Mission-Oriented Team Provides Spiritual Focus to CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Ministry

As physical changes continue to take shape on the CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial campus – including new signage along Frank Street and major capital investments at the Temple Cancer Center – a more divine transformation is also occurring within the walls of the hospital.

One aspect of CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial’s integration process into the Catholic Health Initiatives organization is to formulate an emphasis on the healing ministry of the Church, supported by education and research.

Three new staff members make up Memorial’s newly appointed Mission Integration team, focused on incorporating overall spiritual care and holistic healing, and to facilitate awareness of the sacred work of healing.

“We provide professional leadership to assure the integration of our mission as a core business practice for our ministry,” said Jay Gilchrist, Vice President of Mission Integration. “Our expertise and work is rooted deeply in the CHI Core Values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence. We strive to help create a culture grounded in these values and expressed through our common vocation to heal as Jesus healed across the health continuum in all of our communities.”

The Mission Integration team focuses on professional spiritual care for all patients, families and staff; workplace spirituality; faith partnerships with the community; ethics; strengthening the practice of compassionate service; and helping build healthier communities.

The new team includes Gilchrist, who served as a Catholic lay minister for more than 35 years with experience as a chaplain, lay pastor/church planter and a supervisor of lay pastors. For the past five years, he served as Vice President of Mission Integration for Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Letters from the University of Iowa, a Master of Arts degree in English from Iowa and a Master of Arts degree in Christian Spiritualities from Mundelein College of Loyola University in Chicago.

Gilchrist will oversee spiritual care, ethics, healthy communities efforts, workplace spirituality, collective theological reflection on holy healing work, and mission/ministry leadership development.

Charles Macko is CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial’s Manager of Spiritual Care. Macko has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a training coordinator at Walt Disney World hotels and resorts, and worked for Wal-Mart for 15 years in management. He attended Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and received his Master’s degree in Divinity and has been a hospital chaplain for the last seven years in Oklahoma City at both Integris Baptist Medical Center and St. Anthony’s Hospital.

Walter Futch serves as the Chaplain at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial in Livingston and at the Specialty Hospital in Lufkin. Deeply rooted in the East Texas community, he served as Senior Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Lufkin for 23 years, and before that as youth and music minister. He is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Futch recently completed a year as a Chaplain Resident at Baylor St. Luke’s and Texas Children’s Hospitals in Houston.

Michael Monterastelli, PRN Chaplain, has lived in Lufkin for the past eight years, seven as pastor of the First Lutheran Church of Lufkin. For the past year, he served as a PRN Chaplain. He received a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was ordained the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in 2007. Before seminary, he helped enforce the Clean Water Act with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, taught computer skills in Oklahoma City, and worked in the oil fields. He received his bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri in Rolla, Missouri.

“We look to the Holy Spirit to help us bring new life, energy and viability to every encounter with the people of Deep East Texas,” Gilchrist said.

About CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial:

Memorial provides more than a quarter of a million patient services each year and has a longstanding history of providing quality, innovative health care in East Texas.

With hospitals in Lufkin, Livingston, San Augustine and Memorial Specialty – the area’s only long-term acute care hospital – CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial provides millions of dollars in charity care and community support each year.  Our mission is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church, supported by education and research.  Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we create healthier communities.

Memorial offers a wide array of services, including the area’s first dedicated heart and stroke care facility and radiation oncology at the Temple Cancer Center. It is also known for the area’s only comprehensive diabetes, heart and stroke education center. Other specialty areas include imaging, orthopedic care, women’s services, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, homecare, wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, kidney & diabetes treatment, sleep disorders treatment and express lab.