How spiritual care helps

Grand River Hospital offers a full-service spiritual care program, helping to meet the needs of patients, families, physicians, staff and volunteers.

Sometimes called chaplains, spiritual care providers work with all people--those connected with a faith community, those who find themselves without community, and those who find their support outside of a faith group.

We believe that many spiritual practices are important to healing. Sometimes patients want a visit from their own spiritual leader or are seeking a particular religious ritual. At your request, we can help you contact spiritual resources and faith communities outside the hospital. Spiritual care providers can also help patients and families talk about their specific spiritual or religious needs and how these can best be met during the time in the hospital.

How to reach a spiritual care provider 

If you would like the services of a spiritual care provider, ask any hospital staff to assist you in contacting us. You can also call our main extension 2142 with less urgent requests, or contact the on-call spiritual care provider through the hospital switchboard (dial ‘0’ on a house phone, or 519-749-4300 ext '0' from outside the hospital).

You are welcome to visit us at our offices in the KW Campus, 3C corridor, room 310, a space we share with volunteer resources. At the Freeport Campus, you can find us at the Village Centre 2nd floor swing space (not far from the Sanctuary).

Our resources

Through a long-standing volunteer on-call program, a spiritual care provider, either staff or volunteer, is available 24 hours a day for emergency and crisis situations. In partnership with the local Roman Catholic Deanery and St. Mary’s General Hospital, there is also a Roman Catholic priest on-call for Sacramental emergencies at all times.

We have the equivalent of four full-time spiritual care staff at Grand River Hospital, as well as approximately 30 volunteers and over 300 credentialed local faith community leaders. All staff spiritual care providers and several of our volunteers are trained through the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC). You may find more information about the profession of spiritual care at the CASC website (opens in a new window). We also offer a unit of clinical pastoral education at Freeport Campus (September - April) with a certified supervisor-educator on staff, as well as providing field education supervision at KW Campus to several spiritual care interns from education institutions with whom GRH has affiliation agreements.

All our staff spiritual care providers are also registered psychotherapists with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) (opens in a new window.)

News and stories from spiritual care at GRH