8th Annual Spirituality and Health Summer Institute

The 2016 Spirituality and Health Summer Institute will address spirituality as a solution to the current challenges in our healthcare system. Together we will look for opportunities in the changing healthcare environment, in which spirituality can be integrated as an essential component of care. The agenda will focus on:

  • The State of Science in Spirituality in Health
  • The Role of interdisciplinary teams in the development of a biopsychosocialspiritual treatment/care plan 
  • Communication 
  • Leadership and Networking
  • Education with Reflection and Compassion

Learning is both didactic and experiential, including large- and small-group case-based discussions, treatment/care plan development by interdisciplinary teams with standardized patients, and time for personal reflection. 

Planning Committee:

            Co-chairs: Christina M. Puchalski, MD, FACP, FAAHPM and Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB

Speakers to include:

  • Christina Puchalski , MD, FACP, FAAHP, Co-Director

  • George Handzo, MDiv, BCC, Co-Director 

  • Eduardo Sotomayor, MD, GW Cancer Center

  • Betty FerrellPh.D., M.A.,F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N. City of Hope, California   

  • Sister Carol Keenan, Catholic Health Association (CHA)​

  • Ann Berger, MD, Pain and Palliative Care Service at the NIH Clinical Center 

  • Marie-Jose Gijsberts, VU University Amsterdam, Netherland

  • David Steinhorn, MD, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC

  • Lodovico Balducci, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida

  • Anne Vandenhoeck, PhD, Ku Leuven, Belgium 

  • Pamela Hinds, RN, PhD, FAAN, Children's National Medical Center,Washington,DC

  • Pat  Fosarelli, MD, D.Min, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Piotr Krakowiak, Ph.D. Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń, Poland 

  • and others

Community of Practice:  Physicians, chaplains, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, administrators, educators—everyone working for a better healthcare environment for patients, families, and colleagues.

Call for Poster Presentations

Deadline to Submit: April 15, 2016

The 8th Annual Spirituality and Health Summer Institute is now accepting abstracts for poster presentation.  We invite you to submit a 250-word abstract for a poster that addresses the issues at the intersection of spirituality and healthcare. Although we invite proposals on the full range of topics related to spirituality and healthcare, preference will be given to those that focus on state of science in spirituality in health, the role of interdisciplinary teams in the development of a biopsychosocialspiritual treatment/care plan, models of excellence for integrating spirituality-based care in clinical practice, compassion and spiritual practices, and reflective rounds in professional education. Proposals will be selected based on their application to the above themes, quality, and scholarship. Please click here to submit your abstract. 

Click here for the abstract submission guidelines.

Continuing education:  CMEs for physicians (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education category 1 credit of the Physician Recognition Award™ of the American Medical Association), CEUs for nurses (Virginia Nurses Association-CEA provider number VNA# 09-04-01), and a certificate of attendance for individuals seeking continuing education credit for other professions are included in the registration fee.

Registration fee:  The registration fee for the precourse includes continuing education credit, a continental breakfast, and break. The fee for the institute includes continuing education credit, the 3-full-day program, 3rd Annual GWish Platinum Dinner,  a continental breakfast each morning, and morning and afternoon breaks. We will be offering discounted registration fees for (1) three colleagues or more (2) an early bird discount.

Precourse class: The precourse class describes the interprofessional spiritual care model upon which the institute is based. There will be two presenters Christina Puchalski, MD, FACP, FAAHP and George Handzo, MDiv, BCC who are the Co-Directors of this course.This class is interactive and highly rate each year.  It is recommended that people who have not attended the summer institute before attend the precourse session.

  • Precourse Fee: $75
  • Standard Registration: $900
  • Early Bird Registration*: $825
  • Group Discount**: $780 per person

    *Early registrants may submit the registration form and 10% deposit ($90 for Early Bird discount, $85 per person for Group discount) postmarked or faxed by May 12, 2016 and pay the balance by May 31, 2016 to hold their space.

    **per person, 3 or more colleagues

Housing Information: 

A limited number of affordable housing rooms are available on-campus.  The rate for double bedroom with adjoined bath is $47.00 per night ($188 for 4 nights).  To make the reservation, please click here:

  This is the first come, first serve option. So, please make your reservations as soon as possible. All forms must be submitted by June 25, 2016.  

For more information about the on-campus housing and discounted hotel rates, please click HERE

Scholarships: We are pleased to announce scholarship support is available toward registration fees. Scholarship application deadline April 15, 2016. For more information, Please click here.

This year the George Washington University’s Institute for Spirituality and Health is celebrating its 15th Anniversary as a GW Chartered Institute! We are grateful to all of you for your support and passion about this essential element of healthcare---spiritual care as critical to the practice of compassionate, whole person care.

In conjunction with our 15th Anniversary we are pleased to announce our first annual GWish Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Spiritual Care. We are so honored to present this award to Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN a mentor, colleague and friend to so many of you as well. For those of you attending the Summer Institute, the dinner and celebration is included in the registration.  As Dr. Ferrell will be our opening keynote speaker leading a list of outstanding leaders in the area we hope you will register for the Summer Institute and join us in this unique conference which is informative and interactive. For more information, please click here


Monday, July 11, 2016 - 8:00am to Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 12:00pm

City View Room

Elliott School of International Affairs

George Washington University

1957 E St NW, Washington, DC 20052


For all questions, or registrations, please contact us:

George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health

2600 Virginia Ave NW, Third Floor

Washington, D.C. 20037

202-994-6220 (Phone)

202-994-6413 (Fax)