Spiritual Care

No one should have to face illness and crisis alone. Our team of chaplains are available to help you and your family members. They ensure you have ready access to spiritual care, religious practices or rituals to sustain you during a hospital visit.

Spiritual care offerings

To support you throughout your stay, our spiritual care team provides:

  • Grief counseling and emotional support
  • Bedside chaplain visits
  • Religious questions or concerns assistance
  • Guidance with making difficult decisions
  • Help with contacting your congregation
  • Moral and ethical support while making care goals
  • Presence at the end of life

Spiritual care services offered at Nuvance Health hospitals

Please contact your Nuvance Health hospital spiritual care team to request services during your stay. Direct numbers are:

*Ask to be connected to the chaplain on duty Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. After hours, ask for the on-call chaplain

Chapel locations
Find chapels in each of these hospitals:
  • Northern Dutchess Hospital–First floor, just off the main entrance lobby.
  • Putnam Hospital–First floor, next to the main lobby.
  • Vassar Brothers Medical Center–First floor of the hospital. There is a meditation room on the first floor of patient pavilion.
  • Norwalk Hospital–First floor of the hospital.
  • Danbury Hospital–Fifth floor of the Tower building.
  • New Milford Hospital–First floor of the hospital.
  • Sharon Hospital–First floor of the hospital.

Meet our spiritual care team

Hospitals have dedicated spiritual care teams:

  • Norwalk Hospital
    • Chaplain Reverend Debra Slade, BCC Director and ACPE Supervisor
    • Chaplain Carol Bauer, Maternal/Child Care
    • Chaplain Jessica Jones, Palliative Care
    • Chaplain Oril Sovis, Palliative Care
    • Chaplain Annie Hartigan, Psychiatry
    • Chaplain Kaye May, Oncology
    • Chaplain Lori Torrano, On-Call Emergency Chaplain
    • Melanie Barnard, Critical Care and Staff Needs
    • Lashaun Brown, Administrative Assistant
    • Father Paul Sankar, Roman Catholic Priest
    • Father Marcel Saint-Jean, Roman Catholic Priest
  • New Milford and Danbury Hospitals
    • Chaplain Lynn Crager
    • Chaplain Noelle D’Agostino, MA
    • Beryl Knudsen, BA, BSN, M.DIV–Danbury Hospital only
  • Vassar Brothers Medical Center
    • Rabbi Neal Loevinger, BCC, Director of Spiritual Care
    • Father Rick De La Pena, Catholic Chaplain
    • Reverend Linda White
    • Reverend Jody Spiak
    • Deacon David Bender
    • Reverend Theodore Miller
    • Chaplain Catherine Gorlin
    • Rabbi Shmuel Serebryanski
    • Chaplain Barbara Robertson
  • Dyson Center for Cancer Care and Putnam Hospital
    • Chaplain Jan Fritzinger

Clinical pastoral education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an experiential learning process that provides professional chaplaincy education and spiritual care training for ministry. It brings you into supervised encounters with people in crisis.

CPE is offered at Norwalk Hospital, Danbury Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Through intense involvement with people in need of spiritual care, and the feedback you receive from peers and teachers, the program can help you gain experience and ability in:

  • Pastoral reflection: Reflecting on yourself as a person and spiritual caregiver in relation to people in crisis
  • Pastoral formation: Focusing on your personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry
  • Pastoral competence: Deepening your function as a spiritual caregiver, including skill development and knowledge of faith traditions and the behavioral sciences
  • Pastoral specialization: Becoming competent and knowledgeable in an area of clinical healthcare service
  • Student Participation

    Students can expect to take part in the following ways:

    • Direct ministry with patients, residents, families and staff: Most of your time will involve working as a chaplain in a specific area of the hospital.
    • Clinical supervision: You will receive both individual and group supervision in all areas of your training.
    • Peer group work: You will join a group with other CPE students and a supervisor to present cases and engage in interpersonal group relations.
    • Didactic workshops and seminars: You will attend presentations on topics related to spiritual care and assessment, ethics, behavioral sciences, hospital chaplaincy, cultural sensitivity, interfaith awareness and other issues.
    • Reading and writing assignments: You will be expected to do supplemental reading and prepare papers related to your learning goals.
  • Educational Format and Tuition

    Tuition is $800 per unit. We offer multiple formats, including:

    • Full-time summer intensive unit: This is 10 weeks with 400 hours of supervised experience.
    • Part-time semester unit: This requires 20 hours per week for 20 weeks.
    • There are two semester units offered, one beginning in September and the other beginning in January.
    • The 20-week semester unit and the 10-week summer intensive unit are two formats offered at Norwalk Hospital.

    Vassar Brothers Medical Center offers both an extended unit from September to April and an intensive summer unit.

  • CPE Program Application

    To learn more or to apply to the CPE program, visit ACPE’s website and download the standard CPE application form. Please return the completed application via email to:

    Norwalk and Danbury Hospitals

    Reverend Debra Slade, BCC

    Director, Department of Spiritual Care

    Phone: (203) 852-2535

    Email: debra.slade@nuvancehealth.org

    Vassar Brothers Medical Center

    Rabbi Neal Loevinger, BCC

    Director, Spiritual Care Department

    Phone: (845) 483-6644

    Email: neal.loevinger@nuvancehealth.org