s supervision.  

At the graduation ceremony held in the Spiritual Health Centre of Selkirk Regional Health Centre, Funk said the graduates geographically represented eight communities in the region.

“Graduating here today we have people from across the region,” says Funk. “These people are the lifeblood of the spiritual care program in the region.”

Under the guidance of the spiritual health coordinator, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s spiritual health care services are provided by spiritual health volunteers who are trained to provide compassionate, non-denominational care and support upon the request of patients and their families. Spiritual health care practitioners provide support and services that can include:

  • Spiritually attentive listening with an open mind
  • Paying attention and responding to experiences of suffering
  • Companionship through life’s changes and decisions
  • Faciliating connections to clients’ religious, spiritual or cultural communities
  • Arranging ceremonies, sacraments, rites of people’s choosing
  • Increasing self-awareness and building inner strengths
  • Kindness, compassion and respect from another human being
  • Holistic care based on hope, spiritual diversity, inclusivity
  • Honoring the mystery of everyday life

Graduate, Wilbert Reimer from Arborg shares that he heard about the Spirit of Caring Course through his local church.

“I thought I could be a listening ear for patients and applied. Throughout the course, I learned a lot about suffering and spirituality. All of the sharing was so helpful – there was a lot of wisdom too,” says the father of five originally from Belize, “I have a deeper understanding and aim to make a difference in more lives.”

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority recognizes that spiritual health is an important part of holistic health care that must be considered when exploring patient illness. Taking the time to nurture relationships and recognizing the importance of spirituality in health care is an essential part of providing care to patients as a whole.

For more information on spiritual health care services in our region, visit and click on About Us and Volunteer Opportunities.

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