About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (bryanstoudt.com), I help Christians follow Jesus in a noisy, broken world. I also have the privilege of helping Philadelphia's healthcare students and professionals do this as Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). More information at cmdaphiladelphia.org. On a personal note, I'm fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Sharon. Together, we have four fantastic children. In my spare time, I enjoy roasting coffee, running, reading and learning foreign languages.

You’re Invited!

As our 2017 CMDA Philadelphia Banquet with speaker Paul Tripp gets closer, we just want to make sure you know you’re invited.

It is a fundraiser for our ministry, but registration is free and we’ve designed the evening to be both refreshing and encouraging for you.  You can learn more through the invitation below, and register online right here.  Feel free to share and invite others!

Details for our 2017 CMDA Philadelphia Banquet

Details for our 2017 CMDA Philadelphia Banquet

Save The Date: 2017 CMDA Banquet With Speaker Paul Tripp

We’ve announced it in other places, but we’re incredibly excited to share with you the details for our upcoming 2017 CMDA Spring Banquet.

In addition to showcasing God’s work through our ministry, we’re pleased to have Dr Paul Tripp as our speaker this year.  Part of our vision is to refresh you spiritually during the evening, and we can’t think of a better speaker to do that than Dr Tripp.

You can find more details on the Save The Date card just below.  Hope you can make it!

2017-banquet-save-the-date

What Are You Doing This Summer??

Many of you have heard about our upcoming missions trip to somewhere in Central America… sometime this coming summer.

Well, our plans are finalized now, so we’re excited to share them with you!

gho-detail-image

Here’s the quick version:

  • What / Where – Medical Missions / Global Health Outreach (GHO, CMDA’s short-term missions arm) trip to San Salvador, El Salvador.  This is an established trip, and we have the privilege of joining a work that’s already been effective in helping our church partners plant 12 new churches in about 5 years!
  • WhenJune 17-25, 2017
  • Whohealthcare students (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and optometry) residents, fellows & professionals (primary care physicians: Family Practice, Pediatric, OB/GYN, Internal Medicine) dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, and physical therapists)
  • Why – To serve ‘the least of these’; to help our church partners gain access to new communities, where they hope to plant new churches; to experience God’s transforming power; to bring all that God does back to Philly, further strengthening our community so that it can continue to bless others.
You can learn more, and apply, right here if you’d like.  Of course I’m available to answer any questions you might have.
 
I will speak to one possible obstacle – the cost – up front.  While the $2,410 cost for the week may seem high, the trips are top-notch and done very well.  It includes airfare, administrative support, the cost of medicines we’ll bring and many other items.  I’m happy to coach you through raising the support, and people are typically very eager to contribute towards clear needs like this one.  Don’t let raising support scare you away, OK?  

Have You Registered For Our Fall Retreat?

It’s getting to be that time where you’re past the initial buzz and energy of the new academic year.  Where you’re wondering why you signed up for this.

You know that you’re in it to serve Jesus and your patients, but do you really know?  The daily grind of exams and life in the hospital can make it hard to remember.

Group shot - cropped

That’s why it’s time for our CMDA Fall Student & Resident Retreat (Fri, Sept 30th 6:30p -Sat, Oct 1st 7:30p).  In just 25 hours, you’ll have the time to reconnect with God and other healthcare students and residents who get what you’re going through.

All in beautiful Lancaster County, just a little over an hour outside of the city.

We’ll also have great teaching, an ‘ask anything’ session with local professionals, and – yes – time for rest and studying.  (If you stay home, you’ll probably end up binge-watching Netflix anyway.)

So, what are you waiting for?  Online registration is open through Monday, September 26th.

Hope to see you there!

New Professionals Group

Being a healthcare professional is anything but easy.

Many of the challenges you face are unique to your calling, or, at least significantly shaped by what you do.  Although you may have support through your church and believing colleagues, it’s vital to connect with others who understand the joys, and difficulties, you face.

That’s why we’ve started our first-ever group for healthcare professionals in the Philadelphia area.  We want this to be a safe place where you can share and make meaningful, life-giving connections.

Our next meeting will be Saturday, August 20th.  The exact time is yet to be determined, but (we promise) there will be food.

If you’d like to be added to our professionals email list and stay in the loop, just let us know through our contact page.

How Can We Serve You?

As the new academic year begins, we want to take this opportunity to welcome you to our city and healthcare community.  We’re so thankful that God has brought you here!

It truly is our privilege to help you grow in your connection to God, other Christians in healthcare, and your calling to serve those around you.

The brochure below will give you a quick overview of ways we can serve you, and, ways you might get involved.  (To expand the brochure, simply click the arrow at the lower, right-hand corner.)

One notable omission is our brand-new professionals group, which is designed to help professionals connect and support each other.  Residents welcome!

Feel free to reach out to us with your comments, questions and ideas through our contact form.  Hope to meet you soon!

Welcome to Philly

If you’re just arriving to Philadelphia, we want to give you a warm welcome!  (Even though we’re known as the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, that may not be your first impression.)

LOVE Park, Philadelphia

Whether you’re a new student, resident, fellow or practicing professional, we’re so glad that God has led you here.  Our passion is to come alongside you and help you serve Christ, and the people around you, as much as we possibly can.

You’re coming to Philly at a great time.  God is really at work in our healthcare community!

  • In April, we held our first banquet and 190 people came out to learn more about, and support, God’s work in and through our healthcare community.  There’s a lot of momentum as we look forward toward the fall!
  • Just this past month, we launched our first group for professionals at the home of two local professionals.  The group is open to all allied health, dental and medical professionals and residents, and plans to meet regularly, focusing on transforming, personal relationships.
  • In the fall (August-September), we’ll kick off our fall bible study brunches for students and residents around the theme of Growing Closer To God Even When Life Is Crazy.  The brunches take place every 3 weeks in the home of our area director and feature a great home-cooked meal, home-roasted coffee and opportunities to connect with the Lord and healthcare folks from all around the city.
  • On September 30-October 1, we’ll hold our annual student and resident fall retreat.  Just over 24 hours, the retreat is a fantastic time to get away from the grind and remember why you chose healthcare in the first place.
  • As we head into the New Year, we hold our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend (Fri. 13th-Sun. 15th). Students, residents and professionals from DC to NYC gather together for great food, fellowship, teaching, worship, and yes – relaxation.
  • June or July 2017 – we anticipate holding our first-ever international missions trip in Central America through Global Health Outreach, CMDA’s short-term missions arm. Stay tuned and let us know if you have interest!

As you can see, God is doing great things in and through us.  We feel so thankful that God has called you to Philadelphia for this next stage of your journey.

Please let us know how we can serve you, and, help you as you settle in!

Fall Student & Resident Retreat

Fall 2015 Philadelphia Student & Resident Retreat

Friday, September 11 (6p) – Saturday, September 12th (8p)

Location: The Welcoming Place | 1:15 west of the city in beautiful Lancaster County, PA

Ever feel like – slowly, but surely – your life has become all about school or your work?  That you want to connect more with God and others but don’t know because your life is so busy?

If that’s you, you’re not alone.  And although there are no easy answers, God’s Word and Christian community offer real hope even when training threatens to make our lives one-dimensional.

Join us for our annual fall retreat where we’ll consider, in community, Bigger Than You: Following Jesus in Your Training to A Life of Meaning, Healing & Growth.

Mealtime 2012

This will be a great chance to:

  • find rest and refreshment
  • develop relationships with your peers from around the city who understand exactly what you’re going through
  • connect with mentors who have gone before you
  • add some balance to your life and start your year off on the right foot

All allied health, dental and medical students and residents welcome!

More details and online registration may be found here.

Our Ministry To Couples

Chen-Mosebrook Wedding Liz & Bridesmaids

Liz & Dave’s wedding. Sharon was a bridesmaid.

My beloved spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.”

–Song of Solomon 2:10

 

 

Tim & Tiffany - together at the rehearsal

Tim & Tiffany – together at the rehearsal

Dear Friends,

We have been blessed to be part of five weddings over the past twelve months!  There are too many joys to list, but here are some highlights:

  • having the couples over to our home for premarital counseling sessions after our kids are in bed, sharing & praying together, often late into the night
  • discussing: what is God’s purpose for marriage, anyway?

    Dan & Rachel with our five-year-old Braedon, who served as the dashing ring bearer.

    Dan & Rachel with our five-year-old Braedon, who served as the dashing ring bearer.

  • getting one-on-one time with both the bride & groom, to get to know them more deeply and care for them individually
  • premarital counseling is a great way to remember how much God has matured our own marriage, and weddings are a great time reminder of God’s covenant love!
  • watching the love grow between our children and these couples.  Braedon was twice a ring bearer, and Carissa was asked to greet guests at one of the weddings.
  • and finally, watching Bryan pronounce them “husband & wife!”
Bryan with Mike & Youna, just after pronouncing them husband & wife

Bryan with Mike & Youna, just after pronouncing them husband & wife

The verse above is the one Bryan had engraved on the inside of my wedding band nearly 17 years ago (by grace!)  As we recount God’s many blessings to us, I are reminded His gifts are rarely for us alone, but intended to also be a blessing to others.

Hopefully the photos capture just a hint of the great joy we’ve had in being involved in ministering as a family to these younger couples.  I love hosting brunch Bible studies in our home, meeting up with the individual women on campus by text, email or in person, as I’m able — as well as mentoring couples.

 

Sharon and Patricia

Sharon and Patricia

Steve and Bryan

Steve and Bryan

I feel like the blessings are all mine – but I know that’s not true! I trust God is also blessing YOU richly for your partnership in these things.  None of it would be possible without your support.  We remain deeply grateful.

    Yours in Christ,

    Sharon

Please join us in the following praises and prayers:

  • Praise God for the privilege of being involved in the lives of young couples. Pray that God sends more our way!
  • Praise God for the Grace Prescriptions course we’re using in our bible study brunches.  Students are learning to share their faith with peers and patients in their everyday, secular contexts.  One student decided to pray with patients just two days after our first session!
  • Praise God for a great Graduating Student Roundtable, where our students interacted with practicing professionals about issues they’ll soon face upon graduation.
  • Praise God for a medical student who came to Christ at an Easter service!  God used the witness of the Christian community, and getting hit by a bus (he’s alright now), to lead him to faith.
  • Pray for our campuses as leadership transitions are taking place.  Pray for us as we assist them through the transition.
  • Pray for us as we spend more time developing our ministry team.  There are so many opportunities that we need more laborers to take advantage of all that God is doing!
  • Pray for the many personal interactions with students God is giving us in person, over the phone, email and, increasingly, via texting.

 

How & Why To Take A Spiritual History

If you’re a Christian healthcare provider, chances are you’re already committed to treating the whole person.  Of taking a holistic approach to quality patient care.

Recently, we’ve been going through CMDA’s all-new Grace Rx curriculum in our bible study brunches.  Last week we discussed how and why to take a spiritual history. Initially I had planned on sharing the various options for spiritual assessments with those who came, but figured others could benefit, too, so I’m putting it up here.

To give credit where it’s due, Dr Walt Larimore and Bill Peel put Grace Rx together, so I’m largely just passing along what they cover in Module 5 of their course.

Why We Should Take A Spiritual History

There are 5 main things we can learn by taking a spiritual assessment:

  1. a patient’s religious background
  2. the role that religious/spiritual backgrounds play (if any) in how they cope with illness and distress
  3. convictions that may affect, or interfere with, how we treat them clinically
  4. determining whether/not the patient is involved in a spiritual community, and, whether/not that community is supportive
  5. any spiritual needs that they may have

Evidence-Based Reasons To Take A Spiritual History

A large body of evidence suggests that taking a spiritual assessment/history is beneficial.

Here are 5 evidence-based to perform one:

  1. patient desire – about 70% of the American population views religious commitment as a central life factor, especially when dealing with illness.  Most patients want professionals to inquire about beliefs important to them.
  2. patient benefit – of studies reporting relationships between spirituality and mental and/or physical health, about 70% report positive relationships.  22% report mixed/no results, while 9% report a negative one.
  3. identification of risk factors – an inverse relationship exists between faith and morbidity and mortality.  For example, patients who ‘felt alienated from or unloved by God or attributed their illnesses to the devil were associated with a 16% to 28% increase in risk of dying during the two-year follow-up period’.
  4. may enhance healthcare – empirical literature from epidemiological and clinical studies that explore the relationship between religious factors and mental/physical health suggest that religious commitment helps prevent, improves coping with, and, facilitates recovery from illness.
  5. considered a standard of care – an increasing number of healthcare organizations are calling for greater attention to be given to spiritual issues as patients are treated and assessed.

Spiritual Assessment Instruments

Taking a spiritual assessment doesn’t have to take a lot of time, or, seem weird.  They can be delivered quickly, and, in concert with other questions designed to assess a patient’s overall health.

In addition, you don’t have to choose one instrument and stick to it rigidly.  You can use whatever questions work well for you, and, help you help your patients.

  1. Open Invite.
  2. FICA Spiritual History.
  3. HOPE Spiritual History.
  4. SPIRITual History.
  5. CSI-MEMO Spiritual History.
  6. ACP/ASIM Spiritual History.
  7. Larson Spiritual History (slide 69).
  8. GOD Questions (slide 70).  This is the one covered in the Grace Rx curriculum.

As I wrapped up this segment of the post, I stumbled upon Dr Larimore’s presentation at the 2013 Global Missions Health Conference.  This contains each one of the spiritual assessments mentioned above and may be the easiest way to access them in one place.

To Keep In Mind

When spiritual needs surface, remember to:

  • listen compassionately – regardless of where a patient is coming from
  • respect and clarify – always respect any beliefs that come up and seek to clarify as necessary
  • document – your spiritual assessment and a patient’s openness to it; the information may be helpful in future discussions

It Takes Courage

Even though a great deal of organizations (many of them secular) encourage spiritual assessments, pressures to avoid the topic and keep patient encounters brief make it hard in practice.  In addition, our own insecurities and (frankly) selfishness pose barriers, too.

Our commitment to treating the whole person, as Jesus did, can help us to press on past the barriers and include a spiritual assessment.  Doing this allows us to see where a patient is in their spiritual journey and join them – and God – in it.