Alberta Chaplain Receives Award of Excellence

Case Vink, a member of Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church in Calgary, Alberta, recently received an Award of Excellence for Pastoral Practice in Education.

Case Vink (left) receives the Award of Excellence from Mary Holmen of CASC.

The award came from the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC), a national multi-faith organization for chaplains and pastoral counselors in a variety of settings, including health care and correctional institutions.

The association gives out only one such award each year. Receiving it was an emotional experience for Vink. “I was greatly honored to be recognized with the Award of Excellence,” he said. “I have loved teaching, and to receive both this honor and the standing ovation of my peers and colleagues moved me to tears. For once I had nothing to say but much to hear. That was good.”

Vink started his teaching career in Edmonton in 1992 at Royal Alexandra Hospital, becoming a full teaching supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in 1998. He continued to teach and work there until 2005, at which time he moved to Calgary to teach and coordinate spiritual care at Foothills Medical Centre and Rocky View General Hospital.

Vink has been active in CASC nationally and regionally; he has also assumed a variety of leadership roles in the Alberta Health region’s spiritual care services.

“Case Vink exemplifies the qualities of leadership,” said the award presenter, “not only supporting and advocating for spiritual care in the workplace, but promoting the soul of the organization and strengthening organizational values in a manner that works toward preserving and fostering both the spirituality and the humanization of the workplace.”

Due to budget cutbacks, Vink has no CPE students this year. The future of CPE in Alberta is uncertain. Nevertheless, after 20 years of chaplaincy education, his legacy was acknowledged at the Award presentation: “Case’s accomplishments are embodied in the skill and integrity of his students who now work as professional chaplains.”

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

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