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Sr. Carol Keehan to deliver commencement address

Sister Carol Keehan, DC
Sister Carol Keehan, DC
Catholic Health Association of the United States

Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, will deliver the Baccalaureate Commencement address at St. Catherine University on May 22.

Prior to her address, the University will honor Sr. Carol with the St. Catherine Alexandrine Medal for her exemplary leadership in Catholic health care and her long-term contributions to Catholic higher education.

TIME magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, and Modern Healthcare magazine readers voted her the Most Powerful Person in Healthcare in 2007 and the magazine named her one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. Sr. Carol has also been the recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff) award, bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2008, Sr. Carol was the keynote speaker at St. Catherine University’s National Healthcare Summit.

Sr. Carol has worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity (DC) for more than 35 years. She is only the third woman religious CEO in the Catholic Health Association’s 90-year history. The association is made up of about 600 Catholic hospitals and 1,400 Catholic nursing homes, surgical centers and clinics across the nation.

Under her leadership, the Catholic Health Association has lobbied for renewal of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, greater access to health care and the continued tax-exempt status of hospitals.

She has also served in leadership roles for a variety of health care, insurance and educational organizations. She is a representative to the International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care and serves on the board of Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD and the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, among others.

She earned a bachelors of science in nursing from St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and a master of science in business administration from the University of South Carolina. She has also been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees from universities across the nation.

More about the award

The St. Catherine Alexandrine Medal is named for the patroness of the University, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and it is given by the University to honor outstanding service by a woman in a specific profession or field.

Previous recipients of the St. Catherine University Alexandrine Medal include Dorothy Day, Catholic activist and journalist; Ann Bancroft, polar explorer; Maya Angelou, former Poet Laureate and Pamela Wheelock ’81, former St. Kate’s Board of Trustees  chair and vice president, Bush Foundation.

More Commencement Info

St. Catherine University’s spring 2011 graduation ceremonies will be held in The O’Shaughnessy on the St. Paul campus. The Associate and Graduate Commencement on May 21 begins at 11 a.m.

Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell, a 2002 graduate of the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program at St. Kate’s, will speak at the Commencement ceremony for associate and graduate students.

 The Baccalaureate Commencement starts at 2 p.m. after Mass and a Hooding Ceremony at Our Lady of Victory Chapel.

May 6, 2011 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Healthcare, Leadership, Social Justice, Students