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Chaplaincy Services

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Our chaplains provide emotional and spiritual support for patients, families and staff of all faiths and cultures. Our chaplains respect your dignity and privacy and do not impose religious beliefs or practices. They are caring listeners. You set the agenda and determine the depth of any conversation you have.

The mission of the Chaplaincy Services Department is to help people to draw on their spiritual resources to move toward hope, healing and wholeness.

In carrying out our mission, the Chaplaincy Services staff pledges:

  • To promote holistic care for patients, families and staff
  • To advocate for dignity and respect for all
  • To increase awareness of the role of spiritual values in patient care by being an essential and integrated part of the care team

Chaplaincy Services is present at Akron Children's Hospital to serve the patients, families and staff who spend time in our facilities.  Having a child in the hospital can be a traumatic experience for any child and family. Our experienced spiritual care staff is here to offer spiritual guidance and emotional support. This is done by affirming the dignity and worth of every patient, family member and employee. The Chaplaincy Services Program exists in a multi-cultural and religiously diverse institution and respects and advocates the rights of each individual. Witness to the sacred texts is expressed in holistic ministry to the emotional and spiritual needs of all persons serving or being served by Children’s Hospital. Chaplaincy Services staff recognizes and responds to the interrelatedness of the whole person. Through caring presence during significant moments, the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of the gift of human life are affirmed.

Providing spiritual care

We define spiritual care as the service which assists people in making connections to whatever sustains them spiritually (values and beliefs), and to help them find meaning in the experience of crises, whether or not they are part of a particular religion. Where religion is present, spiritual care seeks to help people experience, as fully as possible, the reality of God’s presence and love in their lives.

Our chaplains are available to serve you when you:

  • Are anxious about your child’s condition
  • Are anticipating surgery
  • Receive bad news
  • Are facing difficult decisions
  • Have a religious question
  • Want to pray with someone
  • Want to receive a sacrament or other religious rites
  • Are struggling with the meaning of illness
  • Are grieving a loss
  • Are having trouble sorting out feelings
  • Are feeling lonely

Our chaplains are available 24 hours a day, and anyone may request a visit from one of them. Call for more information:

Akron campus: call 330-543-8254, or dial 0 for the on-call chaplain 24 hours a day.

Mahoning Valley Campus: call 330-746-8667, or dial 0 for the on-call chaplain 24 hours a day.

Chaplaincy Services offers a variety of pre-recorded religious events for our patients, families and anyone else who would like to view these programs.

We invite you to join us on December 24 for a celebration of Christmas! This service includes inspirational messages, seasonal hymns, scripture readings and prayers honoring the birth of Jesus.

Click here to view the service.

The hospital Chaplain is a clinically trained healthcare specialist who provides spiritual care to patients, their families and the hospital staff. Spiritual care is concerned with the needs of the whole person. The Chaplain works as a member of the multidisciplinary team to provide the best possible holistic patient care. Chaplains are concerned primarily with individuals’ emotional and spiritual needs during their hospitalization or healthcare crisis. Primary tasks of spiritual care:

  • Help individuals draw on their own spiritual resources to help
    • Heal the body
    • Promote peace of mind 
    • Establish emotional stability.

The Chaplain thus provides a dynamic resource for healing and for wholeness by helping to address the individual’s innermost spiritual needs. The Chaplain promotes no religion or faith, but rather is supportive of everyone’s faith pilgrimage. The Chaplain offers the highest degree of confidentiality.

Prayer Requests

Prayer books are located in the Chapel and Meditation Room at Akron Campus.  Prayers may also be requested by using a prayer line:

Akron campus: 330-543-3446

Mahoning Valley: 330-746-8737
 

Materials

Prayer books, sacred texts, prayer shawls, devotional aids and brochures are available in the chaplains' office and in the sacred spaces. You may call the office at 330-543-8254 to request these materials be brought to you. 
 

Meditation

  • Beach Guided Meditation.m4a
  • Meditation for Hospital Worker's Hands.m4a
  • Whole body meditation and prayer.pdf
  • Spirituality and Practice website: This multi-faith and inter spiritual website, founded by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, is devoted to resources for spiritual journeys. The site's name reflects a basic understanding: spirituality and practice are the two places where all the world's religions and spiritual paths come together. While respecting the differences among traditions, we celebrate what they share in common.
  • Click here for information on spiritual practices to disarm fear and uncertainty, use while taking preventative measures, handle social distancing and quarantine, be present with illness, and sustain hope.
  • Click here for an index of resources posted each day on the Spirituality & Practice homepage — practices, readings, films, quotes, and more to help you navigate these times.
  • Tiny Prayers from the Epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Headspace.com  is designed for U.S healthcare workers who work in a public space to bring simple, quick meditation practices to you daily (subscription service)
  • Finger labyrinths.pdf
  • Body Scan Meditation.m4a

 

Coping with Anxiety and Stress 

Practicing Self-Compassion

Being Compassionate to Others

Guided Meditation for Kids

 

Prayers


Labyrinths

Labyrinths are tools used by many cultures and religions throughout history.  Their purpose is to further those looking to bring more spirituality, emotional, psychological and physical well-being into their lives. A labyrinth has a single, winding, unobstructed path from the outside to the center, unlike a maze which has many dead ends and wrong choices designed to trick the mind. Therefore, the labyrinth is often seen as a metaphor for our spiritual 'life' journey -- many twists and turns but no dead ends.  We always have the opportunity to make another choice in life or 'turn' in the labyrinth.  Some frequent users call the experience a meditation in motion, fusing movements and inner calm.  Concentrating only on the course before you, your pace slows, your breathing deepens and your mind becomes clearer as you let go of stress.

Click here to view an example of a labyrinth. From the outside opening at the bottom to the center, move at whatever pace feels right for you. As you do so, you may opt to:

  •  Quiet your mind
  •  Pray for yourself or someone else
  •  Keep a question in mind and feel the questions using your emotions

At the center, pause and take several slow deep breaths.   Here, many believe you are the closest to the center of your spirit and greater insight is available.  When ready to leave the center or you feel satisfied (like after eating a good meal), retrace the path back out to the entrance (which now becomes the exit point). Upon leaving the labyrinth, be grateful and thankful for the opportunity to bring divine strength and insight back with you into your daily life.
 

Additional Resources

Sacred Space

Spaces are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for quiet prayer and meditation for all.


Akron Campus Chapel:

  • The Chapel is located on the third floor of the Akron campus, in zone 3100, near the Information Desk in the atrium lobby.
  • Private space for Muslim prayer is available in the Chapel.

Akron Campus Meditation Room:

  • The Meditation Room is location on the third floor of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion near the information desk and the entrance to the Exchange Street parking deck.   It is open at all times for prayer and meditation to all people. 
  • Private space for Muslim prayer is available in the Meditation Room.

Mahoning Valley Campus:

  • The Thomas H. Kennedy Memorial Chapel is located on the first floor lobby of Building D, room D1757, beside the restrooms. 
  • Private space for Muslim prayer is available in the Thomas H. Kennedy Memorial Chapel.


Matthew Tweddle

Director, Chaplaincy Services
Hematology/Oncology (5600), Infant & Toddler Unit (7200)

Patrick Baxter-Andrews

Chaplain
Burn Unit (3600), School Age Unit 5-12 years (6100), Palliative Care Inpatient

Thomas Bodie

Chaplain
Behavioral Health Inpatient (8100/8200)

Monica Coon-Anda

Chaplain
NICU, Palliative Care

John Morgan

Chaplain
ED/Traumas, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (4600), Adolescent/Teens CF (6200), Transitional Care Unit (7100), Transport



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