Staff Profiles

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Princeton HealthCare System Pastoral Care Staff

Director

The Reverend Matthew Rhodes, PsyD, ACPE Supervisor/Certified Educator — UMCP
Rev. Rhodes (pictured middle above) is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds a BA from Davidson College, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Pastoral Supervision through the Institute for Psychodynamic Pastoral Supervision and Graduate Theological Foundation. He has completed 4 units of CPE with Capital Health, 4 units of CPE with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Supervisory Education with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Overlook Hospital through the Eastern Pennsylvania Institute for Clinical Supervision (EPICS). Matt is an ACPE Supervisor/Certified Educator

With PHCS, Matt serves as the Director of Religious Ministries, as a Co-Chair and a Lead Consultant for the Bio-Medical Ethics Committee, as a supervisor to CPE students, as a supervisor to staff chaplains, as Chair of the Employee Benevolent Fund, as a member of the Institutional Review Board, as an occasional lecturer for pastoral theology and medical ethics courses at Princeton Theological Seminary, as a preacher at local congregations, and as a chaplain to patients, family and staff at University Medical Center of Princeton. His chaplaincy is primarily focused on the Eating Disorder Unit where he co-facilitates a weekly Spirituality Group on “Grief, Meaning, and Recovery” with a therapist on the unit.

Outside of PHCS, Matt serves as Co-Chair of the Committee for Preparation for Ministry in the Presbytery of New Brunswick, as a Member of the Presbyterian Church USA’s Special Committee to Study the Reformed Perspective on Christian Education in the 21st Century, and as the Vice President of the Board for Womanspace, a non-profit for women, men, and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Additionally, his background in ministry is with people with intellectual disabilities in multi-faith and ethnically diverse faith communities through his work with L'Arche.

Coordinator of Clinical Pastoral Education

The Reverend Amy Fairbanks Seat — Staff Chaplain and Coordinator of CPE Program
Rev. Amy Seat is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and holds a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. She completed 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, MO, where she provided spiritual care to a diverse population on the Medical Intensive Care Unit and General Medicine floor. Prior to her CPE residency in St. Louis, Amy served a congregation in Clayton, MO for three years as the Minister to Youth, Children and Families. Additionally, Amy has worked in prison ministry, campus ministry, and has extensive work with adults with mental illness.

With hospice, Amy participates in patient care planning as part of the inter-disciplinary team, as a pastoral care provider, and as a facilitator of bereavement groups. Additionally, Amy supervises CPE students as an ACPE Supervisory Candidate and serves as a consultant on the Bio-Medical Ethics Committee at UMCP.

 

Staff Chaplains

Rabbi Robert Freedman — Staff Chaplain
Bob Freedman is ordained as both a cantor and a rabbi. He has served congregations in both roles over the past 35 years in Princeton, NJ, Manchester, VT, and at Society Hill Synagogue in Philadelphia, PA. In 1996, he became the first Jewish chaplain for the Princeton Medical Center and served until 2000, returning to the position in May of 2013. Ministering mainly to the Jewish patients at the hospital, he also visits patients at Princeton House Behavioral Health and those in PHCS hospice care throughout the area.

The Reverend Cheryl Regis — Staff Chaplain
Rev. Cheryl Regis attended and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, during which time completed an internship with Princeton HealthCare. After graduation, Cheryl was hired by the Department of Religious Ministries and served as the chaplain with the Princeton Hospice. In 2007, she was began serving as a chaplain with Princeton House Behavioral Health.

Cheryl is a Certified Bereavement Facilitator through the American Academy of Bereavement and an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is affiliated with Plainsboro Presbyterian Church where she worships and participates in the congregation.

 

Adjunct Chaplains

The Reverend Louise Kingston — Rev. Kingston served as a staff chaplain and department director at the University Medical Center of Princeton for over 25 years before retiring. Now she serves as a department board member and a weekly volunteer. Ordained as one of the earlier female Episcopal priests, Louise has also served on staff at Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, NJ. In addition to visiting patients, Louise regularly offers support to hospital staff as a result of her long-standing relationships with them.

Laura Riccardi — Laura is a lay Catholic, Secular Carmelite who has completed 2.5 units of CPE. She is a regular volunteer who sees patients from all backgrounds and offers particular support to the Catholic patients here at the University Medical Center of Princeton.

Dr. Barry Wexler — Barry is a retired chemist and educator who has completed 4 units of CPE and is working toward his Masters in Jewish Studies through Hebrew Union College. Having served as a CPE Intern at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC and then here at the University Medical Center of Princeton, he now visits patients multiple days a week throughout Princeton HealthCare System, especially at the University Medical Center of Princeton.

 

Office Coordinator

Amelia Irmer — UMCP
Amelia Irmer, Indian by ethnicity, Trinidadian by nationality, grew up in Brooklyn New York. She comes from a family of religions varying from Hindus, Muslims, and Christians to Baha’i. Amelia has a degree in International Relations and did her graduate studies in International Human Rights. She coordinates department programming, services, and patient care as the primary interface with the healthcare system.

 

Coordinating Diocesan Priests

Employed by the Diocese of Metuchen, our priests are available 7 days a week in order to provide sacramental coverage to our Catholic patients. Their regular rounding schedule is:

Father Ignatius Okoroji — UMCP — Monday, Tuesday, Saturday
Fr. Ignatius Mary Okoroji SDV was ordained in the Congregation of the Vocationist Fathers and Brothers. He graduated from the Federal University of Port Harcourt Nigeria with BA in Philosophy and the valedictorian of the graduating set. He later bagged BA in Theology from Pontifical Urbananian University Rome. For his Graduate studies, he bagged a Master's degree in Theology and Ministry of the Word, and a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership (with emphasis on leadership in diversity and conflict resolution). Fr. Ignatius enjoys playing soccer and was the seminary goalkeeper and center-forward. He currently serves as the Catholic chaplain to Princeton HealthCare System, New Jersey.

Father Peter Akkanath — Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Peter Akkanath Chakkunny, CMI., is a Carmelite priest belonging to the Bhopal province in India. He was ordained January 8th, 1998. He holds a Master’s Degree in psychology from Calicut University, India and completed two years fellowship in Clinical Psychology from Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai, India. Since 2007 he was working as a Clinical Psychologist in Sacred Heart psychiatric hospital, Paynkulam, India. He was chaplain at Carmelite Monastery, Flemington, NJ for three years before his appointment as the Catholic Chaplain to Princeton HealthCare System, NJ. He served as a vocation promoter for CMI Bhopal province, India and director of VMK, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Additionally, Eucharistic Ministers from St. Paul's in Princeton are available 7 days a week to provide Holy Communion.