Pediatric Chaplain Services

The hospitalization of a child represents a spiritual crisis for all who care for that child. Part of that care and healing lies in the spiritual care and emotional support available from the pediatric spiritual services team. Our goal at UI Children's Hospital is to provide you and your child with quality, personalized care that encompasses the mind, body, and soul.

Waiting for a child's diagnosis or medical outcome is an anxious and often lonely time for parents. A child's serious illness can raise a variety of spiritual concerns. Families who have children in a medical crisis need someone who can provide guidance and encouragement.

At UI Children's Hospital, a pediatric chaplain from the UI Hospitals and Clinics Department of Spiritual Services is available to help parents and families during a child's illness.

While physicians attend to your child's medical needs, chaplains attend to the spiritual needs and concerns related to the medical crisis.

The role of the pediatric chaplain is to:

  • Talk about religious and spiritual matters you or your family may have
  • Act as a liaison between your family and your home congregation
  • Create an environment that welcomes prayer and spirituality

Please feel free to contact our pediatric chaplain if:

  • You or your child experience loss, fear, and/or grief
  • You or your child need support in the dying process
  • You or your child want prayers, religious rituals, sacraments, or other resources
  • Ethical or spiritual issues need to be addressed
  • Your or your child need additional support
  • Family dynamics interfere with medical planning and/or decision making
  • Your or your child is waiting alone
  • Your or your child want to express faith belief or religious traditions
  • Your or your child want local clergy contacted
  • You want help scheduling a conference between family members with an interdisciplinary team

In addition to the support and care provided by a chaplain, special religious services, in accordance with your religious beliefs, are available during an infant's crisis:

  • Blessing
  • Dedication
  • Christening/naming ceremony
  • Baptism
  • Prayers of Commendation

If you have a religious tradition with different practices, the chaplain will contact a clergy or spiritual leader from your faith tradition and arrange to have that ritual made available for you, if possible.

Martha Lang, MDiv
Pediatric Chaplain
UI Children’s Hospital
martha-lang@uiowa.edu

In an emergency, please ask your nurse or health care provider to page the appropriate chaplain:

  • Catholic, 3589
  • Protestant/Interfaith, 3437

For non-emergency spiritual care, call 6-2523 (in-house phone) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For pediatric palliative care, please ask your nurse or health care provider to page 2459 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.