The Rev. Debra Slade, BCC, has been appointed director of spiritual care at Norwalk Hospital. In this role, she will be leading and directing the Hospital's spiritual care program, supervising chaplain interns in clinical pastoral education as well as providing spiritual care and guidance to the hospital's patients, their families and staff members.

She is a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and a supervisory candidate with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.

One of her goals is "that every patient who comes into the hospital knows that the department of spiritual care is here and available to everyone regardless of faith group," she said. "We want to become more visible in order to serve more patients. Our current chaplains do a wonderful job of ministering to our patients and staff, and I have been very impressed with the hospital's commitment to spiritual care."

Currently, the hospital offers services including a Roman Catholic service on Saturday evening, Christian prayer service on Tuesday morning and music and meditation service on the second Thursday of every month. Slade is hoping that under her leadership, the department will be able to add more services, including more televised services for patients, particularly around major religious holidays.

Prior to joining Norwalk Hospital, Slade worked at Morningside House in the Bronx as the director of pastoral care, at Westchester Medical Center as chaplain and as an ACPE supervisory candidate, and at Blythedale Children's Hospital as pediatric chaplain. She was ordained to the priesthood in January 2010 and serves as assistant priest at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Stamford.

Throughout her career, she has specialized in clinical spiritual care services for pediatrics and geriatrics. Her spiritual program with dementia patients at Morningside House was recently recognized by the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging with the 2011 Innovation of the Year Award.

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Slade received an master's degree in English Literature from the University of Manitoba, and a law degree from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to her vocation in ministry, she had a 15-year career as a not-for-profit director and advocate for medical research. Slade attended Yale Divinity School where she earned a master's degree of divinity.

She resides in Ridgefield with her husband and two daughters.