Niuvanniemi Hospital employs a hospital theologian, who is at the service of the patients, their families and the hospital staff. The hospital theologian (clinical pastoral counsellor) is a priest of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, with specialist training in clinical work. The hospital priest is an expert in ethical and ideological questions related to illness and death, whose operations are based on the basic mission of the church and on the joint decisions and recommendations of the church and the health care sector.
The counselling is founded on strict confidentiality, allowing the patients to discuss any issues related to life and illness during the conversations. Complying with the obligation of confidentiality of the church and health care legislation, the conversations take place in a spirit of respect for human dignity, freedom of religion and sovereignty of the patients, their family members and the staff. The hospital theologian also performs church ceremonies, such as worship service, baptism, private confessions, communion, marriage and funeral service. The hospital priest also organises confirmation classes as necessary, and maintains contacts with representatives of other denominations.
The hospital priest of Niuvanniemi Hospital is Anna-Maija Louheranta, who can be reached by telephone or e-mail.
During weekends the hospital theologian can be reached at the number +358 50 5263 768.
During holidays Niuvanniemi Hospital is served by the hospital theologians of other Kuopio hospitals, whose contact information can be obtained by calling the switchboard of the Kuopio University hospital, tel. +358 17 173 311.
Further information on clinical pastoral counselling in Finland and abroad can be found at http://www.evl.fi.