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Spiritual Care Services

The Spiritual Care Department seeks to provide high quality clinical chaplaincy and spiritual care to the members and patients of Kaiser Permanente, to their loved ones, and the communities we serve. This means bringing the right resource to the right place at the right time. To do so, we acknowledge and affirm the distinctive and complementary roles of highly skilled, board certified clinical chaplains, chaplains-in-training, spiritual care volunteers, other clinicians, and community faith group representatives (including clergy).

Care of the spirit is as important in the hospital as tending to the physical needs of our patients and families. This concept, however, is often misunderstood and far too rigid in our minds as to what it is and what it is not. While gifts like offering prayer at bedside, reading scripture, or facilitating religious rituals are vastly and fundamentally important, they are not the only aspects of caring for one’s spirit. Spiritual care involves gentle, caring presence, and an openness to hear the questions that may come to mind when facing changes in life. We provide spiritual care to all without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, class, age, physical disability, faith group background or affiliation, or sexual or gender identity, orientation or preference.

We visit patients, family, and staff, not just to speak, but to hear you! We come to see what pages you might turn from your own life so that together we can see a story unfolding of your hopes, confusions, and disillusions about what is happening. We hope to discover together your construction of that which is transcendent and brings purpose and meaning to your life in the midst of your situation.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey