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Walter Reed Bethesda’s stance on patient access to religious material.

Bibles and other religious materials have always been and will remain available for patient use at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). The visitation policy as written and dated September 14, 2011 was incorrect.  While it should have been more thoroughly reviewed before its release, it was never implemented and had absolutely no impact on patient access to religious items.  The September 14, 2011 visitation policy has been rescinded and a new policy was released on January 24, 2012. We apologize for any confusion.

Please know that at admission, all patients are asked for their religious preference and a chaplain associated with their preference visits them regularly to provide spiritual services. In addition, their families may also bring religious material and WRNMMC does not refuse any religious group entrance.

WRNMMC provides multiple venues at WRMNMC for religious expression and worship. There is daily Catholic Mass as well as Protestant, Hindu, and Muslim service. Eucharist is also available at the bedside.  There are weekly Torah studies, multiple weekly Christian Bible Studies, and weekly Qur’an study. Furthermore, chaplains coordinate spiritual needs for those whose faith groups are not represented by staff chaplains (such as Latter-Day Saints, Buddhist, and Christian Scientist).

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center remains committed to supporting all of our patients’ religious preferences and will we continue to ensure their spiritual needs are met.