Sr. Carol Keehan- DC- named CHA president and chief executive


September 15, 2005 Volume 21, Number 16

ST. LOUIS—Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, recently was named CHA's new president and chief executive officer. Her appointment will be effective October 10.

Following the official announcement September 7, Sr. Carol told CHA staff that among her goals for the association was to foster feelings of connectedness between CHA and Catholic health care organizations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Vatican. "My intent is to do a lot of listening to [CHA] staff, to members, to sponsors, to leaders, and to the people we work very closely with," she said of her near-term plans.

The appointment of Sr. Carol as CHA's ninth chief executive is the culmination of a nationwide search that 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.

Present for the announcement at the CHA office in St. Louis was Sr. Karin Dufault, SP, RN, PhD, chairperson of the association's 24-member board of trustees. In introducing the association's new leader, Sr. Karin praised Sr. Carol's background and readiness to take on this new duty. "She has had amazing experiences," Sr. Karin said, explaining that Sr. Carol started her career in Catholic health care as a nurse. "That hands-on clinical care remains ever important to nurses. Also, she knows what it's like to be an administrator in a challenging market. She's walked the halls of Congress. She's known at the bishops' conference. And as a member of a religious community, she appreciates sponsorship and the changes occurring in sponsorship."

Regarding the selection process for finding a new CHA president, Sr. Karin said "I think all of the search committee members will tell you that this was done right." She noted that the selection process identified numerous, very qualified candidates. Sr. Karin said 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.

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." She said she is especially grateful to Michael Rodgers, who has been serving as interim president/CEO. "Michael has done a tremendous job leading this association through a time of important transition. This organization is lucky to have someone like him step in and take the reins."

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/CEO 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.

More information, including transcripts of some of Sr. Carol's past speaking engagements, a more detailed biography, and specifications about the president and chief executive officer position, is available on the President's Page.

AHA president lauds Sr. Carol

CHICAGO—Dick Davidson, president, American Hospital Association, released the following statement on the appointment of Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, as CHA president/CEO:

The Catholic Health Association has made a superb choice for its new president. Sr. Carol Keehan has brought a powerful spirit of mission and purpose to every organization she has led.

She is a strong, articulate advocate, a seasoned executive and a first rate communicator. She has been on the frontlines of health care and has a keen understanding of the leadership necessary to make a national association unified and effective.

All of us at the American Hospital Association look forward to working with her and the CHA team with renewed energy to make the very best health care accessible and affordable for every American.


Copyright © 2005 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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