From pre-surgery prayer to pastoral counsel and worship services, our professional, caring ministers are always available to offer spiritual and emotional support to patients and families of all faiths.
Our chaplains are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support patients and their families. We provide:
- Spiritual, emotional, and sacramental support
- Pastoral care and counseling
- Empathic listening
- Consultations on difficult decisions
The Pastoral Services department ensures that patients of all faiths have their spiritual needs met in accordance with their faith tradition.
We offer two regular services in the Di and Dallas Krapf Interfaith Chapel:
- Catholic mass: Wednesday at noon
- Jumu'ah prayer service: Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Our ministerial staff offers attentive care and counseling to patients and their families.
Meet our chaplains
David Simmons, DMin, BCCDirector of Pastoral Services
The Reverend David B. Simmons, DMin, BCC, serves as the Director of Pastoral Services. With 25 years ministry experience, David served congregations in Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania before coming to Hershey Medical Center in 2011. David is a graduate of the Clinical Pastoral Education residency program at Hershey and has conducted research in emotional crisis and faith, provider-patient communication, post-traumatic growth, and the spirituality of men in crisis. He has served the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit, the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Palliative Care, and Trauma Services.
David coordinates a 30+ member team of chaplain educators, chaplain interns, chaplain residents, staff chaplains, and chaplain associates. David is an ordained Baptist minister and is endorsed for ministry through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. David holds a Masters of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Health Administration degree from Penn State Harrisburg. He is board certified in chaplaincy through the Association of Professional Chaplains.Biography
David Carnish, MDivClinical Pastoral Education Manager
The Rev. David Carnish leads the clinical pastoral education (CPE) program at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as manager. An ordained Baptist minister, he has served as a chaplain since 1990 in Level I Trauma hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities and churches. He was also as an interim pastor and associate minister at Baptist churches in Louisville, Ky., and San Francisco.
Previously, Carnish supervised clinical pastoral education programs at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Cone Health in Greensboro, N.C. He graduated from Valdosta State College in Valdosta, Ga., with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and received his Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. In 2020, Carnish earned a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary humanities from Penn State and is currently working toward a doctorate in art history at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University.Biography
Kenton Derstine, MDiv, DMinClinical Pastoral Educator
Kenton T. Derstine joined the Pastoral Services staff at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2020. Certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), he has served as a pastoral educator for more than 25 years. He earned his master’s of divinity from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
After completing his training at Indiana University Health, Derstine became a CPE supervisor and later CPE program manager at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He also served as director of CPE and field education at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. In addition to his position at Hershey Medical Center, Derstine is an associate faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C.Biography
Brittany Powell, MDivClinical Pastoral Educator
Rev. Brittany Powell serves as a clinical pastoral educator (CPE) at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Previously, she was a CPE-Certified Educator Candidate and Chaplain Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church, Va. She has also served as a chaplain for Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Newark, Del. Originally from Atlanta, Powell earned a master’s of divinity from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and is endorsed for ministry through the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Currently, Powell is preparing for the final phase of her certification as a chaplain educator by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.Biography
Darlene Miller Cooley, MDivStaff Chaplain
The Reverend Darlene M. Miller joined the full-time pastoral services staff in July 2016. Currently her clinical assignments include the Cardiac Care and Neurology departments. She brings a wealth of professional, pastoral, and life experience to the position. Before entering ministry she was an accomplished human resources specialist, Director of Equal Employment Opportunity, certified mediator and trainer with the U.S. Department of Navy and other government organizations.
She received her Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology from West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia and Master of Art degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
She is an ordained Baptist minister, has served as associate pastor at Harrisburg churches, and is presently serving as an associate pastor at the Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church in Harrisburg, PA. She is a graduate of Hershey Medical Center’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) intern and residency programs. Since 2015 she has served the HMC Department of Pastoral Services as PRN Chaplain Associate and has led the Martin Luther King services for the past two years.
Darlene is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has been blessed with traveling to many places. Most recently she traveled to Israel for a two weeks stay. Her most precious memory from this trip was the breath taking allure of the Holy land while walking through the stories she has learned since childhood.Biography
Daniel Minnucci, MAFour Diamonds Pediatric Oncology Chaplain
The Reverend Daniel Minnucci is the Four Diamonds pediatric oncology chaplain. After completing a chaplain internship at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, Daniel served his residency at Wellspan York Hospital. While at York, he was the pediatric chaplain for both medical and behavioral health. He has worked with at-risk youth and played a large role in helping maintain stability for children in the behavioral health unit setting. Daniel is a priest in The North American Old Roman Catholic Church and earned a master’s degree in theology from St. Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, Maine.Biography
Kelsey O'Brien, MDivStaff Chaplain, Palliative Care and Oncology
Kelsey O’Brien is the palliative chaplain at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Since 2017, she has served in the Neonatal Intensive Care, Labor and Delivery, Oncology and COVID-19 Intensive Care units, as well as supported palliative care patients throughout the hospital. Through her work with the palliative population, Kelsey has become an expert on end-of-life questions and choices, and the spiritual worries that often accompany living with a serious illness.
Kelsey is ordained and endorsed in the United Church of Christ and board-certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains. She completed her Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J., and Bachelor of Arts in theology at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago.
Her research interests include bereavement and loss support, grief, trauma-informed care, health care ethics, and burnout and compassion fatigue in the health care provider setting.Biography
Laura Ramsey, MA, BCCSenior Staff Chaplain, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital
The Reverend Laura Ramsey serves as the senior staff chaplain in Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, coordinating all spiritual care, with a focus on caring for staff. Laura completed her Clinical Pastoral Education residency program at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where her clinical assignments were in pediatrics, women’s health and oncology. She then served as staff chaplain at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Women & Babies Hospital for several years.
Laura received her board certification in chaplaincy in 2014 and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She earned her Master of Arts in ministerial studies from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) and is currently working toward her Doctor of Ministry at United Lutheran Seminary.Biography
Kelly Fuddy, MAStaff Support Chaplain
Kelly Fuddy is the chaplain supporting adult staff at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She has served as chaplain to patients and staff in a variety of settings, including the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center ALS outpatient clinic; Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Women and Babies Hospital and Hospice & Community Care, both in Lancaster, Pa.; and the Elizabethtown Fire Department.
Kelly completed her chaplain residency at Lancaster General Hospital and holds a Master of Arts in religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pa. She is a member of the Episcopal Church and also participates in other spiritual communities. Kelly believes that having a chaplain available explicitly for hospital staff is important because she has witnessed the limitations of "self-care" strategies in various health care systems and settings. She is thrilled to join Penn State Health as the health system strengthens its commitment to caring for its caregivers.Biography