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Morton Plant Mease director of pastoral care elected to national Association of Professional Chaplains

The Rev. Mary Margaret Atkinson, Morton Plant Mease's director of pastoral care, has been elected board member and secretary of the Association of Professional Chaplains.

"Margie brings passion and dedication to her role as director of pastoral care and we are appreciative of the quality and compassionate care her team provides our patients and their families," said Glenn Waters, president of Morton Plant Mease.

Atkinson, director of pastoral care since 2005, has developed and established the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Morton Plant Mease. That program is a partnership with Suncoast Hospice to offer clinical training for ministers to serve in a health care environment.

"Rev. Atkinson's extensive organizational and project management experience, coupled with her dedication to the values of this organization and our profession, make her well equipped for her role on the APC board of directors," said David Johnson, the APC president.

"As secretary, Dr. Atkinson will help govern the leading interfaith membership organization for professional chaplains, which integrates multicultural and multi-ethnic perspectives and promotes excellence in pastoral care."

Atkinson holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Brite Divinity School. She has been a chaplain for 16 years, in management for 10 years, and has served in a hospice setting, child and acute medical centers.

Help for those of us with holiday stress

As part of its "Tea and Topics" series, a seminar on how to maintain a positive attitude during the holiday season will be presented 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Clearwater Aging Well Center, 1501 N Belcher Road.

The free event will feature licensed mental health counselor Michael Whalen with Suncoast Inc. Senior Support Services, who will offer tips, perspectives and strategies to remain resilient, strong and hopeful under any circumstances the holidays might bring.

Refreshments will be served. Registration is recommended. Call (727) 724-3070 or visit

Seminars, classes and support groups

NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP: Meetings are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays, except holidays, at Crystal Beach Community Hall, 517 Crystal Beach Ave.; 8 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church, Educational Building, second floor "the Parlor," 421 Main St., Dunedin; and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul's United Methodist Church Annex, Open Arms Resource Center, 1897 Highland Ave., Largo. Call toll-free 1-888-947-8885 or visit

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Weight-loss group meetings are 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays at the First Baptist Church of Ozona-Palm Harbor, 610 Pennsylvania Ave., Ozona. The group meets in the building in the back. Call (727) 786-1484 or (727) 785-9564.

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Meets from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage United Methodist Church, Room 11, 2680 Landmark Drive, Clearwater. The first meeting is free. Call (727) 726-2681.

RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL: Abraham Low Self-Help System, a weekly support group for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms caused by fear and anger, meets at the following times and locations: 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Lakeview Community Church, 475 East Lake Road N, East Lake, (727) 942-4095; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 942-9008; and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Clearwater. (727) 586-2585, or leave a message at (727) 525-1749. Free, but offerings are appreciated.

ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP: Meets at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. (727) 787-1837.

FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY ANONYMOUS: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, (727) 501-2125, and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, (727) 786-3113. Both at Clearwater Community Church, Room 103, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin. For details, visit

Health news should be mailed to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756, faxed to (727) 445-4119 or emailed to

Morton Plant Mease director of pastoral care elected to national Association of Professional Chaplains 12/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 4:35pm]
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