Chaplain Dean DeVries and Social Worker Nancy Becker host the Seton Family Lunch at the Indianapolis St.Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital every first and third Wednesday of the month. The lunch is open to all family members of Seton patients, both past and present. It's meant to be a place where they can connect, share their stories and support each other – all in a relaxed atmosphere.
For Dean, the interaction between families and hearing their personal stories allows him the opportunity to build stronger relationships. When conversation is slow, he prompts them to speak by asking, "Where are you from?" or "Who had to drive the furthest?" Dean says these will always break the ice.
The Seton Family Lunch began several years ago by Seton Hospital Social Work but two years ago took on a partnership when Karen Bilyou, solutions development analyst at St.Vincent Health, was looking for a Mission and Mentoring project. She teamed up with an associate from Seton who was seeking a sponsor for the family support group. "Each year we hold a Christmas raffle," explained Karen, "which is how we raise the funds to support the lunch."
Karen not only provides financial supports for the Seton Family Lunch but attends regularly and says, "It's a great way to pay it forward and connect with real families in our Ministry." She explains that when you work so far behind the scenes you can forget what the ultimate purpose of your work is. The Seton Family lunch is a way to reconnect.
While patients are always the primary focus, the caregivers at St.Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital understand that a patient's family needs support too. The Seton Family Lunch is just one of the many ways they provide exceptional care for the patients and families they serve.