Spiritual Care Services
Enhancing healing and wholeness by attending to people's spiritual needs.
"We cannot help seeing that there is the closest of connections between the soul and hope. I almost think that hope is for the soul what breathing is for the living organism. Where hope is lacking, the soul dries up and withers."
- Gabriel Marcel
We believe that spirit is an important dimension of human wholeness and the healing process, and that human beings often need help to face the emotional and spiritual impact of illness and crisis.
The chaplains at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center help patients, families, and staff deal with issues of fear, loneliness, hopelessness, ethical values, and questions of meaning.
We are an interfaith team of chaplains and serve people of all religious backgrounds as well as those who follow no traditional or specific religious or spiritual path.
A chaplain is assigned to each inpatient clinical unit at the medical center and our services at the medical center are provided free of charge.
Spiritual Care Provided by the Chaplains
Chaplains provide spiritual care in the following ways:
- Response to emergency and crisis situations
- Spiritual care to patients through staff referrals, patient requests, and rounding
- Guidance in clarifying spiritual concerns, religious beliefs, and ethical issues related to patient care
- Sacred and religious rituals, practices, and services
- Copies of scriptures and holy writings from diverse religious traditions
- Staff support, including debriefing sessions, Renew Your Spirit care carts, and our annual Blessing of the Hands
- Help in facilitating patient care/family conferences and palliative care consultations
- Provide spiritual and emotional support to loved ones of deceased patients and offer a grief packet of bereavement support resources
- Interfaith chapels located on the first floor of the Alta Bates, Herrick, and Summit campuses
- Assistance with referrals to local religious leaders and faith communities
- Education through our Celebrating Religious Diversity Program, including our monthly Interfaith Calendar
Contact a Chaplain
Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To contact a Chaplain at the Summit Campus (Oakland) please call (510) 869-6784.
To contact a Chaplain at the Alta Bates or Herrick Campuses (Berkeley) please call (510) 204-6730.
For Non-Urgent Requests
Chaplains can be reached through voice mail at the numbers above. Please provide us with the following information: name and extension number of the person making the referral, the patient and/or family name, patient’s room number, unit, location, and nature of the request.
For Urgent and Emergency Requests
For urgent or emergency requests, please page the on-call Chaplain at (510) 801-5050 and enter your telephone number, including the area code.
We look forward to serving you during your time at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Clinical Pastoral Education Program
Meet the CPE Supervisors
Family Resource Centers
Contact a Chaplain:
Alta Bates / Herrick Campuses
Email: Reverend Carrie Buckner
Email: Reverend Va’ Nechia Rayford
Chaplain Services Department:
2450 Ashby Avenue
Phone: (510) 204-6730
FAX: (510) 848-6119