Spiritual Care

Chaplains at Reading Hospital provide spiritual care and counseling to patients and families of all ages.

The Spiritual Care and Education Department routinely receives referrals from doctors, nurses, other clinical service providers, clergy, patients, and family members.

The Spiritual Care and Education Department is located at Reading Hospital on R1, adjacent to R-Building elevators. To contact a chaplain, call 484-628-8210, or simply call 484-628-8000 and the hospital operator will assist you.

Care Philosophy

The Department’s pastoral care philosophy rests on the principle that the care of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – is integral to health and healing. In fulfillment of its vision, the Departments works to:

  • Promote awareness and sensitivity to the spiritual aspects of health and healing
  • Coordinate spiritual care efforts on the part of Hospital staff and community organizations
  • Improve the quality of spiritual services available to those hospitalized at Reading Hospital

Our Staff

  • Rev. Stephen J. Weisser, M.Div., BCC - Director
  • Tahara Akmal, MA - Director, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and ACPE Certified Educator
  • Liesel Ackley, MDiv – Senior Chaplain
  • Mark Christy, MDiv, BCC – Senior Chaplain
  • Elizabeth Kalu, MDiv – Senior Chaplain
  • Stephanie Arentz, BA – Reading Health Rehabilitation Chaplain
  • Pat George Felix, BA – PRN Chaplain
  • Barbara Harris, MDiv – PRN Chaplain
  • Fr. John Hutta, MDiv – Roman Catholic Chaplain
  • Haydn McLean, MDiv, BCC – PRN Chaplain
  • Summer Perella, MA – PRN & Reading Dialysis Chaplain
  • David White, BA – PRN Chaplain
  • Lori Boepple– Secretary


Reading Hospital Chaplaincy (as it was then known) began in 1978 as a cooperative effort between the hospital and the Greater Reading Council of Churches. The program began with a single chaplain; however, as demands increased the need for a larger program became apparent.

In 1990, The hospital established the Department of Chaplaincy Services with the charge to build an integrated chaplaincy program that would assure the availability of high-quality spiritual care through the joint efforts of visiting clergy, volunteer chaplains, CPE interns, and other professional and chaplaincy staff. Since 1992, the Spiritual Care and Education Department has also supported the system's educational mission through its accredited Clinical Pastoral Education Program.

The name was changed to the Spiritual Care and Education Department in 2013.