Department Spiritual Care Staff

Powerful Partnership Award 2012

spiritual care team

The Spiritual Care Team, comprised of both staff and volunteers, was awarded the Powerful Partnership Award for 2012. This award salutes the powerful partnerships between staff and volunteers and recognizes the impact of strong volunteer-staff relationships that result in excellent care for our patients and their family members. The award is sponsored by the Volunteeer Office.


Rev. Terry Ruth Culbertson

Reverend Terry Ruth Culbertson
'Rev. Terry' is a native of Baltimore, MD. She was an illustrator for the State Police before receiving her call to ministry. She completed her MDIV at Drew Theological and clinical pastoral internships and a residency in acute care and mental health before moving to Syracuse in 1979 to become the Director of Pastoral Care the Syracuse Area Interreligious Council. She is ordained in the Church of God (Anderson), is a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains, a certified Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor and Certified Thanatologist. She has worked for over 30 years in long term care, hospice, corrections, acute care and psychiatry. God called her to Upstate in the fall of 2003 to serve as the first manager of Spiritual Care.

Rev. Jane E. Dasher

Rev. Jane E. Dasher
Rev. Dasher began as the fulltime Pediatric Chaplain on January 17, 2013. She served as chaplain at Sisters of Charity Hospital/St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga, NY prior to her appointment at Upstate. Rev. Dasher previously served as a chaplain with Niagara Hospice, Mercy Hospital (So. Buffalo), and Prince William Hospital in Manassas, Virginia. She also served as a pastor in Presbyterian (USA) churches in Niagara Falls, Bethesda, MD, Manassas, VA and Wilmington, NC, and in Lutheran (ELCA) churches in East Amherst and Elma, NY.

Deacon Dare Dutter

Deacon Dare Dutter

Deacon Dare Dutter, MS, MS, CAS, Diocesan Chaplain, has been ordained to the diaconate for three years and is the Deacon at Holy Cross Church in Dewitt. He has completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education and is going into his third year as the Diocesan Chaplain at Upstate University Hospital. He is working on certification as a chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and plans on taking more units of CPE. In a previous life, Deacon Dutter was a school administrator and teacher for 33 years in the Syracuse City Schools. While he has no real hobbies, he is an excellent yo-yo artist, and can stand on his head for several minutes before becoming disoriented- no small feat, if you ask him.

Father Robert Hyde

Father Rob Hyde
Fr. Robert Hyde was born in Concord, MA and raised in Acton, MA, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, Darien, CT, and Cazenovia, NY. He graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, RI in 1978 and St. Lawrence University in 1982. Fr. Robert studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Goldwater Memorial Hospital, New York in 1982. He completed his seminary studies at the Theological College of Catholic University, Washington, DC and was ordained in 1988. Fr. Hyde has served in various parishes and was a Chaplain at Crouse Hospital 2004-2008, He is currently the pastor of St. Margaret's Church in Mattydale, NY and is an On-Call Chaplain at Crouse, Upstate, St. Joseph's, and the Syracuse VA hospitals.

Rev. Dr. Virginia K. Lawson

Reverend Dr. Virginia Lawson
Virginia began her life in Frenchtown, NJ on the Delaware River. She has journeyed to Nyack for her undergraduate degree in Biblical Theology and Anthropology, then on to Syracuse University for a M.S. in Literacy Journalism, and finally to the University of Iowa for her Ph.D. in cognitive anthropology and theoretical linguistics. Her spiritual journey has also grown and deepened to her present practice as an ordained Rinzai Zen Buddhist nun. Rev. Virginia chose to do all four CPE units at Upstate because of the interfaith emphasis in the program. She currently serves the department as an Interfaith Chaplain, specifically on MICU/SICU and PICU, and specializes in organ donation support.

Father Herve Muyo

Father Herve Muyo
A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fr. Muyo is an ordained Roman Catholic priest in the Idiofa Diocese. He has served as pastor, as a Civil Contractor Chaplain for Bowling Air force base in Washington, DC, and is currently Parochial Vicar at Holy Family in Fairmont. He holds a M.S. from Saint Could State University, MN, in Counseling Psychology and a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, FL, in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He joined the on-call Priest Chaplain team in the fall 2011. He speaks fluent French as well as English.

Rev. Dr. Ejike Innocent Onyenagubo

The Rev. Dr. Ejike Innocent Onyenagubo
Father Innocent is a native of Nigeria and an ordained Roman Catholic priest. He has been in Syracuse since 1999, and most recently served as Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Liverpool. Fr. Innocent is a graduate of Upstate's Clinical Pastoral Education training program, where he interned in neurology, oncology and cardiology. He is certified as a Chaplain in the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. Father Innocent became the first full-time Catholic priest at Upstate in 2008. He also is Roman Catholic Chaplain at Hutchings Psychiatric Center.

Rev. Joseph M. Smythe

Rev Joseph M. Smythe
Joseph M Smythe began at Upstate as a volunteer Chaplain in October 2007 and was subsequently hired as a weekend Chaplain in March 2009. He became Board Certified Chaplain in the Association for Professional Chaplains in 2009. A jovial person, he can be heard laughing on the halls with staff, visitors and patients especially on Saturday when he works. On Tuesdays he sings with the hospital choir. Joseph hails from Jamaica and appreciates the friends who continue to support his ministry. Joseph is one of the two chaplains with a Church of God Anderson background at Upstate. Joseph is married to Claudette who earned her doctorate at Syracuse University.

Rev. Dr. Severine Yagaza

The Rev. Dr. Severine Yagaza
Fr. Severine Yagaza is an ordained Roman Catholic priest. He serves Upstate as an on-call priest Chaplain. He is a native of Tanzania. He completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Upstate. He holds an Ed.D. from Binghamton University. He serves as Parochial Vicar at St. Matthew's Parish in East Syracuse as well as Priest Chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. His wonderful smile lights up a room!

Open the Eyes of My Heart by Walt Wasilewski with Imani Shabazz

Open the Eyes of My Heart by Walt Wasilewski with Imani Shabazz
This book tells the stories of spiritual care volunteers serving at Upstate University Hospital. Contributions are gratefully accepted so that we can continue to distribute this booklet free of charge.

HealthLink on Air Radio Show

Compassionate Rounds for Healthcare Providers

Rev. Virginia Lawson, PhD,
talks about a new program coming to Upstate called the Schwartz Compassionate Rounds External link, designed to promote the importance of healthcarte professionals listening to one another to enhance patient care.