Title: GWish Founder and Director
Phone: (202) 994-6220
Christina Puchalski, MD, MS, FACP, FAAHPM, is a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare. As founder and director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, she continues to break new ground in the understanding and integration of spiritual care in palliative care and care in a broad spectrum of health systems. She recently co-founded the Global Network for Spirituality & Health and serves on The Ad Hoc Committee for the WHO Palliative Care resolution.
Dr. Puchalski is a Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Care, is a co-director of the MFA-GWU Outpatient Supportive and Palliative Clinic and Hospice Medical Director for Professional Health Hospice in Washington, DC. She has received numerous awards including the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Humanities Award in recognition of her scholarship and leadership.
Dr. Puchalski is widely published in journals with work ranging from biochemistry research to issues in ethics, culture, and spirituality and healthcare. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters and published a book with Oxford University Press entitled A Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and Dying. She is also the co-editor of an international textbook on spirituality and health published by Oxford University Press. Her research interests include assessment of spiritual distress, communication about spiritual issues with patients, spiritual care models and guidelines for implementation in clinical and educational health settings.
Dr. Puchalski is first and foremost a clinician. The cornerstone of her practice in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care is integrating patients’ spiritual beliefs into their care, addressing sensitive medical issues facing seriously ill patients, and supporting healthcare professionals in their provision of compassionate care. Puchalski's work in the field of spirituality and medicine encompasses the clinical, the academic, and the pastoral application of her research and insights.