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Ascension Health acknowledges and affirms spiritual care as an essential and integral component of our Catholic healthcare ministry. We view spiritual care as fundamental to our identity and a tangible expression of our Mission and Values. Providing quality spiritual care is foundational to holistic care, which treats the whole person; body, mind and spirit. Vital Spiritual Care departments with professionally trained chaplains remain a high priority in our Health Ministries. Well-integrated Spiritual Care services support our Strategic Direction to provide Healthcare That Is Safe, Healthcare That Works and Healthcare That Leaves No One Behind, for Life.

The Catholic tradition recognizes spiritual care as a key component of healing. Gospel accounts highlight Jesus’ holistic approach to those who were suffering, recognizing the complex aspects of sickness. As extensions of the Church, chaplains are specially trained members of the healthcare team designated to deal with spiritual issues. Issues may arise or become more acutely felt during illness and chaplains can help patients and families wrestle with questions of meaning as well as feelings of powerlessness, pain, loneliness and isolation.

Spiritual care is available to all patients, families, physicians, associates and volunteers throughout the continuum of care. Areas served and/or supported by the department may include but are not limited to:

  • Retirement, intermediate and skilled nursing facilities.
  • Specialty units such as oncology, rehabilitation units, mental health facilities, substance abuse centers and health clinics.

Spiritual care also may be available to:

  • Hospice care, inpatient and at-home services.
  • Physician offices and outpatient services.
  • Wellness centers.
  • Parish or faith community nursing.
  • Contractual partners.

Spiritually centered, holistic care is the privileged responsibility of all associates and volunteers within a Health Ministry. Spiritual Care departments are committed to collaborate with, support and provide specialized expertise to all who care for the human spirit within their own particular scope of service.

The Framework for Hospital Chaplaincy gives an overview of Spiritual Care within Ascension Health, while the Chaplain Services Diagram  explains in greater detail the range of services chaplains provide. Our Spiritual Care video offers first-hand accounts of what spiritual care means to those who serve as chaplains.

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