President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association to receive Monsignor George C. Higgins Labor Advocacy Award

September 02, 2008

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will present this year’s Monsignor George C. Higgins Labor Advocacy Award to Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association, following a Mass of Blessing for Human Labor this weekend:

Saturday, September 6, 2008
5:15 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

The award was established to honor the legacy of Msgr. Higgins, who passed away in 2002 after more than 50 years as a leading voice for justice for workers throughout the world.

Sister Carol has worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity for more than 35 years. Before joining the Catholic Health Association, the trade group for Catholic hospitals, she was the board chair of Ascension Health’s Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Florida. She also headed Providence Hospital in Washington, DC for 15 years.

She has served on the boards of the Catholic Health Association and SOAR! Support Our Aging Religious, based in Silver Spring. She has been a member of several health, labor and domestic policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Under her leadership, the CHA has advocated for renewal of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, for greater, more affordable access to health care, and for the continued tax-exempt status of hospitals. In 2007, readers of Modern Healthcare magazine voted Sister Carol the most powerful person in healthcare.

In 2006, Sr. Carol was awarded the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award (for the “Church and the Pope”) by Pope Benedict XVI. Instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, the award is given for distinguished service to the Church and the papacy.

The Mass is open to the public and is held to recognize the dignity and value of human work and to join in prayer and gratitude for our nation’s workers.

Dignity of work and the rights of workers is central to Catholic social teaching, which sees work as participation in God’s creation. The Church calls for respect of basic rights, such as the right to fair wages, productive work, private property, economic initiative and the right to organize and join unions, as necessary to protect the dignity of work.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]