Providing Spiritual Care for All

“Many of the patients and families who arrive at our facility are in crisis, nearing end of life or with unmanageable symptoms,” commented Kevin Frain, Hospice & Community Care Chaplain. “Providing spiritual care with a calming presence, conversation, prayer, or playing songs on a harmonica can help them to relax and know that they are in a good place to be cared for. I work with amazing staff who are dedicated to working together and do whatever it takes to support and care for our patients and families.”

Hospice & Community Care supports the entire person – mind, body and spirit. Kevin is one of many chaplains on staff who provide spiritual support to patients and families when they need it most.

Kevin is currently a chaplain at the organization’s Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center in Mount Joy, previously serving as one of the organization’s Home Hospice chaplains in York County.

Before becoming a chaplain, he was a pastor for 31 years. “Pastoral care was a very important part of my ministry in the congregation and community,” shared Kevin. “I had several family members and church family members who went through hospice care. I was impressed with the quality of care provided to them, so I asked my friend Ellen Good, who is a Hospice & Community Care chaplain, how to get involved with the organization and end-of-life care.” Kevin resigned from his church with his congregation’s blessing in 2017 and worked for a year at Wellspan York Hospital as the Oncology and Palliative Care Chaplain Resident. After completing his residency, he joined Hospice & Community Care in 2018.

One of his most memorable moments was when he served a 97-year-old patient with advanced stage dementia. She had a broken hip and was experiencing significant functional decline. She was restless and agitated, shouting out continually. The staff had difficulty trying to calm her through medication, so they asked Kevin to visit her. “I could not reach her through conversation or prayer until I discovered that she was a lifelong Episcopalian,” shared Kevin. “Knowing she was nurtured in a liturgical faith, I recited Psalm 23. Halfway through the psalm, she began repeating some of the familiar phrases. Afterwards I asked her if she would like to recite the Lord’s Prayer with me. She was spot on every word! Her agitation and restlessness receded. After the prayer I told her I would visit her again. She responded in halting words: ‘I will wait for you… thank you…I love you.’”

Kevin not only provides care for patients and families, he also provides spiritual support for Hospice staff. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he is spending more time checking in with Hospice staff to hear how they are coping with the additional stress they are under in these difficult times. “Providing words of encouragement to each other is an important practice to affirm that we are all facing this challenge together,” shared Kevin.

“Several years ago, I spent time during a sabbatical to reflect and pray about how I would invest the last third of my vocational journey,” shared Kevin. “The theme that came into focus was: ‘Helping people to finish well.’ This has become my life mission, and I find that working for Hospice & Community Care is the best place to accomplish this objective.”

“There is a great spirit of teamwork and camaraderie at Hospice & Community Care ,” shared Kevin. “We are all passionate about what we are doing to fulfill our personal and corporate mission to care for people facing end of life challenges.”