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News | May 26, 2022


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dylan M. Kinee

U.S. Navy Chaplains assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth provided Blessing of the Hands this week to Nurses across the Tidewater Market as part of Nurses Week.

The Chaplains start each day during at Nurses Week at 5:30 a.m. to make sure that every nurse in every ward has the opportunity to participate in this tradition.

“The blessing of the hands is a moment of celebration and thanksgiving in recognition of the many moments nurses offer a personal healing touch to the patients they serve,” said Capt. William Hlavin, NMCP command chaplain.

While the idea of blessing is rooted in faith traditions, the chaplains offer a blessing that inclusive and uplifting. The goal of the blessing is to recognize and value each and every nurse, not to proselytize or evangelize.

“Blessing of the Hands reminds us of the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact nursing can have,” said Laura McMullen, NMCP director of nursing services. “Coming together and having that recognized can reinvigorate the passion with which we care for our patients.”

Last year, the chaplains provided Blessing of the Hands to over 650 NMCP staff and its outlying clinics.

As the U.S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, part of the Tidewater Market, serves eligible beneficiaries at the nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area’s 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics.
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