Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Hospital chaplain’s work is a blessing and a challenge

Think of a chaplain, and — if you’re of a certain age —the quirky character of Father Mulcahy from the TV series “M*A*S*H” might come to mind. Chaplain Alyssa Adreani of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, as a female multifaith cleric, laughs at that outdated image. As Adreani, 41, likes to point out, she isn’t hanging out in the Newton hospital’s chapel and doesn’t wear a collar or a cross. She makes the rounds of the neonatal intensive care unit, oncology, ICU, orthopedics, and medical/surgical units, following her personal Golden Rule of chaplaincy: “Wear comfortable shoes.” The Globe spoke with Adreani about how hospital chaplains are considered part of the treatment team, sometimes even improving health outcomes.

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