When patients receive a difficult diagnosis, they often ask “Why?” It’s during these times that our spiritual care services play a critical role in providing quality care at the hospital.
Led by manager the Rev. Charles Leger, the hospital’s spiritual care department consists of five chaplains who provide services 24/7. They provide patients and their families with companionship and emotional and spiritual support to help them deal with an illness or grieve a loss.
Spiritual support can include reciting prayers, scriptures or simply talking with them to help them connect with whatever way they experience the divine. Our chaplains respect all faith traditions, and a person does not have to be a member of a particular denomination to receive services.
“We look for ways to connect patients and their family members to their faith, so they can use their faith for strength and recognize what the goals of care might be for them spiritually,” said Rev. Chuck.
In addition to responding to patient requests from nurses, our chaplains visit patients offering spiritual support; assist family members during emergencies; help patients with completing advanced directives; and provide spiritual care services to Associates when needed.
The department oversees Catholic Eucharistic ministers and other local clergy members who come to the hospital to support those of their respective denomination. It also works with interdisciplinary teams in the hospital to assist patients as needed.
Rev. Chuck says spiritual support is an extremely important aspect of health care. It not only helps patients in their recovery process, but also helps Associates focus on providing high quality care.
“We allow staff to deal with a patient’s medical issues. They can defer to us for dealing with a patient’s spiritual distressful issues, the ‘Why me’ questions, because we are good at identifying and helping with those kinds of issues,” Rev. Chuck said.
Pictured above: The Rev. Charles Leger, manager of spiritual care and palliative care services, and Barbara Johnson, chaplain. Not pictured are chaplains Madalyn Woodruff, Victor Samuels and Robert Day.