Print view logo

Spiritual Care

In This Section

WellSpan Health acknowledges the importance of spiritual and religious values in treating the whole person. The Department of Spiritual Care and Education provides for the spiritual care of the patient, family and staff. The Spiritual Care and Education Department understands that health care involves physical procedures and supporting the patient and family to resolve spiritual and emotional issues in order to broaden the pathway to health. 

Some reasons why you might want to contact a chaplain:

  • A critical illness or sudden change in a patient’s condition.
  • Any sudden loss. This could be the death of a spouse, relative or friend. Or it might be the loss of hope due to unsettling news.
  • Request by the patient or the patient’s family for Bible, sacred literature, prayer, etc.
  • When religious belief or concerns are significant.
  • Upon receiving results from diagnostic reports indicating serious problems.
  • Terminal illness and when death occurs.
  • High anxiety or other emotional difficulty, when support may be helpful.
  • During a social or family crisis.
  • Loneliness or when the patient is cut off from their usual support system of family members and friends.
  • When another perspective on a patient's problem is needed.


There are interfaith chapels or meditation rooms available at locations throughout WellSpan Health:

  • WellSpan York Hospital's interfaith chapel, located on the first floor (Atrium)
  • WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital interfaith chapel, located on first floor
  • WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital's interfaith chapel, located on the second floor
  • WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital's interfaith meditation room, located on the first floor
  • WellSpan Ephrata Community chapel, located on the first floor
  • WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital interfaith chapel, located on the first floor
  • WellSpan Dixon Foundation Health Center interfaith chapel, located on the first floor
  • WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital interfaith chapel, located on first floor

How We Can Help

Spiritual Care and Education cares for persons of all faiths with respect for individual beliefs. Our chaplains and staff listen and respond to people as they talk about their needs, beliefs, problems, anxieties, questions and hopes.

We also provide religious resources such as prayer, religious readings/articles, items (e.g. rosaries) and sacred texts (Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc.). We can arrange for receipt of sacraments such as Holy Communion, Baptism and Anointing. Spiritual Care and Education can also contact the religious leader of your choice and provide opportunity for worship.

Our chaplains are professionally trained to work in the interdisciplinary setting of WellSpan Health, including clinical rounds and staff meetings. We are available to consult with medical and clinical staff regarding patient or family needs and about the ethical, moral, social and religious questions that can arise. Chaplains and staff can also provide education to medical, nursing and interdisciplinary staff about interfacing religion and medicine. Personal support for staff is always available.

Chaplains at WellSpan are available around the clock, every day of the week. There are several options for contacting a chaplain:

1. Call the hospital operator for immediate attention:

  • WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital - (717) 267-3000
  • WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital – (717) 733-0311
  • WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital – (717) 334-2121
  • WellSpan Good Samaritan – (717) 270-7500
  • WellSpan Philhaven – (717) 273-8871
  • WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital – (717) 812-6100
  • WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital - (717) 765-4000
  • WellSpan York Hospital – (717) 851-2345
  • When in any of the hospitals, you can also dial "0" and ask the hospital operator to page the on-call chaplain.

2. Call the Spiritual Care and Education office during normal business hours (Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

  • Chambersburg (717) 262-4526
  • Ephrata – (717) 738-6485
  • Gettysburg – (717) 337-4300
  • Good Samaritan – (717) 270-7998
  • Philhaven – (717) 270-2446
  • York – (717) 851-2305

3. Ask a staff member at any time to contact a chaplain.

Information for Community Faith Leaders


WellSpan Health seeks to provide support, and where desirable, supplement pastoral ministry by community faith leaders to persons from their congregations who become patients. The Spiritual Care and Education Department supports patients with their spiritual and religious resources by facilitating the ministry of their clergy and faith groups. 


  1. Spiritual care services offered to patients and families with WellSpan Health by community faith leaders are under the oversight, and thereby administratively accountable, to the Director of Spiritual Care and Education. 
    1. Indiscriminate, unsolicited, and unauthorized visiting anywhere in the hospital is prohibited. When designated, specific ministers whose residence is outside of Adams, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties may visit persons of their denomination or faith group. 
    2. Community faith leaders are to be treated as members of the healthcare team in every respect. They may visit their congregants at any time and are not to be considered a “visitor” regarding entity visitation policy. 
    3. Should a WellSpan staff member have a concern about the visitation of a community faith leader, they are to dial “0” and contact the chaplain on call. 
  2. Community faith leaders do not have access to the electronic health record. No information is provided to community faith leaders without patient or family permission. 
    1. Upon receiving permission from the patient or family provided at admission, Spiritual Care and Education provides notice of admission to area clergy and/or congregations while respecting patient privacy and confidentiality.
      1. The Spiritual Care and Education Department shares information to authorized persons only when necessary to the ultimate benefit of the patient.
        1. Authorized persons are defined as hospital spiritual care staff, those providing spiritual care on-call coverage within the hospital, and with the patient’s permission, the patient’s designated clergy or spiritual caregiver.
      2. All records concerning sacraments, baptisms, sacraments of the sick, or patient care will be considered confidential information and will be divulged only by the chaplain or Director of Spiritual Care and Education to the patient’s designated clergy or spiritual caregiver.
    2. With patient and/or family permission, hospital staff may notify a clergy person in the event of a congregant’s unexpected medical deterioration or death.
    3. The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg appoints the Catholic priest to York Hospital and charges him with the responsibility to provide spiritual and sacramental care to all Catholic patients at York Hospital. If a Catholic patient declines the visit by a Catholic priest, the patient’s name will not be put on the Catholic patient visitation list.