The lasting message I derive from my internship on the Team is simply that what ought to be done can be done. In the delivery of health care every patient should be treated with respect, as a complete person--not simply a disconnected anatomical part. If the patient is to be respected as a person, then the definition of health care needs should start with patients, rather than with administrators and the allocation of high technology equipment, which may, in fact, have little positive impact on the general health and well-being of our nation. The Kennedy Aging Project presented a model for dealing with people in need of assistance, and I believe that this model can and should be utilized in addressing health care needs throughout the United States.
SPIRITUALITY IN THE SECULAR SERVICE ENVIRONMENT
As a seminary student who aspires to ordained ministry, I found the opportunity to participate in a predominantly secular endeavor such as the Kennedy Aging Project, as a year-long field education placement, both exciting and unnerving. Exciting, on the one hand, in that the Interdisciplinary Team offered a new and potentially transforming avenue for exploring issues of spirituality and ministry with a wide range of other professionals, students, clients, and caregivers. Unnerving, precisely because such opportunity is rare in the ministerial vocation and because expectation always conspires to outstrip reality in such situations. How would I, and the professional bias I represented, contribute to the successful workings of the Team? How would spirituality be raised and considered as one of the areas that we were to explore in our joint undertaking?