Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center

by Arbenit Rrustemaj


We are happy to report that two new CPE Training Programs have started Fall Unit at two Kaiser Permanente hospitals, Sunnyside Medical Center and Westside Medical Center, in Portland, OR. The units will run from September through December. Arbenit Rrustemaj, Spiritual Care Department Manager and Supervisor-in-Training, is working with the six trainees enrolled in the programs under the Supervision of Francine Hernandez. 

 “I am very excited about this new program and grateful for the continued support of the administration at Sunnyside Medical Center,” stated Arbenit.

rTraining Supervisor Francine Hernandez was present to officiate the closing ceremony and the Blessing of the Hands on September 23, 2022, in recognition of the clinical chaplains' work. 

 “These new trainees shared their excitement,” Francine Hernandez stated. “They’re looking forward to growing in self-awareness and ministerial competence.” Francine also worked with the trainee to teach CPE didactics through Zoom in Oregon. The trainees will continue their training at Kaiser hospitals virtually. 

 The Portland area CPSP Chapters continue to see significant growth. With Francine’s assistance and support, Ben was able to start the new Happy Valley, OR Chapter with nine Kaiser Permanente chaplains. Additionally, there are plans to start a second chapter in Hillsboro, OR, later this year with six Kaiser Permanente Chaplains.

Here are the names of our six CPE Chaplain Trainees for this Fall Unit:

  • Dennis Payne, D.Min. Christian. African-American 🇺🇸. Kaiser employee at KSMC. 
  • Alex Sidorenko, is in process of completing M.Div. degree. Christian. Ukrainian 🇺🇦. 
  • Aydin Erdogan, M.A. Muslim. Turkish 🇹🇷.
  • Melissa Rockefeller, MD. Spiritual. American 🇺🇸. Kaiser ED Physician at KSMC. 
  • Miroslav Brestovac, M.Div. Christian. Australian 🇦🇺 (Born in Bosnia 🇧🇦). He will do clinical hours in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Elie Weick, PhD, D.Min. Christian. Ivory Coast 🇨🇮. African. He will do his clinical hours in Columbus, Ohio.