Spiritual Care

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The spiritual care team at CVMC consists of two chaplains who are available weekdays to support patients, their families and friends, and hospital staff.

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The spiritual care team at CVMC consists of two chaplains who are available weekdays to support patients, their families and friends, and hospital staff.

What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality is a term used to describe the way we seek and express meaning and purpose in our lives, as well as how we experience connection to ourselves, each other, nature, the moment, and the significant or sacred. Our understanding and experience of spirituality is unique to each of us.

What Is Spiritual Care?

Spiritual care is founded in a holistic view that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Our bodies give us physical access to the world, which can be compromised by disability, an accident, or illness. With our minds, we reflect on our experiences, remember the past, and imagine the future. The spirit can be thought of as our essence, what makes us unique, where we hold our deepest strength and most profound feelings. Spiritual care holds all of these aspects while focusing on the spirit, the essence of the person and where life holds meaning, particularly when coping with the uncertainty and stress of illness and life changes.

The goal of spiritual care is to support the beliefs and resources that help people cope by listening for what is important to them. This support may take the form of reflective listening to life stories; acknowledging and affirming feelings; sitting with tears; offering prayer, a guided meditation, or other ritual; contacting clergy and religious communities; facilitating difficult family conversations or discussions with medical staff;  or visiting to ease loneliness and fear.

What Is a Chaplain?

Chaplains are spiritual care professionals who are clinically trained to assess and address the emotional and spiritual needs of people from all faith traditions and no faith tradition, agnostics, atheists, and those who don’t identify with the term spiritual. Chaplains respect all beliefs and values and help people find meaning and comfort by enabling them to identify and draw upon their own sources of inner strength. Many find comfort in simply connecting with someone who has the time to listen.

Spiritual Resources

If you would like a visit from a chaplain, you can ask your nurse to make a referral, or call the spiritual care office at 371-4376.

Catholic clergy and lay leaders visit the hospital Monday through Thursday to offer prayer and communion. If you would like a Catholic visit, please ask your nurse or chaplain.

The CVMC chapel, on the second floor near the elevators and between the nursing units, is available 24/7 for private prayer, meditation, and reflection. 

Religious texts and nonsectarian inspirational writings, poetry, and stories, as well as rosaries, Shabbat candles, and prayer rugs, are available upon request. Ask your nurse or phone the chaplains at 371-4376.


Care Providers

Our Chaplains

CVMC Chaplain Priscilla Minkin

Priscilla Minkin has an M.A. in theology and an M.Ed. and is board certified through the Spiritual Care Association. She has traveled through many religious traditions, and her multicolored theology enables her to meet patients and families wherever they are on their life journeys. She enjoys swimming, reading, people, and catching the stories of all the patients, family members, and others she meets.


CVMC Chaplain Patsy Fortney

Patsy Fortney is a graduate of the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She has worked as a dreamwork counselor and is a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care counselor. She has a special interest in how we live with grief, trauma, and death and dying. When she is not providing spiritual care, she can often be found wandering around outside, sitting by a river, or walking up a mountain.




Central Vermont Medical Center campus

Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care
130 Fisher Road
Berlin, VT 05602



Available weekdays.