Catching Glimmers of Hope


Through his work as a chaplain at Renown, Brent Hoy-Bianchi offers patients comfort and faith in times of need.  

Health and wellness embrace body, mind and spirit. And it’s the spiritual aspect of healing that motivates Brent Hoy-Bianchi each and every day.

“Attending to the spiritual side is important to the healing process,” says Brent, the newest chaplain in Spiritual Care at Renown Regional Medical Center. “A person’s emotional life, the things that bring meaning to life, their hopes for the future and for the ones they love — that’s what I focus on when I go in and talk to people.”

Brent Hoy-Bianchi (right) speaks with fellow chaplain Bill Faust at their offices in Social Services at Renown Regional Medical Center.
Brent Hoy-Bianchi (right) speaks with fellow chaplain Bill Faust at their offices in Social Services at Renown Regional Medical Center.

The circumstances Brent encounters run the gamut of human experience and emotion — from a longtime trauma patient who underwent a remarkable recovery to a young woman moving toward acceptance and peace as she prepared for the loss of her partner to Brent’s  weekly work with members of Renown’s cancer support group.

Participants in the support group are at various stages of life, treatment and survivorship.. A number of them were given just months to live, but have survived and thrived for many years. “The people in that group are very positive and love to have fun,” Brent relates. “But they also challenge each other. It’s a great group of people.”

Spiritual health and wellness have always been Brent’s focus. He started  as a hospital chaplain in Sacramento and Phoenix in the 1980s before working as a church pastor and later an adolescent mental health counselor in Grass Valley, Calif.

Brent and his wife, Kathi, raised a family. And once their kids left the nest they embarked on a new adventure — which actually looked a bit familiar.

“I was born and raised in Carson City,” Brent shares. “I hadn’t thought about coming back to Nevada, but I saw this job opening and was fortunate enough to be hired.”

Brent says he’s moved by the compassionate care he sees from clinicians at Renown Regional, and he often gets referrals from them to speak to  specific patients. This includes referrals from social workers, who he says “have been awesome, just fantastic. They are prime examples of this compassionate approach.”

Brent mostly visits cancer and neurology patients, but he also is part of the Palliative & Supportive Care team that works with patients who suffer from serious illness, providing support and guidance on their health care journey.  He often deals with some of the most intense experiences a person can go through, and he feels it a privilege to accompany them during this difficult and complicated part of life.

“Probably the most difficult visits I’ve had are with people who feel like they have no hope, and I try to offer as much hope as I can,” Brent says in a calm, measured voice that speaks to his demeanor. “I think there is great value in being able to walk with people as they experience this. To help them catch glimmers of hope — just knowing that there is somebody who cares about them and doesn’t judge them.”