November 2002

Executive Diversity Fellows Selected

Jones_Webb Photo

Derrick Jones                                         Richelle Webb

Catholic Health Initiatives has selected two candidates as the first participants in its new Executive Diversity Fellowship Program. The program is designed to attract and develop female, racial minority and ethnic minority candidates for leadership positions in health care and within Catholic Health Initiatives. "This is an important element of our leadership development plan," said Patricia A. Cahill, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives. "We are committed to ensuring that the future leadership of Catholic Health Initiatives will reflect the increasingly diverse populations we serve and employ." The two new fellows are: Derrick Jones, currently an assistant administrator of support services at Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tenn., one of Catholic Health Initiatives’ market-based organizations. Jones has master’s degrees in health administration and business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His fellowship, which will begin in February 2003, will include a five-month mentorship with William Hendrickson, president and chief executive officer of Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Ky. "I’ve had tremendous opportunities at Memorial and I’m ready for new challenges," he said. "I’m happy that I can stay with Catholic Health Initiatives and serve its ministry while I take the next step in my career." Richelle Webb, who most recently served as director of medical education at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. She holds a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Michigan. Her fellowship, which will begin in January 2003, will include a five-month mentorship with Robert Lanik, president and chief executive officer of Saint Elizabeth Health Systems in Lincoln, Neb. Webb learned about the fellowship opportunity when Kevin Lofton, chief operating officer for Catholic Health Initiatives, spoke at an organizational meeting for the Florida chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives. "I am really looking forward to working in a faith-based organization and learning about Catholic Health Initiatives from the national and local perspectives," Webb said. "I’m also very excited about working with my mentors and preceptors." Jones and Webb will have the opportunity to learn operations at the market and system levels; engage in committee, board, and physician relations; and experience governance and decision-making at the system level. In addition, the fellows will participate in a formal leadership development program; engage in the coaching/mentoring of a market-based manager; and contribute to Catholic Health Initiatives’ success by leading a strategic or operational learning project. Jones and Webb were selected from a field of six finalists. "We were extremely pleased with the quality and the interest of all of the candidates," said David Black, vice president of leadership development for Catholic Health Initiatives. "Though we could select only two for executive fellowships, we will continue to search for opportunities within Catholic Health Initiatives for the rest of the candidates." Lofton noted that the fellowship program should help attract more diverse candidates for all levels of management within Catholic Health Initiatives. "During the past five years, we have filled nearly two-thirds of our senior management positions with internal candidates," he said. "To ensure diversity in our senior management, we need diversity in all ranks of management. This program, which ties in to our core values and our strategic plan, serves that need."

To enrich the Catholic Health Initiatives work community and customer service experience through diverse leadership, applicants to the Executive Diversity Fellowship Program must:
  • Be women and/or members of racial or ethnic minorities.
  • Have at least three years of health care management experience.
  • Have a graduate degree in health care management or a related field.
  • Show a match between career goals and Catholic Health Initiatives’ leadership needs.
To find out more or request an application, contact David Black at