Ariel Dempsey, a young physician from Grand Rapids, is pursuing a PhD in Science and Religion at the University of Oxford as a Rotary Global Scholar.
 
 
 
Merry Christmas!  
 
I have news that I am so excited to share with you and with Rotary. This fall I led an intensive trauma healing training course equipping others to lead healing groups. There was such an interest in the program from ordinands (students training to become priests in the Church of England) that I proposed to integrate a trauma healing program into Oxford’s curriculum for ordinands. Just a few weeks ago the proposal was approved! The healing group program is now part of the curriculum at Oxford. Students who are interested in integrating trauma healing in their ministry now have an opportunity to train through the Trauma Healing Institute and gain practical experience leading healing groups in Oxford. Not only does this help prepare young priests to better care for those who have suffered loss but also creates practical sustainability through connection with Oxford.
 
The impact of the healing group program which Rotary inspired me to do will ripple outwards in Oxford and in parishes across England even after my time in Oxford comes to completion. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to build this project with Rotary over the last three years and make a sustainable difference in helping to care for those who suffered loss. Thank you. 
 
Dr Taylor and I met last week. She, and Rotary, believed in me and in this project from the start and have been a continual source or encouragement and guidance. I shared the Faringdon Rotary Polio dinner with  my hosts, Glyn and Carol James. I also attended the Rotary Faringdon club events planning meeting and had an opportunity to see some of the inner workings of Rotary in action--the work of dedicated Rotarians in event planning membership recruiting, finances, brainstorming and coordinating projects to do good.
 
The teaching at the medical school is going very well. The students have commented to me that I've helped give them courage to have empathy for their patients with helpful boundaries. I also partnered with the Center for Values Based Medicine in Oxford and led a seminar at Oxford's theology college called "Everyday Dying: Values and Talking About Dying." This seminar brought together medical students and students training to be priests in the Church of England for interdisciplinary dialogue about caring for those at the end of life.
 
One more piece of exciting news. I was honored to be chosen to give the plenary address at the McGill Palliative Care Congress in Canada (one of the oldest and most prestigious palliative care congresses) and speak on the topic of my DPHil, uncertainty in end-of-life care with Tomson Highway (a man selected as one of the 100 most important people in Canada's history.) https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/highway-tomson
 
Thank you again for believing in me and for all your support. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  
 
Rotary Best,
Ariel