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Experiencing our values, both as an employee and a patient

Debra Ventura

Catholic Health is known for exceptional patient care; clinical care that encompasses pastoral care. As a faith-based health care system, our patients’ spiritual needs are a priority across our facilities and practices.

“Our hospitals have clergy, and lay chaplains to minister to people of all faith traditions,” said Debra Ventura, Catholic Health’s Pastoral Care Manager. “Pastoral care is often a big part of the recovery process and our chaplains are there for our patients. Yet, it’s not about proselytizing. It’s about supporting people on a spiritual level and letting them know they matter.”

The chaplains themselves require support. That’s where Debra comes in. She manages the priest chaplains schedules, ensuring each facility is adequately covered on the pastoral care front. Supporting the priest chaplains who minister to those in need is nothing new to her as she worked with priests and pastors for the Diocese of Rockville Centre prior to Catholic Health.

“Health care has been a learning experience—a very rewarding one,” said Debra. “We have a wonderful international mix of priest chaplains—many come from faraway places like India, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. They often need help with their visas, so I manage that part of the equation as well.”

Beyond her job responsibilities, Debra can personally vouch for the superb level of clinical care Catholic Health provides its patients. She required a procedure at Mercy Hospital in March 2021 “Honestly, I could not have been more impressed with the level of care and commitment,” recalled Debra. “Everyone I came in contact with—the nurses, the doctors, the chaplains, the office staff—all gave their fullest. It’s easy to see their dedication.”

Asked to describe the Catholic Health difference, Debra said, “I think for us, care giving is much more than a job responsibility; it’s a mission, really a ministry. Catholic Health brings healing to people of all faith traditions by connecting on that human level. And, our ‘I-CARE values’ perfectly express our way to engaging with patients and with each other.”

I-CARE stands for Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence

“Catholic Health’s staff truly live those values,” said Debra. “I see it as an employee, and I’ve experienced it as a patient.”

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Read more Living and Working the Mission stories.


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