Community Faith Support

Working With Religious Leaders in Maryland

Meritus Health recognizes the importance of spiritual issues in health care and supports the involvement of spiritual and religious care in the care and support of patients, their relatives, and persons in significant relationships with them. To that end, the Spiritual Care and Education Department will continue to work collaboratively with other departments (Security, Information Services, and Business Integrity) and with religious community resources in the Washington County, to provide coordinated pastoral, religious, and spiritual care services within Meritus Health.

Access Provision

In order to facilitate this participation and to be supportive of clergy and other religious professionals, while at the same time protecting patient confidentiality and rights, access will be provided through the following procedures:

  • The faith community organization or institution presents up to three vetted and approved names of individuals from their leadership for hospital visitation (if more than three individuals are needed, the rationale should be included in the letter) with the badge application and recommendation forms.
  • Once received and approved, the religious caregivers will be invited for an orientation and a picture taking session at Meritus Health.
  • The ID’s will be mailed to the organization/institution, which will be responsible for distributing them and collecting them when the clergy or religious professional leaves or is replaced.
  • Orientation and badge distribution will be available as often as possible depending on the number of applicants presented by faith community organizations or institutions.
  • Due to the hundreds of badges managed by the SPC Services Department, there will be a nominal registration and annual re-registration fee to help defray the expenses needed to administer the Clergy and Religious Professional access.
  • All area faith leaders acting in their capacity as part of the health care team are required to wear Meritus Health-issued identification badges at all times while on any campus.

Faith Leaders displaying their identification badges have the following privileges:

  • Use of the Faith Leaders Access Gateway (FLAG) online directory of patients with an approved username and password.
  • Visitation privileges with members of their faith/religious community in critical care units and the emergency department after checking in with the nursing staff in said units.
  • Use of the interfaith chapel for individual prayer and support of patients. Group events in the chapel are possible as coordinated with the Director of Spiritual Care.
  • Counseling support. Our chaplains offer free supportive counseling to area ministers and their families who need a safe confidential place to process their concerns.
  • Annual Spiritual Care Conference. We offer an annual conference aimed at providing personal and professional continuing education and resources for area clergy and lay leaders.

Volunteer Opportunities

Meritus Medical Center believes that patients and their families should be supported spiritually while in our hospital. We are seeking volunteers to serve our patients and their families in their rooms, waiting areas, and elsewhere in the hospital, and to help our chaplains in our office. Companionship, compassionate care, and administrative help are all needed. Training will be provided. Contact the department office for dates of training or to discuss more volunteer opportunities.

  • Welcome Center volunteer chaplains
  • Spiritual Care volunteers
  • Special program volunteers
  • Eucharistic volunteers
Community Faith Support