As executive director of Global Health Ministry at Catholic Health East, Sr. Mary Jo leads a legion of dedicated, intrepid volunteers who, side by side with their in-country partners, provide medical and surgical health care and education for the poorest of the poor. In Peru, she joined with local community leaders to create the Madre y Niño program in three regions of the Andes where maternal/infant deaths were highest in the country. Within three years, the program resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the death rate.
In Chulucanas, Peru, she helped develop the diocesan health care and education department, Centro Pastoral, which serves the poor of the community daily. Technical advice and financial support from Global Health Ministry has greatly improved the health status of the community. Sr. Mary Jo's creativity and execution of ideas and requests from the community transformed what was once a field hospital into a fully functioning community hospital with three new operating rooms and a large emergency care suite.
In Haiti, she is helping modernize Alma Mater Hospital. Along with local leaders, she is leading a feasibility study to assess the capacity of the infrastructure to care for surgical patients and to develop a strategic plan for long-term development and sustainability.
Under her leadership, the Global Health Ministry orientation and training program for volunteers creates lifetime givers conscious of the interdependence of people around the world. Judith Persichilli, president and CEO of Catholic Health East, says, "Sr. Mary Jo envisions a world better than the present for all those Global Health Ministry serves. She inspires others to see that same world and motivates hundreds of individuals to follow her lead into countries and communities far distant than the world they come from, and along the way, she changes their view of the world as well."