The alum returned to Drew as she deepens her work with Sickle Cell Disease patients and their families
June 2022 – Pat Weikert T’99,’23 is the Palliative Care Chaplain at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. She is working with children and their families who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
Weikart, an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, earned her Master of Divinity from Drew Theological School in 1999, and has returned to Drew to earn her Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in the Faith, Health, and Social Equity cohort.
Weikart explained why Drew’s DMin program at Drew is a good fit for her and her work with SCD.
How does the program relate to your work at Nemour Children’s Hospital?
Since SCD largely impacts families of color—and families of color in about 75 percent of our cases are part of a faith community—I want to strengthen the connection between the hospital and the church, synagogue and/or mosque so that we might build trust in the healthcare system and expand support for these families. I have recently shifted my focus to hospital-based research and devote my full attention to this project under the auspices of the Sickle Cell Team at Nemours.
Tell us about your DMin project.
My DMin project is an attempt to design and implement a model for congregations to join our local children’s hospital (and perhaps two other children’s hospitals in Philadelphia and New Brunswick, New Jersey) in providing psycho-social-spiritual support for patients and their families who suffer with SCD. This model, which was initiated as the Congregational Health Network in Memphis by the Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson, has not been replicated in a pediatric setting.