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Spiritual Care at UPMC in Central Pa.

Our Spiritual Care Services are designed to meet the spiritual, emotional and religious needs of all our patients and their families.

Our spiritual care team is a group of caring and compassionate individuals who help patients and families draw upon the strength and wisdom of their faiths to:

  • Understand and cope with illness
  • Cope with grief and loss
  • Make ethical and moral decisions
  • Make end of life decisions

Our Spiritual Care Team

The spiritual care team includes:

  • Full/Part time Staff Chaplains
  • Administrative Staff
  • Catholic Priests and Eucharistic Ministers
  • On-call ministers
  • Chaplain Assistant volunteers
  • Volunteer clerical staff
  • Liaisons for other faith traditions (Jewish, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Buddhist)

Patient Support

The spiritual care team offers patients and families caring and compassionate support including:

  • Counseling of patients, families and friends
  • Offering prayers and the administration of sacraments
  • Providing crisis support
  • Assisting with ethical and moral decisions
  • Serving as a patient advocate

Our clergy make regular visits to patients when requested at all UPMC hospitals in central Pa.. A member of the spiritual care team is on-call 24 hours a day to respond to patient needs.

Patients should inform a member of the patient's health care team if they desire a visit. Patient confidentiality and cultural needs are respected at all times.

Staff Support

The spiritual care team provides spiritual and emotional support to staff and can act as a liaison between clinical staff, patients, families and friends. Educational in-service programs regarding the link between spirituality and healing are also available.

Chaplain Program

A Chaplain is on call 24/7 for emergencies. Call the hospital operator at 717-782-3131 and ask for the chaplain on-call for the particular faith tradition and campus. For non-emergent needs call the Chaplain listed below for the campus or call 717-782-5700 and listen for the directory. Other concerns can be directed to Rev. Dr. Brenda Alton.

The Chaplain will be contacted when:

  • A request is made by a patient or family
  • A request is made by the clergy
  • The patient is experiencing grief, anxiety, depression, loneliness or personal issues
  • There are ethical or moral dilemmas
  • There are crisis situations

The Spiritual Care Services Staff have offices (Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; M-F) at:

  • UPMC Harrisburg (Main 1)
  • Polyclinic (1 Memorial)
  • UPMC Community Osteopathic
  • UPMC West Shore

Staff Chaplains can be reached at the following locations

UPMC Harrisburg:

  • Rev. Dr. Brenda Alton (Manager) 717-782-5450 or at
  • Office Coordinator 717-782-5220
  • Chaplain Megan Burd-Harris 717-231-8891
  • Chaplain Robert Saville (Wednesday only) 717-782-5210 or at
  • Chaplain Jackie Ravenel (Thursday only) 717-782-5210

UPMC Hanover:

UPMC Carlisle:

UPMC Community Osteopathic:

UPMC Lititz:

  • Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Deibler 717-625-5663 or at

UPMC Memorial:

UPMC West Shore:

  • Chaplain Nathaniel Gadsden (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm) 717-988-1080 or at

PA Psychiatric Institute (PPI):

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center:

Chapel Information

Patients and families are welcome to use our chapels and meditation room at any time, day or night. Chapels are available for worship and meditation at all UPMC hospitals  in central Pa.

Spiritual Care Volunteering Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering for the spiritual care services click here for more information.

UPMC Central Pa. Portal

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