Our Chaplains



Elizabeth MartinElizabeth Martin, Director & CPE Program Manager

The Reverend Elizabeth Watson Martin is Director of Pastoral Services at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She is an ordained United Methodist elder and Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) certified supervisor, having supervised CPE programs for 20 years at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, TX; Harris Methodist Hospital, Fort Worth, TX; Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA, and Hershey Medical Center.

In addition to the ministry of pastoral supervision, Elizabeth's professional experience includes nine years of acute-care hospital chaplaincy, two years of hospice chaplaincy, and three years of congregational ministry. She is a certified counselor with Resolve through Sharing, a grief support program for parents who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Elizabeth holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University and the Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary. She completed Methodist study courses at Brite Divinity School.

Prior to entering seminary Elizabeth was a television news reporter in Lubbock, Texas, and Director of News Services at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas. A daughter of missionaries to South America, Elizabeth speaks fluent Spanish. She was born in Uruguay and lived in Peru from ages 6 to 15.


David Carnish, CPE SupervisorDavid Carnish, Chaplain

David Carnish is Associate Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education in our department.  Prior to coming to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, he has supervised clinical pastoral education programs at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN and Cone Health in Greensboro, NC.  He is a native of Milledgeville, GA. 

David is an ordained Baptist minister endorsed by The Alliance of Baptists.  He graduated from Valdosta State College with a B.A. in Philosophy and a Minor in Sociology.  He received his Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY.  He has worked as a chaplain since 1990, serving in nursing home, community, hospice, religious and Level I Trauma hospital contexts.  He has also served as an interim pastor and associate minister with congregations. 

He became a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains in 1999.  He has training in critical incident stress debriefing with the International Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Foundation.  He became an ACPE supervisor in 2005, receiving his training in Columbia, SC and San Francisco, CA. 


Linda Grant, CPE Supervisor 

Rev. Linda Grant is Associate Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education in our department. Linda grew up in the Air Force and has lived all over the United States, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. She is an ordained priest in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. Linda is the mother of three children, who are now grown, and the grandmother of two grandsons.

She received her BA in Humanities and her BA in Psychology also from the University of Texas at Austin. Her MDiv is from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. She worked as a staff chaplain at St. Mary's Medical Center, Maine Medical Center, and Beacon Hospice in New England for almost ten years before receiving her board certification from the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Linda trained as a CPE Supervisor at Northeast Health System in Beverly, MA and at Reading Health System in Reading, PA before becoming Associate Supervisor. Linda is devoted to CPE because it brings together her love of working with people from all walks of life as we attempt to cultivate meaning and relationship building in the midst of daily life as well as in times of trouble and hardship.


Greg Larsh, Staff Chaplaintext describing the image

Greg is an ordained minister affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America. He holds a Ph.D. in Education with emphasis in marriage and family life education. Greg also studied Cognitive Therapy with Arthur Freeman at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He spent eighteen years practicing pastoral care and counseling in congregational settings integrating spiritual care, theology and cognitive therapy.

Greg's primary focus at the medical center is the Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute, the Penn State Hershey Neurosciences Institute and Pallitaive Medicine within these two service lines. His research interests include the post-hospitalization spiritual care of patients implanted with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), trait gratitude, and resiliency of nursing and allied health professionals.

Greg is married to Esterina Francesca Giorgio. They are the parents of three daughters. He is passionate about life-long learning, his granddaughter, and the NY Yankees and Duke basketball.


David Simmons, Staff ChaplainDave Simmons, Chaplain

David serves as the chaplain for Palliative Care and Trauma Services.  As part of the Palliative Care team, he comes alongside patients and families facing critical illness and end-of-life issues.  David's work with trauma services includes coordinating the work of the pastoral care department to provide 24/7 pastoral care to victims of trauma.

David is ordained as a Baptist minister and is credentialed through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  A graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he holds a Masters of Divinity degree and recently completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.  David comes to Hershey Medical Center with 20 years pastoral ministry experience, having served congregations in Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

David is a graduate of the Clinical Pastoral Education residency program at Hershey and conducted research in the area of emotional crisis and spirituality as well as pastoral care work to men in crisis.  David is married with three school age children and is an avid photographer and life-long Dallas Cowboys fan.


 Megan Lester, Pediatric Oncology Chaplain Fellow 2015-2016

Megan Lester is the 2015-2016 Pediatric Oncology Chaplain Fellow dedicated to serving pediatric cancer patients and their loved ones during inpatient and outpatient care.  She is available through consults, but also for routine spiritual and emotional support throughout diagnosis, treatment and follow up care at Hershey. Megan is an ordained minister with the Church of the Brethren.

Megan completed her Masters of Divinity at Lancaster Theological Seminary while working in college ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and after completing her Bachelor's Degree in English at Franklin & Marshall College. Megan completed her first Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) unit at Lancaster General Hospital. She completed her chaplaincy training through the CPE Chaplain Residency program at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center where she served a variety of patients and families in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Acute Care, Women's Health and Labor & Delivery, and Trauma Step Down Units. Megan recently acquired greater pediatric specific training through the Pediatric Chaplains Institute and is excited to be serving and helping patients, families, and staff flourish and grow in an unexpected season of life.

Currently, she lives in Middletown, PA with her husband Timothy Lester. She enjoys exploring the local area through hiking, attending area events, coffee shops, and ice cream.



2015-2016 Chaplain Residents


Back Row (L-R):  David Carnish, CPE Supervisor, Rebecca McGee, Garrett Book

Front Row (L-R):  Asa David Coulson, Stephen Payson