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Sister Carol Keehan- DC- Named President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Health Association

WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 2005) —The Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) today named Sister Carol Keehan, DC, as the association's new president and chief executive officer, effective October 10, 2005.

In making the announcement, Sr. Karin Dufault, SP, RN, PhD, chairperson of the association's 24-member Board of Trustees, said "the Catholic health ministry will greatly benefit from Sr. Carol's breadth of strategic and operational experiences as a hospital administrator and as a member of several system, hospital, and association boards."

The appointment of Sr. Carol as CHA's ninth chief executive is the culmination of a nationwide search which began in February following the resignation of Fr. Michael D. Place, STD, after nearly seven years as the association's president and chief executive officer.

While noting that the selection process identified numerous, very qualified candidates, Sr. Karin added that "both the search committee and the board found Sr. Carol to be someone with a deep personal conviction and with high professional standards who best met the leadership competencies of the redefined position specification and the needs of the ministry today and into the future." Sr. Karin, the incoming executive director of the Supportive Care of the Dying Coalition, Portland, OR, served as the chair of the 10-member search committee.

"I am honored to be asked to serve as CHA's next president and chief executive officer and I enthusiastically look forward to working with the hundreds of thousands of women and men who provide the ministry's unique human touch to people in need across the continuum of care," Sr. Carol stated.

"I know I speak on behalf of my colleagues on the board in saying how delighted we are that Sr. Carol has accepted the position," said CHA vice chairperson, chair-elect, John J. Finan Jr., president and chief executive officer, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Baton Rouge, LA. "Sr. Carol has the board's full support and our confidence in her leadership abilities to enhance the focus of the association."

Sandra Bennett Bruce, CHA secretary-treasurer, and president and chief executive officer, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, ID, added that "Sr. Carol brings to the association a unique appreciation of mission and a professionalism that will be valued by members."

Sr. Carol is the association's third woman religious chief executive in its 90 year history. She will be based in CHA's Washington, DC, office while also maintaining an office at the national headquarters in St. Louis. In speaking of the association's staff, Sr. Carol acknowledged their dedication to the ministry and added that her philosophy is that the staff "brings the talent as the band members and I am only the conductor."

Sr. Carol joined the Daughters of Charity 40 years ago and has most recently been the board chair of Ascension Health's Sacred Heart Health System, Pensacola, FL. Previously, she served for 15 years as the president and chief executive officer of Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, where in the early 1980s she had also served as vice president for nursing, ambulatory care, and education and training. In June 2003, she was elected as CHA's vice chairperson and subsequently served until this past June a one-year term as CHA chairperson.

Additional background, including an electronic file of a high-resolution photo, is available online.


The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry’s commitment to improve the health status of communities and create quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. The Catholic health ministry is the nation's largest group of not-for-profit health systems and facilities that, along with their sponsoring organizations, employ more than 750,000 women and men who deliver services combining advanced technology with the Catholic caring tradition.