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The Institute for Spirituality and Health Honors Frontline and Essential Workers Feb. 11-18

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Caring Heart Celebration

The Institute for Spirituality and Health, a charitable organization in the Texas Medical Center, has been enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health for 65 years. During the week of February 11-18, 2021, our Institute will honor frontline professionals and first responders as part of the annual Caring Heart Celebration. On Thursday, February 18, a live-streamed event will highlight leading organizations and individuals recognized for outstanding service to the community with the Rabbi Samuel E. Karff Caring Heart Award. Rabbi Karff was a beloved interfaith leader in the Houston community with decades of service to our Institute. His limitless empathy and unwavering belief in servant leadership were notable throughout his life’s work as his legacy continues to live on.

Join us on Thursday, February 18th for the livestream event at 7:00pm CST!

Throughout the week, our Institute will share meaningful testimonials from many frontline workers in each category. These stories illuminate the resilience of our community and the unique nature of service these exemplary organizations have provided to the Houston community throughout the pandemic.

Follow us @ishtmc on social media and sign up for our newsletter for the daily awards and blessings.

Award Recipients

  • Nursing will be represented by Dr. Elda Ramirez with UT Health Cizik School of Nursing, Dr. Y. Kristen Starnes-Ott with UTMB School of Nursing and Dr. Betty Adams with Prairie View A&M College of Nursing
  • Healthcare will be represented by Dr. Bela Patel with UT Health McGovern Medical School and Dr. Ken Mattox with Baylor College of Medicine
  • Education will be represented by DeKaney High School
  • Food service will be represented the Southern Smoke Foundation
  • Retail will be represented by HEB
  • Hospitality will be represented by the Westin Houston Medical Center
  • First Responders will be represented by Chief Art Acevedo with the Houston Police Department and Chief Samuel Pena with the Houston Fire Department

The Caring Heart Celebration will conclude with a special blessing from Father Donald Nesti to honor the tireless work and meaningful contribution of essential professionals, and in celebration of the Institute for Spirituality and Health’s 65 years of service.


About The Institute for Spirituality and Health

Since 1955, ISH has endured as a founding member of the Texas Medical Center and an independent, interfaith organization which recognizes that humans are spiritual beings and that healthcare should reflect this reality. Our programs are rooted in plurality, equity, and compassion, and provide opportunities to explore the mind-body-spirit connection.


Our Institute’s COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced stress to many areas of our lives. We have been impacted by the death of loved ones, the loss of employment and financial security, and the isolation of quarantining and social distancing, culminating in the disruption of our daily lives. Through over 300 skills groups, seminars, and workshops, as well as compassionate community building, the Institute’s programs have helped thousands of individuals overcome these difficulties.

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