Dearborn, MI (PRWEB) August 08, 2014
Shama Mehta didn’t expect her life to change the day she interviewed for a volunteer services position at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn. After being downsized from an administrative position with her previous employer, she knew she wanted to work in an environment where she could help other people. Mehta, a 30-year-old devout Hindu from Livonia, never considered chaplaincy and she certainly wasn’t prepared for how the journey would impact her life.
The journey started when Beverly Beltramo, director of Oakwood’s Spiritual Support program, suggested Mehta visit with a patient.
“Until that day, I had never stepped foot into a patient room. I didn’t know I could do it until I did,” said Mehta. “The first time I did, I knew this was an opportunity for me to use my talents in a new way – an opportunity to help people.”
A naturally enthusiastic, ambitious and positive person, Mehta has since completed her training as a hospital chaplain and is taking the final steps to receive her certification as a Board Certified Chaplain. She is now a permanent member of the Oakwood Spiritual Support staff, making it only one of two programs in in the entire country whose commitment to diversity has resulted in having Clinical Pastoral Education certified chaplains in each of the four major faiths: Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish.
“Chaplaincy is about honoring each person and their uniqueness,” said Beltramo. “Every single person we see, patients and employees alike, is unique.”
“The more I do this work, the more I learn about other traditions. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m just happy to be a small part of it,” Mehta added.
She is helping others learn, too. Mehta is the first student of the first Hindu Divinity for chaplaincy program in the United States. This is a program she is helping create as part of a joint Hindu American chaplaincy initiative wit
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