May 29, 2019

Faith Journey Leads Employee to Spiritual Care Position

Christina Lobraco’s faith journey began in 2008.

 

After being a stay-at-home mom for 18 years and newly divorced, Lobraco went back to work. She was hired as a registrar in the Emergency Department (ED) at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale. At work, she overheard a co-worker talking about a devotional and asked what it was. Her friend showed her the book.

 

“The devotionals brought an awareness to me of other people living everyday life, like me, and how God responded,” said Lobraco.

 

Lobraco and her co-worker took a few minutes during quiet time in the ED to read the devotional and accompanying Scriptures. Soon, others from the medical center joined them.

 

“I was curious about Him, Jesus, God. God was so amazing and consistent throughout all the stories, all the Scriptures, all the books, over and over again. I just could not ignore my feelings to want to get to know Him,” she said.

 

As her faith continued to grow, Lobraco visited churches in search of the right one for her. In 2013, she had some clarity and decided to get baptized. She was growing spiritually and getting to know God and Jesus.

 

“I had been praying for a friend to come to Jesus and, in my sorrow, pain and suffering knowing that that was not happening, I realized that it was me that God was after all along,” Lobraco said. “In a moment of clarity, I knew I wanted – needed – to be dunked in the water and washed clean of all my past mistakes, shame, guilt, and anger, and be born again as a child of the King.”

 

Years later, Lobraco was recommended by a former supervisor for a new job at AMITA Health. The position was with a newly formed Clinical Mission Integration team, whose goal was to provide spiritual support, ministry of presence and promotion of whole-person care to outpatient associates and physicians. After training at AdventHealth in Florida, Lobraco joined the department as a Clinical Mission Integration specialist. She said she still marvels at the path that led her to her new position.

 

“My prayer to God for many years has been for Him to guide me to a place where I can best serve Him. From my prayer, an entire department is created and positions opened, and, miraculously, the job finds me. Only God could make that happen,” she said.

 

In the hospital, chaplains and spiritual care are available to patients. The goal of this program is

to support the spirituality of associates and providers in the outpatient setting. This aligns with AdventHealth’s mission of whole person care and extending the healing ministry of Christ. The department also instituted a spiritual wholeness screening during which clinicians ask patients questions, such as: “Do you have a source of joy in your life?” Jesus talked about all three indicators – love, joy and peace.

 

“Christina is just lovely, joyful and spiritual – a perfect person to work in this department,” said Heather Hoffman, regional director, Clinical Mission Integration. “Every step led her here. She’s a ‘people person’ on fire for Jesus who encourages individuals through Scripture, prayer and friendship in our Christian organization. We are so blessed to have her work with us.”

 

For Lobraco, the joy comes from being part of a team with an important mission.

 

“Something sacred happens when my prayers or simply my presence offers the slightest speck of hope in another human being,” she said. “Honored doesn’t even seem like a special enough word. It is a blessing to do this work. His work.

 

Photo by Jim Svelha

Caption: “My prayer to God for many years has been for Him to guide me to a place where I can best serve Him. From my prayer, an entire department is created and positions opened, and, miraculously, the job finds me. Only God could make that happen,” said Christina Lobraco, Clinical Mission Integration specialist.