Title: GWish Founder and Director
Phone: (202) 994-6220
Christina Puchalski, MD, MS, is a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in both the clinical setting and in medical education. 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 a broad spectrum of healthcare environments. The spiritual assessment tool called FICA, which she developed, is used widely in clinical settings around the world. Medical education has been impacted in this country by a GWish-run awards program their curriculum.
Puchalski is a professor of Medicine and Health Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine. She is an active board-certified clinician in Internal Medicine and Palliative Care. She has received numerous awards including the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of her scholarship and leadership. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
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 book chapters and published a book with Oxford University Press entitled Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and Dying. She published Making Health Care Whole through Templeton Press. Most recently, she is co-editor of an international textbook on spirituality and health published by Oxford University Press..
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.