July/August 2006

Patricia Cahill Receives Honor from Catholic Health Association


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Patricia Cahill (left) accepts the 2006 Sister Mary Concilia Moran, RSM, Award from Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD, senior vice president of advocacy for Catholic Health Initiatives and a member of the Catholic Health Association Board of Trustees.

Patricia A. Cahill, Esq., retired president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, received the Sister Mary Concilia Moran, RSM, Award for 2006 from the Catholic Health Association (CHA). Cahill accepted the award on June 5 at CHA’s 91st Annual Catholic Health Assembly in Orlando, Fla.

The annual award recognizes visionary leaders in Catholic health care, drawing attention to their innovative ideas, unique projects and outstanding achievements.

At the CHA Assembly, Cahill was introduced by Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD, senior vice president of advocacy for Catholic Health Initiatives and a member of the CHA Board of Trustees. “This award recognizes Pat Cahill the visionary, the lighter of lamps that have helped the rest of us see more clearly and in new ways,” said Scanlon.

Cahill is widely recognized for her creative, foresighted leadership of Catholic Health Initiatives during its first seven years. She led the consolidation of four health care systems, representing 12 congregations of women religious, into what was then the largest Catholic health system in the country. She now serves on the boards of Covenant Health System, Lexington, Mass., and Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Lenexa, Kan.

In her remarks after receiving the award, Cahill said that the Catholic health ministry is stronger today from a business perspective than it was 20 years ago. “We need to be strong if we are to serve,” she said. “But I think more importantly for Sister Concilia, and certainly for me, is our continuing effort to care for the vulnerable among us with warmth and compassion.”

Even before leading Catholic Health Initiatives, Cahill had numerous professional achievements. These included serving as a member of the Mayor of New York City’s Task Force on AIDS; as director of health and hospitals for the Archdiocese of New York; as president of Providence Health Services, New York; and as a member of the National Coalition for Catholic Health Care. “I think I speak for Sister Concilia, and I certainly speak for myself, when I say that offering vision and leadership in Catholic health care has been a joy,” said Cahill.

“Pat’s presence to Catholic Health Initiatives and other health care ministries inspired a group of leaders who followed her to the mountains of Colorado as spiritual pilgrims,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives. “She would often say there was ‘something in the stars’ that made Catholic Health Initiatives come together and succeed. Her star was always the brightest, and we followed her vision and leadership. As Catherine McAuley, foundress of Sister Concilia’s congregation, the Sisters of Mercy, might say today, Pat has the courage to begin tasks that are bigger than our lives. She cares deeply about people, and she helped me broaden my horizons, always keeping an open mind on what is possible, rather than impossible.”

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Kevin Lofton (left), president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, with Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, PhD, DD, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, and Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Association (CHA), at the CHA Annual Assembly in Orlando, Fla., in June 2006.