West Tower Rising: Expanded Chapel brings more services to patients, staff and families

By Valerie Hess Sep 19, 2014

West Tower Rising is a series highlighting our new McMurry West Tower. We will open the tower to the public for the first time at our public open house, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27. Enjoy appetizers from Market Place, our new expanded kitchen and dining area, and tour the new building. Park in the West Parking Garage which has direct access to the tower, or take advantage of our free valet service and pull right up to our new front door on Second Street. 

The Rev. Keith Evans stands in the new chapel space in the McMurry West Tower. It is almost three times as large as the current chapel space.

The Rev. Keith Evans stands in the new chapel space in the McMurry West Tower. It is almost three times as large as the current chapel space.

The Rev. Keith Evans, WMC chaplain stands in the cramped chapel space on the fourth floor of the Center Tower. The space once served as a patient waiting room.

The Rev. Keith Evans, WMC chaplain, stands in the cramped chapel space on the fourth floor of the Center Tower. The space once served as a patient waiting room.

Wyoming Medical Center has two staff chaplains, the Revs. Keith Evans and Leigh Earle, who are here to provide emotional and spiritual support to patients, families and staff. We also have a dedicated group of volunteer community clergy trained in dealing with patients and families in the hospital setting.

Research reveals that religious and spiritual support helps reduce anxiety, stress, loneliness, pain, overall costs and length of stay. The new chapel and chaplain offices in the Sky Lobby of the McMurry West Tower will not only be a larger space for patients and families, it will help our chaplains provide that support which is critical in the healing of our patients.

"Chapels and quiet sacred spaces are vital for hospitals as they allow families, patients and staff a neutral place to escape from the busyness and stress. In the Chapel they can simply sit, meditate, pray, reflect and emotionally and mentally decompress," said Evans.

The current chapel is located on the fourth floor of the Center Tower. The space was converted from a waiting room to the chapel in 2009 when contractors began making space for the west tower. At 354 square feet and with 14 chairs in a tiny space, the need is evident for the chapel to expand. The hospitals two staff chaplains occupy the office next to the chapel. The space is a quiet retreat for many family members, staff and others who frequent the chapel for moments of prayer or mindful reflection.

"We have doctors, operating room and emergency department staff as well many ancillary staff and families who frequent our current chapel on the fourth floor. With our new larger chapel, we will now be able to offer weekly services as well," said Evans.

In the McMurry West Tower, the new chapel will be over 1,000 square feet with seating for up to 30. It will provide private offices for the chaplains, a conference room and private space for family councils. With the additional space and new centralized location, there will be more opportunities for specialized events, memorial services and support groups.  The new chapel will be a quiet and sacred, interfaith space for all to come and simply relax, reflect and renew.  An addition of weekly Catholic Mass and Protestant Christian services are being planned.

Learn more about our pastoral care services and chaplains by visiting our website.

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