Suzanne Leahy, MAR – Chaplain
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MA, Religion - Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
BS, Psychology - York College of Pennsylvania, York
"I am empowered to meet the spiritual needs of my patients, knowing that faith and hope are very important aspects of wellness."
Suzanne Leahy, MAR
Suzanne Leahy is a chaplain at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (Western). “I have the freedom to use my gifts and talents to bless our patients and caregivers, as well as employees," says Leahy. "While not everyone is an active part of a faith-based community, each patient, caregiver and employee has concerns that I can help them work through."
Leahy attended York College of Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor of science in psychology. After raising two children and owning a bread shop, Leahy followed her desire to become a chaplain. As a result, she enrolled in Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. There, Leahy earned a master of arts in religion degree (MAR), with an emphasis in counseling, in 2002.
Prior to joining CTCA, Leahy served as a chaplain at a hospice facility in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania and as a volunteer coordinator at another local facility. She also taught several seminars around the Philadelphia area. In 2006, Leahy joined the Pastoral Care Department at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, before moving to Western in September 2008.
"I have been involved in cancer care since the age of 18, but never had the freedom to discuss issues of faith with patients," says Leahy. "At CTCA, I saw that pastoral care was as important as any other aspect of care. I wanted to use my gifts and my faith to walk with patients during the cancer journey—regardless of the outcome.”
Leahy heads initiatives such as a caregiver’s group and a separate prayer time for patients and caregivers who want to participate. “Not only do these sessions provide opportunities to communicate with God, but many people also meet and become part of one another’s support system,” she shares.
In her spare time, Leahy enjoys reading, hiking in the mountains and spending time in the sunshine. She also devotes time to her two grown sons, one-daughter-in-law and a miniature schnauzer named Wesley.