The Global Network for Spirituality & Health (GNSAH)

GNSAH was formed to enhance the provision of high quality comprehensive and compassionate care to patients and families globally through the integration of spirituality into health systems.

Spirituality is a dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity through which persons seek ultimate meaning, purpose, and transcendence, and experience relationship to self, family, others, community, society, nature, and the significant or sacred. Spirituality is expressed through beliefs, values, traditions, and practices.

The role of this network is to provide a way members can work together to more fully integrate spiritual care, including training, service delivery, and standards into health systems. This global network will:

  • Facilitate information sharing among members
  • Foster collaboration among members
  • Collect and disseminate emerging best practices
  • Provide a platform for advocacy

We invite you to join this “silent revolution” to inspire change, promote whole person care and support compassionate health systems all over the world.


Over the past five years, with the generous support of the Fetzer Institute, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, the Archstone Foundation, The Foundation for Individual Health, and The John Templeton Foundation,  the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) in collaboration with City of Hope, Caritas Internationalis and other groups held four ground-breaking conferences with the aim to integrate spirituality, defined as meaning, purpose, and connectedness, into all levels of health care as part of a strategy to create more compassionate systems of care.

The conferences were based on evidence that spiritual care is a fundamental component of quality health care and that this aspect of care is most effective when it is recognized and reflected in the attitudes and actions of both patients and health care providers.

In summary, the meetings collectively resulted in the following:

  • The articulation of potential spiritual health care standards of care for a whole-person compassionate health system.
  • A common definition of spirituality
  • Strategies to advance this work into health care in six discrete yet synergistic areas; Clinical Care, Education, Research, Policy, Community Engagement and Communications and Outreach.

In September 2013 the first organizational meeting of the Global Network for Spirituality and Health was held in Washington, D.C. This was followed by the first Leaders’ Council meeting in April 2014 at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Logos for GWish, Caritas, SMHS, and GW