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November 18, 2016, Henderson, Nevada – Sister Phyllis Sikora, OP, was recently appointed by Dignity Health as one of eight professionals to take on a new position within the health care system.

Dignity Health has appointed eight regional vice presidents for mission integration. Since November 6, Sister Phyllis has been serving as the health system’s Nevada Service Area Vice President of Mission Integration. This new responsibility is in addition to her position as Vice President of Mission Integration for the Rose de Lima Campus of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

The purpose of the new system of regional vice presidents for mission integration is “to build a unified mission integration team across the service areas,” Sister Phyllis explained. “It’s also to assure that each of our people in the mission position has the needed professional development,” and to ensure that each mission leader throughout Dignity Health reports to someone else in the mission field – rather than to human resources or other professionals. 

The new position also helps to “standardize care” across the entire health care system. “Mission doesn’t look one way in one hospital and operated in a different way in a different, but would operate at the same level in all of the service areas,” Sister Phyllis explained.

Sister Kathleen McGrail, OP, is Vice President of Mission Integration for the Siena Campus. St. Rose Dominican Hospitals also includes the San Martin Campus, whose Vice President of Mission Integration has taken a new position in San Francisco, headquarters of Dignity Health.

Sister Phyllis said she has been blessed in the Nevada Service Region because those involved specifically in mission have been integrated into the leadership team. “We already go to operations meetings and executive leadership teams,” she said, but that has not always been the case for mission leaders in other service areas. The new system will integrate mission into leadership across the eight regions of Dignity Health. 

Dignity Health is a system of 60,000 caregivers and staff members across 21 states. Its mission states that the health care system is “committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable, health services for all; to serving and advocating for our brothers and sisters who are poor and disenfranchised; and partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life.” The system’s core values are dignity, collaboration, justice, stewardship, and excellence. 

St. Rose Dominican Hospitals was founded nearly 70 years ago by the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who still sponsor St. Rose, as well as Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California – also part of Dignity Health. 

Sister Phyllis has already met with the seven other service area vice presidents and is particularly excited that, as a group, they will be able to share best practices. For example, she said, she learned of one service area that developed an ethics notebook for its staff – a practice that she was able to follow. 

“It’s a team,” she said. “You’re not in this position in isolation, but you’re part of an eight-member team.” One of the challenges of this new team, Sister Phyllis believes, is to develop the new team. “We’re still in the exploration stage of who we are as a group, what we want to accomplish, what it would look like, and what benefits we would bring to our organization.” 

In her ministry of mission integration, Sister Phyllis has helped to conduct orientations, introducing mission and values to the new employees. “We’re at employee forums. Our presence is very visible,” she said. As St. Rose Dominican nears its 70th anniversary, Sister Phyllis also strives to make employees aware of the Adrian Dominican Sisters who founded the hospital.

“The original women brought the gift of being committed to the health of the communities they served in,” Sister Phyllis said. “That’s the mission – how do we serve the people in the communities that our hospitals are in? How do we bring in the healing presence of our original Sisters?”

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By Sister Suzanne Schreiber, OP

November 17, 2016, Detroit – Sister Mary Lou Putrow, OP, was recognized as one who exemplifies the phrase, “Change the World with a Giving Heart,” the theme for the 25th Annual National Philanthropy Day dinner in Detroit. 

She was one among many who were recognized as Distinguished Volunteers during the event, hosted by the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The dinner was November 12 at Cobo Hall in Detroit. 

Sister Mary Lou was nominated by Sister Janice Brown, Director of the Dominican Literacy Center (DLC) in Detroit, for her kind and consistent service. “Balancing the checkbook, taking care of the front desk when needed, and tutoring – these are some of the ways Mary Lou brings life and support to the Center,” Sister Janice said. “She is amazing in the ways she gives so unassumingly and generously.”

Sister Mary Lou also initiated a project that enabled DLC students to tell their stories, many of which conveyed their life struggles. In several interviews with each one, Sister Mary Lou listened with reverence to details about what brought them to the DLC, where they are on the path of learning and growing. The stories were published in a booklet to share with family and friends and to inspire other students.

The DLC is one of seven literacy centers founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters under the umbrella of Dominican Rea Literacy Corporation. The first of the seven, the DLC, was founded in 1989.



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