Spiritual Care

UCLA Health is dedicated to excellence in patient care, including meeting the spiritual needs of our patients and their families.

Interfaith Chaplains can provide spiritual care and assistance, sacramental ministries, and spiritual support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chaplains are available for Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. From 8:30 am to 5 pm, call the Spiritual Care Office at 310-825-7484 to request a visit. After hours ask your nurse to page the On-Call Chaplain at pager #91770 or contact the Page Operator at 310-825-6301 and request that the On-Call Chaplain be paged. The Interfaith Chaplains can also contact a religious leader of a particular faith tradition at your request.

If you need spiritual care services for UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, please call 424-259-8170.

An interfaith Meditation Room/Chapel (Room 1109) is available for private prayer and meditation 24 hours a day. It is located on the first floor of the hospital just inside the front entrance.

A Chaplain is available for your Spiritual Care needs

  • To visit all patients
  • To listen
  • To pray, at your request
  • To share in your faith struggles
  • To assist you in seeking inner peace and strength
  • To help answer your spiritual questions
  • To bring you a Bible, sacred texts, or holy writings from specific faith traditions
  • To assist you in contacting religious leaders from your faith tradition
  • To help meet your specific faith or spiritual needs

To contact a Chaplain:

Call the Spiritual Care Department
In the hospital - Extension 57484
Outside the hospital - 310-825-7484

Spiritual Care Department 
UCLA Health
1001 Gayley Ave., 2nd Floor, Suite 3
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1733

Spiritual Care services include

meditation room/chapel at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Interfaith Meditation Room/Chapel

  • Open 24 hours daily - located in Room 1109 on the first floor of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by the main entrance
  • Regular visits week days from an interfaith Chaplain assigned to your Nursing Unit
  • Visits from an interfaith on-call Chaplain for emergencies and urgent requests 24/7
  • An interdisciplinary healthcare team that includes a Chaplain
  • Bibles, sacred texts and holy writings from varied faith traditions
  • Literature for special spiritual care needs
  • Grief and crisis support
  • Liaison with local faith communities to meet your specific needs

For Christian Communion, Baptisms and Anointing

meditation room/chapel at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center
  • Anointing with oil
  • Baptisms are performed on an emergency basis
  • Communion is available upon request
  • Roman Catholic Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation are provided upon request and priest availability

Jewish items available on request

  • Kosher menu from dietician
    (all heated items are pre-frozen and double wrapped)
  • Shabbat boxes
    (electric candles, challah, and grape juice as available)
  • Call to check availability for: Shofar blowing for Rosh Hashanah, Lulav and Etrog for Sukkot, Menorah for Channukah, Jewish sacred texts

Muslim services available

  • Friday prayers at 1:10 pm in Meditation Room/Chapel - first floor
  • Muslim volunteer and Chaplain to visit when available
  • Prayer rugs for use in Meditation Room

Scheduled Services

  • Buddhist Dharma Talk and Meditation
    Tuesday, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, University Catholic Center, 633 Gayley Avenue (behind hospital)
  • Jummah (Islamic Friday Prayer)
    Friday, 1:10 pm - 1:30 pm, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Meditation Room/Chapel - first floor
  • Jewish Shabbat Service (Egalitarian)
    Friday, 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Meditation Room/Chapel - first floor
  • A Time of Healing Prayers
    Sunday, 10:30 am - 11:00 am, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Meditation Room/Chapel - first floor
  • Roman Catholic Mass
    Sunday, Noon - 12:30 pm, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, B level Auditorium - B130

Special Holy Day Celebrations

Ash Wednesday (Ecumenical), Good Friday (Ecumenical), Easter (Roman Catholic), Christmas (Roman Catholic), Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Channukah, Passover, Purim, Shavuot, Ramadan, Iftar, Roman Catholic Holy Days of Obligation

In the News

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Spiritual Care Department brochure cover with green leaves and water droplets

Spiritual Care Staff

ACPE Educators

Rev. Yuko Uesugi is the Director of the Spiritual Care Department. She is an ACPE Certified Educator and an ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church (UMC). She completed the ACPE internship and residency programs at UCLA Westwood and Santa Monica Hospital.  She is a native of Japan, and came to the U.S. in 1996 in order to pursue her theological education. She holds her B.A. in Business Administration from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan and M.Div. Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Rev. Uesugi has chaplaincy experience in cardiology, psychiatry, oncology, and general hospital ministry and management experience of the Spiritual Care Department at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

Chaplain Blake Arnall is the Manager of Spiritual Care at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. He is an ACPE Certified Educator and a commissioned minister with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design and a Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and has been a Board Certified Chaplain since 2007. He completed his ACPE Certified Educator training at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He has experience providing chaplaincy care to oncology, transplant and psychiatric patients and their family members. He has served on Palliative Care Teams and Ethics Committees for over ten years. Prior to joining UCLA Health, he was the Manager of Pastoral Education at Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia, California.

Staff Chaplains - Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Rev. Ariel-Philip Flores is the Palliative Care Staff Chaplain at RR UCLA Medical Center. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University Northridge and a Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA.  Reverend Flores is dual ordained with the Evangelical Church Alliance and the Korean Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He completed his CPE residency with Providence Health and Services in 2015, and became a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association Professional Chaplains in 2016.  Prior to joining UCLA Health, Rev. Flores was a chaplain with Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, serving primarily their progressive care ICU, neuro telemetry & sub-acute care units, and palliative care service;  in addition, he has vast experience in providing spiritual care for trauma patients and their families. Prior to Chaplaincy, Ariel-Philip was a medic for the US Army and for a private ambulance company in Los Angeles.

Rev. Aiko Johnson is the Pediatric Staff Chaplain for Mattel Children's Hospital at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She is ordained for ministry and endorsed for chaplaincy by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). She holds a MA in Communication Studies from California State University Long Beach and a M Div from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She completed her CPE internship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and her CPE residency at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Rev. Johnson played an active role in the development of a pediatric palliative care program at UCLA and has served as the chaplain for this program, Children’s Pain and Comfort Care, since it began its clinical services in 2008. Additionally, she has served as a member of the hospital Ethics Committee since 2005. She is a native of Japan, having lived in the Los Angeles area since 1995.

Rev. Chitra Rao is the Oncology Staff Chaplain at the outpatient UCLA Bowyer Oncology Center and on the inpatient Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant Unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She is an Episcopal priest and a board-certified chaplain with APC. Prior to coming to UCLA she served as an oncology staff chaplain for six years on the pediatric and adult patient units at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA and later as a hospice chaplain and bereavement supervisor.  Rev. Rao received a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and completed her CPE residency at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, where her chaplaincy experience was concentrated in neonatal, obstetrics and gynecology. Additionally, she earned her Bachelors from MS University of Baroda in India and graduate degrees in Special Education from Long Island University, New York and in Audiology from Montclair State University, New Jersey.

Staff Chaplains - UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center

Rabbi Dena Trugman is a Palliative Care Chaplain at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. She received ordination and a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA, and she holds dual undergraduate degrees in History and English from Northwestern University. Prior to joining UCLA Health, Rabbi Trugman was a staff chaplain at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where she primarily served patients receiving inpatient physical rehabilitation due to traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, and stroke. She also has significant experience working with oncology, trauma, burn, renal, dementia, cardiac, and critical care patients. Rabbi Trugman completed her training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Hebrew SeniorLife, a long-term care facility in the Boston area.

The Spiritual Care Department also includes an Office Administrator and many qualified volunteers from most faith traditions, including Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Roman Catholic. As part of the Spiritual Care Department's team, they work together with CPE interns, residents and staff to serve the spiritual and religious needs of the Medical Center's patients, patient-family members, staff and faculty.