Staff and Students

Bonnie Ballard, Administrative Associate, joined the Pastoral Care Department in January, 2009. Prior to joining the Pastoral Care Team, she worked in the Registration Department for almost two years. Before coming to Covenant HealthCare, Bonnie worked as a customer service representative/supervisor for many years. She received her Associates Degree in business from Delta College and became a certified professional secretary in 1985. Bonnie is a member/past president of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Bonnie can be reached at 989.583.6042 or

Kathy Bonn, Director of the Pastoral Care Department, is a consecrated diaconal minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She brought a variety of experiences to the role of director in July 2007, including being a high school math teacher, college professor, and Hospice volunteer. During her chaplaincy training, Kathy did her CPE internship at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center (in La Crosse, WI) and her CPE residency at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center (in Toledo, OH). For her Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry she specialized in hospital chaplaincy, and her Ph.D. is in Curriculum & Instruction. Kathy can be reached at 989.583.6037.

Chaplain Anne Breitag is a Roman Catholic Dominican Sister who has worked on Covenant's Pastoral Care Team since August 2000 after completing her Clinical Pastoral Education studies. Before joining Covenant, she was in active parish ministry for 33 years as a teacher, principal, religious education director, and pastoral minister. Sister Anne became a certified chaplain in the summer of 2002. Sister Anne can be contacted at 989.583.4398.

Heather Collins, CPE Supervisor and Program Manager, was ordained in the Unitarian Universalist tradition in 1995 in Gwinnett County, Georgia. After serving as a parish minister, Heather entered the field of pastoral education and was granted full supervisory status in 2011. Her clinical site was the Atlanta Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, where she served as the director of Chaplaincy Services from 2003. In February 2014 Heather resigned after eleven years of service at AMC in order to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail with her husband, David. They completed this 2,185 mile journey through fourteen states in April 2015. She is excited to be starting a new journey with Covenant Healthcare. Heather can be reached at

Cathy French is serving as a staff chaplain at Covenant, having completed and served as a resident chaplain here at Covenant 2011-12. She has spent much of her adult and childhood growing up in the northeast region of Massachusetts. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School and completed a CPE internship at Haven Wood-Heritage Heights in Concord, New Hampshire. Prior to seminary, Cathy worked in human services most recently as an intensive case manager/family liaison with children and their families in crisis. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist with an interest in serving in an ecumenical interfaith setting as a chaplain. Cathy can be reached at

Gib Giblin is a Chaplain Intern for the summer of 2016. He is on Sabbatical from Midland Evangelical Free Church where he has served as Pastor for Connections and Care for 15+ years. Prior to MEFC, Gib served in churches in Austin, TX and Grand Rapids, MI. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and holds a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Gib and his wife Caroline have four adult children and 4 grandchildren. They live in Midland. He can be contacted at 989.583.6042.

Mike Herner has served as an occasional employee since 2007. He has completed one unit of CPE and is a licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene. He is currently working toward his ordination with the church of the Nazarene. He has served in ministry since 2002. Before that he worked for the Genesee County Road Commission and retired with 25 years of service. He also had 20 years of service as a firefighter with the Forest Township Fire Department. Mike can be reached at

Nikey D. Keels serves as an occasional employee at Covenant Healthcare. She is a native of Flint, and is a dually licensed minister with the American Baptist and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. She received her Masters of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. She holds a certificate of completion in Christian counseling from the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIP Care), which preceded her chaplain internship at the Salem Veteran’s Medical Center in Salem, Va. She also holds a BA degree from Grambling State University followed by the completion of an abroad post-graduate studies program in London, England via Florida State University. She has served as a foreign missionary for various Christian denominations, as well as an Associate minister. Currently, she serves as the Transitional Pastor for the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church here in Saginaw. In her spare time she enjoys writing poetry, treks to museums, and various genres of music. Nikey can be reached at

Bob Koch joined the Covenant staff in 2009 following a CPE residency. As a Board Certified Chaplain he is passionate about improving patient care by integrating spirituality into health care through research, education and clinical practice. Bob earned his DMin degree from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio specializing in grief ministry and bereavement support. Since 2004 he has been an adjunct faculty member of Saginaw Valley State University teaching communication courses in the behavioral and health science curricula. Bob can be reached at 989.583.6042 or

Katherine Kolodziejczyk serves as a Chaplain Resident. She served as solo pastor for ten years prior to coming to Covenant. She is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her undergraduate degree is from Indiana University in Kokomo. Her M.Div. is from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH. She is excited about being at Covenant to complete the three units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) hoping to enter full-time chaplaincy upon completion. She completed her first CPE unit at the Spiritual Care Center, Toledo, OH. She has four grown children and twelve grandchildren. Katherine can be reached at

Zach Lovig serves as a Chaplain Resident starting in April 2015. He is ordained through the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and has served in pastoral ministry with ECC for eight years In Chicago and Central Iowa. His educational background includes a Master of Divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago in 2011 and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa in 2004. All of these experiences prepared and excited his passion for hospital ministry and Zach is to serve Covenant HealthCare. Zach is looking forward to taking in the natural beauty of Michigan and exploring all the community has to offer with his wife, Grace. Zach can be reached at

Mark Oswald is currently serving Covenant through the Chaplain Intern Program. He is a Lay Minister with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2008 and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Mark was also a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and has 19 years experience in Firefighting and Rescue. He is married and has 3 grown children. Mark can be reached at

Elaine Raymond is a Mission Sister of the Holy Spirit and has been an occasional employee at Covenant since 1984 when former director, Ray Dice, was the only full-time chaplain. Ray saw the need for round-the-clock chaplains and prepared four ministers for this ministry on a volunteer basis. At that time Sr. Elaine was a full-time pastoral associate at St. Andrew Catholic Church after which she was appointed Pastoral Administrator at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Merrill from 1989-1999. During this time she continued her chaplaincy with Covenant. She also directs the Special Religious Education Program (SPRED) for developmentally disabled people throughout the Diocese. In 1999, Sr. Elaine returned to St. Andrew and continued there for nine years before retiring. She continues chaplaincy at Covenant, the SPRED program, and is also a hospice chaplain for the Visiting Nurses Association of Covenant. Sr. Elaine can be reached at

Rob Schmidt serves as an occasional employee at Covenant. Rob is an ordained clergy in the ELCA and serves as pastor to a local congregation since 2006. Rob has completed one unit of CPE as part of his seminary education at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH, where he earned his masters of divinity. Prior to ministry Rob earned a masters in counseling education and psychology from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s of science with secondary education teaching endorsement. Rob served in the public school system in the state of Michigan where he taught, coached and served as a counselor prior to pursuing his ministerial credentials. Rob can be reached at

Lafayette Simpson, an occasional employee, joined Covenant’s Department of Pastoral Care & Education in October 2015. In 2014, he completed a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship and received his CPE Certification from Covenant’s CPE Program. In 2014, Lafayette was installed as the second pastor of the 63-year-old congregation of the historic Bethlehem Baptist Church of Saginaw. Along his journey serving in ministry for 16 years, he has been ordained and appointed as the Chairman of the Deacon Board, licensed and ordained as a minister.  Lafayette gained ministry knowledge by attending Midwest Bible College in Pontiac, Michigan. He can be reached at

Mike Spencer serves as a Chaplain Intern for Summer 2016. He currently serves as Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, where he is responsible for congregational development, clergy transitions, and leadership development strategies for the 46 congregations of the Diocese. Prior to his current position he was a human resources officer at Michigan State University, his alma mater. Mike is in the second year of his M.Div. studies at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Berkeley, CA), and is a postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. He can be reached at

Juli Stuelpnagel serves as an occasional employee at Covenant. Juli completed a CPE residency at Covenant in 2011. She also did a second year CPE residency at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, TX in 2013-2014. Juli earned a Master’s of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary, and is part of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Prior to ministry, Juli earned a master’s in education from Northern Illinois University. She taught overseas for 5 years, in Saipan, Guam, and the Dominican Republic. Juli can be reached at

Annemarie (Anne) Walker serves as a Chaplain Resident starting in August 2015. She has been ordained since 1992. Her ordination is recognized by “The Fellowship” (The Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International, Irving, TX). Her education includes: a B.A. in Bible from Central Bible College, Springfield, MO (1989); and a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN (2014). Anne was a church planter in Chicago for 13 years and has served in various aspects of pastoral ministry as a volunteer at the Caring Place, Indianapolis, since 2002. For the past five years she worked at a domestic violence shelter. Anne is excited to be back near the Great Lakes and is looking forward to walks on the beach and exploring the Tri-Cities area during the next year. Anne can be reached at

Carol Wesolek is serving Covenant as an occasional employee. She has completed 4 units of CPE at Covenant, which included a year residency. She has been a licensed ordained chaplain through the International Fellowship of Chaplains since 1999, with emphasis on trauma, grief and loss. Carol is a member of a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Management team, having taken training through ICISF (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation) of which she is a member, and the IFOC (International Fellowship of Chaplains). She also attended Mid-Michigan Bible Institute. Carol is also employed as a hospice chaplain. She can be reached at