A Publication of WTVP

Leadership in the health care field and in the communities we serve: that's one of the nine values those of us involved with OSF HealthCare try to live every day. This value may be common to many health care organizations, and, like many of those health care organizations, we consider leadership to be a responsibility rather than something for which to be recognized. However, there are times when one of our leaders is recognized by the community for her contributions and dedication to carrying out our mission "to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life."

Two such occasions happened in late April. On April 27, Sister Judith Ann, O.S.F., president of OSF Healthcare System, received the YWCA Edythe A. Cohen Business & Industry Award, and Sister Frances Marie, O.S.F., posthumously, was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame April 29.

Neither Sister sought her respective award but was honored-and deservedly so. The YWCA Leadership award is given to a woman who exhibits leadership in a local business, not-for-profit organization, or governmental body. To be considered as a JA Business Hall of Fame Laureate, an individual's record of business achievement must demonstrate business excellence, courageous thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, and community mindedness.

In accepting the JA Business Hall of Fame Award for Sister Frances Marie, Sister Judith Ann stated, "Although this award recognizes Sister Frances Marie's business acumen, if Sister were here this evening to accept this award she wouldn't talk about how OSF Healthcare System grew between 1988 and 2000 from annual patient revenues of $368 million to more than $1.25 billion or the increase in assets from $317 million to $861 million or our number of employees going from 5,900 to more than 10,000. Instead she would talk about our Mission of serving persons, with the greatest care and love in the spirit of Christ and the example of Francis of Assisi, regardless of their ability to pay."

In 1987 we began our Ministry Development program to ensure that the mission of the Sisters would always be at the heart of our OSF family and that all of us leaders who worked for the Sisters understood their roots, believed in their mission, and trusted in their values. The Sisters selected Sister Judith Ann to lead this initiative, which she's done successfully. In his letter of support, Monsignor Steven Rohlfs, rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Maryland, said: "What amazes me is how Sister Judith Ann knows everyone who participates in the Ministry Development Program-not just their title and respective OSF entity that employs them, but some things about their job or co-workers or their special interests and their families. She genuinely cares for the people she is teaching and coaching and I know Sister Judith Ann carries that same approach everywhere she works."

It was an honor and a privilege to have worked for Sister Frances Marie, and it's likewise an honor to work for Sister Judith Ann. Although humility isn't one of the three major vows the Sisters officially commit to, they live it daily, which is why it's so inspirational to see them being recognized for their quiet leadership with these two special community awards. IBI