Covering the Spectrum of Spiritual Needs

Friday, June 20, 2014 - 2:55pm
Director, Pastoral Care

When facing a cancer diagnosis, many people turn to their faith to cope. This can be a confusing and difficult time, and religion offers some patients a way to find hope and answers. Spirituality often provides a framework that helps patients make sense of their diagnosis. Others may question their faith at such a hard time. For all of these specific needs, Pastoral Care at Roswell Park assists patients and their loved ones through comprehensive and personalized spiritual support services.

Our team is here to help you better understand how your faith can guide and comfort you during your journey with cancer. Some of the ways we help patients include: hosting interfaith services and gatherings, visiting patients during treatment and being compassionate listeners for those who just need to talk, and connecting patients and loved ones with other resources in our religious community. We’ve assisted patients who have requested baptisms or other faith rituals. These are just a few examples of how we can accommodate the needs of our patients and families.

While our team is made up of clergy from several different faiths, we understand that it would be impossible to have a staff person to represent every religion and spiritual need. That’s why the Pastoral Care team is dedicated to building a team of consultants in our community that represent a wide range of faiths. When a patient approaches us for help, we can turn to this network to find a clergyperson who can best meet their needs.

More and more, physicians understand that spiritual and emotional support is an important part of a patient’s overall care plan. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2007 demonstrated that patients who had spiritual support reported a higher quality of life than those who did not. That’s why Pastoral Care works as part of the entire care team at Roswell Park, consulting with physicians, nurses, social workers and more.

Caring for the heart, mind and soul of our patients and their families is our mission. If you or a loved one could benefit from spiritual support of any kind, please contact the Pastoral Care team at 716-845-8051.