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Church foundation grant supports patients’ spiritual needs
Burke Hospice and Palliative Care

Church foundation grant supports patients’ spiritual needs

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VALDESE — Burke Hospice and Palliative Care has received a $2,000 grant from the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation to support spiritual services offered to the patients and families enrolled in hospice care.

Hospice care extends beyond medical needs to include emotional and spiritual support for patients and their loved ones. Spiritual support is traditionally provided through chaplain services.

The foundation grant is being used to create spiritual tool kits for Burke Hospice chaplains to use. The kits will equip them with items needed to support hospice patients regardless of their faith or spiritual beliefs.

The role of a hospice chaplain is to honor and support the spiritual needs of their patients during the end-of-life process, said Laura Roach, Burke Hospice support services coordinator. A chaplain serves as an integral member of the hospice care team and meets patients where they are with their spiritual needs, beliefs and goals.

Roach, who oversees spiritual care at Burke Hospice, said the role and purpose of a chaplain can be very nuanced and is often misunderstood.

“Depending on who you ask, you can receive a wide range of ideas about who a chaplain is or what a chaplain does,” she said. “At Burke Hospice, our chaplains are highly qualified and trained to provide pastoral care support. This means meeting people at the point of their need. Our chaplains provide holistic spiritual care with therapeutic interventions interwoven into respectful reflection and response.”

The grant helps ensure that patients and families have their spiritual needs met.

“The Grace Episcopal Church Foundation Grant will allow our chaplains to continue to provide high quality spiritual care services with an enhancement in resources,” Roach said. “We will be able to provide important sacred scriptures for those unable to obtain their own, utilization music, oils and other holy symbols, tangible and intangible, that provide comfort, healing and care.”

Items purchased with the funds include large-print Bibles, hand crosses, finger labyrinths, devotional books, poetry books, anointing oils, prayer books, prayer beads, prayer shawls, all sacred books of faith, communion kits, incense and grief support books.

“Chaplains at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care offer spiritual support to patients and the families of all denominations, faith and spiritual beliefs and to those who are not invested in any spiritual views,” said Kerri McFalls, business development manager for the agency. “With this grant, our chaplains are able to extend their services and better educate those that they serve on how they can support our patients during their end-of-life journey. We are very grateful for the grant from the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation and the continued support from the rest of our local faith community.”

For more information about Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, visit

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