Welcome to the Department of Spiritual Care
At Newton-Wellesley Hospital, our team of chaplains and spiritual care volunteers offers compassionate care and support to patients, visitors and staff. Our multi-faith team provides inclusive spiritual care and can explore how your own sense of faith and spirituality may be a resource to you. We will address your unique spiritual journey and support your needs when an ordinary sense of meaning and hope has been disrupted by sudden hospitalization, illness or a life-changing event.
Our mission is to treat every patient as we would a beloved family member. We provide skilled spiritual care with respect and compassion to the patients and families we work with.
Hours: A staff chaplain is available Monday through Friday. At other times, please leave a message and we will make every effort to return your call within 24 hours.
Location: Our office and the Interfaith Prayer Room are located on 2 West, near the Intensive Care Unit. The Interfaith Prayer Room is open 24/7. All are welcome.
Chaplain Alyssa Adreani - Interfaith Chaplain, Department Manager: 617-243-6634
Chaplain Marlene DeLeon - Interfaith Chaplain: 617-243-5990
Chaplain Chasiah Haberman - Interfaith Chaplain: 617-243-6827
The Chaplains at Newton-Wellesley Hospital are clinically trained, have Masters-degree-level theological education and observe standards of practice for use in acute care settings.
Chaplains are an integral part of the patient care team. They participate in interdisciplinary team and family meetings, and contribute a spiritual perspective to a patient’s particular situation and plan of care.
When to Call a Chaplain
Not sure when to call a chaplain? Here are a few of the many reasons you might contact us:
- emotional support and pastoral presence
- faith-specific support and resources
- meditation or prayer
- concerns around grief, distress, fear or other emotions
- responding to trauma, crisis and bereavement concerns
- Drop-in meditation is offered in the Interfaith Prayer Room Monday through Friday at noon and 12:30. All are welcome and no experience or registration is required. Each meditation session is 20 minutes and is led by an experienced, formally trained meditation practitioner.
- During meditation, we sit comfortably with eyes closed (if you wish) and focus on breathing and being in the present moment as your facilitator guides you through a relaxing practice. Typically, there is a small amount of speaking by the facilitator, some silence and some gentle music. Our meditation practice is non-denominational. All are welcome to sit and enjoy the ‘sacred space.'
- Hospital chaplains and spiritual care volunteers are also able to offer guided bedside meditation to patients during their hospitalization. This can be especially helpful before a procedure or while awaiting test results. To request a chaplain for bedside meditation, please contact the Department of Spiritual Care at 617-243-6634.
- Meditation has been shown to lower stress, increase body awareness and self-awareness, regulate emotion and regulate attention. It can also help cultivate a sense of compassion and connectedness. In the hospital environment in particular, meditation can help sustain a sense of peace and well-being during stressful times.
Quiet Mind Cafe: Into Sleep Meditation
Tara Brach: Guided Meditations
The Chopra Center: Guided Meditations
What are spiritual needs and concerns?
Spiritual needs and concerns often relate to questions about our existence, our sense of meaning and purpose, and how we experience or accept life events. In times of crisis or change, we might ask:
- Why is this happening? Why is it happening to me?
- How do I make sense of everything?
- What gives me comfort and hope?
- What am I grateful for?
- What do I believe in? What informs my decisions and beliefs?
- Where do I find support?
- What do I identify as my higher power? How does that relationship guide or comfort me?
Most of us ask these questions at some point in our lives, especially when we or someone we care about is sick or in crisis.
People often find meaning, comfort, hope, goodness and community through their religious practice, beliefs or community of faith. Whether or not religion is part of a person's life, spiritual needs and concerns can still be very important, especially during hospitalization.
What are spiritual resources?
Practices, beliefs, traditions, communities and relationships grounded in one’s religion or sense of spirituality are some of the many resources that a person may turn to in a time of crisis or concern.
Some spiritual resources include:
- Supportive communities (Church, Synagogue, other support groups)
- Holy writings/scripture (Bible, Torah, Qur'an)
- Inspirational writings (poetry, devotional materials, prayer Books)
- Religion-specific items (Sabbath candles, rosary beads, prayer rug)
- Sacramental practices (Communion, Anointing)
These resources can help one find a sense of balance, hope, or peace when a sense of normalcy has been disrupted by illness or crisis. Spiritual resources may also provide meaning, hope, and comfort during difficult times.
What do spiritual needs and resources have to do with being in the hospital?
Numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years have shown that a person's health and well-being benefits when his/her spiritual needs are addressed.
Some benefits include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Improved pain management
- Improved experience of their stay
- Improved motivation to complete the tasks of healing
- Improved management of cardiovascular needs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure)
- Improved sense of well-being
If you would like to talk with someone about your spiritual needs or resources or simply connect with someone who can listen to your concerns with empathy and support, please contact our office and ask to speak with a chaplain.
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