Spiritual Care at Memorial


At Memorial, we recognize the unique needs of each individual and that spiritual care can improve healing.  Our Spiritual Care staff members and volunteers are available 24 hours a day to assist you.


We offer spiritual care to patients and families in all of our facilities: Memorial Hospital, Memorial Home Health/Hospice, Cottage in the Meadow, North Star Lodge, Garden Village, and Children’s Village.


About Chaplains

Spiritual Care Chaplains and staff have received education in spiritual care and are committed to walking with patients and families in times of crisis or life transitions.


A chaplain is different from a pastor or priest (we’ll call them clergy)—but they work together. Clergy from a particular faith focus and put that into practice as they work with their parishioners. Chaplains, on the other hand, work to learn what a patient believes and then walk with the patient in his/her spirituality. Chaplains connect patients with their spiritual leader, if the patient desires. Chaplains help patients work through issues of fear, isolation, the future, relationships, grief, and peace.


Chaplains and Hospice

Medicare requires that spiritual care services be offered to hospice patients and their families. In the first days after a patient is admitted to hospice, the patient is offered spiritual care services from one of our chaplains. The chaplain help the patient and family deal with fears and concerns; work through difficult issues or relationships; assist in funeral planning; connect with churches/spiritual leaders; and identify and manage anticipatory grief before death, and help family cope with issues of loss and grief after death.


Spiritual Care Helps Improve Healing By:

  • Providing support for you and your family members
  • Attending to your spiritual needs
  • Respecting your faith beliefs, traditions, and cultural background
  • Maintaining confidentiality and respect for personal privacy
  • Honoring your dignity
  • Offering spiritual resources


What to Expect in a Spiritual Care Visit:

  • Someone to sit and listen
  • Someone to contact your spiritual leader (minister, priest, pastor, rabbi, bishop, etc.)
  • Someone to communicate your needs to others
  • Someone to be with you when you have difficult decisions to make
  • Someone to offer support through fears and concerns
  • Someone to provide spiritual rituals, Sacraments, or other resources


How to Arrange a Visit:

Memorial has spiritual care available 24 hours a day.


Please ask a facility staff member to help you arrange a spiritual care visit, or Dial “0” from any Memorial phone to reach the operator, who will contact the chaplain. All religious leaders are welcome in Memorial’s facilities.


Are You Interested in Becoming A Spiritual Care Volunteer?

Training as a Spiritual Care Volunteer includes:

  • Orientation to Memorial Hospice (16 hours)
  • Orientation to Memorial Hospital (3 hours)
  • Spiritual Care Training (5 hours)


Once trained, our volunteers serve a minimum of 4 hours per week.

Spiritual Care Volunteers:

  • Visit with patients in the hospital
  • Deliver Bereavement packets to families that have just suffered the death of a loved one
  • Learn coping/grief methods
  • Provide office assistance for the Spiritual Care Department

If you are interested in volunteering in the Spiritual Care Department at Memorial, contact Laurie Oswalt at 575-8035 or email at laureloswalt@yvmh.org.



For Yakima Area Clergy:

We want you on the Memorial Spiritual Care Team, and we want you to be able to serve your parishioners as effectively—and efficiently—as possible. To that end, Memorial’s Spiritual Care Department regularly offers Spiritual Care Orientation, a three-hour seminar that focuses on:

  • What being a member of the Spiritual Care Team looks like
  • Leadership Resources
  • Role of Pastor vs. Role of Chaplain
  • HiPAA Regulations
  • Tips for Visiting Patients at Memorial
  • Tools for Coping with Grief
  • Safety at Memorial
  • Summary of Memorial’s Resources

Upon completion of the Spiritual Care Orientation, clergy are invited to apply for a Memorial Spiritual Care badge, which will identify you as a member of the Memorial team and allow you easier access to your church members while they are being treated at any of Memorial’s facilities.


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