The Edmond Sun


October 9, 2012

Mercy chaplains connect electronically

EDMOND — The grief of losing a loved one, anxiety after a frightening medical diagnosis, worry over caring for an aging parent — these aren’t necessarily medical problems but they are certainly related spiritual issues. Now Mercy patients and co-workers have an additional place to turn. It’s called e-chaplaincy, and it allows people to reach out to chaplains for prayer and support via email.

“Sometimes we find ourselves in challenging situations,” said the Rev. Beverly Powell, Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City chaplain. “I would like for people to know they don’t need to face the circumstances alone. This new outreach helps me extend my ministry to more people who need a listening ear.”

Two of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City’s chaplains are responding to the online messages. Powell, a seven-year Mercy chaplain, is one of them.

“I’m so proud of how culturally relevant Mercy is,” Powell said. “I love that co-workers, patients and family members can reach me online. It allows me to interact with more people than I could before. And that’s what it’s all about — meeting an unmet need. That’s why I joined the ministry in the first place.”

Getting in touch with a chaplain is as easy as logging on to, going to the message center and clicking on “contact a chaplain.” People will then be able to correspond with chaplains via email or request a phone call or face-to-face meeting. Strict confidentiality is maintained at all times but as email is not always a secure method of communication, personal details should be kept to a minimum.

“Sometimes we face issues that are very private,” Powell said. “I’m hearing people say that it’s easier to make that first contact for help online rather than in person or reaching out to family or colleagues.”

Some of the issues chaplains address from a spiritual and emotional perspective include: Grief/loss, relationship issues, loneliness, stress, managing change, life balance, spirituality and growth, health issues and coping and finding a support group.

E-chaplaincy is not a professional counseling service. Instead, one of Mercy’s trained chaplains can offer practical advice at times of change and challenge, a listening ear, prayer and support and additional resources. There are 12 trained e-chaplains across Mercy with plans to expand the service as needed. E-chaplaincy is now available to patients, co-workers and caregivers in all Mercy communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

Text Only
  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

  • oil infographic[1].png Easy on the coconut oil

    These days, it seems like coconut oil is soaking up credit for its positive affect on a wide range of health conditions. But, still developing science around the popular oil tells a little different story.
    “We know all saturated fats are not created equally, but there’s no evidence that coconut oil is better or healthier than other vegetable oils,” said Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Easter 4e.JPG Moms Club finds Easter fun at Fountains at Canterbury

    The Fountains at Canterbury hosted members of the Moms Club of Edmond-West Tuesday morning for a Easter egg hunt and party complete with a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Residents at the Fountains at Canterbury hid several dozen eggs filled with prizes and candy for the children. The Moms Club of Edmond-West is a nonprofit, local chapter of stay-at-home moms who aim to support each other during the day.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos