A Day at Stanford Hospital (Palo Alto, CA) with the Spiritual Care Team
- July 01, 2023
- Steve Macias
In the heart of Silicon Valley, amid the bustling city of Stanford, a remarkable journey of service and compassion unfolds every day. Kafunyi Mwamba, a recent visitor to Saint Paul’s Los Altos, wears multiple hats in the community. He also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator and Palliative Medicine Chaplain at Stanford Hospital. During a visit back in 2020, I was able to witness Kafunyi’s profound commitment to caring for the sick, the suffering, and the dying, and how his role in the spiritual care team has become a testament to the power of compassion and selfless service.
A Day at Stanford Hospital
Serving as the Volunteer Coordinator, he collaborates with a team of compassionate individuals who selflessly give their time and energy to support patients and their families during difficult times. Families from around the world come to Stanford to seek treatments for severe injuries, rare diseases, and other acute illnesses that the specialists and resources here can provide. The volunteers help support the patients and their families during their time in the Silicon Valley.
Kafunyi’s Journey as a Palliative Medicine Chaplain
Beyond his role as the Volunteer Coordinator, Kafunyi finds himself in the profound and tender realm of palliative medicine. As a Palliative Medicine Chaplain, he walks hand-in-hand with patients facing the challenges of life-limiting illnesses. His presence brings solace and strength to those in need, guiding them through their spiritual and emotional journeys.
As the local Anglican minister, I’ve been called to Stanford to pray with people before surgeries or during difficult times. It is important, but difficult role.
For people like Kafunyi, the opportunity to serve and care for the sick, the suffering, and the dying is a gift. The staff and volunteers there embody the essence of compassion, offering a compassionate ear and a comforting embrace to those who need it most. Sometime another person to simply hold your hand and prayer is the spiritual support most needed in their most vulnerable moments.
Previously, I helped to host a workshop entitled, “What Matters Most: Palliative
Care Myths, Misconceptions, and Setting the Record Straight” with Dr. Grant Smith, MD (Palliative Care Physician, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford)