Kenji Toyomura graduated from UTS in May, 2009, and completed his one-year chaplaincy residency in Phoenix, Arizona, in September. He and his wife, Kyoka, have two young daughters, Mieko and Suzuna.
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center is a twelve story, 676-bed hospital that includes 12 ICU's, a 28-bed inpatient behavioral health unit and a 62-bed rehabilitation hospital. It is the largest hospital in Arizona. U.S. News and World Report has named in among the best American hospitals for successive years. I was involved in all clinical areas of the hospital while on-call, including being a team member working with cardiac arrest and trauma. My main clinical assignments were neurological ICU's, Medical/Surgical floors, Rehabilitation, Emergency Department and Trauma.
Clinical Pastoral Education is a theological and professional education for ministry. It is a method of learning pastoral practice in a clinical setting under supervision, implementing clinical work with case study and didactic teaching seminars. I spent over 200 hours in resident group educational and spiritual formation activities and over 600 hours providing patient care as I fulfilled two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).
I had five peers in my resident group, one man and four women. All were ordained clergy, including an Episcopalian, a Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Roman Catholic and a Swedenborgian. Three peers and I remained until the end of the residency program. We became a solid team and developed strong friendship.
The most meaningful lesson I learned was about my emotional self-awareness. Looking back on my life, I was not accustomed to share my emotions with others. I believe I grew the most in my ability to sense my own emotions and that through this I gained the ability to provide pastoral care, which requires paying attention to the emotional needs of the other person.
In conclusion to this brief reflection, I would like to share with you a poem I wrote at the end of the program.