History and Vision
The Department of Pastoral Care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital continues to carry on a tradition of spiritual care that began with the Visiting Clergy Service. The first full-time paid director was the Rev. Harry Price (1956-1963), a Methodist minister. The Rev. Clyde Shallenberger (1963-1993), a Church of the Brethren minister, succeeded Rev. Price, providing leadership in the creation of the Hospital's Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. Rev. and Mrs. Shallenberger continue to be respected members of the Hopkins community, and a popular symposium in his honor is convened yearly.
The Rev. Uwe Scharf, PhD, a certified ACPE Supervisor and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, served as the Director of Pastoral Care from 2006-2011. Under his leadership, the department staff and the Clinical Pastoral Education program was expanded. In 2006, the Rev. John Ponnala, a Lutheran minister, and the Rev. Yollande Mavund, a United Methodist minister, joined the team as Family Advocate Chaplains in a cooperative effort with the Hopkins Department of Surgery. Rev. Mavund returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011, and Rev. Ponnala was recently chosen to serve as the first Coordinator of Family Advocacy for the hospital.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Episcopal Diocese of Maryland historically have supported the hospital’s mission to provide spiritual support to those in need. The Rev. Paul Sparklin (on the right), in concert with a cadre of volunteers, provided spiritual care and sacramental ministry for the Catholic patients at JHH for seven years before being appointed to a local parish in 2012. The Rev. William R. Bell, Jr. (left), an Episcopal priest who served the hospital community during 2009-2011, provided the pastoral care to many of the Episcopal patients as well as others throughout the hospital. A brief history of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at JHH may be found through this link, as well as contact information for the current Episcopal Chaplain, the Rev. Thomas Rogers, who is also a CPE supervisor-in-training.
Additionally, Rabbi Tsvi Schur, who is associated also with Jewish Community Services of Baltimore, provides ministry to Jewish patients and their family members throughout the hospital. Other Adjunct Chaplains provide care on request. These include Imam Hassan Amin (Muslim) and David Mitchell (Jehovah's Witness).