News Release

March 22, 2007

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Spirituality and Medicine

Topic of Next Discovery Series Program on April 17

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The connections between spirituality and medicine will be explored during the next Discovery Series program, April 17, at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

As always, the Discovery Series is free and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Health Center’s Keller Auditorium. Registration is required. Please call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692. The program is being presented together with the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“There is growing evidence to suggest that faith can have a positive affect on a patient’s outcome and that, conversely, illness can raise many spiritual issues,” said Audrey Chapman, Ph.D., the Joseph M. Healey, Jr. Chair in Medical Humanities and Bioethics, and one of the speakers. Dr. Chapman, who is also an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, will talk about the relevance of spirituality to health, as well as the difference between spirituality and religion.

“Spirituality and medicine are linked in a very personal way,” said Peter J. Deckers, M.D., the Health Center’s executive vice president for health affairs, dean of the UConn School of Medicine and a surgical oncologist with the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Deckers will speak as a physician, a patient and professor.

“As healthcare providers and as instructors of the physicians of tomorrow, we strive to see every patient as a unique individual with their own beliefs and spiritual needs. It is our responsibility to be respectful of each patient’s beliefs and how they shape the decisions we will make together,” Dr. Deckers added.

The third speaker will be Dawn Vaillancourt who will share a personal story about how faith played a role in her medical experience.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.