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Spiritual Caregivers

A 32-year employee at St. Joseph’s, Welch has been responsible for the overall operation, administration and management of mental health services for 22 years. Under her leadership, St. Joseph’s mental health services has grown exponentially and has led the way in providing mental health services to those most in need in the Central New York community. Recently, she added director of organizational development to her areas of responsibility. In this role, she has been applying her knowledge of Baldrige principles and quality and employee development to help advance the organization’s readiness to meet the challenges of tomorrow. As vice president, she will continue to focus on organizational and leadership development, as well as mission integration at St. Joseph’s. A resident of Skaneateles, Welch holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Le Moyne College and is an alumnus of Leadership Greater Syracuse, Class of 2003. She also is a member of the boards of directors of the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Health and Catholic Charities of Onondaga County.

Sister Adelbert DurantSR. ADELBERT DURANT, OSF
Sister Adelbert Durant is a Catholic Chaplain and a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She has a Masters in Education, permanent certification in Elementary School Administration and Supervision and a Diocese of Syracuse permanent certification in Religious Education. In December 2011, she completed the fourth unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, NY. Currently she has completed the first semester of her second year in the Catholic Bible Studies Program. Sr. Adelbert had many positions. She was a teacher and principal in the Diocese of Syracuse Catholic schools. She was an administrative assistant at The Personal Resource Center, a Psychotherapy Center, in Syracuse, was the secretary for the Director of Seminarian Formation’ secretary in the Diocese of Syracuse; and was a parish data processor and receptionist. Sister started as a volunteer in the Spiritual Care Department at St. Joseph Hospital. Then she became a unit secretary on 3-1. She moved to the Emergency Department as a patient advocate and then joined the Spiritual Care Department and Palliative Care Team as a Chaplain.  Currently, Sr. Adelbert is a chaplain on Units 2-4 and 2-5.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking, traveling, going to movies and being with friends.

Brigid Dunn grew up in Orchard Park, NY. A graduate of Le Moyne College, she worked at her alma mater as an adjunct professor in the Gender Studies Department. After college, she went on to spend two years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Yale. Brigid completed three units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Upstate University Hospital and looks forward to her next unit. She is also Regional Director for the Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLiA), a program of the Jesuit Collaborative, which introduces the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola to young professionals. Brigid lives in Fayetteville with her husband and their two daughters.

Rev. Joe Colon is a United Church of Christ Minister, and an on-call consultant for Spanish speaking patients for Crouse Hospital. He has a Masters degree of Social Work, specializing in family therapy.  He also has a Masters degree of Divinity.  Chaplain Joe retired from the N.Y.P.D. as Senior Detective Investigator-Homicide Division.  He is an expert and has lectured on disaster response and first responder trauma.  Chaplain Joe has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Upstate Medical.  In his spare time he enjoys reading and spending time with his three rescue dogs. 

Joshua Czyz, a native of Central New York, is a part time Protestant Chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital and the Pastor of Lakes Church in Auburn, NY. He is endorsed as a chaplain and ordained with the Assemblies of God and is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains. Joshua has completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education through Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, NY and is currently working toward his Master of Divinity at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY. Joshua has been in full time ministry with the Assemblies of God since 1997, when he graduated from Valley Forge Christian College with a Bachelor of Science in Bible as a Pastoral Ministry Major. Joshua is married to his best friend, Rachel and they have three boys, Jeremiah, Joshua and Josiah. 

M. Elizabeth Heffernan is a Roman Catholic Lay Ecclesial Minister who has been serving in health care ministry since 2000. Educated at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester, NY (the former St. Bernard’s Seminary), she completed A Master of Arts (Theological Studies) graduate degree in 2003. Elizabeth then continued her education in a one year Chaplain Residency program with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio, TX. 
 From 2005 – 2009, Elizabeth was called to serve the needs of older adults with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago in their Continuing Care Retirement Communities serving the needs of older adults living independently, needing assistance and/or nursing care, rehabilitation, and all levels of care to include those on hospice care. In 2009, Elizabeth returned to her native New York State and joined the Spiritual Care team of St. Joseph Hospital Health Center where she continues to serve the needs of the vulnerable in our midst.  She is a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and is in the process of becoming a Board Certified Chaplain through the NACC.  She enjoys being back in New York State spending time with her family in the natural beauty of the state.

Joy Magee  is a lay Roman Catholic chaplain.  Joy joined the staff of spiritual care at St. Joseph's in 2011 after completing four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Upstate Medical Hospital where she interned serving the patients, families and staff on the burn unit, cardiology, neurology, oncology and emergency department. Her previous pastoral experience in parish ministry has been in the areas of bereavement and visiting the homebound. Prior to CPE her ministry education was completed through the Syracuse Diocese LIMEX program with a focus in pastoral care.  Retiring after 40 years as a nurse; Joy found that her experience working in various settings including hospital, hospice and home care has enhanced her ministry to the sick. She is also a per diem chaplain with the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese. Joy lives in Homer with her husband Mike, they have two children and five grandchildren that keep them quite busy.

Sr. Baptiste Westbrook is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.  She received her training for spiritual care through a residency at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, MA.  Formerly a high school science teacher and a pastoral outreach minister in parishes in Peru and in the US, Sr. Baptiste now serves patients receiving health care in their homes.  Through her years in Peru, she is able to assist with Spanish speaking patients and caregivers. 

Fr. Severine P YagazaFR. SEVERINE P YAGAZA
Severine P Yagaza is a native of Tanzania in East Africa. He is an ordained Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Tanga in Tanzania and has ministered in the Diocese of Syracuse since 1997. While a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, he also ministers at St. Matthew Church in East Syracuse as an assisting priest and also a priest on-call at Upstate Medical Hospital and Crouse Hospital.  Fr. Severine is a graduate of Upstate Medical Hospital Clinical Pastor Education training program where he interned in pediatric, cardiology, palliative care, out-patient clinic, and emergency department. As a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, he ministers in medical and surgical ICUs and also provides sacramental ministry throughout the hospital.