Transforming lives through whole person care and spiritual health
Dr. Wil Alexander founded the Center in 1996 with the aim of developing the art and science of whole person care, a concept he introduced to the Loma Linda University campus in 1973. Dr. Carla Gober-Park was also instrumental in the development of the Center, functioning as associate director in 1996, and since 2005, serving as director of the Center. In 2011, the Center hired Kris Lozano as Center manager. In 2014, Chintan Somaiya joined the Center as project coordinator. The Center exists in connection with Loma Linda University Health and Loma Linda University School of Religion.
The Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness collaborates with a community of scholars to encourage research, writing, practice and public discussion in the areas of whole person care and spiritual health. The Center serves as a local and global center of study that cultivates careful reflection and rigorous scholarship on the various dimensions of life as they are integrated by a spiritual core – in the individual and community.
This university-wide research project began in 1999 for the purpose of doing research on the concept, practices, and environment of wholeness at Loma Linda University. Various entities on campus use the resulting data to establish criteria for assessment as well as to establish feedback for better practice.
Since the development of the CLEAR Whole Person Care Model, we have initiated two research studies, one of which is a validation study of the model itself, and the second of which is a longitudinal narrative research study to explore the association of personal wholeness, narrative and the provision of whole person care.
The SOUL Spiritual History tool was developed for use in clinical care and patient assessment and is included in the electronic medical record of patient charting. The research related to it explores the role of spiritual values in illness and health.
The Center seeks to develop cutting-edge opportunities for exploring whole person care and spiritual health, both academically and personally, in the lives of those involved in providing health care. Through the use of various media such as internet television, web-based educational opportunities, and the genre of narrative found in many disciplines, the Center pursues various avenues to communicate the study and experience of whole person care and spiritual health to a variety of interest groups.
The Center helps develop definition and standards that will inform education, research and practice around whole person care and spiritual integration. The CLEAR Whole Person Care Model and SOUL Spiritual History Tool are two examples.
The Center has also developed a university-wide definition for wholeness.
This documentary film explores the history of whole person care, beginning with the life and work of Dr. Wil Alexander (the founding director of the Center) and culminating with the ongoing work of the Center. The film also features contributions of scholars, clinicians, students, and administrators at LLUH who have contributed to whole person care.
The Center hosts an annual conference that teaches the fundamentals of whole person care throughout the disciplines and encourages participants to practice whole person care in the clinical setting.