About GWish

The GWish Project in Partnership with City of Hope and the Association of Professional Chaplains

Creating a new standard for spiritual care and education.

At The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality & Health (GWish)—together with City of Hope and ACPE—we envision an innovative model of healthcare that recognizes spiritual health as an integral part of patient-centered care. Thanks to generous funding by the John Templeton Foundation, we have launched a multi-year project to explore a model where the entire healthcare team, including chaplains, works together to address the spiritual needs of each patient.

We believe we are on the front end of a significant shift in how spiritual care is delivered to people who are suffering—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As part of the project, we are partnering with organizations to develop testable clinical models, and we are expanding our spiritual care education and training for clinicians and chaplains.

Doctor talking to a patient

While the field of spirituality and health has been emerging for over two decades, because of this initiative, we can now accelerate the growth by conducting research to demonstrate that spiritual care as part of a treatment plan has a positive impact on patient outcomes and well-being.

We’re excited about accumulating data to support what we’ve all been seeing, experiencing, and telling stories about for years, and we express our deepest gratitude to the John Templeton Foundation for their support.


The GWish Project is spearheaded by a dedicated group of interdisciplinary global leaders and supported by multiple organizations in the field of spiritual health: 

Christina Puchalski
Christina Puchalski, MD, MS, OCDS, FACP, FAAHPM

George Washington University's Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish)


Betty Ferrell
Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN

City of Hope National Medical Center

Trace Haythorn
Trace Haythorn, PhD, MDiv, PCC 


GOAL—$20 Million by 2032

The GWish Collaborate, Advancing Spiritual Care in Everyday Clinical Practice, was launched in 2022 with an initial 3-year project cycle in an overall 10-year plan. The initiative is estimated to yield a total of $20 million collectively—or approximately $2.0 million per year—through engagement from aligned foundations, universities, medical facilities, related organizations, and individuals who wish to offer monetary or in-kind support.

Bar Graph showing increase to $20M by 2032

We envision that 10 years from now, there will be a strong network of clinician-chaplain leaders and funding partners working together to create, test, and disseminate better spiritual care models that will lead to improved whole person care for all patients and their families. 


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Create a network of partners—financial donors, in-kind contributors, volunteers,  and innovators—to accelerate the growth of spiritual care awareness and availability in all health systems. 

Find Out How to Be a Partner


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Expand the GWish flagship course Interprofessional Spiritual Care Education  Curriculum (ISPEC©) to create widespread implementation and teaching at all  types of institutions.

Learn About ISPEC©


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Invite clinician/chaplain pairs to conduct demonstration projects consisting of  clinical models that can be tested in multiple health settings. Findings will create  pathways for future research, grants, and a larger, more standardized  implementation of interprofessional spiritual care. 

Learn About Becoming a GWish Scholar


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