This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

  September 4, 2000

Health Center Program to Focus
on Healing Power of Spirituality

A nationally recognized physician and author will join caregivers from the UConn Health Center to present an evening of thought-provoking presentations on science and spirituality on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Keller Auditorium of the Health Center (use main hospital entrance).

Support for this special program, "Science and Spirituality: The Healing Power," comes from the Ronald and Patricia Verde Chaplaincy Fund.

Dale Matthews, author of The Faith Factor, Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer and a former Health Center faculty member, will deliver the keynote address, "The Faith Factor: Is Religion Good for Your Health?" A question-and-answer session will follow.

In his book, Matthews presents an overview of strong scientific research that supports connections between spirituality, religion, health and healing. He shares stories of patients and families whose burdens have been eased in the face of illness and disease through religious and spiritual strength.

"Scientific studies show that religious involvement helps people prevent illness, recover from illness and, most remarkably, live longer," he writes.

Matthews says he encourages medical students to ask patients about their spiritual beliefs and, if the patient is interested, to discuss the role of spiritual and religious involvement in their overall health.

"Doctors need to be sensitive to patients' beliefs concerning the soul's existence and its importance with regard to matters of health," he writes. "If we are to treat the whole person, we must consider the patient as a spiritual being as well as a biological, psychological and social being," he said.

Matthews currently teaches at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and recipient of the 1997 Exemplary Paper in Humility Theology Award from the John Templeton Foundation.

Other speakers during the Sept. 14 program will include Karen Prestwood of the UConn Center on Aging, who will share her thoughts about "spiritual medicine;" Anthony Voytovich, the Health Center's associate dean for medical affairs, whose presentation will be titled, "Healing from Beyond Prescription Pads and Scalpels;" and the Rev. Richard Bauer, Health Center chaplain, who will present "Embodied Souls, Ensouled Bodies."

The program is free but advance registration is required. For more information, or to register, call (800) 535-6232 or locally, (860) 679-7692.

The program is part of the ongoing Discovery Series, a free lecture series for the community. Now in its sixth season, the series offers in-depth programs about trends in health care, medical breakthroughs, and common health concerns. Upcoming programs will look at topics including cancer of the reproductive organs, osteoporosis in women and men, adult-onset diabetes, and adult attention deficit disorder. For more information about the line-up of programs this fall, visit the Health Center's clinical web site.

Maureen McGuire