We are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge as it relates to the spiritual and religious needs of patients served by the Mount Sinai Health System. We collaborate with a number of hospital departments and educational programs of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to improve our understanding of the interplay between spirituality and the physical and mental health of patients. Areas of study include development of best practices for chaplain interventions, identifying the spiritual and religious needs of patients and staff, and the provision of health promotion programs through collaboration with faith and other community based organizations.

Specific areas of research/process improvement include:

  • The identification of spiritual distress in patients suffering from a variety of acute and chronic illnesses through the use of standardized screening instruments
  • Identification of religious/spiritual interventions that are most effective in alleviating spiritual distress in patients
  • Identifying and reducing barriers to the dissemination of spiritual care among the clinical staff of the inpatient settings
  • Increasing awareness among health care providers for the need to screen for spiritual distress in patients as part of the routine clinical assessment
  • The use of Information Technologies to identify barriers to spiritual care, improve the provision of spiritual care in specific clinical areas where spiritual distress has been identified
  • Understanding the relationship of spirituality and resilience in recovery from physical and mental illness
  • Improving family satisfaction with care delivery and assisting family members in medical decision making in the Intensive Care Units
  • The relationship between personal spiritual beliefs/values and recovery from acute stroke


We are grateful to the following for their support:

UJA Federation of New York
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Templeton Foundation

We are also proud grant recipients of the National Cancer Institute sponsored Interprofessional Education Exchange (iPEX) Project for 2018-2019.  This program assists in the development of interprofessional education curricula.


  • Marin, D.B., Sharma, V., Sosunov, E., Egorova, N., Goldstein, R., Handzo, G. (2015). The relationship between chaplain visits and patient satisfaction. J Health Care Chaplain, 21(1), 14-24.
  • Sharma, V., Marin, D.B., Sosunov, E., Goldstein, R., Ozbay, F., Handzo, G. (2016). The Differential effects of chaplain visits on patient satisfaction. J Health Care Chaplain 22(3), 85-101.
  • Sharma, V., Marin, D.B., Koenig, H.K., Feder, A., Iacoviello, B.M., Southwick, S.M., Pietrzak, R.H. (2017) Religion, spirituality, and mental health of U.S. military veterans: Results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 217, 197-204.
  • Keogh, M., Sharma, V., Myerson, S.L., Marin, D.B. (2017). The Chi Cart Ministry. Nursing Management, 48(8), 32-38.
  • Fleenor, D., Sharma, V., Hirschmann, J., Swarts, H. (2017). Do Journal Clubs Work? The effectiveness of Journal Clubs in a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program. J Health Care Chaplain 24(2), 43-56.
  • Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models by Nancy H. Wiener and Jo Hirschmann, Fortress, 2014.