Spiritual Care Practitioner Audrey Wong at the UBC Hospital Sacred Space dedication ceremony.

New Sacred Space opens at UBC Hospital

Like a bridge over troubled water, UBC Hospital’s new Sacred Space offers a safe, serene and welcoming place for anyone seeking peace of mind and spiritual healing. Located centrally on the hospital campus, the new space in Purdy Pavilion officially opened June 13 following a moving multifaith dedication ceremony.

“It was my honour to welcome our special guests, representing the rich cultural and spiritual diversity of UBC Hospital and our broader community,” says Doug Longstaffe, profession leader, Spiritual Care and Multifaith Services.

Blessings were offered by members of the Musqueam Band and Gitxsan Nation, as well as Yael Levin on behalf of BC’s Multi-Faith Summit Council.

“We’re thrilled to open this truly inclusive space,” says Tracey Taulu, operations director of UBC Hospital (UBCH). “In Canada, and in BC, we have created a society of many cultures and beliefs, and it is my hope that this multifaith space will allow everyone to feel safe and supported.”

Specially designed for spiritual care   

UBCH’s new Sacred Space is located on Purdy’s main floor, readily accessible for all within steps of the front entrance. Natural light fills the room through floor-to-ceiling windows with a greenery outlook.

“We’ve created a place of connectedness with nature, a peaceful ambiance and place to benefit the healing process,” says Audrey Wong, chaplain for UBCH.

Specially designed for spiritual care, the larger space also features enhanced ventilation to accommodate ceremonies involving incense and smudging. A new adjoining office for Audrey will increase her accessibility for those seeking spiritual care.

For Patrick Delorme, Purdy resident, UBC Hospital’s new Sacred Space offers a safe option to smudging outdoors.

A meaningful space for everyone

Donna Levi, recreation therapist at Purdy, describes the new Sacred Space as “a place for everybody and one where everyone feels welcome.” Adding, “Spirituality is critical to many residents and families.”

Patrick Delorme is one such a resident. A member of the Cree Nation, he performs his own smudging from time to time, an activity previously relegated to the outdoors.

“I’m so glad we have this new space, especially with the windows and greenery,” he says. “I can come here and drum quietly to myself and the Creator and I don’t need to worry about smudging smoke.”

Audrey says she looks forward to seeing more staff and physicians visit too. “I would love to see more staff slow down and take a few moments in the day to gather themselves, to reflect, to speak to me or to be alone — even Jesus took time off.”

UBC Hospital’s new Sacred Space marks completion of another milestone for the UBCH Renewal Project. Fully funded by our VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, this project is nearing the end of Phase 1. Watch VCH News for coverage of the new Sleep Disorders Centre opening soon.

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