UPMC McKeesport’s Rev. Matthew Elanjileth turns 96

By: Laura Swedler and Stephanie Stanley

For patients at UPMC McKeesport, the healing process is accomplished through more than just well-trained doctors, caring nurses and a team of enthusiastic health care professionals. Over the past 36 years, patients also have received the prayers and kindness of of the Rev. Matthew Elanjileth.

At a recent gathering, more than 100 hospital leaders and staff, local community members, as well as retired UPMC McKeesport doctors and colleagues celebrated, Elanjileth’s 96th birthday.

The Rev. Shawn Kirkland, UPMC McKeesport’s chaplain, Mark O’Hern, vice president of operations, Dr. Susan Rakfal, Dr. Ihsan Awan, and Rebecca Shaw McHolme, chairperson of the UPMC McKeesport Board of Directors, each shared their stories of working with Elanjileth over the years, and how his service had so greatly impacted their lives.

“We are here to celebrate Father Matthew’s dedication and commitment to UPMC McKeesport and our patients,” said O’Hern.

In recognition of his dedication to the community, and in honor of his birthday, the prayer room at UPMC McKeesport has been renamed the Fr. Matthew Elanjileth Prayer Room. Inside the prayer room will hang the hospital’s gift to Elanjileth — framed pictures of him with Pope John Paul II and one with Mother Teresa when she visited Pittsburgh at his invitation.