C-TAC InterFaith and Diversity Workgroup


InterFaith Roundtable

Rita Chow, EdD, RN, former Director, National Interfaith Coalition on Aging, and Workgroup Member

Patients and families living with advanced illness have significant spiritual needs.  It is the vision of the InterFaith and Diversity Workgroup that the needs of these Americans will be met and their dignity respected in four areas of C-TAC’s intervention: public engagement, professional education, development of clinical models and policy & advocacy.

The Workgroup provides C-TAC guidance on spiritual and cultural issues as they relate to the Coalition’s focus in public engagement, professional education, policy advocacy and clinical models development.  This work includes:

  1. Identifying and promulgating best-practice, faith community care models;
  2. Incorporating spiritual care and cultural sensitivity into inter-professional health provider curriculum for advanced illness care.
  3. Developing position papers that articulate the necessity of recognizing and relieving spiritual suffering, improving care for people with advanced illness.

Rabbi Richard Address, Co-Chair

Rabbi Richard F. Address serves as senior rabbi of Congregation Mkor Shalom in Cherry Hill, N.J. He assumed this pulpit in July 2011 upon leaving the Union for Reform Judaism. (URJ) Prior to leaving the URJ he served as Specialist for Caring Community and Family Concerns. In this capacity he consulted and advised synagogues of the Reform movement in creating congregations that are “caring communities” that sought to have as their foundation a “theology of sacred relationships.”

Rabbi Address’s work is involved in several major programmatic areas. They include such issues as: the changing faces of the contemporary Jewish family; challenges to our congregations relating to older adults and the aging of the baby boom generation, their spiritual aging and the challenges of intergenerational care-giving; concerns over self destructive behaviors, resiliency and the pressures on our youth; issues of inclusiveness and openness for people with disabilities and the impact of emerging medical technology on the choices that confront today’s Reform Jews. Rabbi Address joined the URJ staff in 1978 after pulpit work in California. He served as Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Council of the URJ from August of 1978 through December of 2000.

He founded and directed the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns (1997) Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati) in 1972 and received his honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in 1997. In May of 1998 he received a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in New York and in May 1999 he received his Doctor of Ministry from the Hebrew Union College in New York. In January of 2007 he received the “Sherut L’Am” award from the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in recognition of the work of the Department of Jewish Family Concerns. In March of 2010, his Sacred Aging project was given a First Place : “Best Practices in Older Adult Program” award by the National Council on Aging and Interfaith Coalition on Aging. Rabbi Address teaches classes in the rabbinic/cantorial and education programs on Jewish family issues at Hebrew Union College in New York as well as serving on the faculty of their Doctor of Ministry program.

In addition, he edits and writes the web site: jewishsacredaging.com and is a contributor to the web at SilverPlanet.com.

Reverend Tyrone Pitts, Co-Chair

InterFaith RoundtableThe Rev. Dr. Tyrone S. Pitts presently serves as The Ecumenical officer and the General Secretary Emeritus of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. He is also the President and CEO of Bridges International LLC, a consultant service with the mission of Building Reconciliation in international Development and Global Education Strategies among Churches and Civil Society. Previous Positions: From 1990 to 2010 Dr. Pitts served as General Secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. Serving as Chief Operation Officer of the Convention, his duties included the management of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Headquarters office, the supervision of staff, the responsibility for convention planning and administration, organizing national convention meetings, summits, retreats, and all convention activities. His duties also included building relationships among member churches, ecumenical agencies, and civil society.

As General Secretary he supervised the development of three five year strategic plans for the Convention from 1999 to 2010 that changed the organizational structure of the Convention, including the development of the Progressive National Baptist Convention’s International Region. During His tenure as General Secretary, he implemented several innovative models of fund raising from both religious and corporate donors, and organized the Progressive National Baptist Convention Foundation and PROEDCO the 501c4 Economic Development Arm of the Convention.

From 1982 to 1990 Dr. Pitts served as the Director of Racial Justice in the Division Of Church and Society and the Prophetic Justice Unit of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States where he staffed the Racial Justice Working Group, the Ecumenical Minority Bail Bond Fund, and the Black Theology Project, working with 32 protestant member communions combating racism in the United States and throughout the world. For almost 30 years, Dr. Pitts has been an Ecumenist who worked with the World Council of Churches, serving as an Advisor and a Commissioner on the Programme to Combat Racism, an Adviser to the All African Conference of Churches and other ecumenical agencies and community groups to eliminate racism.

Richard de Filippi, Co-Chair

Richard de Filippi is immediate-past chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees. Mr. de Filippi is currently a trustee and former chairman of the Board of the Cambridge Health Alliance, a major safety-net health care system and one of the largest health systems in Massachusetts. He is on several other boards within the Alliance system including the philanthropic Alliance Foundation for Community Health, which he chairs. He has served on the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance and Regional Policy Board (RPB 1). He is a current member and former chair of the Trustee Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) and a former member of the MHA Board of Trustees. He is managing partner of the Ariano Partnership, a consulting group working largely with emerging technology-based companies. He was CEO of CF Systems Corporation, a chemical technology firm in the environmental field, ultimately purchased by Washington Engineering of Boise, Idaho (then Morrison Knudsen Corporation). Prior to that he was a founder and technical VP of a bioengineering and separations technology company, Abcor, Inc., which was merged into Koch Industries. He is also on the Board of Directors of CeraMem Corporation, Waltham, MA. Rick earned his bachelors degree from Amherst College and masters and doctorate in engineering from MIT. He and his wife, Lucy Arrington, are usually in Cambridge or the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, except when visiting their four children and nine grandchildren.

Workgroup Perspectives

“As a member of the faith community, I strongly support C-TAC’s commitment to empowering communities with diverse traditions, beliefs and faiths offers innovative and exciting opportunities to change the health delivery systems for the most vulnerable and the sickest in our society.”  - Rev. Dr. Tyrone Pitts, Committee Co-Chair

The Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches; Immediate Past President, National Council of Churches

“I’m pleased that the faith community—and that spiritual issues—are being integrated into the work here and that it is certainly being recognized.  I’m really quite astounded at the way in which those issues are being recognized within C-TAC.  Sometimes the faith community has to fight for our place at the table.  I’m very excited that that’s not the case here.”

To read more about the Rev. Chemberlin’s thoughts about the Workgroup, click here.

Workgroup Members

To find out more about the InterFaith Workgroup, its work within C-TAC, and how you can become involved, please email: Jbroyles@advancedcarecoalition.org.


InterFaith Workgroup Roundtable, November 30, 2012

Faith Leader Summit on Transforming Advanced Care, March 23, 2012

From left to right: Sheik Hassan, MD, FCCP; Rev. Philip Carpenter; Rev. Jon Shematek, MD; Brad Stuart, MD; Richard Payne, MD; Bill Novelli; Rev. Peg Chemberlin; Cynda Rushton.

On March 23, 2012, C-TAC convened its first Faith Leader Summit to discuss the potential for collaboration between C-TAC and the faith community and to articulate the vision of a Faith-Based Initiative within the Coalition.

Click here for faith leader perspectives & here for C-TAC perspectives from the Summit’s discussion.


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