Spiritual Care Services

Chaplains work closely with our healthcare teams to support patients, families and staff. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), chaplains provide spiritual care to persons of all faiths or no faith, 24/7. They also educate and support staff and serve as a liaison between families and their local clergy. Chaplains support the diverse spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of patients and families as they cope with the trauma, stress and challenges of illness and hospitalization.

Chaplains offer:

  • Compassionate listening and nonjudgmental presence
  • Prayer for healing, hope, reconciliation or any other spiritual needs
  • Bereavement support
  • Support prior to, during and after surgery, as well as in family meetings
  • Decision-making support and consultation on religious/ethical issues
  • Guidance with spiritual questioning and issues of faith and meaning making
  • Ritual and sacramental support
  • Connections to and facilitation of visits with outside clergy or spiritual advisers on a families’ behalf
  • Access to Bibles, Korans, Prayer Books and other religious items like Shabbat candles, rosaries and prayer cards, etc.
  • Support for religious holidays throughout the year

How to contact a chaplain

  • Chaplains are available 24/7
  • Chaplains are in-house from 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • On weekends, a chaplain is typically in-house from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • On-call coverage is available at all other times by reaching out to a CHOP team member and asking them to reach out to the on-call Chaplain via our secure messaging system

Meet our Spiritual Care Team

Our Spiritual Care Team, CHOP Chaplains are master-degree level educated, clinically trained, and religiously endorsed clergy who provide spiritual and pastoral care for patients, families, and staff at CHOP of all. They also facilitate clergy referrals, educate staff, and serve as liaisons for families with religiously specific clergy needs. The spiritual care team at CHOP is available 24/7/ Chaplains are in-house from 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On weekends, a chaplain is frequently in-house from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  On-call coverage is available at all other times by calling the hospital operator at 215-590-1000 and asking them to reach out to the on-call chaplain via our secure messaging system.

Manager of Spiritual Care and Education

  • Rev. Dr. Liam Robins, ACPE Certified Educator

Staff Chaplains

  • David Bradley
  • Cantor Rebecca Carl, MSM, BCC
  • Dexter Lanctot, MDiv.
  • The Rev. Laura Palmer, MDiv., BCC
  • Kelly Jean-Philippe, MDiv.
  • Rev. Millicent Wess, MDiv., BCC

Per-Diem chaplains

  • Patricia Anton
  • Verna Hutchinson-Toler, MDiv
  • Bishop Vernon Nyangulu, MA

Reflective and religious spaces

The Schlimm Center for Prayer and Reflection is located on the first floor of the Main Building, just off the Rotunda by the Food Court. Three rooms, one larger and two smaller, provide quiet and reflective spaces where all are welcome to pray, reflect and meditate.

Kosher pantries are located within the Main Building near the Food Court and the Buerger Center inside the Welcome Center. A chaplain can provide access.

Patients, families and staff may leave private prayer requests for the chaplains in the wooden prayer box located in the lobby of the Schlimm Center. Confidentiality is honored by the chaplains who read and respond to these requests.

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