Emotional and Spiritual Care

Since 1982 Sojourn has practiced the mission described in its name: “to stay with for a time.” We offer compassion and understanding to patients and their loved ones as well as to the staff at SFGH. Our vision: Comprehensive spiritual and emotional support for everyone who needs it.

Sojourn Chaplains offer support through a skilled response to suffering. Chaplains work alongside patients, families and staff to support them in reconnecting with their inner resources that will carrying them through the challenges they face.

Orlando Vigil Altar 1Sojourn provides a critical element of San Francisco General Hospital’s holistic care. SFGH staff members are skilled in providing resources for physical, mental and emotional health. Sojourn completes the circle, by attending to the spiritual needs of patients, families and staff.

Dr. Jeanne St. Pierre, former Unit Chief of the LGBT Psychiatric Unit at SFGH writes: “Often in a day I realize the inadequacies of modern medical treatments for trauma, schizophrenia, substance dependence, and other causes of emotional suffering. At those times I am particularly grateful for the Services of Sojourn chaplains. Chaplains offer kindness and understanding to those who will likely never be cured, yet do not need to be alone with their pain.”

Ceremony 6


San Francisco General Hospital

Bay Area Jewish Healing Center

Episcopal Charities

The Episcopal Diocese of California

San Francisco Interfaith Council

Spiritual Care Week 2018

Join ZSFG and Sojourn Chaplaincy in Celebrating Spiritual Care Week this October 21-27.  The theme this year for National Spiritual Care week is “hospitality”.  Radical hospitality is foundational to the services that we offer here at the General.  As a safety net hospital, ZSFG serves some of the most marginalized people in the healthcare system.  At Sojourn we are committed to providing hospitality and compassionate care to all patients here at ZSFG.

Here at the hospital, we will be celebrating Spiritual Care week by offering resources for staff at the bridge between buildings 5 and 25 at lunch from the 22st-26th. Please stop by our resource table, learn more about Spiritual Care and help us in celebrating Spiritual Care Week 2018!

Do you love the Chaplains?  Please consider a donation to support our work.  This year Sojourn is a part of the city wide combined charities campaign.  Click here to donate to Sojourn through the Combined Charities campaign if you are a SF City Employee or you can donate here today!

Welcome Father Francis Htun

We are excited to announce that Father Francis Htun has been assigned by the SF Archdiocese to work at the General full time!  Fr Francis, an ordained Roman Catholic Priest, comes to us after a year long CPE residency at UCSF and pastoral care experience in his home country of Myanmar.  We are honored to have Francis joining the Sojourn Team full time!

On #GivingTuesday your gift will be doubled!

On #givingtuesday your gift will be doubled.

For 35 years, Sojourn Chaplaincy has been providing multi-faith spiritual and emotional support to the most marginalized at San Francisco’s only safety net hospital and level 1 trauma center.  This year the Zuckerberg Hospital and Trauma Center has offered us a challenge grant of $10,000 for our fall fundraising efforts.  Can you help us meet this goal? Join in the generosity of a global giving movement on #givingtuesday through your gift to Sojourn today! Every dollar you give to Sojourn Chaplaincy will be doubled.

Trans Spiritual Care Initiative

In 2013, California led the nation in banning Transgender exclusion in health care plans. This made it illegal for Health Insurance Companies to deny transgender people access to lifesaving healthcare. After years of organizing and struggle for access to healthcare, California insurance companies can no longer discriminate against trans people. This has opened the doors to access to health care that many Transgender Californians have never had before.

The Trans Spiritual Care Initiative was born when Sojourn Chaplains were approached by Trans members of their spiritual communities about challenging experiences with Chaplains. These experiences ranged from problematic at best to disturbing.  Sojourn Chaplaincy’s chaplain training program was born during the epidemic as a ministry for people dying from AIDS.  During these painful times, we learned how important justice rooted training is for Chaplains and Spiritual Care providers.

Here at Sojourn at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, we serve many trans and gender variant patients–some of whom are the most marginalized in the trans community. Training around gender diversity has become an important part of our Chaplain training.  We are developing this curriculum to improve our care for trans and gender variant patients at ZSFG.  We are also developing this training with the hope that it become a resource for Chaplains, Spiritual Care Departments, clergy and healthcare providers across the country  who would like to improve their services and provide more culturally appropriate care for gender variant patients.

In a time when the trans community is facing so many challenges and an increasingly hostile political climate, we believe it is critical for the faith community to stand up and take leadership to support LGBT rights.  We are hopeful that the Trans Spiritual Care Initiative will create critical new resources to help Chaplains and other spiritual care practitioners provide better care and develop deeper relationships with the trans community.  As spiritual people, we know that relationships are powerful.  As Chaplains, we know that bearing witness to the suffering of others can create openings for solidarity rooted in personal connection.  We launch this initiative with a prayer for healing and justice for the trans community.  May we be open to the divine gifts that are possible when we open to witnessing the pain and struggle of all members of our human family and work toward a more just world.


Challenging Islamaphobia

Join ZSFG and Sojourn Chaplaincy for our next Grand Rounds on Challenging Islamaphobia.  Come hear about how Islamaphobia is affecting our community and what you can do to take action and make a difference.  We will be joined by esteemed panelists,

  • Suzanne Barakat MD. Resident, Family and Community Medicine SFGH/UCSF
  • Ameena Jandali, Founding Member, Islamic Network Group
  • Hatem Bazian, Senior Lecturer of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Zahra Billoo, Council on American Islamic Relations

In Carr Auditorium on the SFGH Campus on Tuesday February 28th from 12-1pm.

Give to Sojourn Chaplaincy this #GivingTuesday

On #Giving Tuesday choose to give care to the most  marginalized.

giving-tuesdaySojourn was founded in 1982 when the Episcopal Diocese partnered with San Francisco General Hospital to establish a ministry for patients with HIV/AIDS.  Today, Sojourn provides services to all San Francisco General Hospital patients seeking emotional support.  The General is the city’s only public hospital and we serve some of the most marginalized members of our community.  From people living on the streets to refugees coming to San Francisco for sanctuary from war zones, people who don’t have access to care other places, can receive non-judgmental and affordable care here. Whether a patient is religious, spiritual, or does not identify with any tradition, our amazing team of chaplains is there to comfort them and their families.  

This Tuesday November 29th, #Giving Tuesday, people across the world will be celebrating generosity by donating to their favorite charitable organizations.  Can you join in this generosity and support Sojourn Chaplaincy today?  All donations are tax-deductible and every dollar helps us to provide spiritual care for some of the most marginalized members of our community.
Thank you for your support for Sojourn Chaplaincy. Our small organization depends on the generosity of donors like you to keep our doors open.  Thank you for your support, your generosity and your care.
May your holiday season be blessed,
Rev. Claire Bohman and the Sojourn Team.


Sickness, Old Age and Death

sickness-old-ageOn November 2nd Sojourn Chaplaincy partners with San Francisco Zen Center to present an evening with Lucy Kalanithi, Grace Dammann, Lennon Flowers, and our moderator, Jennifer Block. We will explore how the human experience of sickness, old age, and death creates an appreciation for the preciousness of life.

The evening’s conversation will invite each speaker’s multiple perspectives on death, sickness, and ageing. Lucy Kalanithi draws upon her experience as a widow and mother, caregiver, and physician. Grace Dammann speaks as a physician and also one who has been both a care receiver and a trainer of caregivers. Lennon Flowers met death from the perspective of a daughter and now creates community through the millennial generation’s experiences of death. Our moderator, Jennifer Block, calls upon her broad experience as one who works with those facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to ageing, sickness, dying and grief.

You can purchase tickets here.  If you are a ZSFG patient, staff member or chaplain and are interested in attending please contact Chaplain Claire Bohman at Claire.bohman@sfdph.org.  We have a few comp tickets available.

Spiritual Resilience

spiritual-care-weekSojourn Chaplaincy and ZSFG is excited to be joining with Spiritual Care departments across the country in celebrating National Spiritual Care week.  The theme of this years celebration is “Spiritual Resilience”.  Here at the General, our patients know a lot about resilience. As a public safety net hospital, many of the people we serve here struggle with multiple forms of marginalization and injustice on top of the health challenges that are now bringing them to the hospital. Survival in the face of this oppression is an act of resistance.  Connecting with our spiritual resilience is one to the ways that we can begin to dismantle these systems of injustice.

Sojourn HandsIt’s amazing how many times when we ask patients, “What’s helping you get through these challenges?” we are met with an articulation of faith, spiritual practice, an expression of art, and/or gratitude for family, community and more.  The ways that we as humans find a connection with spiritual resilience is as vast and diverse as our fingerprints.  A key dimension of our work as multi-faith Chaplains is to meet patients facing tremendous challenges and support them in connecting with their inner resources. This is one of the greatest gifts of Chaplaincy–being given the honor of witnessing patients as they find threads of reconnection with the resiliency deep within their human spirit.

During Spiritual Care week we will be reaching out to staff to increase awareness about our services.  We will also be offering “Blessing of the Hands” on Tuesday October 18th to support the spiritual resilience of staff doing the incredible work of service here at ZSFG and the Department of Public Health.  We will be posting pictures and bios of our incredible Chaplains in the communication board near the cafeteria.  I think I can speak for all the Chaplains when I say each of us has a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve in this incredible place of healing.

Saalam. Shalom. Peace. Paz.

Rev. Claire Bohman, Sojourn Chaplaincy Program Director




Sojourn Receives Hearts Grant Award

Sojourn Chaplains Floyd Trammell and Claire Bohman with ZSFG’s new CEO Susan Ehrlich and SFGH Foundation Board Officer Ellen Newman

Sojourn Chaplaincy is honored to announce we are recipients of a Hearts Grant from the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.  The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation has given Sojourn Chaplaincy $3,800 to support our work providing multi-faith spiritual care to the patients, families and staff of ZSFG.  This money will go specifically to efforts to make our Prayer and Meditation room more accessible to people of different faiths and spiritual traditions.  One dimension of this grant is to create a chest accessible for staff and visitors to store Muslim prayer rugs, Buddhist Malas, and other religious supplies.

We are thrilled to receive this generous grant and for all the support of the SFGH Foundation.  Deep bows of gratitude to all the Officers, Members and most of all the donors of the SFGH Foundation.  Thank you for supporting our work and for supporting the spiritual and emotional needs of the patients, families and staff of ZSFG!

Feeling inspired?  You can also support the great work of Sojourn!  Gifts of all sizes are invaluable.  We are able to provide quality spiritual care and training for spiritual care providers because of donors like you.  Please give to Sojourn today.  All gifts are tax deductable.

Blessings and Gratitude.

ZSFG: The Heart of the City
                                                                       ZSFG: The Heart of the City