Pastoral Care Advisory Council


The Pastoral Care Advisory Council is an administrative standing council of the Catholic Health Association. The council is constituted to perform certain ongoing advisory functions related to pastoral care issues in the Catholic health ministry in order to enable the president and the CHA staff to carry out their duties on behalf of the association. This council works closely with the leadership of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) and is comprised of three working subcommittees: Quality, Staffing and Communication.

The council is comprised of 10 to 12 people from mission and spiritual care representing the continuum of care (acute, post-acute, long-term care, physician practices/clinics, hospice/palliative care) as well as various organizational levels (system, regional and facility). The council meets several times a year in person or by teleconference. There are no limits on terms of service. Members and chairpersons of this administrative standing council are appointed and removed by CHA’s president and chief executive officer, after consultation with the chairperson of the board.

Currently, the council is divided into three subcommittees: Staff Support, Patient Services and Chaplain Development. The Staff Support Subcommittee addresses the well-being of staff with focus on the spirituality of transition and change. The Patient Services Subcommittee is working on developing a common spiritual care screening tool for use in outpatient settings. The Chaplain Development Subcommittee is exploring the leadership qualities needed by chaplains and how to assist chaplains moving into leadership roles. In addition, this council shares resources and best practices across the ministry through articles, webinars and the CHA and NACC websites.


Rev. Thomas Harshman, M.Div
Vice President, Pastoral and Spiritual Care
CommonSpirit Health


Jennifer Cobb, , BCC, M.Div., MBA
Senior Vice President/Chief Mission Officer
Hospital Sisters Health System


Alan E. Bowman, M.Div., MBA
Vice President, Mission Integration
Trinity Health Continuing Care

Rev. Lawrence Chellaian
Vice President, Mission Integration
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System

Theresa Vithayathil Edmonson
Vice President, Spiritual Health
Providence St. Joseph Health

Julie M. Jones
Vice President, Mission and Spiritual Care

Rev. Dr. Peter S. Kim, Ph.D.
Director, Pastoral Care
Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center

David A. Lichter, D.Min.
Executive Director
National Association of Catholic Chaplains

Antonina M. Olszewski
Associate Vice President of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care

Tim Serban
System Executive Director Spiritual Health - Home and Community Care
Providence Health & Services - Oregon Region

Staff Coordinator

Dennis Gonzales
Sr. Director, Mission Innovation & Integration
» Email Dennis Gonzales

Past Accomplishments

2007 – CHA Pastoral Care Survey

2007-2008 – CHA/NACC Pastoral Care Summits

2009 – Health Progress issue on pastoral care

2012 – CHA Survey of Executives and Clinicians on Spiritual Care

2012-2014 – Spiritual Care Staffing Model

Elevator Speeches: How Do Talk About Our ministry?

2014-2015 Spiritual care assessment and the EMR

Work in Progress (2016-2017)

Patient Services Subcommittee – Developing a spiritual care screening tool to be administered by clinicians in outpatient settings to determine when a spiritual care consult is needed

Staff Support – Share resources used across the ministry that focus on maintaining spirituality in the workplace in the midst of rapid change and transition.

Chaplain Development – Develop resources to help chaplains develop their leadership skills especially in the area of operations and finance.