Kathleen Gallivan, SNDdeN, PhD, director, Spiritual Care Services


The everyday practice of BWH chaplains is so closely aligned with the ten Caritas Processes and especially those highlighted in this month’s issue of Heart & Science.

As a hospital community, we have the opportunity to join with other hospitals across the country during Spiritual Care Week each year (the third week of October) to celebrate and acknowledge the important work of chaplains who care for patients, families and staff by providing emotional and spiritual support and strength.

Celebrating this year’s theme of Spiritual Resilience, the week began with BWH chaplains offering “Hershey Kisses Blessings” to all who passed by the gift shop. Each Hershey’s Kiss came with a slip of paper that included a short blessing.

This year, we also marked the occasion with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Spiritual Care Services at BWH. More than 100 people gathered in the new Building for Transformative Medicine for Grand Rounds, “The Once and Future Chaplain: The Evolving Role of Spiritual Care and Spiritual Care Education,” presented by Dr. Trace Haythorn, PhD, executive director of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

In addition to the guest presentation, we shared a video, “Journeys of the Spirit,” which highlights the many ways in which our chaplains provide care for the entire BWH community. In the video, staff chaplains, nurses, physicians, social workers, patients and family members share examples and testimonials of how BWH chaplains meet the needs of patients, families and staff, joining with them as integral members of the interprofessional team.

Visit the BWH Spiritual Care Services Department on www.brighamandwomens.org to watch the video.

Did you know that staff chaplains need to be board certified which requires a master’s degree in addition to 1,600 hours of clinical training in spiritual or pastoral care before they can submit an application, and after which they must meet a national committee?