Pediatric Chaplain, Rev. Patti Blaine
Meet Golisano’s Pediatric Chaplain, Rev. Patti Blaine
Rev. Patti Blaine is the pediatric chaplain for URMC, providing support to patients and families at Golisano Children’s Hospital. She took this role in September 2022 and, shares more about her work.
Hometown: Grew up in Vestal, NY. My husband, daughter, and I moved to Rochester from Woodside, Queens in 2006.
Education/Background: Graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School with an M.A. in Religious Studies and certification in Anglican Studies. She is ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.
Q. What would you like patients and families to know about your role?
A. I provide emotional as well as spiritual support to people of all religious traditions—and none! Some of the work I’m proudest of has been companioning others through terrible, heartbreaking situations, normalizing their emotions, listening reflectively, exploring their spiritual and existential questions and occasionally providing prayer in their religious tradition when asked.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?
A. There’s an item in the chaplaincy flowsheet I love to click: Shared play. Coming alongside children or adults, and being playful by looking at art, listening to music, watching a movie or playing a game often opens deep spiritual insight into what the patient, family member, or staff is really worried about and hoping for.
Q. What’s the most difficult part of your work?
A. The generational and grinding effects of poverty and racial inequity are laid bare in the hospital setting. From the carnage of violence in the trauma bays to the drug-addicted newborn in the NICU, from chronic cases of diabetes on dialysis to children who’ve met a pediatrician too late to cure their cancer, these social ills wear on me. I cope by focusing on the individual and doing my best to provide unconditional positive regard.
Q. Favorite hobby outside of work?
A. This question is easy! Knitting. I often say that I’m going home to “knit myself back together” at the end of a long and difficult shift. And I’m not kidding! Being present to the pattern and color of the work, the susurration of the sliding needles, the flow of the yarn between my fingers–knitting heals me.
Q. The holidays can be tough for a lot of people—especially if they find themselves at the hospital. What’s one piece of advice you can offer them?
A. Remember that this is a season, one out of many that make up our lives. While we’re in it, it overwhelms us with grief, loneliness, desperation, etc. I know this all too well.
Try to recall the love and joy that came before. Try to imagine one day, when this season is over, some of or maybe all that love and joy will return. When it does, it may be bittersweet, tinged with the color of this time, but it will be. And, although it feels completely otherwise, you are not alone in this experience.
Read more about Chaplaincy Services at URMC »