To heal sometimes, To remedy often, To comfort always
- A French proverb

Spiritual Care Services

City of Hope Supportive Care Medicine Spiritual Care Services
Spiritual Care Services is committed to providing the best care for your body, mind, and spirit. We are an interfaith team of highly trained chaplains, working as part of the interdisciplinary healthcare team to provide patient- and family-centered care. We respectfully provide an environment that empowers and fosters healing and wellness in a manner that is culturally appropriate irrespective of individual faith, tradition, and beliefs.
Chaplains are professionally trained to support your unique needs in ways that best serve you.

What Is a Chaplain?

A professional health care chaplain is a member of the interdisciplinary team. The chaplain’s primary role is to:
  • Offer culturally appropriate care, hope and encouragement according to individual faith, tradition and beliefs.
  • Help reflect on your beliefs and values to guide in your decision making.
  • Advocate for patients and families to provide patient-centered care.
  • Assist in creating a spiritual care plan that is unified with your care plan to ensure individual needs are met.
  • Offer a full range of spiritual services, including a listening presence, help in dealing with powerlessness, and pain and coping.

What Are Some Instances I Can Ask for a Chaplain?

If You Feel:
  • Fear or concerns about your mortality
  • The need to share your story with someone
  • Alone, lonely or afraid
  • The need to find meaning in your experience
  • If you are asking questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” or “Where is God in all of this?”
  • If you are struggling to make decisions.
  • If you would like prayer or assistance with religious/spiritual rituals or sacraments.
  • If you need assistance contacting your clergy person/spiritual advisor.

How Do I Contact a Chaplain?

Call Spiritual Care Services:
626-218-3898 | On campus, ext. 83898
Let your nurse, doctor or clinical social worker know that you would like to see a chaplain.

Other Spiritual Care Services

Catholic Mass
Wednesdays, Noon to 12:30 p.m.,
Blank Meditation Room

Islamic/Muslim Jumu'ah Prayers
Fridays, 1 to 2 p.m.,
Blank Meditation Room

Jewish Shabbat boxes are provided to
Jewish in-patients every Friday

Blank Meditation Room is always open
for personal meditation.
Spiritual Care Services Team
Courtney Bitz, manager of clinical social work, City of Hope
Courtney Bitz, L.C.S.W., M.S.W.
Director of Clinical Social Work, Department of Supportive Care Medicine
Courtney Bitz, LCSW, OSW-C, ACHP-SW is the Director of Clinical Social Work and Spiritual Care in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope. Ms. Bitz had strategic leadership in the implementation of the High-Performance Team and Staff Leadership Model for the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. Ms. Bitz has been in the field of psycho-oncology for over 18 years specializing in evidence-based intervention modalities, concurrent program development, and organizational development. Ms. Bitz spearheaded the development of the Couples Coping with Cancer Together Program, which provides strength-based education and support to patients diagnosed with cancer and their partners. Couples Coping with Cancer Together Program has garnished international attention and to our knowledge is the only program of its kind in the country. Ms. Bitz has published in Psycho-Oncology, Oxford University Press and Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer. She has presented her work at numerous international and national professional including World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, American Psychosocial Oncology Society National Conferences, Association of Oncology Social Work National Conferences. Education Board Certifications LCSW, OSW-C, ACHP-SW Degrees 2001, Master of Social Work, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 2000, Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Wright State University, Dayton, OH Professional Experience 2018-present, Director of Clinical Social Work, City of Hope 2017-present, Clinical Social Work Manager, Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope 2016-2017, Clinical Social Work Program Specialist, Couples Coping with Cancer Together Program, Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope 2013-2016, Clinical Social Worker III, Couples Coping with Cancer Together Program, Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope 2008-2013, Clinical Social Worker III, Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope 2006-2008, Cancer Program Clinical Social Worker, St. Joseph's Medical Center Memberships American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) International Psychosocial Oncology Society (IPOS) Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) Publications Bitz, C, Kent, EE, Clark, K, Loscalzo, M. Couples coping with cancer together: Successful implementation of a caregiver program as standard of care. Psycho‐Oncology. 2020; 1– 8. Badr, H. Bitz. C. Couples Facing Cancer. Psycho-Oncology 4 ed. New York, NY: Oxford University (2020) (In Press). Matthew J. Loscalzo, Karen L. Clark, Courtney Bitz, Donald L. Rosenstein, Justin Yopp. When the Invisible Screen Becomes Visible: Sex and Gender Matters in Biopsychosocial Interventions and Programs. Gender-oriented Psycho-Oncology Research and Practice. (Kim, Y Loscalzo M, Eds), Oxford University Press, in press (Spring 2018) S. Dumitra, V. Jones, C. Vito, J. Rodriguez, C. Bitz, E. Polamero, M. Loscalzo, R. Obenchain, L. Kruper, S.G. Warner. Disparities in Managing Emotions when Facing Breast Cancer: Results of Couples Distress Screening. 12th Annual Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kauffmann, R., Bitz, C., Clark, K., Loscalzo, M., Kruper, Laura; Vito, Courtney. Addressing Psychosocial Needs of Partners of Breast Cancer Patients: A Pilot Program Using Social Workers to Improve Communication and Psychosocial Support. Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2015 Bitz C., Clark K., Vito C., Kruper L., Ituarte PH., Loscalzo M. Partners' clinic: an innovative gender strengths-based intervention for breast cancer patients and their partners immediately prior to initiating care with their treating physician. Psychooncology 2014.
Jacqueline Trinkaus
Jacqueline Trinkaus, M.Div., B.C.C.
Chaplain, Division of Spiritual Care Services
Jacqueline Trinkaus is a member of the Integrated Care Service Team. Integrated Care Service at City of Hope is a specialized interdisciplinary inpatient service that includes medical, emotional, spiritual and social support. Education Board Certifications Board Certified Chaplain, National Association of Catholic Chaplains Degrees Masters in Divinity with a concentration in Interfaith Chaplaincy from Claremont School of Theology Residency CPE Residency, Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at VA Loma Linda Memberships National Association of Catholic Chaplains
Rev. Okey Jude Uche
Rev. Fr. Okey Jude Uche, M.A., Ph.D., B.C.C.
Chaplain, Division of Spiritual Care Services
Rev. Okey J. Uche is a Catholic priest and belongs to a religious order called Holy Ghost Congregation. He did his seminary training in Nigeria and in United Kingdom. He did his Clinical Pastoral Education in Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix and was Board Certified in 2010. He joined City of Hope National Medical Center as a Chaplain in 2011. As an experienced Priest and staff Chaplain, he aims at providing the best integrated spiritual care support to patients and their families with all the necessary psycho-social and spiritual implications. He is an Interfaith Chaplain, providing spiritual care to all patients regardless of their faith tradition. He is very passionate about the connection of mind, body and spirit for optimal health biopsychosocial and spiritual support to a diverse population. Hobbies: biking & tennis. Education Board Certifications Board Certified Chaplain (B.C.C.), National Association of Catholic Chaplains Degrees 2017, Ph.D., South African Theological Seminary, Johannesburg 2011, M.A., Philosophy, Imo State University, Nigeria 1985, B.A. & M.A. (Rel. Ed.), Missionary Institute, London, United Kingdom affiliate of Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium Memberships National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) HealthCare chaplaincy Network (HCCN) Publications Church and Justice in Igbo Society (An Introduction to the Igbo concept of Justice) by Okey Jude Uche, C.S.Sp., Author House Publications, USA, 2017 Peoples, Beliefs, Cultures, and Justice in Afro-Catholicism by Okey Jude Uche, Author House Publications, USA, 2017. Okwy-Setting up an Adult Ministry by Okey J. Uche, NTSWEST: Aging and Spirituality Program, 2015: .
Khurram Ahmed
Khurram K. Ahmed, M.A., M.Div.
Chaplain, Division of Spiritual Care Services
Khurram became the first person in US history to be conferred a M.Div. in Islamic Chaplaincy, receiving his degree from Bayan Islamic Graduate School. Khurram has served as a staff chaplain in several large and diverse health systems in California, New York, and Ohio. Khurram also finds great meaning working as a Crisis Counselor. His academic interests include Islamic theology, law, mysticism, and bioethics. Education Board Certifications Association of Professional Chaplains (candidate) Degrees M.Div., in Islamic Chaplaincy B.A., in English and Political Science Memberships Association of Muslim Chaplains Association of Professional Chaplains
Jonathan Stoner
Jonathan Timothy Stoner, M.Div., B.C.C.
Chaplain, Division of Spiritual Care Services
Jonathan Stoner has a background serving in leadership roles in multi-ethnic churches and at Fuller Theological Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity. He is a postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which is also his endorsing body for hospital ministry. At All Saints Pasadena, he serves as a Lay Counselor, Eucharistic Minister, and in their Healing and Health ministries. Prior to COVID-19 outbreak, he facilitated a Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Group at Adventist Health Glendale. Additionally, he serves as a Jail Chaplain with the Episcopal Church, leading church services and providing spiritual and emotional support to inmates in the L.A. County jails. During the pandemic, he provided pastoral care to COVID+ patients and their families at the L.A. Surge Hospital (LASH). Research Focus Palliative Care Education Board Certifications Association of Professional Chaplains Degrees Master of Divinity, Theology and the Arts and Pastoral Care, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA Professional Experience 2021-present, Chaplain, Division of Spiritual Care, Department of Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope, Duarte, CA 2019-2021, Chaplain, Dignity Health - Glendale Memorial Hospital, Glendale, CA Memberships Association of Professional Chaplains