The Department of Pastoral Care provides spiritual care and emotional support to the patients, families and staff of Howard County General Hospital, regardless of religious affiliation.The director of pastoral care, associate chaplains and clergy and lay volunteers – representing a variety of religious traditions and trained in spiritual support and crisis intervention – make daily patient visitations.
The department also offers:
An inter-denominational/interfaith Chapel is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The chapel is on the first floor of the hospital next to the Pastoral Care Department offices and near the Observation Unit of the hospital.
Clergy Available On-Call 24-hours
The Department maintains a list of community clergy of various faiths that may be contacted for visits or consultations upon request. For further information, call the department between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 410-740-7898. For emergencies after 5 p.m., call the main hospital number at 410-740-7890, dial 0, and ask for the clergy on-call.
Religious Services and Ceremonies
Services are held periodically throughout the week. Patient visitation, baptism, anointing, communion, and inspirational literature for variety of religious traditions are available upon request. Contact the department for further information.
Pastoral Care is also part of the Palliative Medicine Team. Palliative Medicine is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine that focuses on improving the quality of life for those with chronic, debilitating and life-limiting illnesses. At HCGH, care is provided by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a palliative medicine physician who provides medication and treatment to reduce pain and other symptoms; a nurse practitioner who provides symptom management for patients with advanced chronic illness; and a social worker and chaplain who provide emotional and spiritual support for patients and families.
Pastoral Visitor Training Program
This sixteen-week program provides training in visitation, listening, the grieving process, crisis intervention, pastoral identity, use of spirituality for healing and care for the care giver. The program is limited to 12 people per session and an interview is required for admission. For further information, contact Chaplain Jack Dunlavey in Pastoral Care at 410-740-7898..
Pastoral Counseling Services
The HCGH Pastoral Care Department offers free confidential counseling services in partnership with Loyola College’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Counseling. They are trained in both psychology and theology, and are trained to counsel all people regardless of their religious or spiritual backgrounds. Staff, volunteers, patients and families are encouraged to take advantage of these services for any concerns or issues that arise either at the hospital or in other aspects of the individual’s life. All services are provided free of charge.
Spiritual Care Volunteer Programs
The Department of Pastoral Care needs clergy and lay volunteers of all religious persuasions for our Spiritual Care Volunteer Programs. Volunteers offer spiritual support to patients and family members through prayer, meditation, worship, sacrament or other religious rituals to members of their own religious tradition or in ecumenical/interfaith capacity. Coverage is especially needed during evening and weekend hours. Interested clergy of any faith tradition should contact Reverend Stephen Mann, Director of Pastoral Care at 410-740-7898.
Lay volunteers are encouraged to apply for our Pastoral Visitors Training Program. Offered twice each year – spring and fall – the program provides 32 hours of training in empathetic listening, spiritual support and acute grief counseling. Upon completion of training, all participants must volunteer for a minimum of one year and eight hours a month. Interested persons should contact Chaplain Jack Dunlavey of Pastoral Care at 410-740-7898.
For further information on our services, to request informationor to arrange a visitation or consultation, please call the department at 410-740-7898.
Our mailing address is:
Howard County General Hospital
Department of Pastoral Care
5755 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044