Patient Support

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Chaplaincy Care

Spiritual SupportChaplains provide respectful spiritual and emotional care to people of all faiths and spiritualities, including those who identify themselves as nonreligious or nonspiritual. They lead worship services, meditation sessions and educational classes, and can assist in locating religious and spiritual resources and communities.

As chaplains, we make ourselves available to walk beside people on their journey, both in times of struggle and in times of joy. We seek to sustain, guide and nurture spiritual and emotional well-being through relationships, conversations, rituals and symbols.

How We Care for Patients and Families

Illness can be a painful, frightening and isolating experience full of uncertainties and loss. Sometimes illness can push one to the point of experiencing spiritual and emotional chaos, pain and distress. But it can also be an opportunity to celebrate, change and experience expressions of being cared for in new ways.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) chaplains listen attentively to people to understand and to participate as much as possible in each person’s spiritual, cultural and personal frame of reference. We converse in a supportive and inquiring manner, rather than impose our perspective upon another person. For those who have no identifiable spirituality, pastoral care may be supportive companionship. We are always available to be called upon for urgent needs.

Chaplains are available to lead worship, meditative and educational services; help people know about and get connected to local faith or spiritual communities (see places of worship); and provide resources such as sacred texts, inspirational and self-help literature, meditation and relaxation tapes and other spiritual resources.

Who We Are

Staff chaplains at SCCA are typically certified chaplains. This means that we are accountable to the institution, to a national certifying body, and to a particular faith tradition. Minimal requirements are a professional master’s degree in theological studies, one year of full-time clinical education in a healthcare setting and endorsement by a faith group. We follow a code of ethics that requires respectful care for all persons.

  • Stephen King, manager
  • Mia Baumgartner, staff chaplain
  • Daniel Hinds, staff chaplain
  • Geila Rajaee, staff chaplain
  • Jo Nivling, fellow 
  • JoAn Choi, Catholic chaplain
  • Debra Jarvis, per diem chaplain
  • Jennifer Gill, per diem chaplain

Watch a KING-5 video special about the work of one of our chaplains, Reverend Debra Jarvis. 

Connect with a Chaplain

Chaplaincy services are available to patients at any stage of their treatment process at SCCA, University of Washington Medical Center or Seattle Children’s. For more information, or to speak with a chaplain, please call (206) 288-1099 or e-mail us at pastoral@seattlecca.org. Or ask your nurse, social worker or other staff person to call us for you. You can also get contact information for individual chaplains.

Families with a child who is an inpatient at Seattle Children’s can reach a chaplain there by calling (206) 987-2000 and asking for a chaplain.  Martha Dimmers is the manager of pastoral and spiritual care at Seattle Children’s. You may contact the manager of chaplaincy at (206) 987-4363.

More About Spiritual Care


Places of Worship

The SCCA chaplain has created a list of spiritual, religious, and non-denominational places of worship where you may find comfort.

SCCA Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is located on the first floor of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Clinic.

What Chaplains Do

See what spiritual care at SCCA is all about.

Contact a Chaplain

SCCA chaplains are here for you when you want someone to talk to who will be able to connect with you on a level other than just medical.

Spiritual and Religious Tool

To be respectful of you, we invite you to use this tool. Your responses can be helpful for private reflection or areas to exploration with someone else.