Leading Catholic Hospital Boosts Compassionate Care with Guided Imagery

Ascension All Saints Hospital isn’t just the largest full-service hospital serving Racine, Wisconsin. It’s also part of one of the country’s largest Catholic health care organizations, with a heavy emphasis on body, mind, and spirit in the healing process. And that spiritual, holistic approach goes with guided imagery like peanut butter goes with jelly! 

Janice Litza, MD, FAAFP, the hospital’s vice president of medical affairs, was introduced to Health Journeys’ guided imagery audios while doing a post-doc fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

After using guided imagery with her own patients for many years, she recommended in 2019 that the hospital adopt it as a simple, affordable tool for both providers and patients. 

Ascension All Saints Hospital came to us with three specific ways it wanted to apply the power of guided imagery: First, to support stressed-out caregivers and help them avoid burnout. Second, to provide high-quality, compassionate care in safe ways. And third, to offer tools that enhance wellness and well-being and help people maintain their health.   

We provided Ascension All Saints Hospital with guided imagery audios that meet their goals by targeting specific needs focusing on: 

  • Sleep and smoking cessation, to help caregivers and staffers stay healthy 
  • Cancer and heart disease, to support the hospital’s chronic disease initiative 
  • Depression and anxiety, to help primary care providers better address patients’ mental health needs 
  • Pain reduction, surgery, and other invasive procedures, to help patients control their pain and reduce opioid use 
  • Maternal health and parenting, to support the hospital’s Centering Pregnancy Program, which provides prenatal and postpartum care to reduce Wisconsin’s high rate of premature births  

At a time when preventative care is more important than ever and hospitals are stretched especially thin, Litza says Health Journeys is an important part of Ascension All Saints Hospital’s strategy for continuing to keep Racine well.   

“An openness to integrative approaches within an individual's control can have a significant positive impact on them and the community,” she says. “And with COVID-19, that’s more important than ever.”