By Nancy Cook, MDiv, MSW, BCC
Father Gerard T. Broccolo received the Outstanding Colleague Award at the 2012 NACC National Conference in Milwaukee.
NACC Board Chair Alan Bowman and Rev. Gerard T.
Broccolo pose for a photo. (Photo by S. Chawszczewski)
NACC Board President Alan Bowman, who presented the award to Father Broccolo, described the priest as a true friend of the association and a person recognized nationally for his work in advancing the integration of spirituality in the workplace. Fr. Broccolo accepted the award in memory of his mentor, Father Dick Tessmer.
With the Outstanding Colleague Award, the NACC recognizes an individual or group whose work has proven complementary to, supportive of, or otherwise has contributed to the advancement of the profession of chaplaincy in a significant and lasting way.
For more than 40 years, Father Broccolo has served as a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He held the position of vice president of spirituality for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) for eight years, retiring in 2005. He served NACC as a board member in 2004. In the early 1990s, Father Broccolo began his groundbreaking work on the development of integrating spirituality within the culture of organizations. In working with CHI’s 72 communities he employed both qualitative and quantitative measures in assessing core measures. Based on these methods and outcomes CHI was awarded the International Spirit at Work Award in 2005.
While at CHI, Father Broccolo captured the lived spirituality of employees as they documented and shared their faith stories from within the workplace, Mr. Bowman said. The sharing of these sacred stories has become a part of the culture of CHI. Focused on quality and excellence in patient care, Father Broccolo developed metrics to measure the lived reality of CHI’s core values and chaplain performance and productivity. Father Broccolo is a pioneer in spirituality and healthcare whose contributions have not only transformed CHI in a significant and lasting way, Mr. Bowman said, but have extended to other healthcare institutions.
Father Broccolo ended his acceptance speech with words that inspired his work:
“Maintain your inner compass and let it be a constant reminder of the healing presence of the living God who loves us and is with us always.”
Nancy Cook, of Phoenix, AZ, has served the Catholic Church in professional leadership for 20 years. Her experience includes the parish setting, higher education and acute care.
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