Spiritual Care Offers Compassion and Respite

Spiritual Care Offers Compassion and Respite

For more than 50 years, Cleveland Clinic has recognized spiritual care as an important aspect of patients’ healing process. In January 1961, the Department of Pastoral Care was established with the Rev. Bernhard A. Loeschen serving as its first Chaplain.

Today, patients and families have access to the pastoral services of priests, pastors, rabbis or imams. “Our clinically trained chaplains are committed to providing appropriate and compassionate spiritual care while respecting each individual’s own faith tradition and religious or spiritual beliefs,” says the Rev. Amy Greene, DMin, Cleveland Clinic’s Director of the Department of Spiritual Care. “Our program offers respite care and pastoral education, as well.”

The Department of Spiritual Care is part of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Ethics, Humanities & Spiritual Care that encompasses bioethics, medical humanities, neuronethics and spiritual care. Chaired by Eric Kodish, MD, the Center brings together services that support patients, educate caregivers and assure best ethical practices.

Spiritual care sites on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus include:

  • Bikur Cholim Hospitality Room and Kosher Pantry
    Jewish patients and their families now can visit a recently expanded Kosher Pantry. The new, larger Bikur Cholim Hospitality Room and Kosher Pantry provides kosher amenities, privacy and rest, with seating for eight people and two rooms that now better accommodate provisions and amenities for the Sabbath.
  • Muslim Prayer Room
    The Sheikh Maktoum Prayer Room for Muslim patients and visitors is open for use at all times. Friday Prayer is offered at 12:45 and 1:45 p.m. Foot-washing facilities and adjoining prayer area within the prayer room are available for Muslim women who would like to join communal prayers.
  • Chapel
    The Catherine T. and John E. Gallagher Family Chapel is a quiet, peaceful place for prayer, meditation and reflection. Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher worked with the architect to design a tranquil sanctuary for worship.
  • Rooftop
    Labyrinth On the roof of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Pavilion is a labyrinth for walking meditation or prayer. A chaplain is in attendance on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to provide assistance, as needed.

“In crisis, most patients and families are grateful to speak with any spiritual leader,” says the Rev. Dennis Kenny, DMin., Associate Director of the Department of Spiritual Care. “From the beginning, we have served the Jewish faith, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others with a large staff of religious personnel. We work to provide support and care for whatever is needed in crisis without any sort of proselytizing.”

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