Co-Principal Investigators

George FitchettGeorge Fitchett,
DMin, PhD, BCC, Project Co-Principal Investigator, is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago Illinois. He also holds an appointment in Rush’s Department of Preventive Medicine. George is a certified chaplain and pastoral supervisor. George’s training in research (epidemiology) was supported by a 5-year Career Development Award (K08) in 2002 from the NIH. He was the first chaplain to receive such an award. George’s research has examined the relationship between religion and health in a variety of community and clinical populations. His contributions to chaplaincy and spiritual care have been recognized with awards from the Association of Professional Chaplains (the 2006 Anton Boisen Professional Service Award) and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (the 2014 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award). George’s book on spiritual assessment, Assessing Spiritual Needs (Academic Renewal Press, 2002), is widely used in academic and clinical training programs in the USA and around the world. He is also the editor, with Steve Nolan, of a book of chaplain case studies, Spiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare Chaplaincy (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015).


Wendy-CadgeWendy Cadge, PhD, is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where she teaches and writes about the intersections of religion and health care. Her 2012 book Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine (University of Chicago Press) provided an incisive analysis of health care chaplaincy and the challenges it faces and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and other sources. The book joins journal articles about the role of religion and spirituality in health care published in medical and nursing journals as well as the social sciences. Cadge is a frequent public speaker on these topics and for her contributions received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Professional Chaplains. Cadge and Fitchett previously collaborated on projects focused on the profession of chaplaincy, the role of chaplains in pediatric palliative care and physician-chaplain relations.




Farr-CurlinFarr A Curlin, MD, is Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School. Before moving to Duke in 2014, he founded and was Co-Director of the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago. At Duke, Farr practices palliative medicine and works with colleagues in the Trent Center and the Divinity School to develop opportunities for education and scholarship at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. He is interested in the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice – particularly the doctor-patient relationship, the moral and professional formation of physicians, and practices of care for patients at the end of life.




Daniel-GrossoehmeDaniel H Grossoehme, DMin, BCC is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics (University of Cincinnati College of Medicine) in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He also holds an appointment as Staff Chaplain III in the Department of Pastoral Care; his clinical assignment is the Cystic Fibrosis Team. He is an Episcopal priest, a board certified chaplain with 25 years’ experience in pediatric chaplaincy, primarily in cystic fibrosis, psychiatry and trauma/burns/critical care. He has been doing research for 21 years and since 2008 has been funded to devote 75% effort towards research. His research efforts focus on psychosocial factors affecting treatment adherence and health outcomes in pediatric chronic disease, health-related quality of life in both chronic disease and transgender populations. He has been co-investigator with experience in qualitative methods on studies as diverse as hospital safety, implementing physician behavior interventions and pediatric palliative care. He is author of 49 peer-reviewed articles, five book chapters and a book on the pastoral care of children. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and currently by the Templeton Foundation and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He is co-winner of the 2017 Anton Boisen Professional Service Award (Association of Professional Chaplains), and in 2012, he was named an Outstanding Clinical Research Professional by his hospital.  Daniel’s wife, Henny, is also an Episcopal priest and their son is a college sophomore studying aviation maintenance. In his spare time, Daniel plays viola in a community orchestra and is an EMT with the Village of Terrace Park EMS. Daniel is the liaison to the Board of Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).


Lex-TartagliaAlexander Tartaglia, DMin, is Senior Associate Dean, School of Allied Health Professions, and Katherine I. Lantz Professor, Patient Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lex holds a BA from Colgate University and MA in Theological Ethics, MDiv, and DMin in Psychology and Clinical Studies from Andover-Newton Theological School. He is certified as a CPE Supervisor by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) and Board Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Lex most recently served as Chair of the Department of Patient Counseling from 1996-2008 and Director of Pastoral Care for the VCU Health System from 1996-2007. He previously held faculty appointments at the Medical University of South Carolina and the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. He currently serves the VCU Health System as Co-chair of the Ethics Committee. He has held national and regional appointments in Accreditation and Certification with the ACPE. He has served on the editorial board of Chaplaincy Today and currently is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. He has published in diverse areas such as organ donation, Spirituality and HIV disease, clinical pastoral education, provider stress, disability employment, and clinical ethics. Lex is the liaison to the ACPE.


Project Advisory Committee

The Project Advisory Committee Members assist with publicizing the fellowship and grant opportunities, develop selection criteria for the Research Fellows and CPE curriculum grants, review applications and select the Research Fellows and CPE Centers curriculum grants, participate in Kick-off and Capstone conferences, mentor Research Fellows, and advise the development and implementation of other aspects of the project.


George-HandzoThe Rev George F Handzo, BCC, CSSBB is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional healthcare chaplaincy. As Director of Health Services Research and Quality at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and President of Handzo Consulting, George oversees projects devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services and to developing the evidence for the efficacy of chaplaincy care. George has authored or co-authored over fifty chapters and articles on the practice of spiritual care and chaplaincy care and was the co-principal investigator on a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation investigating the contribution of spiritual care to health care. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains, which, in 2011, awarded him the Anton Boisen Professional Service award, its highest honor. He serves on the leadership team of the Global Network for Spirituality and Health and on the Distress Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. George is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale University Divinity School. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.


Ellen-IdlerEllen L Idler, PhD, MPhil, came to Emory in 2009 as Director of the Religion and Public Health Collaborative; she is a Professor in the Department of Sociology as well the Director of Graduate Studies for the department, holds a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health, is a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Ethics, and affiliated faculty in the Graduate Division of Religion. Ellen received her PhD and MPhil from Yale University (1985), her BA from the College of Wooster, and she attended Union Theological Seminary on a Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship. She taught at Rutgers University from 1985 to 2009, in the Department of Sociology and at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. Ellen is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and past chair of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association. Her research concerns the influence of attitudes, beliefs, and social connections on health, including the effect of self-ratings of health on mortality and disability, and the impact of religious participation on health, particularly in aging populations. Her research has been supported by National Institute on Aging funding, including a FIRST Award. She has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Sociological Forum, the Slovenian Journal of Aging, and Rutgers University Press. She is the author of Cohesiveness and Coherence: Religion and the Health of the Elderly (Dissertations-G, 1994), co-author of The Hidden Health Care System (Golden Apple Publications, 2010), and the editor of Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health (Oxford University Press, 2014).


Caterina-MakoCaterina Mako, ThM, is a Catholic lay woman who is Director of Chaplaincy for Catholic Health Services of Long Island in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. She oversees the delivery of Catholic sacramental and spiritual care for over thirty health care facilities. She received her training in health care chaplaincy in New York City and completed her residency in Bronx, New York, at Calvary Hospital, a two hundred bed facility for acute, advanced cancer patients and one of the first palliative care institutions in the country. Caterina received Board Certified Chaplain status by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) in 2004. Most recently, Caterina was recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award, presented by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains at its annual conference in Washington, DC in March, 2015. Caterina Mako is a graduate of New York University in New York City where she received a BA in International Studies, and of Seton Hall University in New Jersey where she received her MA in Moral Theology. Currently, Caterina is a doctoral candidate in Pastoral Ministry at Fordham University in New York and is the liaison for NACC.


Sara-PaascheRabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow has been the Director of Spiritual Care at Hebrew SeniorLife since 2004, and, in this role, built a department of chaplains serving six HSL campuses and a Chaplaincy Institute. She helped create a palliative care team, and most recently a hospice service. The Chaplaincy Institute, launched in 2006 is focused on aging, dementia care, and end of life care. Sara was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, co-founded an American/Israel education program called the Bavli-Yerushalmi Project, and also a non-profit to promote service learning opportunities for Jewish youth and college students. She was awarded fellowships from Wexner, Wallenberg, and CLAL. She is the author of curricula and articles on Jewish chaplaincy and aging and is currently working on a book of pastoral reflections on the end of life derived from Chassidic stories. She serves on the Executive Council of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, and is a past president of the New England Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Sara was a finalist in 2008 for the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center’s Compassionate Caregiver award. She is the liaison to Neshama—the Association for Jewish Chaplains (NAJC).


Ken-PargamentKenneth Pargament is a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, and adjunct professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Baylor College of Medicine. He served as Distinguished Scholar at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center. Ken has been a leading figure in the movement toward an integrated biopsychosociospiritual approach to healthcare. He has published over 275 articles on religion and health, and authored The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice (The Guilford Press, 1997) and Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred (The Guilford Press, 2007). Kenneth is Editor-in-Chief of the 2013 two-volume APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality (American Psychological Association). He received the William James Award for excellence in research from Division 36 of the American Psychological Association in 1987, the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2009, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Psychological Association in 2010, the National Samaritan Center Award in 2012, the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2015, and an honorary doctor-of-letters from Pepperdine University in 2013.


Christina-PuchalskiChristina M Puchalski, MD, MS, FACP, FAAHPM, is a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in both the clinical setting and in medical education. As founder and director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) in Washington, DC, she continues to break new ground in the understanding and integration of spiritual care in a broad spectrum of healthcare environments. The spiritual assessment tool called FICA, which she developed, is used w  idely in clinical settings around the world. Medical education has been impacted in this country by GWish run awards program in Spirituality and Health. Christina is Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine. She is an active board certified clinician in Internal Medicine and Palliative Care. She founded and co-directs the Medical Faculty Associates George Washington University Outpatient Supportive and Palliative Clinic. She has received numerous awards including the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Outstanding Colleague Award from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Professional Chaplains, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Humanities Award in recognition of her scholarship and leadership. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Christina is widely published in journals with work ranging from biochemistry research to issues in ethics, culture, and spirituality and healthcare. She authored Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and Dying (Oxford University Press, 2006) and co-authored Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (Templeton Press, 2010). Most recently, she is co-editor of an international textbook on spirituality and health published by Oxford University Press. Christina is first and foremost a clinician. The cornerstone of her practice in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care is integrating patients’ spiritual beliefs into their care, addressing sensitive medical issues facing seriously ill patients and supporting healthcare professionals in their provision of compassionate care. Christina’s work in the field of spirituality and medicine encompasses the clinical, the academic, and the pastoral application of her research and insights.


Diana-WilkieDiana J. Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an internationally known pain specialist with a special emphasis on palliative and end-of-life care in cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. She has many publications about pain, and her research program on pain has been continuously funded since 1986 by five institutes at the National Institutes of Health, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and several foundations. Currently, she is conducting a randomized clinical trial testing the effects of computerized pain tools on hospice outcomes of patients with cancer and characterizing the pain phenotype of adults with sickle cell disease and its association with their genetic and epigenetic characteristics, and several pilot studies. The long-term goal of her research is to help clinicians effectively combine pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies for management of acute, chronic, and cancer pain.



Project Coordinator

Kathy-LyndesKathryn Lyndes, PhD, MDiv, MSW, comes to the Transforming Chaplaincy project with experience as an administrator, educator, and researcher. Her social work experiences in the fields of juvenile justice and domestic violence led her to CPE training and seminary where her doctoral work focused on the intersections between psychology and theology. She assisted on two University of Chicago quantitative research projects in homelessness and gang violence, and on two qualitative studies at Rush University Medical Center that explored chaplain roles. Most recently, she taught social science research and human development with social work students at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to that, she worked for a professional society coordinating medical lab training in Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kenya.