Allison Elizabeth Herceg, Matthew David Hilts, Avery Lyn Lewis, Jillian K. Tore


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process. Course: SSC 200



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The objective of this research project was to determine religion’s effect on social justice and the common good in the healthcare realm. Our research has shown that more accessible, effective, and holistic care is given when healthcare providers incorporate and accommodate diverse religious traditions into their practice. After an intensive review of the available literature on the connection and interaction between religion and healthcare, we observed a positive correlation between the presence of religion and clinical encounters. Clinical encounters can be defined as any direct interaction between healthcare providers and patients. More specifically, we addressed the presence religion from the perspective of healthcare providers, patients, healthcare institutions and government entities. In each of these groups, religion had an overall positive impact. When a religious presence is involved, we found that physicians are better equipped to care for their patients and their traditions. Additionally, a religious presence encourages patients to make well-informed, positive decisions related to healthcare and wellbeing. When taking religion into consideration, healthcare institutions and policies allow for greater outreach and support for a wider array of patients. Ultimately, collective action to include religion in healthcare promotes the pursuit of the common good.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Laura M. Leming

Primary Advisor's Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

The Effect of Religion on Healthcare Provider - Patient Relationships