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The Catalyst

Cardiothoracic surgeon presented with Caring Spirit award

Staff Report

The MUSC Pastoral Care Service staff presented its seventh annual Caring Spirit Award to Mario Castillo–Sang, M.D., assistant professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

This award is presented each year in conjuction with Pastoral Care Week, Oct. 21 to Oct. 25,  with the purpose of honoring a faculty or staff member for his or her commitment and support.
In today’s busy world of medicine, nursing, and patient care is often a work that is placed in the back drop of the spiritual needs of patients and families.

The annual Caring Spirit Award recognizes spiritual care of patients and families; support of the MUSC Pastoral and Spiritual Care mission; an effort to foster community among clergy and hospital staff; and support of this year’s Pastoral Care Week theme, “Prophetic Voice.”

Castillo–Sang came to MUSC from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in 2012. He was nominated by Rev. Gerig Huggins, Pastoral Care Services chaplain. Huggins had worked previously with Castillo–Sang while he helped comfort the families of two patients who died suddenly and unexpectedly. According to Huggins, Castillo–Sang, in both instances, showed great patience, empathy and compassion to each family for their loss.

“There was never a sense that he was simply fulfilling a duty to notify the family of what had happened; rather, he was there because he truly cared for the loss they had suffered. He clearly practices the ministry of presence as he patiently waits with the grieving; nothing seems to be more important to him at that moment,” wrote Huggins.

The chaplain staff affirms all nominees for their unending pursuit to assure that the spiritual and pastoral care needs of patients and families are given the highest priority.

Pastoral Care Services manager Rev. Terry L. Wilson also supported the selection of Castillo–Sang for this honor.

“Dr. Castillo–Sang is a wonderful representative of what the Caring Spirit Award means and stands for at MUSC. It is our hope that the nominations and presentation process reminds all of us of the healing power of a caring spirit,” Wilson said.

Previous Caring Spirit award winners include Steve Saef, M.D., Adult Emergency Medicine; Michelle Sharp, R.N. Pediatrics; Luc Gagne, R.N., MSICU; Kissia Randolph, R.N., ART; and Tyrone Vanish, STICU.

The 2013 Caring Spirit award nominees were Carolyn C. Cavanaugh, R.N., Storm Eye Institute; Bruce Crookes, M.D., Ed.D., Department of Surgery; Caroline DeLongchamps, Children’s Hospital Guest Services; and Sheryl Weathers, a respiratory therapist in STICU.

December 12, 2013

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