Serving in a variety of ministry roles for more than 51 years,
Sr. Phyllis has shepherded the shape-shifting of Catholic health care
from many perspectives: individual hospitals to major health systems;
simple congregational sponsorship to complex multi-congregational and multi-institutional sponsorship; and domestic acute care to
global health outreach.
Throughout her career, Sr. Phyllis has worn the hats of sponsorship,
governance and management. She has served on 28 Catholic health
care boards and numerous other sponsorship councils, task forces and
committees. She has held leadership positions within religious life
(president of the Sisters of Mercy Burlingame Congregation) and within
Catholic hospitals (CEO of Mercy Bakersfield); significant positions in
Catholic health systems and associations (Mercy Health System;
Catholic Healthcare West; Dignity Health; Catholic Health Association
(CHA); St. Joseph Health System of Orange; Providence Health and
Services; Catholic Health Initiatives Board of Stewardship Trustees; Providence St. Joseph Health System; the Eldercare Alliance, the former
Alegent Health Board (now part of CHI Health, Nebraska); and the
Scripps Health board. For five years she was president of the public
juridic person of CHI, Catholic Health Care Federation. In these roles,
she has participated in many acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations,
partnerships, divestitures and sponsorship arrangements.
Sr. Phyllis holds a doctorate in public health in international health
care from the University of California at Berkeley, and her dissertation
focused on the ethics of humanitarian aid in complex political emergencies. The breadth of her involvement in the Catholic health
ministry spans settings as diverse as the San Francisco Archdiocesan
Reorganization Committee to the HIV and AIDS International Catholic
Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. She has consulted with sponsorship
issues in Guyana; accompanied medical teams into the mountains of
Peru; visited remote clinics in South Sudan; and volunteered assisting
orphans in Romania. She managed the HIV and AIDS unit for Catholic
Relief Services in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
In short, Sr. Phyllis' health care leadership experience spans the globe.
Today Sr. Phyllis serves on the Providence St. Joseph Health Systems
board (WA); the Eldercare Alliance board (CA); the St Joseph's Hospital
and Medical Center board (AZ); the St. Mary's San Francisco Medical
Center board (CA); and the sponsorship council for a hospital in Guyana.
Those who have worked with Sr. Phyllis say she has an uncanny ability
to assess very complicated structures, identify the issues and dynamics
involved and engage stakeholders in moving together toward a shared
future. They also praise her easy leadership style, administrative acumen, concern for the poor, "double-decker brains" and sense of humor.