Sr. Carol Keehan Honored with National Ignatian Social Justice Award
April 20, 2015 — The Ignatian Solidarity Network honored Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), with the Robert M. Holstein “Faith Doing Justice Award” on April 16 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
The award honors one individual each year who has demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. The award’s namesake, the late Robert M. Holstein, was a former Jesuit, labor lawyer, fierce advocate for social justice and co-founder of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, an event that is now the largest annual Catholic social justice conference in the United States.
“In her own way, with her own quiet voice, Sr. Carol has passionately lived a life of faith that seeks after justice. The Ignatian Solidarity Network is proud to call Sr. Carol a friend and colleague,” said Bill Hobbs, chairperson of the Ignatian Solidarity Network Board of Directors.
Sr. Keehan has served as president and chief executive officer of the CHA since October 2005. She is responsible for all association operations and leads CHA’s staff at offices in St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
A Daughter of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Sr. Keehan worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals for more than 35 years. Prior to joining the CHA, she was the board chair of Ascension Health’s Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Florida. Previously, she served for 15 years as president and chief executive officer of Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Sr. Keehan has held influential roles in the governance of a variety of health care, insurance and educational organizations. She currently serves on the boards of St. John’s University in New York City and Georgetown University. Her numerous honors include the American Hospital Association's Trustee Award; the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff) bestowed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI; and TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010.
Previous Holstein Award honorees include Jesuit Father Charlie Currie, former president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities; Jesuit Father Steven Privett, former president of the University of San Francisco; Jesuit Father Donald MacMillan, campus minister and justice advocate at Boston College; Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., international anti-death penalty advocate; and Jesuit Father James Connor, former president of the United States Jesuit Conference and Provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits. [Source: Ignatian Solidarity Network]