Patients & Visitors
Spiritual Care is comprised of professional chaplains and support personnel responsible for providing and facilitating an effective, compassionate response to the spiritual needs of the community of persons entrusted to Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. Our aim is to integrate spiritual care into the fabric of all services provided by Mayo Clinic Health System, and our goal is to contribute to the overall well-being of individuals in the tradition of our sponsors, The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
While patients are the primary recipients of care, family members and friends of patients, as well as staff also are included:
- Services are offered to all regardless of their affiliation, or lack of affiliation, with any particular religious denomination or sect.
- Worship services are offered in the Roman Catholic tradition on a regular basis throughout the year in the chapel.
- Ecumenical services are offered around specific religious holidays or celebrations or whenever appropriate. An interdenominational service is offered on Sunday for psychiatric patients and on Thursday for Sub-Acute Unit patients and their families.
- Staff chaplains make Sacraments and other religious observances available or arrange those services from community clergy.
- A bimonthly ecumenical memorial service is offered for all family members who have experienced the death of a loved one in the medical center and also for staff who have experienced the loss of a family member. Staff chaplains occasionally are called upon by the families of unchurched patients to perform funerals of their loved ones who have died at our facility.
Coverage in the hospital by the clinical staff is from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. weekends. The on-call group of chaplains covers all emergent needs during the remaining hours.
Spiritual Care staff
All clinical members of the Spiritual Care Department are board-certified by a recognized national accrediting agency. The six chaplains that cover emergent care on an on-call basis represent the Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian, UCC and Methodist faiths. In addition, a Roman Catholic priest always is on backup call for sacramental needs.
Spiritual Care in the medical setting
As patients are admitted, they are visited by one of the staff chaplains to acquaint them with pastoral services, assess their needs and formulate with the patient a plan to assist them in using their strengths in coping with their medical condition. Follow-up visits are done in relation to assessed needs and/or ability of patients to utilize the service:
- Specialized care is given in specific areas of the medical center. In Day Surgery, patients are asked prior to admission if they have a spiritual need they would like to address during their hospital stay. A chaplain is available pre-operatively to offer support and encouragement.
- Spirituality groups are run as an integral component of the treatment provided on an ongoing basis by a chaplain in Behavioral Health (Psychiatry).
- Members of the Spiritual Care Department hear second, third and fifth steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step process.
- Chaplains are part of the SHARE program in the Family Birthplace and clinic when parents experience the loss of their child through miscarriage, stillbirth or shortly after birth.
- All chaplains are certified requestors for cases involving organ donation.
- A chaplain is part of the Oncology team that follows the patient through the course of their treatment in the clinic and medical center.
- Chaplains are included in unit conferences for these hospital units: 7th Medical, 3rd Surgical, Medical Intensive Care, Sub-Acute, Rehab and Behavioral Health (Psychiatry).
- Chaplains assist with advance care planning.
Spiritual Care in the community
The Spiritual Care Department supports the organization's community efforts by serving as liaison to religious congregations in the community. An example is notification by a patient's clergy that the patient has been admitted (if the patient gives permission to do so) and by the facilitation of the patient's pastor's ministry. Another example is the provision of educational programming to the staff and members of religious congregation. The Spiritual Care Department also is responsible for a community-based educational center accredited by the USCCB offering clinical pastoral education (CPE), and training to professionals and paraprofessionals providing ministry in the community, as well as in the medical institutions.
Healing Through Grief Series
Spiritual Care offers a series to assist those coping with loss and grief. The program meets on alternate Monday evenings. View the program schedule of topics.