May 15, 2018

AHA Award to Sr. Carol Keehan

The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that a 2018 Award of Honor will be awarded to Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Catholic Health Association (CHA). The award, presented on May 7 at the AHA’s Annual Meeting, is given to individuals or organizations in recognition of exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of our nation through leadership on major health policy or social initiatives.

Sister Keehan has served as president and CEO of CHA for 13 years and is the Association’s ninth president and CEO. Prior to this role, she served in leadership and administrative roles for more than 35 years. This includes serving as board chair of Ascension Health’s Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Florida and 15 years as president and CEO of Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C.

“Sister Keehan has been a steadfast leader and advocate for health care equity, and her leadership helped to ensure that all patients would have access to health coverage,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “As a caregiver she has committed her life to lifting up the vulnerable, the poor and the ill, and this work has made our communities more just and fair. Her decades of leadership and role as president and CEO at Catholic Health Association continues to strengthen hospitals and health systems across the nation.”

Sister Keehan’s contributions to the health care field has spanned both nationally and internationally. In 2014, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine, which advises the nation and international community on issues of vital importance to public health. Nationally, she played an integral role in advancing the Affordable Care Act and ensuring that it continues to effectively provide health coverage to vulnerable people and working families.

Sister Keehan earned a diploma in nursing from DePaul Hospital School of Nursing in Norfolk, Virginia, a bachelor of science degree in nursing from St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., where she graduated magna cum laude, and a master of science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina, from which she received the School of Business Distinguished Alumna Award in 2000 and was honored in 2009 as an outstanding alumna. She has also received numerous honorary doctorate degrees.

In 2010, TIME magazine named Sister Keehan one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Previous Award of Honor winners include organizations such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ohio Hospital Association’s Energy and Sustainability Program, Reach Out and Read, Ronald McDonald House Charities®, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and Habitat for Humanity. Individuals such as Spencer Johnson, past president of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association in Okemos, Mich.; Rhonda Anderson, R.N., DNSc, chief executive officer, Cardon Children’s Medical Center; George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente; and Donald M. Berwick, M.D., former administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement have also been honored.