A course created by a Western University of Health Sciences’ pharmacy

professor that teaches health professions students the relevance of

spirituality in patient care has won a $25,000 award from the National

Institute for Healthcare Research.

Developed by Mahtab Jafari, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy

practice at Western University’s College of Pharmacy, the course,

titled “”Spirituality in Patient Care,”” was one of six courses from

colleges and universities nationwide to win a John Templeton Foundation

Spirituality & Medicine Curricular Award. Each award is $25,000 paid out

over a four-year period.

“”Good care requires much more than traditional medical training,”” Dr.

Jafari said. “”To treat a patient as a whole, health care providers should

focus on their patients’ spiritual dimension as well as their physical

dimension. Physicians and pharmacists today must also receive training in

the behavioral and spiritual aspects of life.””

The course will be offered as a program – slated to be incorporated into

the curriculum of the University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific and the College of Pharmacy – to the students over the course of

the four years of their Western University education. Material in the

first two years will be taught through a combination of lectures,

readings, case studies, small group discussions and Internet queries.

During the third and fourth year, students will practice what they learned

while on their clinical rotations.

At the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate the ability to

help others from varied cultural and religious backgrounds deal with

issues surrounding major life events, including birth, illness, suffering,

grief and the end of life.

The NIHR is an educational and research organization committed to

exploring and communicating the dynamic relationship of spirituality with


The John Templeton Foundation Spirituality & Medicine Curricular Award

Program honors outstanding courses integrating spirituality and medicine

at allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools in the United

States and Canada.