The Chaplain

Pastoral care has long been an important part of our clinical healing mission. For many of us, part of self care is nourishing our souls through prayer and spiritual support. Penn Medicine chaplains are always here for you. For people of all faiths, or of little or no faith, chaplains offer a non-judgmental, compassionate presence, a listening ear, and an open heart. Especially during this challenging time for clinicians and their families, our chaplains are increasing the ways in which you might reach out to them or access their guidance and care. 


The Chaplain (For You)

Sign up for a twenty minute session to be with one of our chaplains, who are here to offer a listening ear, an open heart, and/or a prayerful presence. We are here as a non-judgmental and supportive presence for people of all faiths and of no faith, to support your own thoughts, beliefs and hopes. This is an offering for you to speak openly about whatever you are experiencing at this incredibly difficult time, and be met with care.

Go to the PennCOBALT Pastoral Care Schedule Sign up. You will be asked three quick questions before being re-directed to the scheduling page. You can do so anonymously.


The Chaplain (For You and Your Team)

Chaplains are experienced in facilitating supportive listening circles, discussions, debriefs,  grief rounds, mindfulness, and stress reduction techniques. Sign up for some time to have a chaplain support your team in any of these ways. Once you request this, we will be in touch to learn more about how we can support you, and your  timing needs (evenings are a possibility as well as early mornings)  and to schedule your session.

Go to the PennCOBALT Pastoral Care Group Schedule Sign up. You will be asked three quick questions before being re-directed to the scheduling page. You can do so anonymously.


Techniques for Stress Reduction, Resilience, Balance, and Healing

by Rabbi Simcha (Susan) Zevit, Chaplain, HUP


Intro to Mindfulness (5:40)

Mindfulness Practice: Body Scan (8:43)

Mindfulness Practice: Breath Practice (6:49)

Intro: Gratitude and Compassion (4:00)

Practicing Gratitude and Compassion (6:02)

Breathing for Balance and Stress #1 (5:02) 

Breathing for Balance and Stress #2 (6:47)


Prayer Corner

YOU ARE ESSENTIAL, by Chaplain Carmena Pyfrom, HUP Pastoral Care Department

Essential.  What does that mean?  According to Merriam Webster: “of the utmost importance:  BASIC, INDISPENSABLE, NECESSARY”.  Some knew this about you before the pandemic, because you have received numerous cards, gifts, sweets, and a myriad of other “thank you’s” from patients, family members, and even hospital staff.  

Now the world knows that you are essential.  But what they don’t know is the cost of being “essential.”  The overwhelming physical, mental, and emotional toll you’re experiencing is phenomenal!  In reality, the underlying fear of personally succumbing to the virus, or transmitting it to your loved ones, is secretly tucked away in your heart and mind.  

I had the privilege of speaking with a friend at length the other day.  She’s an M.D. and is on the front lines of this pandemic with you.  She mentioned that she’s going to need to “talk with somebody” when this is over.  I encouraged her to talk to someone now!  And so, too, I encourage you to do the same.  It’s surprising how just saying something out loud can be so liberating!  Although there is a plethora of things online that could encourage you, there’s nothing so powerful as telling someone you love just how afraid you are, although you keep showing up to work every day.  Let that person in.  To all of you!  I believe you will be surprised by their response.  Trust their love for you.  If you do, it is my hope and prayer for you that you experience such a release as you exhale your truth.

Next, share your truth with your “comrades” because you all share the same truths in this pandemic, although the manifestation of them may be different.  This will demonstrate the reality of being a “wounded healer”.  

Lastly, surrender completely to your Higher Power and allow your relationship with them to become solidified over your belief in their protection.  

Prayers for you continue!  With much love and genuine appreciation for you continuing to show up to work!


More Prayers


General Prayers for Staff to Say to Patients Who are Actively Dying or at the Time of Death



Need a little fun for your colleagues? Share how healthcare workers are taking the TikTok dancing challenge

Beautiful imagery and reminders of our blessings even in the midst of COVID-19 (5:30)

A hopeful poem about the pandemic (1:30)

Actors and musicians coming together with a beautiful message of how we are ALL connected (6:10)