The Executive Team at St. Christopher’s Inn are proven leaders who are dedicated to living out the values established by our founding organization, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.
Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA President / Spiritual Director
Father Dennis was born in Baltimore in 1947. He entered the friars’ seminary at Montour Falls, NY while in high school, made his first profession of vows in 1966, and was ordained in 1974.
Our Medical Team provides compassionate healing care to everyone in our facility by serving with joy, respect, dignity and fairness for all clients.
Stephen Shapiro, MD Medical Director
Dr. Shapiro brings 33 years of experience in the addiction field and 40 years in internal medicine to St. Christopher’s Inn. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine.
Laurel McCullagh, AAS, BS Director of Nursing and Admissions
Laurel works with the nursing and medical staff to provide seamless admission of clients into St. Christopher’s Inn, and to assess and treat the various medical and psychiatric needs of our residents.
Dr. Timothy Rowe, MD Director of Psychiatric Services
Dr. Rowe has over forty years of experience in psychiatry. Board certified in addiction medicine, Dr. Rowe specializes in treating the psychodynamic factors complicating addiction and relapse into addiction.
Eileen Hackett, RN Assistant Director of Nursing & Admissions
Eileen works with the admissions staff to provide a smooth admission process for clients and their families, from the pre-screening process to the date of admission.
Janet Karpisz, MS, APRN Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Janet addresses the mental health needs of the residents of St. Christopher’s Inn. Janet assesses and treats men with psychiatric disorders through supportive therapy, patient education and medication management.
The Counseling Team at St. Christopher’s Inn is made up of qualified health professionals who understand the disease of addiction, and are dedicated to providing holistic healing for everyone who wants to find recovery.
R. Kevin Douglas, LCSW-R, MPS, CASAC-MC Director of Counseling & Shelter Services
Kevin is responsible for the overall functioning and management of the St. Christopher’s Inn Counseling Department.
Frank Pellegrino, MSW, LCSW, CASAC Assistant Administrative Director in Counseling
Frank assists in providing oversight and supervision of the shelter, day rehab program, ambulatory detox, STEHP program and Brother’s Christopher House.
Ellen Donaghey, MSW, LCSW, CASAC 2, EAGALA Clinical Supervisor
Ellen works with the Counseling Department to provide individual and group supervision, and assists in providing oversight and supervision of clinical services.
“After years of failed attempts at sobriety and the loss of everything and everyone I ever cared for, my life seemed over. St Christopher’s Inn saved my life; gave me a new purpose.
I have been in more treatment centers then I care to think about. St. Christopher’s Inn was not like any other. The love, respect and spirituality given to me there has renewed my faith in God. I am reborn. I am now living in a sober house in Florida. I am 17 months sober. I am employed, and I attend meetings and church. I am happy today.
I will always be indebted to St. Christopher’s Inn. If you want to recover from this devastating disease, let St. Christopher’s Inn set you on your path.”
—A Brother Christopher
The nurses are the best part of my day.
The admission process was as fast and painless as it could be.
The medical staff is excellent, they treated me with love and care.
Overall the program and facility at St. Christopher’s Inn is the best, bar none.
Family program is PERFECT please don’t change a thing.
I took part in the GED program and was quite satisfied. I haven’t taken the test yet, but I have very high hopes of passing.
Gained immense knowledge from lectures and treatment plan.
It is very spiritual and I needed the experience.
The care and concern by my counselor and supporting staff shows the love that I didn’t know existed.
Staff is unbelievable, saved my life.
The goals I have reached and the new ones I’ve developed while being here are something of a life changer for me in my future.
I was pleasantly surprised by the existence of the Coffee House. Music is a central and meditative part of my life. The ability to perform for my new brothers here and the staff was unexpected and made this an incredible journey.
I would have nothing if it wasn’t for SCI.
Great people, caring and responsive.
I would like to tell you how thankful I am to you for having this family program available. I want to say thank you for giving me exactly what I needed.
The experience of being here and becoming a member of the Brothers Christopher fraternity has changed my life. Being in the Friars house was a blessing. Their generosity gave me knowledge I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the privilege I was given to stay here in your house. God bless you all. I will always keep a piece of St. Christopher’s Inn in my heart.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the hot meals, warm bed and unconditional love you so easily gave to me. I know if it were not for you, I would truly still be a lost soul.
The road to recovery is called Franciscan Way, and the door to happiness lies within the walls of St. Christopher’s Inn.
I never thought someone could care for a drug addict like me. You have shown me that I am worth something. May God bless you a million times.
Thank you for welcoming me in to your home, and granting me a scholarship for treatment. There’s not enough “thank-yous” I could say, so I’m going to show you by staying clean and living a peaceful sober life.
I want to thank you for everything—from my stay here to working in the Thrift Shop. I am so grateful for St. Christopher’s Inn and every staff member that represents this fantastic organization.
I was amazed by the unbelievable generosity of everyone at our Christmas party. A nice scarf and a collared shirt—I have been through hundreds in my life but I have never cared for any of them as I do for these. Thank you for giving me the best Christmas in many, many years.
I love this place. They have given me a place to sleep, food in my stomach, clothes on my back, and a chance at a first-class life. Recovery is here . . . all you have to do is want it!
Today, I am a sober man. I live an honest and simple life. I’m a reliable, employable productive member of society. I have dignity and self-worth and even self-love. All of these things are a direct result of the care and guidance given to me by the Friars and the staff at St. Christopher’s Inn. Some people call it a homeless shelter. I call it home.