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Lutheran HealthCare hosted its third annual Health and Spirituality lecture

Note to editors: digital photos are available.

October 17, 2007, Brooklyn, New York…Lutheran HealthCare hosted its third annual Health and Spirituality Lecture this month. Shahid Athar, M.D., of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, presented this year's topic, "Health and Spirituality in Islamic Tradition and Practice." The annual event hosted by Lutheran HealthCare, a nationally recognized leader in religiously informed cultural competence, explores the relationships between spirituality, health and healing.

Dr. Athar is a past president of the Islamic Medical Association of North America and is the former chair of Medical Ethics. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Islamic Society of Greater Indianapolis and the Interfaith Alliance of Indiana and serves on the clinical faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 120 journal articles and seven books including Islamic Perspectives in Medicine and Healing the Wounds of September 11, 2001: Reflections of an American Muslim.

"Lutheran is a leader in its ability to recognize and integrate the religious needs of the community," said Reverend Don Stiger, senior vice president for Mission and Spiritual Care. "This means partnering with congregations to respond to the entire continuum of community needs, including preventative care, promotion of whole-person health, and response when illness occurs."

Recognizing that Brooklyn is one of the most culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the world, Lutheran HealthCare has integrated cultural competency with superior health care. Its cultural competence program was designed with an understanding of how knowledge of cultural differences contributes to better health care. Services available to Arab patients and their families include: a mosque for daily prayer, halal meals available upon request, Arabic-speaking bilingual and bicultural staff, modesty gowns, translation services available free of charge, Arabic-speaking patient representative, signage and written documents in Arabic and a variety of religious services.

Facilities also have directional signage written in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. Chinese nursing units, offering appropriate d├ęcor, cuisine and language accommodations, are available at the medical center as well as multilingual patient representatives. Appropriate menu options are also offered to Latino, Asian and Jewish patients.

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 LHC 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.


Visit LHC's new online newsroom at /News for the latest events and happenings.

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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