Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, is the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). She assumed her duties as of October 2005. She is responsible for all association operations and leads CHA’s staff at offices in Washington, DC, where she is based, and in St. Louis.
Sr. Carol worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity for more than 35 years. Prior to joining CHA, she was the board chair of Ascension Health’s Sacred Heart Health System, Pensacola, FL. Previously, she served for 15 years as president and chief executive officer of Providence Hospital in Washington, DC. In the early 1980s, she served as Providence Hospital’s vice president for nursing, ambulatory care, and education and training. In addition, she has served in leadership positions at Sacred Heart Hospital, Cumberland, MD, and Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, Pensacola, FL.
Sr. Carol has held influential roles in the governance of several health care, insurance and educational organizations. She has been a representative to the International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care. She recently concluded her service as a board member for Catholic Relief Services. In addition, she has been a member of several health, labor and domestic policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, and serves on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Washington. Currently, Sr. Carol also serves on the board of Georgetown University, Washington, DC and St. John’s University, Queens, NY.
Her numerous awards and honors include the American Hospital Association’s Trustee Award; the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff), bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI; the Seton Legacy of Charity Medal awarded by The Daughters of Charity Emmitsburg Province; LCWR 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award; the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award from Catholic Common Ground Initiative; the 2009 Vision Award from Catholic Charities USA; and the Friend of Children Award from Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC. In 2010, Sr. Carol was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and has been on Modern Healthcare’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” several years, having topped the list as number one in 2007. In 2013, Sr. Carol was an Opus Prize finalist for solving a persistent social problem, in this case people without access to affordable health care.
Sr. Carol earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from St. Joseph’s College, Emmitsburg, MD, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a master of science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 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 honorary doctorates from eight prestigious universities across the country.