HUP's Department of Pastoral Care & Education employs interfaith chaplains who provide patients with their attention and assistance. Some chaplains specifically identify as Buddhists, although all are tasked with providing nonsectarian or interfaith patient care.
The hospital is located in the University City area of West Philadelphia. Employees and patients are diverse in terms of gender, age, and ethnicity. The hospital offers a yearlong interfaith chaplaincy program, which can extend for two or more years. The majority of chaplains are Caucasian. The predominant language spoken by chaplains is English; however, our interviewee is a native speaker of Chinese and there are some speakers of other languages as well as translation services provided by the hospital.
The interviewee, who served as a chaplain in the hospital, is a long-time Buddhist practitioner who was born in Taiwan. She cites the Buddhist values of compassion and presence as the main focal points of her interactions with patients. The chaplain utilizes meditation and breathing techniques to help patients relax in an anxious environment. She also chants mantras and scriptures, specifically the Diamond and Heart Sūtras, when appropriate for patients and for her own wellbeing.
Contact information and interfaith chapel hours are available on the website.