From left to right: John Ruetz, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario, Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury, Sr. Sarah Quackenbush, Linda Wilson, Board Chair, St. Joseph’s Health Centre
(Sudbury) June 27, 2016 – Sr. Sarah Quackenbush, the CHSO representative on the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Board of Directors, received the Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario ‘Living the Mission Award” at a special ceremony which took place in Toronto at the CHSO annual general meeting. This award recognizes people or teams from CHSO member organizations that have made a significant contribution over a sustained period of time to the advancement of Catholic health care in Ontario. This award acknowledges the highest level of excellence in the area of demonstrated and recognized day-to-day expression of Mission. The Mission Award winner has inspired and mentored others, carried the mission to the next generation of leaders, and is a beacon of servant leadership.
“Sister Sarah has been my measure of what constitutes a Catholic health care environment and what directions are required to ensure one. Her pragmatic approach to governance and organizational operation, tempered with the philosophy of the Sister’s of St. Joseph and her commitment to the mission of Catholic health care, is inspiring and effective. This award is a great way to recognize her dedication, commitment, and selflessness – all of which have so greatly benefited our organizations and many others.” stated Linda Wilson, Board Chair, St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury.
Sister Sarah Quackenbush is a well-known, highly-respected member of the provincial and local Catholic health care community, who truly meets all the criteria set out for the Living the Mission Award.
Sister Sarah’s involvement in Catholic health care has spanned some 40 years. She has shared her expertise, dedication, and wisdom in a variety of settings and in a variety of capacities both provincially and nationally, including:
- As President at the St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Elliot Lake for many years
- As Vice-President of the then newly-formed Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario (CHCO), where she
- helped the organization create a new sponsorship model
- was responsible for Mission and Education
- lead organizational discussions around Institutional Mission, Trustee and Senior Leadership education
- facilitated board retreats
- As the CHCO nominee to the Catholic Health Association Board when it made the difficult decision to change to a secretariat as the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
- Helping to coordinate and deliver the Catholic Leadership education program provided to institutions across Ontario and in New Brunswick
- Being instrumental in developing programs for trustees and middle managers of Catholic facilities throughout Ontario that link the values of the institution to work performed
- As a member of the CHSO Board
- As the CHSO’s representative on the Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury, St. Joseph’s Villa, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, and Villa St. Gabriel Villa
- Recording the history/founding of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, including Sisters’ involvement in the provision of care health care in Northern Ontario
- Influencing the integration of a slow-paced rehabilitation program in the City of Greater Sudbury. She recognized the unmet need and through consultation with various networking partners, she sowed the seed for the development of the program. One of the most successful programs is housed at St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, where more than 1,800 patients have transitioned through the Centre’s assess and restore and geriatric rehabilitation units since it opened in 2009.
St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury
Sister Sarah, as noted above, is the CHSO representative on our Board of Directors. For over 20 years, she has been instrumental in providing leadership and direction to linking our Mission and values to the work we perform. She is an invaluable member of our community, providing us with insight, expertise, and wise counsel in ensuring that the Sisters’ philosophy of care remains the foundation of the Health Centre’s operation.
A teacher and mentor, Sister Sarah worked with us to video record her presentation on the beginnings of health services in Northern Ontario and in Sudbury. In this presentation, she articulates that ‘the Sisters did not get involved in health care to form hospitals. They got into health care because they were responding to the needs of the poor and the needs of the sick’ – the foundation upon which we operate today and upon which we look to the future. Through this video, the viewer experiences a narrative of the true hardship and drive of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie to meet the unmet needs of the communities throughout Northern Ontario. This twenty-minute video entitled “Called to be a Mission Leader” is presented at orientation to all staff and is available on our website https://www.sjsudbury.com/index.php/st-josephs-health-centre/history-sjhc/ .
In addition, through the delivery of the Catholic Leadership Program, Sister Sarah has helped our senior leaders, managers, and directors to more effectively carry out their responsibilities as leaders of a Catholic organization. Her delivery of the message of the Catholic mission has had visible impact at both the personal and organizational level at all of our organizations, as is evidenced by the feedback that has been received from all those with whom she has interacted. Through her educational work, she has:
- Provided a learning and living experience that is not available in other professional or academic programs for leaders in Catholic organizations;
- Created a space for reflection that enables a person to better know one’s self and one’s call as a leader within a Catholic organization;
- Expanded one’s ability to articulate the unique role of Catholic health and social services in contemporary society;
- Enriched one’s vocabulary to better articulate the Church’s mission in health and social service;
- Enabled the understanding of the rich heritage of Catholic social teaching; and
- Ensured the on-going development of Catholic health and social services by mentoring our leaders.
She is also able to influence and guide individuals, organizations and communities through her compassion and strong belief in Catholic mission and values. Through the education programs delivered to our Board, senior leaders, staff and volunteers, she has helped to more clearly define our purpose and how to imbed that purpose in the services offered to our patients, residents, and their families…she has helped us articulate how our mission, values, and ethical commitments support our daily care and service delivery and the fulfillment of our strategic directions.
We are blessed to have her as part of our community…as a speaker, as a promoter of our mission, as an educator, and also as the leader of our annual missioning ceremony for the Board and administrative staff members.
As the CHSO representative on our Boards, Sister Sarah provides valuable insight and direction on our chosen strategic directions. At every annual general meeting of the Board, Sister Sarah asks the auditors, with sincere humility and grace, the question: “Are you aware of any fraud in this organization?” Her due diligence as a Director is evidenced through her various queries of the Board and committee functions and the ability to direct the Board to engage in the difficult questions it needs to face in order to live out the Mission and meet the unmet needs in our community.
Sister Sarah is gifted with a relentless curiosity and open mind and with such astounding depths of good will and good cheer as are rarely encountered. She leads by example, is true to her faith, promotes the ‘healing mission of Jesus,’ and is loved and respected by all.
We at St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury truly feel that the ‘Living the Mission Award’ speaks to the inspiration, mentorship, and leadership demonstrated by Sister Sarah. We believe that Sister Sarah Quackenbush is most deserving of this prestigious award.