Local health care providers to be honored for volunteer service

March 05, 2013

Four local health care providers and a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington will be recognized for their outstanding volunteer service and tireless efforts in serving the community’s needs at the 22nd annual Rose Mass and luncheon for medical, dental, nursing and allied health care workers, sponsored by the John Carroll Society. Rev. Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi, John Carroll Society Chaplain and pastor of Little Flower Church, will be the principal celebrant for the Mass and Rev. Msgr. Joseph Quinn, Vice President for University Mission and Ministry at Fordham University, will be the homilist.

Sunday, March 10, 2013
10:30 a.m.
Church of the Little Flower
5607 Massachusetts Avenue
Bethesda, MD

With the celebration of this Rose Mass, the John Carroll Society continues a tradi¬tion begun in 1992. This event takes place annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (“Laetare Sunday”), a Sunday when the vestments worn by the celebrant are rose-colored. The rose has also come to symbolize life; the precious care of which is entrusted to the healing professions.

The Rose Mass is organized to invoke God’s blessings on the medical, dental, nursing and allied healthcare workers and the many health care institutions in the Archdiocese of Washington. In addition, the Mass provides an opportunity to acknowledge the splendid work of the volunteers of the Archdiocesan Health Care Network, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington since 1984. This network is composed of a multitude of dedicated workers from all religions, infused with an ecumenical spirit in their care of the sick. The network provides millions of dollars in free outpatient services to thousands of people in need through the generosity of volunteer nurses, doctors, dentists and podiatrists and area hospitals.

The awards are given each year by the John Carroll Society, a group of lay Catholics dedicated to enriching their faith and serving the Archbishop of Washington.

Pro Bono Health Care Awardees:
Edward J. Bieber, M.D., Orthopeadic Surgeon
Dr. Edward Bieber, M.D. a native Washingtonian, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Yale University. He is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Orthopaedic Surgery. He completed a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in upper extremity and hand reconstructive surgery. Dr. Bieber then earned an MBA from Johns Hopkins University in 2000 while attending to a busy orthopaedics practice. Dr. Bieber is a consultant in hand and upper extremity surgery at the National Institutes of Health. He has been very active over the years with the Archdiocesan Health Care Network, providing pro bono orthopaedic specialty care to many needy and uninsured patients.

Nancy Ripp Clark, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Nancy Ripp Clark, M.D. received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and completed medical school at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Washington Hospital Center, and became an attending physician at the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and volunteered for many years at the Washington Free Clinic while in private practice. In 1997, Dr. Ripp Clark retired from private practice and became a volunteer physician at the Mercy Health Clinic, a non-profit medical clinic in Montgomery County, which serves uninsured and low-income patients. Since 2010 she has served as the volunteer Medical Director and oversees all aspects of patient care. She is responsible for recruiting volunteer physicians, and has increased the staff to over 70 practitioners. Last year, the clinic conducted more than 8,000 patient visits, and over 5,000 non-provider visits for education and other services. Dr. Ripp Clark has been an active parishioner at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Maryland. Dr. Ripp Clark is a Dame of the Order of Malta.

Jean-Jacques Kassis, D.P.M., Podiatrist
Dr. Jean-Jacques Kassis was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After graduating from high school in Sao Paulo, Dr. Kassis moved to Miami, Florida where he attended Barry University, receiving degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He then attended podiatry school at the Barry University of Podiatric Medicine. He completed a residency in podiatric surgery at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Kassis is board certified by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Dr. Kassis was raised by Maronite parents, Yagoub and Nelis Kassis, and always believed in giving back to the community. He spent time in volunteer clinics during his school years; during his training at the Miami Veterans hospital, he cared for active duty and retired veterans. As a foot and ankle surgeon in Montgomery County, Maryland, he has provided podiatric surgical and non-surgical care to patients through the Archdiocesan Health Care Network.

Msgr. Harry A. Echle Award for Outstanding Service in Health Care Ministry:
Rev. John F. McKay
Reverend John F. McKay was born and raised in Washington, D. C. He was in the first graduating class of St. Jane Frances de Chantal School in Bethesda, MD and attended the former Cathedral Latin High School, a preparatory high school seminary of the Archdiocese of Washington. He attended the seminary system of the Sulpician Fathers in Baltimore, and St. Mary’s Seminary, studying philosophy and theology. Fr. John was ordained on May 12, 1973 by Cardinal William Baum. He served in a number of parishes in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia as Associate Pastor or as Pastor. Fr. John has ministered at many hospitals including: Leland Hospital in Riverdale, MD (1973-75), Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, MD (1979-1980), Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, MD (1987-96), Shady Grove Hospital and Asbury Methodist Village (1997-2000), and Laurel Hospital (2008-2009). In 1999 he was certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. Fr. John has been in-residence at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda, MD since 2009 and has served as the Catholic Chaplain at Suburban Hospital and at four nursing homes. In this ministry, he visits Suburban Hospital daily and oversees the coordination of 20 Eucharistic Ministers who regularly offer communion to Catholic patients. Fr. John provides prayer, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Prayers for the Dying or for the Dead, and end-of-life counseling to those in need. He is often on-call for these services during night-time hours. Fr. John has been called to health care ministry “to be there for the people and to accompany them at the most critical moments of their lives.”

Cardinal James P. Hickey Lifetime Service Award:
Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Dr. Pellegrino is considered one of the founding fathers of bioethics and is a pioneer in teaching humanities in medical schools. He is a founder of the Archdiocesan Health Care Network, the Rose Mass, and is former President of the John Carroll Society. He is also a former president of The Catholic University of America. Now in his 93rd year, he continues to mentor medical students, attend rounds at Georgetown University, and publish. He is John Carroll Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics, and senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. During his tenure at Georgetown he has served as Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, was the founding Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Ethics and was founding Director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics. He was named to the International Bioethics Committee of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and served as Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics in Washington, DC. During Dr. Pellegrino’s 65 plus years in medicine and university administration, he has served as department chairman, dean, vice chancellor and president of various hospitals. Dr. Pellegrino’s research interests include the history and philosophy of medicine, professional ethics, and the physician-patient relationship.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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