Reflections from the Annual CareNet Meeting

The CareNet annual meeting was held November 16, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, NC. It is not often that the statewide network of CareNet’s almost 100 employees has an opportunity to gather in the same location. Usually held in the Raleigh area, this year’s Winston-Salem gathering did not disappoint the approximately 80 attendees.

Dr. Steve Scoggin provided an update on CareNet and the North Carolina Mental Health Care reform and how we will be interfacing with this initiative in the next couple of years. The new CareNet logo was introduced to the network. Janie Taylor from the Greenville center, CareNet Counseling East, led a presentation on and facilitated a process for theological reflection. During this time, the office managers from the various CareNet centers met for a breakout session on the “totally responsible person” provided by staff from the medical center. Keith Stirewalt presented on end of life issues and advance directives as a priority for Wake Forest Baptist Health as evidenced by hiring him to focus exclusively on this work.

In the afternoon, Carol Henderson, author of Farther Along: the Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers, presented a journal-writing workshop. One of the mothers featured in the book became a CareNet client after she lost a child in a car accident. This mother was present to tell her story to the group, and even in a roomful of therapists, it was a powerful and sometimes overwhelming experience.

The meeting concluded with worship led by Ann Charlescraft, a new employee in Division of Faith and Health Ministries for Wake Forest Health who works with compassion fatigue for physicians and caregivers.

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