Hospital News

UPMC Western Maryland to celebrates Pastoral Care Week


Once again this year, UPMC Western Maryland will celebrate Pastoral Care Week from October 21-25. This year marks the 34th year for the event. This year’s theme, “Hospitality: Cultivating Space”, offers a rich opportunity to develop relationships and extend hospitality to those who extend spiritual care, to those who collaborate with spiritual care providers and to those who are the recipients of the spiritual care.

The observance also celebrates the education for and practice of spiritual care through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, interpreting and promoting pastoral care and honoring and celebrating all practitioners of pastoral care. This week is also a time to express appreciation to institutions and their staff who support pastoral care ministries.

“Pastoral care has been an important part of our society and well-being since humanity sought meaning and connection in its life together, “said Rev. Bruce McBride, Director of Pastoral Care. “Religions and communities have valued its supportive influence. We honor our chaplains and prayer partners who serve here at UPMC Western Maryland and minister to patients and staff on our campus everyday and we strive to show compassion with the love of God to hurting families. Our chaplains are available 24/7 to minister to any family in need.”

Clergy, eucharistic ministers and other religious professionals from throughout the tri-state area are always welcome to provide spiritual support to members of their faith who are receiving care at UPMC Western Maryland.

Pastoral care services also are available for persons receiving home care or hospice services. The support a chaplain provides during these home visits can be very beneficial for patients and their families who are dealing with a serious illness or end-of-life issues.

In addition to Pastor McBride, the other faithful servants on the UPMC Western Maryland campus include Seth Wharton, Hospice chaplain, the Chaplain team of Velma Lewis, Carolyn Wilson, Sam Seletyn, Rusty Kitzmiller, Gary Barkley, Paul Demers and Mark Perman, and prayer partners Angelo Bucchino, Sheila Hager, Terry McKenzie, Ron Peterson and Ken and O’Nile McKinney. The UPMC Western Maryland Pastoral Care team will be visiting every patient during the week of Oct. 21-25.


Members of the Pastoral Care Team at Western Maryland Health System include, from left to right, Chaplains Sam Seletyn,  Gary Barkley, Bruce McBride, Rusty Kitzmiller, Seth Wharton, Melissa Jessen, Paul Demers, Caroline Wilson, Mark Perman and Velma Lewis.