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Joins team of New York government and community leaders to meet with high ranking officials

Note to editors: Reverend Stiger will be available for interviews.

August 22, 2007, Brooklyn, New York…Lutheran HealthCare's Reverend Don Stiger, senior vice president for Mission and Spiritual Care, heads to Israel this weekend along with a wide variety of New York leaders. Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the mission will provide an opportunity for the group to explore first-hand the current situation in Israel.

The fact-finding mission includes meetings with top government officials, representatives of various factions, academics, intelligence experts, social service providers and others. Accompanied by representatives from the Jewish community, participants will travel extensively in Israel to see the impact of violence on both Jewish and Arab residents. Attendees will gain a personal understanding of the tragedies of conflict and to explore ways in which Americans can assist those in the region who so greatly need our support. The weeklong trip is from August 25 - August 31. The mission will particularly focus on enhancing cultural/inter religious competency in health care.

"I am honored to serve as an ambassador for Lutheran HealthCare and represent our mission, values, and ongoing commitment to faithfully serving persons of all cultures and faith expressions," said Reverend Don Stiger, senior vice president for Mission and Spiritual Care. "As a leader in cultural competency, traveling to Israel is another example of Lutheran's commitment to developing partnerships to explore in more detail the connection between health and spirituality."

Lutheran HealthCare's cultural competence program was designed with an understanding of how knowledge of cultural differences contributes to better health care. Facilities now include prayer rooms, chapels, mosques, multilingual staff and directional signage. The medical center offers one of the area's first dedicated Chinese health care units and a wide variety of menu options.

In its faith based mission, Lutheran HealthCare serves a one-of-a-kind community of diverse faith groups throughout southwest Brooklyn. The Mission and Spiritual Care Office of Lutheran HealthCare is responsible for the social ministry relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), mission effectiveness, pastoral/spiritual care, and relationships with congregations and faith based organizations.

As Brooklyn's premier heath care network, Lutheran HealthCare (LHC) is a comprehensive medical and social support system committed to providing services for the whole person -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. The LHC system of community health providers includes Lutheran Medical Center, the Lutheran Family Health Centers, Lutheran Augustana Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, Community Care Organization, Inc, Health Plus, senior housing programs and more. Learn about LHC and its 124-year-old commitment to serving Brooklyn neighborhoods by visiting

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