At Harbor Hospital, clergy supports patients' families during emergencies


A PERSON can work through most any crisis when someone is there to listen and to care," says the Rev. Daniel Moore, who volunteers every Thursday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in the emergency room of the Harbor Hospital Center at 3001 South Hanover St.

For more than a year now, the hospital has had a Pastoral Care Division made up of seven members, all from different churches, who take evening and weekend shifts in hours varying from 4 p.m. to midnight.

The seven members are Moore, the Rev. Tony Battaglia, Birgit Davis, Elder James McCree, the Rev. Dennis Hancock, Deacon Hugh Mills and Kathy Hoag.

Each has a good rapport with the staff, the patients and their families and can comfort and act as liaison between the family and patient. "We help as needed. One simple help for the staff is in comforting and keeping the families in the waiting room rather than have them trying to sneak back into the treatment area, which can sometime be very bad," Moore says.

Carla Stemmer, nurse manager, says that "volunteers were wanted to assume this role of liaison from patient to family, and the clergy members have filled that role."

Harbor Hospital Center opened in 1903 on Light Street and in 1968 moved to its present location. It has 376 beds, and its many specialized services include centralized ambulatory testing, obstetrics, pediatrics, chest diagnostic center, chemical dependency unit and MRI and CT-scan. It operates the state's only sick child day-care service.

Moore, born in Lewes, Del., is 52 and has been a pastor for 33 years. He and his wife, Betty, who has lived in Baltimore since age 3, live next to their church, the Brooklyn Church of God at 3800 9th St. They have been in Brooklyn for more than a year now, having come from an Owings Mills church. They have four grown children.

With an extensive interest in crisis counseling, Moore is studying and researching in classes at the Church of God School of Theology in Cleveland, Tenn. He attends two weeks in January, in June and in July and takes other directed studies and seminars on the subject.

His volunteering to the Harbor Hospital Center's emergency room is, he says, a case study that helps him in his research papers.

"Most of all I love people, and that's the biggest reason I volunteer. I feel comfortable visiting the sick and helping them deal with a crisis. Those whom I help know I'm there because I care," he says.

Ann Heil, the volunteer coordinator, says volunteers are also needed in other areas of the hospital, such as in-patient related and clerical areas and, in particular, the hospital cart, on nursing floors assisting at meal times and in transportation of discharging patients in wheelchairs. Anyone interested in volunteering to the Harbor Hospital Center should call Ann Heil at 347-3478.

Barney Johnson is the hospital's president; Clark Jeunette, vice president and Nancy Powell, business manager.

Mel Miller, the hospital's patient representative, has pastoral care information at 347-3487, and Jackie Breeden is the director of public relations at 347-3441.

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