Center for Open Chaplaincy offers inclusive spiritual care, which activates healing through creative partnership in caring community.
Founder Judy Fleischman is a Board-certified Chaplain (BCC) who came to recognize the healing power of caring community while offering inclusive spiritual support to people recovering from trauma, as well as those coping with grief and loss during difficult transitions with illness and end of life.
As a clinical consultant to HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), Chaplain Judy has expanded the reach of such care, helping to grow HCCN's Chaplains On Hand programs. This service provides tele-health chaplaincy care by phone and online.
Helping people to identify and access spiritual resources as they define them is where healing begins. Facilitating ways to express this, to experience and co-create ritual, to name and claim what truly matters in facing difficulty, in facing loss, and in celebrating what gives life meaning and purpose. All of these opportunities for healing can be transformative. "Open Chaplaincy" refers to including all of who you are and approaches this through bringing together professional chaplaincy care, mindfulness-based practices, and methods of music and expressive arts therapies and activating these through partnership in caring community.
I began this healing work in New York City in the aftermath of 9/11/01. Since then, I have worked in a variety of healthcare settings including: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Hospital for Special Surgery (the #1 rated Orthopedic hospital in the U.S.), and Housing Works, Inc. (the largest minority-run social service and advocacy agency for people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.).
In various settings, I partnered with medical, nursing, and social work colleagues, with music and art therapists, substance use counselors, psychotherapists, and forensic specialists (for people with incarceration history). Reaching out to many volunteers including those from the larger community such as veteran advocates and arts organizations, I began to envision an approach to healing through creativity, connection, and community as partnership in caring community.
Honoring each person's beliefs and practice, support requires partnership with a person's family and community to find meaning and purpose while facing challenges such as chronic and acute illness, loss, and a variety of hardships in life transitions.
I hope that you feel inspired to learn more in seeking support and offering care to those you love.