At Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, we know that care of the spirit cannot be separated from physical care. In our Caring Tradition, we see you as a complete person. We honor your unique spirit, physical and emotional needs, values and beliefs. Recognizing the diversity of spiritual, cultural and religious traditions you bring to us, we are committed to respecting all these things as we care for you.

Our chaplains are our spiritual care specialists, caring for people who are not religious, for those who follow particular faith traditions, and for those who are exploring the meaning of life. They have extensive training to allow them to understand, support and advocate for your beliefs and values. We know that your cultural, spiritual and religious beliefs are the basis for your decisions about health care. Therefore, our chaplains work with the healthcare team to ensure that your beliefs and values are part of discussions about your medical care.

Our chaplains offer a supportive presence and listening ear, provide comfort in a crisis, help with ethical decisions and work to improve communication with the medical team. They understand and respect different world-views, spiritual beliefs and religious traditions and their effect on health. Their goal is to help you draw upon your own spiritual resources. Their care is always provided in the context of your belief system.

Clinically trained chaplains are able to assist both religious and non-religious people.

If you do not practice a particular religion, chaplains still offer their caring presence. They support your unique perspective on life and can facilitate your thinking about the challenges of life and about its meaning. The chaplain's role is not to judge another's spiritual journey but to be a companion on that journey.

Faith community leaders are important to spiritual care in the hospital. They are welcome any time you would like them to be here. Because we protect your privacy carefully, we do not notify them of your presence in the hospital unless you ask us to do so. We are happy to call them or to arrange for religious rituals or support.