HSHS founder dies at age 99; she was among pioneers in consolidating ministry

January 2022

Sr. Marianna Kosior, OSF, died Dec. 11 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield, Illinois, at age 99. She led the founding of Hospital Sisters Health System of Springfield in 1978 and was the organization's first president, heading the system until her retirement in 1989.

Sr. Kosior

In an announcement on Sr. Kosior's death, Damond Boatwright, HSHS president and chief executive, said she "led an incredible life that was focused on serving others, and HSHS is grateful for her vision that has allowed our health care ministry to grow and evolve." HSHS now has 15 hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Sr. Kosior attended St. John's Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield before earning a earning a bachelor's degree in food and nutrition from Fontbonne College in St. Louis. While she was HSHS president, Sr. Kosior earned a master's degree in administrative sciences from Notre Dame University in Indiana.

She was a dietitian and dietary department manager in Hospital Sister hospitals from 1950 through 1962 then was superior and administrator at Hospital Sisters' hospitals in Effingham and Decatur, Illinois, before joining her congregation's leadership in 1969. She was provincial from 1973 to 1979.

In the 1970s, Sr. Kosior and other congregational leaders developed a plan for bringing together the 12 U.S. hospitals founded by Hospital Sisters. They created a structure that would allow for lay management while also enabling the sisters continued involvement in sponsorship and governance. The resulting organization, HSHS, was incorporated Dec. 26, 1978.

Sr. Jomary Trstensky, OSF, said Sr. Kosior had an "unwavering belief that the future of Catholic health care would be built on strong systems and lay leaders. With no blueprint she established Hospital Sisters Health System and entrusted others to give life to her vision." Sr. Trstensky is chair of Hospital Sisters Ministries, the public juridic person of HSHS. She was HSHS president from 1989 to 2006.

Sr. Kosior had said of her ascension from dietitian to health system president: "I was open to the Holy Spirit and waited to see where the Lord was calling me."

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