Spotlight on Reverend Carol Boggerty
With New Appointment from Governor, Bayhealth Spiritual Leader Aims to Help Ensure Mental Health Help for All
Like all of us, Rev. Dr. Carol Boggerty, director of Chaplaincy Services at Bayhealth, is no stranger to difficult times.
She’s had major losses in her life over the past 11 years: her spiritual role models — father, Bishop H. Edward Spencer, and mother, Ethel L.
Spencer — died in 2012 and 2019, respectively. In addition, Boggerty’s first husband, Pastor Lonnie C. Harris III, died in 2013, leaving her a widow in her late thirties — and a single mom with two children. But she found a way to cope.
“I took the same approach as Anna did in the Bible,” said Boggerty, who holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and BCCI certification as a chaplain. “I retreated to the church.”
Giving — and Receiving — Help
To get through her life-changing losses, Boggerty immersed herself in helping others through ministry at her church and her then-volunteer chaplain work at Bayhealth. She also sought counseling — from a chaplain at Bayhealth.
“She gave me permission to break,” said Boggerty about her spiritual counselor. “We don’t always get that,” she added, noting that after their initial meetings, her counselor stayed in contact with her, to check in and find out how she was doing.
“We need to have permission to have needs — to need support and not always feel whole in challenging moments,” said Boggerty. “We need support for the spirit.”
In time, Boggerty’s journey led to a new beginning — she found new love. In 2022, she married Dover Councilman and Representative-At-Large Andre M. Boggerty, and she continues to serve the church and community that brought her comfort amidst her losses.
In her ministry over the years at The Well Church in Dover, the United Covenant Churches of Christ (as a bishop designate), and at Bayhealth (first as a volunteer, then as an employee), Boggerty has had the opportunity to be the support for many. Working alongside her Pastoral Care colleagues throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and opioid crisis, she’s seen that access to mental health help is needed by everyone.
“We have so many services that assist those who are less fortunate and don’t have a voice, who are looking for a way to make their way back,” she said. “And we should.”
But Boggerty wants everyone to have resources.
“There are so many people in our community who have landed in a good place,” observed Boggerty. “They’re in recovery, they have good jobs, and they’ve made it through COVID-19. They’re just looking for a way to maintain themselves.”
A New Opportunity to Serve on Larger Scale
Now, in addition to her work at Bayhealth, her church ministries, and her contributions to a wide range of committees (including service for the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Dover, The Vines Community Project, the NAACP, and more), Boggerty has an opportunity to be an even bigger voice for mental health. In July, Delaware Governor John Carney appointed her a member of the Behavioral Health Consortium (BHC), representing Kent County.
“I was moved to tears,” said Boggerty about her reaction when Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, PhD, RN, called to ask her to join the consortium. “It was something I had only dreamed about being able to serve on.”
“Mental health and addiction — they impact our global community,” Boggerty said. “The opportunity that I have now to serve at a greater level — I’m so grateful for it.”
Established in 2017, the BHC is an advisory body comprised of community advocates, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and state leaders that works towards solutions for action to address prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders.
Boggerty aims to use her membership on the consortium to be a voice at the table for all Delawareans — in line with her conviction that everyone should have equal access to mental health help.
“We need to always be conscious when we’re building these community programs, accessing resources, and asking for funds to come into our community,” said Boggerty. “The disadvantaged and disenfranchised among us need mental health help. But those who are in good spaces with professional careers — we have to look out for them, too, because they are the sustainers of the rhythm in our community,” added Boggerty, noting the mental toll COVID-19 has taken on nurses, doctors, and other health professionals, in particular.
“We need to have competent conversations that keep people engaged across the board,” she said.
Boggerty is thrilled that her work for the consortium will expand her ministry.
“I’m honored to be able to be in so many places doing so many things,” she said. “The nice part is, it all winds up in same space: the work allows me to serve our community.”
Expressing Her Pride in Bayhealth
“It’s an honor to represent Bayhealth,” said Boggerty. “While the health system is not attached to the committee work that I do necessarily, because I’m the Chaplaincy Services supervisor, wherever I go I take Bayhealth with me.”
“I think Bayhealth is doing great work, trying to serve our community with all of the healthcare needs that we have. That’s not a sugary plug — I really believe in our organization.”
Bayhealth is driven to care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of everyone in the community. Winner of the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s Excellence in Spiritual Care Award, Bayhealth’s Pastoral Care team is proud to align its work with evidence-based best practice and to meet the unique needs of those it cares for and serves every day. Learn more about Bayhealth’s Pastoral Care team and services. To reach Rev. Dr. Carol Boggerty, please call 302-744-6147 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on mental and addiction help offered by the state, visit https://ltgov.delaware.gov/behavioral-health-consortium/ and scroll to the “Helpful Numbers & Resources” section of