Pastoral Care

The Ruth M. Rhostein Core Center | Chicago, IL
Pastoral Care
Supervisor: Gina Sourelis
Phone: 312-572-4751


The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center affiliated with the Cook Country Health & Hospital Systems. While the RMR CORE Center does not have a religious affiliation, it does respect and value attending to the holistic needs of patients served here, including supporting their religious expression and spiritual identity.

The RMR CORE Center is a clinic for the prevention, care, and research of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases located in Chicago, Illinois. The Center uses a “one-stop-shopping” model to offer patients living with HIV/AIDS all the services they need under one roof. Services include primary and specialty medical care, dental care, social and support services, prevention and education programs. The Center also has a research department on-site with opportunities for patients to participate in research protocols. The Center also has an onsite screening clinic that offers confidential testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and Hepatitis C.

The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center was established as a partnership between the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) and Rush University Medical Center. Since it opened its doors in 1998, the RMR CORE Center has remained one of the largest HIV/AIDS clinics in the United States, serving approximately 5,000 persons annually.

The mission of The RMR CORE Center is to provide the highest quality care for persons and families affected by infectious diseases, with respect, dignity and compassion, without regard for the ability to pay; to ensure a patient-centered and consumer-guided environment; and to seek to better understand and to prevent these diseases through education and research.

Patient services include primary care clinics for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those impacted by HIV/AIDS, through comprehensive single site primary care clinics. Within these clinics primary care physicians, nurses, clinical pharmacists, social workers, insurance benefits workers, mental health clinicians, a nutritionist, chaplains and dentists provide a complete range of services. Additional clinics include Women and Children’s Clinics, Adolescent Medicine, Bilingual Clinics, Continuity of Care / Corrections Clinic and a Pre-Prophylaxis clinic.

The RMR CORE Center is not only in a geographically diverse location; we also serve a diverse range of patients across race, sex, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, life experience, and religious identity. This diversity makes the CORE Center a unique place to serve, especially as a student.



Because we provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those impacted by HIV/AIDS, it is important to understand the psycho-social issues with which our patients face. Hence, attendance at trainings which address this will inform the student as they seek to provide a more intentional pastoral presence.

Learning opportunities are available through:

  • MATEC (Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center)
  • On-site trainings at the RMR CORE Center
  • There may be opportunities for the student to interact with chaplains at the John H. Stroger Hospital, nearby
  • Students are welcome to offer ideas about trainings they would like to attend



While any expectations of the student in their placement here would be tailored to the student’s interests and goals, we do ascribe to some general expectations of a student’s placement here.

The RMR CORE Center has adopted the Patient Centered Medical Home Model (PCMHM) which is a model of care and collaboration that is team-based and patient centered toward improving health outcomes. Integral to the model is the inclusion of multi-disciplinary care teams (medical providers and support staff) to assist in the achievement of care coordinated goals, compliance with national guidelines, and patient centered goals.

In keeping with the PCMHM model, the following student expectations seek to both provide unique ministry services to the patient population while also integrating ministry into all aspects of the RMR CORE Center:

  • Pastoral care
  • Group facilitation
  • Completion of spiritual assessments
  • Development of and participation in periodic programs held on site
  • Participation in quarterly multi-disciplinary meetings
  • Attendance at pre-clinics to receive/provide information about patients with scheduled medical appointments
  • Following up with staff referrals and requests
  • Occasional preaching
  • Visiting with individuals during their medical appointments
  • Referring patients to appropriate resources
  • Attending monthly behavioral health staff meetings
  • Visiting with RMR CORE Center identified patients if admitted to John H. Stroger Hospital



A teaching institution, and in this case, a teaching hospital-based clinic like the RMR CORE Center, means that we provide significant clinical education and training to future professionals in addition to delivering quality medical care to patients.

Specifically, this means that the RMR CORE Center follows best practices for patient care alongside best practices in training professionals; administers on-going surveys of the patient population to ascertain the most effective and impactful ways to meet patient needs, promotes the innovation of patient care, and most importantly provides these services without consideration for a patients’ ability to pay. Ultimately, the RMR CORE’s role as a teaching institution provides a valuable experience for students.

I would describe myself as a coaching leader and mentor, which includes being collaborative and cooperative. I am interested in contributing to the student’s growth potential; contributing to their self-identified goals for development. I encourage students to be open to experiences that would potentially enhance their gifts and skills. I may encourage students often with “just try it and see” or “go ahead, you can do it.”

Alongside students who bring energy, passion and a sense of purpose, I will provide resources to support students in their particular endeavors. My style is flexible such that the strategies and techniques I use will be adapted to the needs of the student. This way, the learning process is shared between the coach and the student.

While I believe in collaboration, there may be times when I may have to explore, and perhaps at times challenge, a student’s resistance to ideas and/or to a particular needed action. These times are only meant to help the student recognize more fully their capabilities.



We are unable to provide a stipend at this time.



The site is accessible via public transportation via the CTA on the Blue Line train system, as well as the #50 Damen and #7 Harrison bus lines.



The RMR CORE Center is a site that is brimming with possibilities for a student who is eager to make the most of their field education experience. The setting here is such that students can create unique ministry opportunities to connect to patients and staff while also implementing programs that imbue a spiritual perspective, thus truly adding a holistic nature to the services we provide. Your presence can truly make a difference in the lives of our patents and in the milieu of the RMR CORE Center overall.