Spiritual Care

Mackenzie Health provides spiritual services to patients and families during their time at the hospital. See below for additional information on what we offer.

Mackenzie Health provides spiritual care services to patients and their families during their hospital stay, aiming to help them find hope and peace through their spiritual beliefs, including their faith, traditions and personal values. Spiritual care can help individuals maintain their health and cope with difficult experiences. It can also provide meaning, value and connection, particularly during challenging times.

Providing spiritual supports is an essential part of the holistic care we offer at Mackenzie Health.

Patients and their families can access spiritual care services for comfort, healing, coping and support, regardless of faith and cultural backgrounds. Our team of professionals offer person-centered care by working sensitively with patients, families, faith communities, partners, and other health care professionals.

The Spiritual Care Services team members are an integral part of Mackenzie Health's inter-professional teams. As members of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), our spiritual care practitioners are highly trained in using their expertise in spirituality and therapeutic methods to help individuals respond to their health challenges, cope with health changes and find comfort in the ways that matter most to them. Our team provides person-centered, culturally appropriate and diverse spiritual care services to Mackenzie Health patients and their families.

The team includes:

  • Spiritual Care practitioners and interns
  • Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education (CPE) Students
  • Faith Group visitors

The team offers a range of services, including spiritual and religious education, clinical psycho-spiritual education for students and clergy, bereavement and perinatal bereavement programs, grief and individual support, ecumenical/multi-faith worship services, and information literature and sacred writings.

The team is always available to assist our patients and their families during their stay at the hospital. They also collaborate with clergy and representatives from various faith communities in Vaughan and Richmond Hill to accommodate special requests.

We understand that spiritual and religious care is not exclusive to any particular religion or belief system. Our team aims to support all types of spiritual expression, including religious practices, personal relationships, artistic creations, connections to nature and more.

Our staff and volunteers come from diverse religious, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Our mandate is to provide culturally, spiritually and linguistically sensitive care to the diverse community we serve.

  • One to two-thirds of patients in acute care want to receive spiritual care
  • Religion and spirituality are often cited as major sources of support and coping
  • Spiritual care can help support increased health and shorten recovery periods
  • Patients reported their spiritual wellbeing is linked to their overall quality of life
  • Spiritual care enhances the patient’s connection with community supports

After hours your nurse can page the on-call Rabbi, Catholic Priest or Imam who will come and provide pastoral care support.

Supervised Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education (CPE) is available for those interested in pursuing a career in spiritual care.

Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education is an experience-based approach to learning spiritual care which combines the practice of spiritual caregiving with qualified supervision and group reflection. This dynamic and integrative education model assists participants students in achieving their full potential in the practice of spiritual care.

The program is for:

  • Health care professionals deeply committed to the spiritual aspect of health and wellness
  • Adult learners drawn to spiritual care in a hospital setting
  • Seminary/Theology students seeking CPE Units (or an intensive field education experience)

We offer CPE through the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC), affiliated with the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto and neighboring universities. For course details, please visit the CPE website or contact the Mackenzie Health teaching supervisor, Bavly Kost at bavly.kost@mackenziehealth.ca.

Applications can be submitted to bavly.kost@mackenziehealth.ca.

Placement process:

  • Program structure: CPE is an experiential-based educational program and provides students with rich and varied learning opportunities in the art, science and practice of spiritual care in a health care setting.
  • CPE units are provided at both Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. Spiritual care services are providing service in all programs in the hospital and across the continuum of health care.
  • We foster opportunities for students to roll up their sleeves and get right to work in a different clinical area. This is followed up with reflection, analyses and integration of learning from caregiving experiences. This program also fosters students’ personal learning goals to help them achieve their potential in providing spiritual care to others. By working directly with patients, family and interprofessional team members from a variety of health care disciplines, students can build their skills in supporting others on their own unique sacred paths.

Placement options

  • Spiritual Care offers a variety of placement opportunities depending on the availability of a teaching supervisor and on the sufficient number of successful student applications. Each unit consists of a minimum of three to a maximum of seven students.
  • Full-time intensive 12-week units (450 hours) is offered during the summer months. Part-time extended units (450 hour) is also an option during the fall/winter months if there are a sufficient number of interested and successful applicants.

Length of placement

  • Each CPE unit involves 450 hours of training which is divided equally between
  1. direct clinical experience providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff and
  2. various group educational processes.

Evaluation process

  • Students are evaluated based on a national CASC/ACSS standardized evaluation tool that is competency-based. Evaluations are completed by both the teaching supervisor and by the student themselves.
  • Written assignments are part of the learning and evaluation process.
  • There is a mid-term evaluation and a final evaluation.
  • There is a formal feedback process through which students receive feedback from interprofessional team members in their assigned clinical areas. 
  • Students also have the opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback to the clinical teams they worked with.

Regulatory Body/Professional Association

  • Our organization is accredited with CASC/ACSS (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/Association Canadienne de Soins Spirituels) as an official teaching hospital for Clinical Pastoral Education. Our teaching supervisors are certified members of CASC/ACSS and are members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital

At Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, the multi-faith room is located on level 1 of A-Wing and can be used for private prayer and reflection. There is a small spiritual space located on level 5 outside of D-Wing, Adult ICU Aqua. In both areas, spiritual items such as books, beads and rugs are available for use.

Multi-faith room hours: 24/7

For more information, contact our Spiritual Care Services team at 905-883-1212 ext. 7562.

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital

At Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, the multi-faith room is located on level 1, Room 1.215. This space includes a Wudu Station and access to a Spiritual Care courtyard. There is a small prayer room on level 2 outside of the Critical Care Unit and another on level 6 by the public elevators. These rooms are available to use for private prayer and reflection.

Multi-faith room hours: 24/7

For more information, contact our Spiritual Care Services team at 905-417-2000 ext. 5108.

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Note: For support after hours, one of your care team members can page the on-call Rabbi, Catholic Priest or Imam who will be able to provide pastoral care support.