Dr. Louisa Baker to become ECCT interim Director of Wellness Programs

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Dr. Louisa Baker has accepted the invitation from the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan, to serve as the interim Director of Wellness Programs for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. This will be a half-time position and she will begin September 8.

The interim Director of Wellness Programs is a new office created in response to emerging needs as a result of recent changes in ECCT staff. As Director of Wellness Programs, Louisa will oversee two separate, yet related programs dedicated to the health and wellness of parishes, clergy and their families, and staff of ECCT: The Safe Church Training Program (SCT), and the Clergy Family Assistance Program (CFAP). SCT seeks to ensure that all people connected to or served by The Episcopal Church are assured of a safe, secure, and caring environment. SCT was previously overseen by Robin Hammeal-Urban, who will be reducing her portfolio beginning on September 1. CFAP is a decades old diocesan program that provides psychological and pastoral care to clergy and their families, as well as ECCT staff. Direction of CFAP became vacant when its founder and director, Dr. Ron Casey, died on January 1, 2021.  

“This position offers the opportunity to explore what wellness means at both the individual and systemic levels,” said Louisa. “I look forward to listening to and working with the lay and ordained leadership of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to determine how we can help make positive change to live more fully into right relationship with ourselves and each other.”

Louisa graduated from the University of Connecticut with a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Marriage and Family. She is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist and holds a Certificate in College Instruction. Louisa works for a private psychotherapy practice in Storrs, as well as teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at UConn-Storrs, where she was named the 2021-2022 UCONN Adjunct Professor of the Year. She also provides therapeutic wellness support to staff at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Louisa has been a Safe Church Training Program facilitator and consultant since January 2006. She has worked closely with Robin Hammeal-Urban on curriculum development, including using data she collected from her master’s thesis to help shape the material.
Louisa came to Connecticut to attend graduate school and, in her words, “never left.” She met her husband at a vestry retreat on Enders Island in Mystic. They now live in Storrs with their two children and three cats. Louisa loves to spend time outdoors, both in the woods and by the water. She also is an avid reader, with a particular fondness for fiction.

“I thank God for Louisa’s call to serve as our ECCT interim Director of Wellness Programs,” said the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan. “She is uniquely qualified to oversee essential diocesan programs that help our lay and ordained leaders to lead healthy lives and have effective ministries. As the longest serving trainer in our Safe Church Training Program, Louisa has helped to craft the excellent offerings of today’s SCT. As an experienced Marriage and Family psychotherapist who is deeply engaged in the life of The Episcopal Church, she is perfectly placed to help clergy, their families, and staff of ECCT find the psychological and pastoral care they need. It makes perfect sense to bring together Safe Church Training, and the Clergy Family Assistance Program, in one new office of Wellness Programs. Louisa is the perfect person to lead this new venture!”

Louisa’s contact information (after 9/8)