Staff and Students

Portrait of Jaison Abraham

Jaison Abraham, a 2019-2020 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Resident Chaplain, grew up in Mumbai, India, where his parents were civil servants. He completed a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science, M.A. in Psychology (Counseling), B.Ed. in Education, from the University of Bombay, and a M.Div. in Theology from Providence Theological Seminary in Manitoba, Canada. In India, he has worked as a University Lecturer in Psychology and as Principal of a Senior Secondary School that served children of parents suffering for Hansen’s disease. He has been a Pastor in Canada, before working with a Christian NGO, dealing with Restorative Justice, and later on as Director for Personnel for a mission agency. Jaison completed his first unit of CPE from St Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario. He is an associate member with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care and a certified Ontario School Teacher for Senior Grades. Jaison can be reached at jaison.abraham@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Bonnie Ballard

Bonnie Ballard, Administrative Associate, joined the Pastoral Care Department in January, 2009. Prior to joining the Pastoral Care Team, she worked in the Registration Department for almost two years. Before coming to Covenant HealthCare, Bonnie worked as a customer service representative/supervisor for many years. She received her Associates Degree in business from Delta College and became a certified professional secretary in 1985. Bonnie is a member/past president of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Bonnie can be reached at 989.583.6042 or bjballard@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Kathy Bonn

Kathy Bonn, Director of the Pastoral Care Department, is a deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She brought a variety of experiences to the role of director in July 2007, including being a high school math teacher, college professor, and Hospice volunteer. During her chaplaincy training, Kathy did her CPE internship at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center (in La Crosse, WI) and her CPE residency at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center (in Toledo, OH). For her Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry she specialized in hospital chaplaincy, and her Ph.D. is in Curriculum & Instruction. Kathy can be reached at 989.583.6037.

Portrait of Jeff England

Jeff England, a 2019-2020 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Resident Chaplain, received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Akron. He spent five years working in the engineering field before being called into full-time vocational ministry. Jeff and his family moved from Ohio to Michigan in 2000 so he could attend Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2004. Jeff has pastored three churches and was ordained in 2009. He has served as a fire chaplain, hospice chaplain and a marketplace chaplain. Jeff and his wife have three children. Jeff enjoys sports and spending time with his family. His dream is to play a round of golf at St. Andrews, the Old Course in Scotland. Jeff may be contacted at Jeffrey.England@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Ruth Estell

Ruth Estell, a staff chaplain, has continued serving at Covenant HealthCare after completing a CPE residency here from 2018-2019.  She completed a previous unit of CPE at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, MI.  Ruth is an ordained minister with the Reformed Church in America.  Prior to that, she served on the mission field in Taiwan and China.  She has an MDiv from Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI) and both an MA in Intercultural Studies and TESL and a BA in Christian Education from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL).  She is delighted and honored to be a member of the Pastoral Care team at Covenant HealthCare.  She can be reached at ruth.estell@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Forest Fisher

Forest Fisher, a 2019-2020 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Resident Chaplain, grew up in Alaska. He completed a B.S in Christian Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He then got accepted into the Air Force where he completed Commissioned Officers Training and the Chaplain Candidate Intensive Internship as well as 35 days of Active Duty Training. From there he did his first unit of CPE in Lynchburg, Virginia serving Centra Hospital. He is endorsed through Liberty Baptist Fellowship. Forest can be reached at Forest.Fisher@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Jodi Grimaldi

Elizabeth "Jodi" Grimaldi,a Canadian, relocated to Michigan in 2017 with her husband of 21 years and their youngest child.  Three of their four children work and/or go to University in Canada.  Jodi received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa in 1993. Receiving a call to enter seminary, Jodi left her position as a special needs educator of 15 years to enter full-time master’s studies at Tyndale University in Toronto.  Jodi has achieved a Masters of Divinity in Clinical Counseling.  She also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Covenant in August 2019.  In her role as an occasional chaplain, Jodi has a strong desire to care for the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of the patients she meets at Covenant. With a compassionate and empathetic heart, she approaches all individuals, and their unique needs, with an understanding that everyone is purposefully made and equally loved. Jodi feels eternally grateful and tremendously blessed for the opportunity to share in life’s experiences with all persons she encounters. She can be reached at  Elizabeth.Grimaldi@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Curt Norman

Curt Norman serves as an occasional employee at Covenant. Curt was ordained deacon in 2001 and priest in 2002 in The Episcopal Church, and has been Rector of a local congregation since January 2017. Before arriving in Saginaw, Curt served congregations in California, New Mexico, and Texas. Curt completed one unit of CPE in 1999 at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital. He earned his Master of Divinity from the University of the South School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee in 2001. Curt received his Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of North Texas, and worked for the CBS Radio News affiliate in Dallas before entering full-time ministry. Curt can be reached at Curtis.Norman@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Mark Oswald

Mark Oswald is serving as an occasional employee at Covenant. He completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship in August of 2016. He is a Lay Minister with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2008 and has been trained in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Mark was also a licensed nursing home administrator and has 19 years of experience in firefighting and rescue. He is the leader of the St. John Jail Ministry Team and is married with 3 grown children. Mark can be reached at Mark.Oswald@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Elaine Raymond

Elaine Raymond is a Mission Sister of the Holy Spirit and has been an occasional employee at Covenant since 1984 when former director, Ray Dice, was the only full-time chaplain. Ray saw the need for round-the-clock chaplains and prepared four ministers for this ministry on a volunteer basis. At that time Sr. Elaine was a full-time pastoral associate at St. Andrew Catholic Church after which she was appointed Pastoral Administrator at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Merrill from 1989-1999. During this time she continued her chaplaincy with Covenant. She also directs the Special Religious Education Program (SPRED) for developmentally disabled people throughout the Diocese. In 1999, Sr. Elaine returned to St. Andrew and continued there for nine years before retiring. She continues chaplaincy at Covenant, the SPRED program, and is also a hospice chaplain for the Visiting Nurses Association of Covenant. Sr. Elaine can be reached at eraymond@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Lafayette Simpson

Lafayette Simpson, an occasional employee, joined Covenant’s Department of Pastoral Care & Education in October 2015. In 2014, he completed a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship and received his CPE Certification from Covenant’s CPE Program. In 2014, Lafayette was installed as the second pastor of the 63-year-old congregation of the historic Bethlehem Baptist Church of Saginaw. Along his journey serving in ministry for 16 years, he has been ordained and appointed as the Chairman of the Deacon Board, licensed and ordained as a minister.  Lafayette gained ministry knowledge by attending Midwest Bible College in Pontiac, Michigan. He can be reached at lsimpson@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Beth Newton Watson

Beth Newton Watson is United Methodist clergy and serves as our Certified Educator with the ACPE, Inc.  She is also a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains.  She is from Greencastle, IN, where she resides with her husband and four dogs.  She is a counselor in private practice.   Beth loves being part of transformative clinical education, in which healers learn how to care for the minds, bodies, and spirits of patients, families and staff, and find their own souls restored in the process. 

Portrait of Carol Wesolek

Carol Wesolek is serving Covenant as an occasional employee. She has completed 4 units of CPE at Covenant, which included a year residency. She has been a licensed ordained chaplain through the International Fellowship of Chaplains since 1999, with emphasis on trauma, grief and loss. Carol is a member of a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Management team, having taken training through ICISF (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation) of which she is a member, and the IFOC (International Fellowship of Chaplains). She also attended Mid-Michigan Bible Institute. She can be reached at cwesolek@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Julie Winklepleck

Julie Winklepleck, a 2019-2020 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Resident Chaplain, served Lutheran parishes in Muskegon and East Lansing before coming to Covenant. She is excited about returning to an intentional learning atmosphere while continuing to minister to God’s people here. Believing strongly in the spiritual dimension of healing, Julie is glad to be part of an organization that recognizes the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit. She grew up in Brighton, Michigan, received her B.A. in History from Oakland University, and after a career in publishing in Detroit, began her M.Div. at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, receiving her degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002. Julie completed her first unit of CPE at Providence Portland Medical Center in Oregon. She may be reached at Julie.Winklepleck@chs-mi.com.

Portrait of Betty Zeestraten

Betty Zeestraten serves as part of the Pastoral Care Team after many years of ministering in Saginaw area churches and in children residential foster care facilities and substance abuse recovery programs for adults and teens. Her background includes a BA in Education from the University of Toledo, an MA in Pastoral Studies from Marygrove University and another MA in Counseling from Spring Arbor University. She has additional educational experiences in Clinical Pastoral Experience (CPE) units through Covenant’s CPE program. Chaplain Betty enjoys ministering to patients, staff and visitors at Covenant with the WE-CARE values. Chaplain Betty can be reached at betty.zeestraten@chs-mi.com.