The Pastoral Care Department is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm. However, the chaplain is on call at all times, and can be reached 24/7 via emergency pager. The chaplain may be asked to officiate in religious ceremonies such as baptisms, funerals or weddings for patients and their families, or for hospital staff.
Every attempt is made to offer a visit to all in patients shortly after their admission, especially to those awaiting surgery, either by the chaplain or by one of the Pastoral care volunteers.
If desired, the chaplain or pastoral care volunteer will pray for the patient and for any visitors. Since religious beliefs often influence the medical decisions of patients and their families, the chaplain and pastoral care volunteers will be available to discuss a patient’s faith journey, if desired.
The chaplain is responsible for ordering or designing various religious resources that may be supplied to any patients who are interested therein. Provision is made for those requesting specific religious rites or rituals. On most days of the week, a lay Eucharistic Minister will offer Communion to Catholic patients, as scheduled by the chaplain. Any patient who wishes for their faith community to be notified of their hospitalization may request the chaplain to make a phone call on their behalf
Area churches contribute Prayer Shawls and Prayer Cloths to the Pastoral CareDepartment. These are each knitted or crocheted by community members who pray for the unknown recipients. Members of the pastoral care staff distribute them to patients and families that they feel would gain comfort and encouragement by this gift.
As a liaison to the religious community of our area, the chaplain is a member of local ministerial associations, and is available to speak at churches or community groups. Each series of Grief SupportGroup Meetings, held in the spring and in the fall, is free and open to the public. Individual Counseling sessions with the chaplain are also available upon request.