News & Media

Meet Our New Spiritual Care Advisor!

February 02, 2023

Rev. Gail Fricker is HPHA's new Spiritual Care Provider. She joined the team in January of this year.  Let's get to know a bit about her!

Rev. Gail Fricker 

Can you share your career path to HPHA?

I have a very varied career path! I immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom in 1990 when I was working for a Theatre-In-Education Company. I ended up staying and worked as a freelancer offering Arts Education workshops. This grew into becoming a professional storyteller which took me around the world telling stories at many international festivals, teaching at Universities, and even obtaining my MA in Story Telling from Tennessee. When I started a family I returned to the security of teaching with the Avon Maitland District School Board, focusing on Drama and Co-op, and eventually leadership as acting Vice Principal.

I've always had a strong faith and was involved a volunteer in church leadership but in 2015 I felt a call to join full time ministry. I took the journey to become an ordained Minister in the United Church. I have since worked in congregational ministry full time, responsible for worship, outreach, and pastoral care. In this role I have had the opportunity to work with teams at HPHA when visiting members of my congregations. I loved this part of my job, so when the position of Spiritual Care Advisor became available at HPHA it seemed like a natural fit.

Tell us about your first day of work at HPHA

I was overwhelmed with how friendly and welcoming everybody is. You truly are a ‘family’ working here. On the first day I felt a bit of a learning curve with some of the technology, and I am grateful for the patience of our wonderful IT Department.

What do you love most about your job?  

I find it an honor to walk alongside people at the end of life. As caregivers and families struggle to say goodbye to a loved one, I am pleased to provide spiritual support during times of grief. But, I am also passionate about helping and supporting not just in times of crisis, but also in our daily life journeys. I enjoy helping people (patients and staff) become more aware of the moments of hope all around us, moments when we can connect to a higher power or a Divine Spirit working in the world. 

When you are not working, how do you like to spend your free time? 

As an Ordained Minister I still sometimes provide worship at various congregations, as well as preside at weddings and funerals. When not working, I love to putter away spending time in my garden. I am happy when my hands are dirty with soil, a strange thing to say in place where hand cleaning is so important! I also love music. My son is a professional pianist and my husband is a singer, so music is very much part of our family. I have even recently joined a choir. I also love to attend theatre which is made possible since my husband works at the Stratford Festival. And if truth be told, I love to just relax with a good book and a glass of cool white wine!