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Pastoral Care

Meet the Staff

Full-Time Staff

Rev. Harlan Ratmeyer

Rev. Harlan Ratmeyer, M. Div., D. Min.
Harlan Ratmeyer serves as the Manager of the Department of Pastoral Care and as the Supervisor for the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Albany Med. Harlan is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America, and also serves as a minister to a local congregation.  A native of Illinois, Harlan has trained and supervised in a variety of settings in Michigan, California, and Illinois, and has led the department at Albany Med since 1995. 

Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth Hall, M.A.
Liz Hall is the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Pastoral Care. A Roman Catholic, Liz completed her Master's degree in Theology at St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. Liz completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Albany Med, and has worked in her current capacity since 2001. 

Resident Chaplains

Marie Marhan Dropkin
Marie’s background was in science, having earned a BS in pharmacy from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative and a hospital pharmacist before raising 4 children: Emmalie, Benjamin, Eliza and Noah. She is currently licensed and registered as a pharmacist in New York. Marie’s interest in studying religion and philosophy led her to earn a BA degree in Religious Studies from Siena College in 2010. Marie has completed 3 years (4 Units) of internship in Pastoral Care here at Albany Medical Center and during that time, earned a Certificate Degree in Bereavement Studies from Maria College. She looks forward to serving the staff and patients here in this continuing capacity as Resident Chaplain.

Wally Plock
Wally is the senior resident chaplain at Albany Medical Center. He is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church. He has a Master of Divinity degree with a Religious Education concentration from the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO and has completed 5.5 units of CPE. He has served as chaplain at the LaSalle School in Albany, Northeast Parent and Child Society in Schenectady and at the Capital District Juvenile Secure Detention facility, also in Albany. Wally taught Bible classes and organized ministry teams at the Loudonville Christian School for 14 years

Eleanor Stanton
Eleanor, also known as “Nelle”, was raised Roman Catholic.  In early adulthood, she joined the United Church of  Christ (UCC). After several years volunteering as youth leader, she felt a call to ministry and began looking for a seminary that would allow her to work during the day and study at night. Ironically, it was St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, a Catholic seminary, that prepared her to be a Protestant minister. Nelle has a Master of Pastoral Studies degree and is an ordained UCC minister. She has served as both youth minister and associate pastor at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs. Nelle and her husband, Kent, have two grown children living in New York City.

Gary Wallin
Gary is a resident chaplain at Albany Medical Center.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from Valley Forge Christian College. He has served as the minister of four churches over the last twenty years and has done missions work in East Africa and Southern Asia. He and his wife, Judy, have four children and one granddaughter.  Besides his family, he enjoys hiking, reading, and recently, gardening. 

Part-Time Chaplain Staff

Younas Azad Younas Azad
Younas Azad is a part-time interfaith chaplain at Albany Med. Mr. Azad received his training in Clinical Pastoral Education at New York University Medical Center, and earned a certificate in Pastoral Counseling at Post Graduate Center of Mental Health. He is a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Mary Craven Mary C. Craven, M. Ed.
Mary Craven is a part-time interfaith chaplain and has attended St. Bernard's Institute. She completed her Master's Degree at Antioch University. In addition, Mary has completed nine units of CPE here at Albany Med.

Chaplains Representing Specific Faith Groups

Ken Gregory Fr. Ken Gregory
Fr. Ken Gregory, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, has served as one of the Catholic priest chaplains at Albany Med since 1995. He received his chaplain certification from Pilgrim State Hospital, West Brentwood, NY. Fr. Ken also serves as sacramental Minister in the parishes of St. John Francis Regis, Grafton, NY and Sacred Heart, Berlin, NY.
Bob DeLeon

Fr. Bob DeLeon, C.S.C., M. Div.
Fr. Bob DeLeon has served as one of the Catholic priest chaplains at Albany Med since 2002. He received his M. Div. from the University of Notre Dame and chaplain certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). 

Rabbi Robert Kasman Rabbi Robert Kasman
Rabbi Robert Kasman serves as Jewish Chaplain under the auspices of the Capital District Board of Rabbis with the financial support of the United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York. Representing the CDBR, Rabbi Kasman visits Jews across the religious spectrum. Rabbi Kasman was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1989, and received his Bachelor of Comparative Religions from Columbia University in 1982.  Rabbi Kasman's credentials include certification by the American Academy of Certified Chaplains, membership in the Rabbinical Assembly, Jewish Educators Assembly, American Psychotherapy Association and the New York Board of Rabbis.
Fr. Dennis Pressley Rev. Dennis Pressley
The Rev. Dennis Pressley serves as one of the Episcopalian Chaplains, supported by the Diocese of Albany. Rev. Pressley was originally ordained in the Assembly of God denomination, and was received as an Episcopal Priest in November 1999. Rev. Pressley graduated from Berean University in 1981, during which he completed an internship in all aspects of ministry and hospital ministry.
Imam Arif Ropri Imam Arif Ropri
Mr. Arif Ropri serves as the Muslim Chaplain. Mr. Ropri earned a master’s degree in Economics from Punjab University (Pakistan), and an additional master’s degree in Islamic Studies from Ahle-Hadith University (Pakistan). Mr. Ropri has completed 1.5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and both served as Deputy Imam and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Islamic Center of the Capital District.

 Two Day Extended CPE Interns

Daina Salnitis  

Howard Cain

Extended CPE Interns

From right to left. Back: Jennifer Elliott, Dave Munro, Aloysius Kabunga. Middle: Suzanne Beddoe, Lorrie Graham, Tracy Dunn. Front: Sr. Pedro Opara and Dawn Collins.