Financially strapped UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Mass., is eliminating four full-time hospital chaplains.
UMass Memorial spokesman Mark Shelton said the administration wants to move away from pastoral programs that are based on full-time staff.
The University and Memorial campuses are served by four full-time and four contracted clergy. Officials said $250,000 was budgeted this year for the ministry.
Although Shelton said no decision had yet been made on the chaplains, the Rev. Peggy Kieras, a Methodist minister who is one of two Protestant chaplains, said she and her colleagues were told by UMass Memorial officials that they will be let go Feb. 5.