Steward Hospital Adds Religious Amenities to Boost Cultural Competence

St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Mass., part of Boston-based Steward Health Care System, has opened the region's first Orthodox Jewish visitor room as part of its strategy to become more culturally competent, according to a Boston Globe report.

The new 700-square-foot Bikur Cholim room is a space where observant Jews can visit family members who are patients during Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, which occurs sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The room includes Hebrew prayer books and kosher food.

St. Elizabeth's, a Catholic hospital, is making an effort to engage Orthodox Jews in part because many live near the hospital but may not feel comfortable at a Catholic facility, according to the report.

The hospital may also attract observant Jews because it is located within the Greater Boston Eruv, a geographic area established by religious authorities to allow observant Jews to carry objects outside, such as strollers, which would otherwise be prohibited during Shabbat, according to the report. 

St. Elizabeth's aims to create a more welcoming environment for Orthodox Jews and for patients of all religious backgrounds. For example, the hospital has installed a foot bath for Muslim patients and employees and has hired more interpreters for patients who speak Russian, Portuguese and African languages, according to the report.

More Articles on Cultural Competence in Healthcare:

University of Miami Hospital Opens Room for Jewish Visitors
Report: Healthcare Equality for LGBT Population Improving But Still Lacking

The Role of Cultural Competence in Delivering Positive Patient Experiences: 4 Focal Points

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