SAN FRANCISCO – May 26, 2016 – Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems, announced Sister Carol Keehan, Daughters of Charity (DC), president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), received the first Humankindness in Health Care Award on May 19 at the Dignity Health Foundation’s inaugural Humankindness Gala. The designation recognizes individuals whose humanitarian contributions have made a profound impact on their communities.
“Sr. Carol is a fierce advocate for expanding access to health care for all people,” said Lloyd Dean, President/CEO of Dignity Health and President of Dignity Health Foundation. “Her relentless pursuit of improved health outcomes should serve as an inspiration to anyone in the health care field.”
Keehan has worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity for more than 35 years. She began her career as a nurse and rose through the ranks in Catholic health care, holding influential roles at a variety of health care, insurance and educational organizations becoming a passionate advocate for accessible and affordable care along the way.
In 2005, Keehan became president and CEO of CHA, making her the third woman religious chief executive in its history. Under her leadership, the CHA has been a powerful influence in shaping health care policy in the United States. In 2007 she topped Modern Healthcare’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and in 2010, TIME magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She was a 2013 Opus Prize finalist for her work to expand access to affordable health care, and was a recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff), bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI.
“I am honored to have received this distinction. I believe that it is our duty to advocate on behalf of those who need a voice,” said Keehan. “It’s inspiring to see so many come together to support the Dignity Health Foundation and its initiatives to address major social issues. We must all work together in order to enhance the common good.”
Almost 350 guests attended the Gala which raised more than $1 million to benefit Dignity Health Foundation and its 2016 core initiatives which address public health issues that plague its underserved communities: Human Trafficking, Concussion Education and Postpartum Depression.
The event brought together local and national corporations, athletic organizations, civic, and charitable leaders all committed to spreading humankindness. Since its inception in 2012, Dignity Health Foundation has helped bring major social issues facing its communities to the forefront. In partnership with Dignity Health, California’s largest health care system, the Foundation supports investments in people that let them live with dignity and hope. The Foundation’s work focuses on the people that need help but often lack the voice and resources to ask for it, including the youth and underserved communities.