Each year at the Catholic Health Assembly, the Catholic Health Association of the United States offers four awards that recognize remarkable contributions to Catholic health care. Below are the recipients of the 2017 awards.


For innovative programming that changes lives.



LIGHT Program 
Avera Health
Sioux Falls, S.D.


For demonstrated creativity and breakthrough thinking

Lynn Britton
President and Chief Executive Officer, Mercy, St. Louis
Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD
Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare, Gulf Coast Market; President and Chief Executive Officer, Sacred Heart Health System, Pensacola, Fla.
Rich Statuto
Chief Executive Officer and President, Bon Secours Health System, Inc., Marriottsville, Md.


For a lifetime of contributions

John J. Finan, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Baton Rouge, La.
Sr. Mary Dorothea Sondgeroth, OP
Assistant Executive Director, St. Dominic Health Services Foundation, Jackson, Miss.
Sr. Jomary Trstensky, OSF
Chairperson, Hospital Sisters Ministries, Springfield, Ill.


Honoring young people who will guide our ministry in the future

Jim Boyle
Vice President, Information Services, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, St. Joseph Health, Anaheim, Calif.

Kevin Cullinan

Market Director, Perioperative Services and Orthopedics, CHI St. Vincent, Little Rock, Ark.

Kay Gorka

Manager, Spiritual Care Services, Providence Health & Services Eastern Washington: Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital, and Medical Clinics, Spokane, Wash.
Kevin D. Howard, DO
Bon Secours Kentucky Health System, Director, Physician Residency Program, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland, Ky.

Ji Im

Senior Director, Community and Population Health, Dignity Health, San Francisco

Rachel Lucy

Director, Learning and Development, PeaceHealth, Vancouver, Wash.

Michael McQueary

Manager, Foundation and Advocacy and Government Relations, Mercy Health, Cincinnati
Michael Miller, Jr.
Regional Chief Mission Officer, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Canton, Mich.

Asha S. Rodriguez

Administrator, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center, San Antonio

Johnny A. Smith, Jr.

Senior Director, Public Relations, Ascension, St. Louis

Will Snyder
System Vice President, External Affairs, Presence Health, Chicago

"The Advocates"

One of the most captivating stories from Jesus' healing ministry is recorded in Luke 5:18-26. A paralytic is lowered through the roof by friends who are determined to do whatever is necessary to present him to Jesus, in the belief that Jesus will heal him. The friends are advocates for this vulnerable man. Jesus is moved by their faith and their innovation. He also recognizes that the infirmed man's greatest need is the same as everyone's — a restored relationship with his heavenly Father. Thus, he first forgives the man's sins, taking care of his spirit before healing his body.

Luke's Gospel presents a powerful lesson for our contemporary health ministry. Our faith in Jesus' healing mission and our dedication, innovation and advocacy for all those who are in need of healing mirror that of the friends of the paralytic man.

In 2009, CHA introduced a new sculpture to honor the recipients of the Achievement Citation and CHA awards. The sculpture, "The Advocates," commemorates this story of healing from Luke. It was created for the association by sculptor Clay Enoch.