Oncology Spiritual Care
Rev. Donna Blagdan, BCC
Mass General Oncology Spiritual Care Provider
Explore Oncology Spiritual Care
At the Cancer Center, we recognize that meeting our patients’ spiritual and religious needs is often an important part of caring for the whole person. The Spiritual Care Department at Mass General is committed to providing spiritual care to patients and families. Ministry is available to people of all faiths, as well as those of no religious affiliation. Our Oncology Chaplain, specializing in and familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer, is available weekdays during daytime hours.
Frequent situations to which our Chaplains/Spiritual Care Providers are called include:
- Patients/families in spiritual distress
- New diagnosis
- Treatment decision-making process
- Changing the goals of care from curative to palliative
- End-of-life issues
Spiritual Care Providers sustain, support, guide and help people in their search for meaning in illness and for reconciliation in relationships and offer consultation and counsel regarding spiritual, emotional and ethical matters. They support by listening without judging, sharing without preaching, and offering the resources of tradition, sacraments, scripture, ritual and personal presence. Spiritual care of patients/families is always done in collaboration with the multidisciplinary care team.
Regular services, of both interfaith and tradition-specific forms, are offered at the Mass General Chapel. Other services as well as traditional and seasonal religious observances may be provided upon request.
Meet the Chaplain
Rev. Donna Blagdan, BCC
Donna is ordained as a lay minister in the Zen Buddhist tradition. She has studied with Roshi Joan Halifax, Founder and Abbott of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM, and Fred Eppsteiner of Florida Community of Mindfulness. Before joining MGH, Donna has worked as a chaplain in Palliative Care at the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill, and at Suncoast Hospice and Morton Plant Hospital in the Tampa Bay area. She also covered oncology floor at the latter hospital. She wrote her thesis on “Contemplative Practices in Higher Education” while working at Deep Springs College. She has a BA in Biology from Duke University (1982), where she was later a senior manager at Duke University Press. She trained as a pastry chef, and was also a naturalist guide in Galapagos National Park.
Meditation and prayer can offer us different experiences: both can be powerful tools.