The Rev. Susan P. Conrad, BCC
Director of Spiritual Care Services
The Rev. Susan P. Conrad trained as a Supervisory Education Student/Candidate with the UCSF Department of Spiritual Care Services from 2007-2010, and then returned to the Department in January 2014 as Chaplain Supervisor. Susan subsequently became Manager of the department in 2015, and Director in 2019. She is an ordained and fellowshipped minister with the Unitarian Universalist Association, an ACPE Certified Educator, and a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Susan also served as Chaplain Supervisor with Sutter-Alta Bates Summit Medical Center from 2011-2014 and completed her CPE residency and a fellowship at Sutter-Alta Bates Summit in 2005-2006. Susan holds a B.A. degree from Hampshire College, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and an M.Div. degree from Harvard Divinity School.
The Rev. Beth E. Godfrey
Manager of Spiritual Care Services
The Rev. Beth E. Godfrey joined the UCSF Department of Spiritual Care Services in March 2015, as Chaplain Supervisor. Beth became Manager of Spiritual Care Services in 2019. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a certified educator with ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education. Beth holds a B.S. degree in design from Northern Arizona University and a M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to pursuing chaplaincy and becoming a certified chaplain educator, Beth served as a congregational pastor for Presbyterian churches in Indiana and New York. She then completed a CPE residency and certified chaplain educator training at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Beth also worked as a Chaplain-in-Residence at Georgetown University in First Year Residence Halls.
The Rev. Brandy Renée McMurry
The Rev. Brandy Renée McMurry is a native of The Bay Area – Northern California. She is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She was certified as an ACPE, Inc. Associate Certified Educator at The Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, Maryland. Brandy graduated from the Morehouse School of Religion, the Baptist constituency of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned dual degrees: The Master of Divinity in Psychology of Religion & Pastoral Care and Counseling and the Master of Arts in Christian Education. Brandy is in the dissertation phase at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia completing the Doctor of Theology (ThD) in Pastoral Counseling.
The Rev. Marissa Danney
The Rev. Marissa Danney joined the UCSF Department of Spiritual Care Services in September 2019, as Chaplain Educator. Marissa is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a Spiritual Director and a Certified Educator with ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education. Marissa holds a B.A. degree in Religion from Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and a M.Div. degree and Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Prior to pursuing chaplaincy and becoming a certified Chaplain Educator, Marissa served as Chaplain at Ghost Ranch Conference Center in Northern New Mexico. She then completed a CPE residency and ACPE supervisory training at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, CA.
Reb Naomi Tzril Saks, BCC
Chaplain for the Inpatient Palliative Care Service at the Parnassus Heights campus
Reb Naomi Tzril Saks serves as the clinical health care chaplain at the Parnassus Heights campus. She was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, and is a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. She received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, a Master of Arts degree in Business Management from Antioch University, and completed seminary with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Prior to coming to UCSF Naomi was Director of Spiritual Care and a palliative care specialist with Kaiser Permanente and founded a national non-profit educational organization focused on economic wellbeing for women and girls. Naomi has a particular interest in non-pharmacological interventions for pain and suffering, transdisciplinary palliative care, health care disparities at end of life, and cultural humility and pluralism in medicine.
The Reverend Natalya A. Johnson
Chaplain for the Inpatient Palliative Care Service at the Parnassus Heights campus
The Reverend Natalya A. Johnson is licensed and ordained in the Baptist Church. A native of San Francisco, California, Rev. Johnson holds a B.A. degree from San Francisco State University in collaboration with studies abroad at Queensland University of Technology of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. She holds a Masters of Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union: Berkeley School of Theology. Rev. Johnson’s clinical specializations include: Integrative Medicine Education, Bioethics, Palliative Care and Critical Incident Stress Management. Rev. Johnson has provided compassionate pastoral care for several Bay Area churches, hospitals and the San Francisco County Jail. Among many awards and acknowledgments, Rev Johnson has been honored as “Woman of the Year,” with San Francisco’s National Council of Negro Women Inc. and honored as an “Unsung Healer” by the San Francisco Interfaith Council. She is an active member of the Association for Professional Chaplains (APC), the Association of Clinical Pastoral Educators (ACPE) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a Public Service Sorority.
The Rev. Will Hocker, BCC
Pediatric and Integrative Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care (IP3) Chaplain
The Rev. Will Hocker is the Pediatric Staff Chaplain serving UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and is ordained as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of California. He received his M.Div. degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley and completed his CPE training here at UCSF. He also holds a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a M.S.W. degree from Wayne State University. Prior to coming to UCSF, Will worked as a psychotherapist and social worker, and he also has served as executive director of the Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. He is a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.
The Rev. Florentino “Jun” Caole, BCC
The Rev. Jun Caole is the Staff Chaplain serving UCSF Health’s Mission Bay campus and is ordained as a United Methodist minister belonging to the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received his M.Div. degree from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and also holds a B.A. degree in Christian education from Asbury College in the Philippines and a B.A. degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary, also in the Philippines. Prior to coming to UCSF, Jun was a congregational pastor in Methodist churches in the Philippines and Iowa for 15 years, followed by over 15 years of service as a staff chaplain at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, CA. He is a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and certified as a grief facilitator by the American Academy of Bereavement.
Rev. DeAnna Christmas, MDiv, BCC-PCHAC
Independent Living Donor Advocate Staff Chaplain
Reverend DeAnna Christmas serves as the Chaplain / Independent Living Donor Advocate supporting living kidney and liver transplant donors at UCSF. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Church Alliance, and she has received the designation of Board Certified Chaplain – Palliative Care and Hospice Advanced Certification (BCC-PCHAC) from the Association of Professional Chaplains. She holds a B.A. degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. After a 30-year career at IBM which included 20 years of leadership / management experience, she retired and enrolled in seminary. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. She completed her CPE Residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Prior to returning to UCSF, she served as a Palliative Care Chaplain at UCSF, Spiritual Care Counselor at Hospice of the East Bay, Chaplain / Spiritual Care Coordinator at Sutter Health Eden Medical Center, and Chaplain / Spiritual Care Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente Hayward Hospice.
The Rev. Jessica Easter, BCC
Pediatric Staff Chaplain
Jessica Easter is a Staff Chaplain serving UCSF Health’s Mission Bay campus. They are a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) and an ordained and professed priest of the Lindisfarne Community, an ecumenical religious community. They received their M.Div degree from Earlham School of Religion and their B.S. degree in Media and Cinema Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to UCSF, Jessica was a staff chaplain at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, a staff chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and a sex educator at a feminist sex shop. They completed their CPE Residency at UCSF, an extended unit with The Night Ministry in Chicago, and a summer unit in Rutherford Regional Health System in Rutherford, NC. They are a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Pegi completed her CPE residency at UCSF in 2010, worked per-diem, and was hired as a Staff Chaplain at Parnassus in the summer of 2012. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Pegi transitioned to chaplaincy after a career teaching English as a Second Language (in China, Brazil and the US) which included international student counseling and advisement. She is passionate about transforming how we engage with death and grief. Pegi holds an Interprofessional Education in Palliative Care certificate from UCSF School of Nursing. She completed Grief Training from the Center for Complicated Grief with Dr. Katherine Shear of Columbia University and is part of the Grief Group team. Pegi consulted to pioneer the use of chaplains as guides with Dr. Brian Anderson’s work in Psilocybin Assisted Therapies for trauma and demoralization at UCSF. She is proud to be an interfaith Chaplain informed by her work in Celtic, Native American and Buddhist spirituality. Pegi is also an Enneagram Coach trained under Helen Palmer.
Jamie Kimmel is a Staff Chaplain serving UCSF Health’s Parnassus campus and has been a Soto-Zen Buddhist practitioner for many years. He received his M.A. degree in Buddhist Studies and certificates in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Soto-Zen Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies, a seminary within the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, CA. He also holds a B.A. degree in Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley. In addition, Jamie acts as a program manager for the San Francisco Night Ministry, helping coordinate a weekly meditation group in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Prior to coming to UCSF, Jamie was a volunteer chaplain at San Francisco General Hospital and a hospice chaplain in San Francisco.
Rabbi Jeremy Sher is a staff chaplain serving UCSF’s Mount Zion campus. He has been a rabbi in the Jewish Renewal movement since 2016. He has his Master’s in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where he was the first rabbi to be ordained on the Harvard campus, and is a graduate of the CPE residency at UCSF. He earned his bachelor’s degree from MIT in mathematics. Prior to joining the career staff at UCSF, Jeremy ran a street ministry in Oakland and San Francisco in collaboration with The Gubbio Project and with First Presbyterian Church of Oakland; he then served as a Staff Chaplain at California Pacific Medical Center and as a Temporary Chaplain and then an On-Call Chaplain at UCSF. Jeremy also presides at a small online congregation called Kanfot Ha’aretz (“Corners of the Earth”).
The Rev. Matthew G. O’Brien
Chaplain and ACPE Certified Educator Candidate
The Rev. Matthew O’Brien returned to UCSF in September 2018 as a Certified Educator Student. He is an ordained Baptist minister in the Converge/Baptist General Conference, a chaplain (holding the rank of major) in the U.S. Army Reserve, and a registered ASIST trainer. He holds a B.A. degree from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA, and an M.Div. degree from The Corban University School of Ministry in Tacoma, WA. Previously he completed an Extended CPE unit at Madigan Army Medical Center and a CPE year-long internship at UCSF. Matt spent several years as a hospice chaplain and has served several Christian faith communities in a variety of pastoral roles. He is married to Cristin and enjoys taking Rocky the beagle-terrier on walks to explore parks and try different coffee shops.
Ms. Leslie Benfield, CWM, BCC
Chaplain and ACPE Certified Educator Candidate
Leslie joined the USCF team as a Chaplain Educator Student in October 2020. She is licensed and consecrated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). Leslie has served as a chaplain since 2011, and as the area Continuing Education Chair for the APC’s MD/DC region in 2016-2017. Her CPE internship in 2011 was completed at St. Johns Riverside in Yonkers, NY. She completed her CPE residency at WellSpan York Hospital in 2014. From 2014-2018 Leslie served as staff chaplain for Mercy Medical Center in her native state of Maryland. While at Mercy Medical Center she answered the call to lead a team of 10 chaplains at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 2018 to 2020, followed by a brief period as a hospice chaplain. Leslie holds a B.A. degree from The University of Maryland, College Park, MD in Government and Politics, and a M.Div. degree from The Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY. Between university and seminary, she spent over a decade overseas working in mass media, translation and interpretation, overseas ministry, and education. Leslie is fluent in Korea, enjoys many dance forms, traveling, hiking and all outdoor sports. On any given day, you will find her singing and playing her guitar, hosting a party, crafting, cooking a gourmet meal, planning transcontinental family reunions, exploring her neighborhoods, watching Korean dramas, or just curled up with a good book on brain science, psychology, theology or poetry.
Ms. Flora Avecilla
Administrative Officer for the Parnassus Heights campus
Flora Avecilla joined the Department of Spiritual Care Services in September 2014 as our Administrative Officer. Prior to coming to Spiritual Care, she worked in UCSF’s Department of Emergency Medicine for eight years. She holds a B.F.A. degree from Cornish College of the Arts. Outside of work, Flora enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling out of the country, and anything that has to do with art and design.
Ms. Kate Perdigon
Administrative Officer for the Mission Bay campus
Kate Perdigon has worked at UCSF Health since 2008 and with the Department of Spiritual Care Services for most of her tenure. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in administration in 1999 and a Master’s degree in industrial relations at the University of the Philippines in 2004. She worked as an office manager at the College of Engineering at the University of the Philippines for five years, prior to immigrating to the United States in 2005. She has worked as a technical recruiter and eventually became a recruiting manager for a healthcare staffing firm prior to coming to UCSF. In September 2015, Kate was named as a UCSF Health PRIDE Award winner for her commitment to professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence in her service.